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Tech tips

How to get rid of bloatware on your Windows PC

It can be fun setting up a new PC. Customizing your desktop so it looks just right, downloading fresh apps and sitting down to use it for the first time feels fantastic.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always as simple as going through a quick setup process, selecting a few colors for fonts and windows and going from there. Tap or click here to learn how to customize your computer.

Many pre-built computers come with at least a modicum of extraneous, unwanted apps and software on them: bloatware. Bloatware can include trials of games you don’t want, apps you’ll never use or proprietary software that can slow down your computer.

Luckily, there are simple ways to prune your new device of any additional software you don’t want to use. Let us help you out.

Prune down software

If you want to rid your computer of frustrating bloatware, the first thing you’ll want to do is take inventory of programs you don’t want anymore and start uninstalling them. But what programs are actually bloatware?

To ensure you’re not getting rid of anything integral to your system’s performance, you can download the free program PC Decrapifier to speed up the process. Once you download and run the program, it will scan your computer for all applications on the machine, particularly those that come pre-installed.

You’ll be shown three tabs to help gauge whether or not each program is worth removing: Recommended, Questionable and Everything Else. Check any programs it suggests, then click Remove Selected to begin the process.

It makes removal of bloatware simple and far less time-consuming than removing each manually.

Choose which programs to delete

You could use Windows’ default uninstaller to get rid of unwanted apps after you’ve identified which ones you no longer want, but it’s much better to use a program specifically created to get rid of all traces of software.

Revo Uninstaller is a free and powerful tool that can help you ensure all traces of unwanted programs are fully removed upon the uninstall process.

All you need to do is download and install Revo Uninstaller and let it compile a list of programs you have on your PC. Then, choose what you want uninstalled and follow the prompts from there.

The only rub here is that you need to manually choose the software you no longer want. It can be an arduous process, but this lets you ensure you’re getting rid of only the items you really want to.

You can use Revo for all your uninstallation needs, but make sure you don’t accidentally remove anything you may need later. If you’re unsure about something, do your due diligence and check it out online to see if it’s an important program.

Reinstall a fresh copy of Windows

If removing software is too granular or you’re concerned you might mess something up, you might want to go with a fresh install of Windows. This means you’ll have to use an install disc and a valid license key, to strip your computer to the bare minimum.

When you install Windows, at least a copy that’s meant for sale separately from your new PC, you’ll be met with a totally empty OS. This isn’t a step for the faint of heart. You’ll have to spend time installing software you do want afterward, but it’s a foolproof way to nuke all bloatware.

All in all, you might spend more time setting things up after the big Windows reinstall than picking off individual apps and software, but at least you’ll know you’re free to customize your rig the way you want.

Now that you’ve customized your new PC and have it running without pesky bloatware, try out some of our other setup instructions. Tap or click here for 4 things to do when you get a new PC.

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