It’s the back to school season, and many students are just unwrapping their new computers eager to fire them up and start messing around.
But you don’t have to look very far on most new computers to find ‘bloatware’, which are programs that hardware manufacturers install on your PC that don’t really serve a useful purpose. Certain manufacturers do this more than others. HP is notorious for this, and in the past, those who recently purchased an HP computer were subjected to pointless bloatware like 60-second game trials or 30-day antivirus trials.
HP isn’t the only perpetrator here. Dell also does this quite frequently, as do Lenovo and Acer. Almost all hardware manufacturers do this in some form or another. It’s just that some are sneakier about it than others. Whether you find stupid games on your brand new PC or antivirus software that you don’t need, you’ll want to remove all of this software in order to get the most out of your computer.
Here are a few examples of bloatware that you might find on your brand new computer:
-Short antivirus trials
-24 hour (or shorter) video game trials
-Any software that requires you to purchase a license before using it
-HP/Dell/Lenovo ‘performance optimization’ software
-Data recovery bloatware
-Error support software
Of course, not all of these programs will be completely useless. Some might actually fix your computer without forcing you to pay a dime. Others might tease you with a free trial before demanding $50 or $60 for a subscription plan.
This bloatware is generally harmless – it won’t affect your system’s security. However, it does affect PC performance in other ways. Bloatware fills up your hard drive and steals system resources. It makes your computer run more slowly and contributes to errors and crashes. If you’re not using bloatware, then you’ll want to uninstall it as soon as possible.
Step by step guide to removing bloatware
Step 1) Identify the bloatware. Make a mental list of all the programs that you want to remove from your PC. If there are too many programs to list, then just jump to Step 2.
Step 2) Go to your Add/Remove Programs menu. Many of these bloatware programs can be removed like a traditional program. Just search for ‘uninstall a program’ in the Windows 7 search bar or go to the ‘Add/Remove Programs’ menu. Then, look through the list and remove any programs you noticed in Step 1. Try not to uninstall any programs with ‘Windows’ in the name, as they could be an integral part of your operating system. Otherwise, delete every other program you don’t like.
Step 3) Once you’ve uninstalled all possible programs from that menu, your battle to remove bloatware might not be over yet. Take a look around your computer for any programs that still remain. Are you still seeing pop-ups from pointless programs? Are there still various games on your menu that you don’t like? Perform a quick restart to see if these problems disappear. If not, move on to the next step.
Step 4) Press the Windows Key + R at the same time. This will open up a Run command box. Type msconfig into that box and then click OK. This menu allows you to choose all of the programs that run when your computer starts up. Go to the Startup tab and remove any programs that you don’t use. This won’t completely uninstall them from your system, but it will prevent them from starting up whenever you turn on your computer – which is often just as good.
Step 5) To completely remove these annoying bloatware programs from your system, perform a quick search for these programs in Windows Explorer. Open the Start menu in Windows 7 and type the name of the program into the search bar. Even after uninstalling bloatware, you might notice a few folders and files are left behind. These programs and files could be enough to install the bloatware automatically again, so be sure to delete all related files you see.
Step 6) If you want to remove bloatware, junk data, and other problems from your PC, try running a scan with PC Cleaner Pro. PC Cleaner Pro allows users to instantly remove hundreds of computer errors. One simple scan can increase PC speeds by up to 97%, and it’s not uncommon for PC Cleaner Pro to encounter hundreds of errors during a scan. Try it out today to see what it can do for your system!