No matter how old or new, how well maintained or neglected your PC is, there is at least one application, software program or game that you do not need, or do not even know what you do to begin with. This guide shows you how to uninstall apps which are not useful.
Here we will show you how to identify applications that you may not need to have on your PC; we will tell you about bloatware, junkware, adware and all other products; and we will explain why you do not want that garbage to occupy your hard drive.
What is bloatware?
Do you know those programs and applications on your PC that you never asked for in the first place? Toolbars, pre-installed tests … That’s bloatware right there. It includes:
When you obtained your PC, it is likely to come with some program tests pre-installed by the manufacturer. Then they expired and began to pray for money. Antivirus software, video playback applications and office tools are some of the most common criminals.
More pre-installed programs that serve little or nothing for you. “Solution centres”, updaters or other tools that you may not need (or only in sporadic cases). Here is an example: My Alienware gaming computer comes with an application to download programs that I may have purchased along with my PC, and a software updater that finds a huge (!) Update per year. Both are useless to me. However, both were still running in the background.
Who needs a pony of a single trick like this that can only update a handful of applications? Just Uninstall apps!
If you are interested in keeping the most popular applications automatically updated, you can do what I do and use PC TuneUp.
Adware and toolbars
You need these as if you need a cold before the holidays. These applications are nested in your browser or taskbar and do not provide anything of value in addition to displaying advertising.
Ok, we must admit that this thing is the absolute apocalypse of the toolbar. But I’ve seen friends and family use browsers with enough toolbars to make Satan cry.
Remember Superfish? Some programs that you may have on your PC may pose a security risk and should be addressed immediately.
Programs that you forgot you had or never used
It is very likely that you have programs buried on your hard drive that you no longer need. Now, these are not considered bloatware. Like an old pair of jeans that you bought and used only once, you probably wanted these applications at some time in the past before you forgot they existed. But its effect on your PC is more or less the same: they occupy space on your hard drive and main memory, and sometimes they keep moving in the background, slowing things down.
In fact, removing these applications is one of the first steps we recommend to revive a previous PC.
Less bloatware = more space and a softer PC
Obviously, your mileage may vary here, depending greatly on the amount of digital dirt that is clogging your particular machine. But a thorough cleaning of your PC can result in a large amount of additional storage space, as it gets rid of hundreds of megabytes, or even gigabytes, of things you do not need.
A very welcome additional benefit is that many of the applications that you delete may also have been running in the background of your PC. Once they are gone, they will no longer bother your processor or RAM, which often results in a softer PC.
How to find and uninstall apps that you do not use
There are some simple ways to identify applications that you no longer need:
1. Uninstall apps regularly
Go to your Control Panel in Windows, click Programs and then Programs and Features. You will see a list of everything that is installed on your machine. Review that list and ask yourself: do I need this program? If the answer is no, press the Uninstall / Change button and get rid of it.
But sometimes things are not so simple. How do you know what each program does and if you need them or not? Some of them allow you to run other programs or games. If you get rid of them, some of your applications may stop working. Examples of this are Microsoft Visual C ++ Redistributable (since 2005-2017), Adobe Flash Player, DHTML Editing Component or Java.
Other applications, such as drivers and support programs, are related to your hardware. Finding out what you need is difficult: some audio drivers install not only the software required for your audio output (you need) but also volume control programs (which you do not need since Windows has its volume) control).
In cases like these, Google is your friend. In most cases, an online search of the name of the application or driver will help you discover what you are looking at and whether you need it or not.
But not always. The previous screenshot of my PC shows something called “Dolby Audio X2 Windows API”. I looked it up on Google and discovered that the official Dolby driver page was not useful. So I just uninstalled it and tested all my applications and games to see if there was any difference. There was not. I guess I did not need it after all.
2. Uninstall apps which are new or preinstalled on Windows
This is for Windows 8/10 users. In addition to “traditional” desktop programs such as iTunes or Office, now it also has applications. They are safer and are isolated from the rest of the system, are optimized for touch and, in general, are easier to use. Windows comes with a lot of those pre-installed applications, and although some of them are useful (photos, mail, calendar, contacts), there is also a load of **** pre-installed applications that you do not want on your computer.
Click on the Start button, then click on the small gear icon
Now click on applications and review the list. Marvel not only for the number of applications you have there but also for the large amount of space that some devour.
Sorry? I just found out that Microsoft has installed Candy Crush Soda Saga, Minecraft and March of Empires: War of Lords in my Fresh Surface Book. I did not want this, and it’s taking up half a gigabyte of storage. One click on Uninstall solves the problem.
3. Uninstall apps that you rarely use
It would be handy to know when you last used an application, or if you have used it at all. Windows do not tell you that, so we’ve incorporated this feature into our AVG PC TuneUp package (which you can try for free!). Its uninstall manager allows you to filter large programs, recently installed programs, large programs and more.
To run a search, open PC TuneUp, click Uninstall unused programs and then Filter List.
4. Uninstall apps from the root folders and the program files folder
To make sure I have not missed any program or application, when I do my regular cleaning of PC Spring (and I mean Spring every week because I have OCD digital cleaning), I check the following folders on my hard drive and identify the program folders that do not I recognize or I could have forgotten:
- C: \ – The root folder of my hard drive. Some programs think they are too cool to be saved in the appropriate application folders and set up a camp here. Here I found a game that I have not used in years (Battle for Middle Earth II) and some leftover installation files from NVIDIA graphics drivers. uninstall apps!
C: \ Program Files: this is the default application folder for 64-bit applications.
- C: \ Program Files (x86): This is the default folder for 32-bit applications.
These folders also include some critical Windows programs, and although Windows will not allow you to remove items that are important to your functionality, you can still break something accidentally. That’s why you should always google the name of the folder to see what others say about it, and simply move it temporarily to the Recycle Bin for a few days or weeks. If all your programs continue to run smoothly, empty the container!
5. Only for advanced users!
Windows has a “secret” folder called “ProgramData”, mostly designed to store some data or configuration files for your programs and, sometimes, complete programs. Here I found folders of applications that I have not used in a long time or uninstalled a long time ago.
To open this folder, press the WINDOWS key and R on your keyboard at the same time. When the small window appears, type% programdata%, as …
and press OK.
* You can * break something seriously if you get in here. Only bundle with this folder at your own risk.
Identify and remove “bloatware.”
There are some methods to find and destroy the preinstalled messy applications and the software parts we talked about earlier:
- Use a dedicated tool
Some tools detect adware, such as PC Decrapifier. They are a good place to find the worst offenders of boat games.
- Uninstall apps manually
We show you how to open the list of all previously installed applications. Use the same procedure, but look specifically for the applications of your PC manufacturer (Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc.) or the entries that only mention websites and services such as eBay.
- Get rid of toolbars and add-ons
Toolbars may not always appear in your list of programs. To get rid of them, do this:
In Google Chrome Open the browser and type chrome: // extensions in the address bar. Press Enter to see a general description of all the add-ons that are installed, which also includes toolbars. Get rid of the ones you do not need.
In Windows Edge: a little more complicated. Turn on the border and write about: flags. Check the entry Enable extension developer features.
Restart Edge and click on the three small dots in the upper right corner, then click on Extensions. Here you will find a list of extensions and add-ons that you can easily get rid of.
Internet Explorer: IE makes it a little easier. Click on the small gear icon in the upper right corner and go to Manage add-ons. From here, you can deactivate all toolbars, search providers and extensions that you do not need.