One of the many struggles of any Windows operating system, not just Windows 10, is a certain amount of so-called bloatware and crapware, which not only uses your hard disk space, but sometimes also makes use of your computer harder and annoying.
It gets even worse when there are issues with uninstalling these programs, but this is another case discussed here.
So we created this article in order to help you better understand this unwanted piece of software and avoid (and remove) it as much as possible.
What is Crapware/Bloatware?
Crapware and bloatware are two similar things, but they’re actually different.
So let’s start with crapware, this is a kind of software that you ended up having installed on your PC against your will, it either cames pre-installed by your computer manufacturer (a good example here), or you accidentally installed along with some program you actually installed on purpose, or something else, you got the point.
Crapware isn’t of any use to you, it’s often some kind of browser toolbar, some unnecessary program that starts along with your computer, some default-browser change, etc.
The only purpose of crapware is to make some extra money to your computer manufacturer or developer of the program which installed it on your computer, and to get on your nerves.
While bloatware is also a program that came pre-installed with your system or along some other software, and it’s purpose is also to make some extra money to its ‘partners,’ but it can actually be useful to you.
You probably won’t install it in first place, but since you have it, it could be of some service.
Since we’re on this subject, it is one thing to avoid this antivirus, and another to install a really useful tool that will protect your computer and data. We come to your aid with this fresh and comprehensive list!
How to Remove Unwanted Software From Windows 10
- Remove bloatware/crapware manually
- Remove everything at once
- Install Windows From scratch
- Uninstall Windows Store Bloatware easily
- How to Remove Crapware toolbars from your browser
- Avoid Installing Unwanted Software in the Future
- Use a PowerShell script
Now you know what crapware and bloatware are, and you probably want to get rid of them. Luckily, just like any other third-party program, you can easily remove them without any harm to your computer.
There are a couple of ways to remove unwanted software from your computers, and I’m going to show you all of them.
Solution 1 – Remove bloatware/crapware manually
If you don’t have a big amount of bloatware installed on your computer, you can download a proper uninstalling tool and delete all unwanted software manually.
I was looking around the internet, searching for the proper uninstaller that will do this job the best, and I noticed that people recommend you to use some third-party uninstaller, instead of Windows’ built-in program removal tool.
It’s completely up to you which program you’re going to use, but in my opinion, the best programs for this are IOBit Uninstaller Pro 7, Revo Uninstaller and CCleaner (click do download trial versions).
So, download your desired uninstalling tool, open it, search for all programs and features you recognize as bloatware/crapware and simple uninstall it.
If you have more than one program you think is a bloatware, just repeat the process.
I also have to tell you that before you go beast mode, and start destroying all unwanted programs, you should take another look, and don’t uninstall something you don’t know what is, because it could actually be useful, and also if you uninstall some Windows feature, your system could suffer.
So, before you delete some unknown program or feature, you should make sure what it is first.
Solution 2 – Remove everything at once
If you have a lot of bloatware on your computer, uninstalling them one by one could be boring and time taking. So, it is much better solution to uninstall them all at once.
You can’t do it with an usual uninstalling tool, but fortunately, there’s a program which allows you to delete more programs at once.
I recommend the program called Decrap, because it will completely scan your computer for installed programs, and you can easily uninstall everything you want.
Here’s how to properly use Decrap to get rid of the unwanted software:
- Download Decrap from this link (use the portable version, because you don’t have to install anything)
- Install it
- Let it scan your computer for the installed software
- Once the scan is completed, just check all programs you want to uninstall (Bloatware is usually placed under “Automatically Starting Software” or “Third-party Software)
- Click Next and create a restore point when prompted
- Decrap will ask you if you want to uninstall all checked programs automatically, or manually. Make sure that you checked the right programs, and you can uninstall all of them automatically
- Once the installation process is done, you’ll have bloatware-free computer
The ‘rule of unknown programs is still valid, so make sure you know what you’re uninstalling, before you uninstall it.
Solution 3 – Install Windows From scratch
If you’re not sure that you uninstalled every piece of unwanted software from your computer, you can re-install Windows 10 from scratch.
This is especially good if you got your PC/laptop from a well-known manufacturer, which included some of its ‘sponsored’ bloatware into your system.
But to get rid of their bloatware, you have to install clean, Microsoft’s copy of Windows 10.
Use Microsoft’s official tool, and create your own installation media of Windows 10, with clean copy of the system on it.
It will sure take much more time than just uninstalling bloatware with previous methods, but you’ll be sure that your copy of Windows 10 is completely free of third-party bloatware.
But will your computer be totally bloatware-free even if you install the fresh copy of Windows 10?
Solution 4 – Uninstall Windows Store Bloatware easily
Even if you don’t have any third-party bloatware software, you might want to uninstall a couple of more apps.
You know that Windows 10 comes with a dose of its own pre-installed apps, and I wasn’t sure if we should characterize apps like Weather, News, Sport, etc. as bloatware, but they’re still installed without your permission.
So, it is completely up to you. You can threat pre-installed Windows 10 apps as bloatware, but if you’re actually using them, you can skip this part of the article.
On the other hand, if you don’t want these apps to run in the background and take your memory space, you can easily remove them from your computer.
Just open the Start Menu, right-click on the app you want to delete, and choose Uninstall, as simple as that.
Solution 5 – How to Remove Crapware toolbars from your browser
Now that you know everything about bloatware and how to deal with it, we’re going to talk about how to get rid of all these annoying browser toolbars and other bundled software that comes with your computer.
Most of these crapware toolbars are installed as normal programs, so you can use one of the previous methods to uninstall them. But even more effective way to delete them all is to use program designed for that.
I recommend using AdwCleaner, which is quite simple to use:
- Download AdwCleaner from this link
- Click the scan button to scan your computer
- Once the scan is finished, check everything you want to clean (Go through various tabs, like Services, Folders, Files, etc.)
- Once you make sure you selected everything, go to Clean option, and AdwCleaner will set you free from all these annoying toolbars.
Solution 6 – Avoid Installing Unwanted Software in the Future
I think that’s everything you need to know about unwanted software on your computer, and how to clean up all that mess. But, once you clean your computer completely, you also have to make sure it stays that way.
So here are some tips on how to avoid installing bloatware and crapware in the future, in order to keep your computer as clean as possible:
- If possible, always download official versions of the programs, from their download page
- Make sure you didn’t pick up some ‘extra’ program while you were downloading the program
- Be careful when during the program installation, because most of the unwanted software is installed by your accident approval, so make sure to uncheck all checkboxes that prompt you to install some program you don’t want to
- Don’t click every “Agree” during the installation, because once again, you may accidentally agree to download something you don’t want to
Solution 7 – Use PowerShell script
You can also use PowerShell to block Windows 10 bloatware. The script is open-source and you can get it from GitHub. Honestly speaking, we advise you to download it on your computer as soon as possible.
Microsoft recently acquired GitHub and many developers are already switching platforms. Or even worse: Microsoft could block this type of content in the future.
On an additional note, check our guide about removing software leftovers to keep your computer completely clean.
Now you know absolutely everything about unwanted software, how to get rid of it, and how to prevent its further installation. Tell us your experience with bloatware and crapware in the comments, below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.