Bloatware, crapware, trashware, whatever you choose to call it, PC manufacturers are far too fond of packing the new machines that roll off their factory production lines full of it. Recently the potential dangers that this bundled in software can pose were highlighted when it was revealed that one of the bloatware programs Lenovo have been bundling into their PCs, ‘Superfish’, was in fact an adware program that compromised the protections offered by https sites in order to force insert ads into them, making Lenovo a few extra bucks in the process.
The outrage at Lenovo was swift and yes, possibly just. They did a bad thing. But they are far from alone in all of this, so I thought it was time I helped you understand just why bloatware exists and how you can get rid of it.
It’s All About the Benjamins
The biggest reason that bloatware has become such big business is that we, as PC consumers, are cheap. And the market is ridiculously competitive right now. Dirt cheap Chromebooks are changing the landscape of the laptop market and the desktop market has been bottoming out for several years now. Manufacturers really aren’t making any money out of the machines that are selling best right now (leading to Sony and Samsung pretty much getting out of the PC business altogether right now.) and so they need to make a profit somehow. The creators of the bloatware that annoys us all so much are willing to pay big bucks to have their wares bundled into a new PC, so the manufacturers are naturally going to do just that.
Beating the Bloat
So, it’s unlikely that you are going to see too many bloatware free PCs any time soon. But you can beat the bloat, it just takes a little time and effort.
The most obvious way to do this is to go into your Control Panel, dig into the Programs menu and manually seek out and destroy these programs one by one. Time consuming stuff and for a novice rather daunting. Some of the programs that look like they might be crapware are actually rather essential to applications you do want to use. So how can you be sure that you are removing the right stuff.
There are a couple of good free utilities you can make use of to help. The wonderfully named PC Decrapifier and Should I Remove It? are both efficient, easy to use choices. Will you notice a difference once all of the bloat is gone? Probably. On average, a PC will start up 39% faster after a removal operation and resume 51% faster after it has been woken from sleep. And that is a difference you really can appreciate.