How To Remove Bloatware from New Computer

One very popular request from many users is how does one go about cleaning a computer from all the junk and crapware (bloatware is another popular term) installed by default on a newly purchased OEM computer from the store? Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) computers are basically computers you see displayed at your big name electronics store. Brands like Sony, Dell, HP, Acer and Gateway can be all considered OEM. One of the biggest problems with purchasing these computers (desktops or laptops) is that they usually come bundled with all kinds of trialware and other types of unnecessary software that you most likely will never ever use throughout the lifetime of that computer. Why are we plagued with this problem? Is there a way to remove these unnecessary software? Can we instead choose to start from a clean slate and have a fresh/bare-bone install of Windows 7 instead?

Before I go on, you’re probably asking why in the world would all those junkware make it onto our brand new computer in the first place? Why would one computer manufacturer give me a trial version of Norton while another persists in me using McAfee instead? If you haven’t realized it by now, the answer is simple: paid advertisement. Norton is probably paying HP a big chunk of money to have them install a trial version of their software on all brand new computers. This of course helps Norton advertise themselves to the new PC user in hopes of getting them to sign-up and pay for the full version once the trial version runs its course. Why is this bad? If only a few pieces of these so called trialware gets installed, the outcry from customers probably wouldn’t be too bad. However, because so many of these trialware gets bundled into a new computer, it can become a big nuisance and not to mention the fact that these trialware can slow your computer. While you can make the argument that computer these days are a lot faster than what they were a decade or so ago, you have to think about this from a security perspective: if you have no need for a software, then it should not be on your computer! This simple tenant, if followed, can dramatically reduce the security footprint of your computer.

Bloatware

To help solve this problem, there are really two things we can do. The first solution listed below is less drastic and intense than the second. Both have their advantages and disadvantages which I will do my best to go over with you.

The procedure talked about below is the safest out of the two. For a more thorough method of cleaning out your entire system and starting from scratch, be sure to read the second page of this article.

Mass Uninstallation

If these trialware are nothing more than regular software (albeit unwanted), why not just simply uninstall them? To a normal computer user, this approach will make the most sense and is the less destructive method of the two. Now, you could simply head over to the Programs and Features control panel applet and remove all these trialware one at a time. This will definitely take a lot of time especially if the computer manufacturer decided to bundle a whole ton of trialware. In some cases, you might not even find the offending trialware listed in the control panel applet and so you’ll have to hunt down the uninstaller elsewhere.

Programs and Features AppletIf manual labor is not your sort of thing, then surely there must be a way for us to mass uninstall these crapware from our PCs. Well, a very popular and freely available utility that aims to help us with this exact problem is called The PC Decrapifier. Pretty awesome name if you ask me. One of the utility’s main goal is to help users remove these trialware from a newly purchased PC by trying to detect them all at once and then allowing you to remove them with ease. Because this beats manually removing the programs one by one via the control panel applet, PC Decrapifier will help you save a whole lot of time. If you’re fed up with trialware taking up hard drive space and hogging CPU power, it’s time to give this utility a try.

You can download The PC Decrapifier from here.

You can still use the utility even if your PC is not brand new! During the installation, PC Decrapifier will ask you this. If your computer has been in use for some time, it states that it is solely your job to determine whether a program/software picked up from the utility is indeed a junkware or a legitimate program you’ve installed yourself. PC Decrapifier is not perfect and so it might pick up a few programs you’ve installed yourself if the computer has been in use for some time. If a legitimate program is picked up, just be sure to not have PC Decrapifier uninstall it. It’s that simple. Once the scan has completed, you can simply check all the programs you wish to be gone from your system and have them all removed with a click of a button. Yes I know, that’s so freaking awesome.

PC Decrapifier New or Old ComputerAdvantages and Disadvantages

Ease of Use.  By simply removing only the trialware that you deem unnecessary, you have better control over the entire process. With the help of PC Decrapifier, your job just got a whole lot easier as well.

Less Destructive. Because you are only removing certain pieces of software, you are doing exactly that. Uninstalling software and nothing more. Compared to the alternative method, this procedure is a lot safer for casual users to perform.

Completeness. If a stranger gave you a laptop with a lot of software pre-installed, would you trust it? How about after uninstalling the programs? Can you be certain that all the bad stuff got erased? Probably not. While you would trust HP a whole lot more than a complete stranger, the fact remains that even after uninstalling a program, there can still be traces of it left on your computer. Also, you can’t be really sure if every piece of crapware is removed from your system even if you wanted to. For the paranoid, you’ll need to perform the alternative method instead listed on the next page.

Page 2: Barebone Windows 7 Install —>

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Comments

  1. The best way to avoid all of the rubbish and unwanted software from the maufactors is to do a clean install of Windows when you buy a new laptop. My recent new netbook came with Windows 7 Starter(the severely crippled version of Windows 7) And I did not even get the original version of IE that comes with Windows 7 it came with the horrible IE9.

    But I did a clean install of Windows 7 Home Premium from my Windows 7 full install CD which I bought for the laptop and formatted the C drive during the install. And now I have a clean install of Windows 7 with IE8 of course.

    Also I read on the web that McAfee Security is NOT compatible with Windows 7. So why are manufactors putting it on Windows 7 laptops?

    And also they should leave the original Windows software like the original version of Internet Explorer and others that is bundled with Windows as it is and not put their own versions on there. After all, people expect to have the original versions of IE and WMP and software that is bundled with Windows 7 or whatever version of Windows they are buying on there. Not what the manufactor wants us to have. Andrea Borman.

    • IE 9 is part of Microsoft just as IE 8 is. It’s natural for them to want users to use the newer versions as it’s more secure. In most cases, your OEM probably updated the computer for you and as part of that process, IE 9 was upgraded. Would it have been more polite of them to ask users whether they want to perform the upgrade or not? Sure. But that’s not how things always works.

      As for the McAfee problem, understand that manufacturer’s most likely could care less about what it puts on your system. As long as they are getting paid big time by the software companies to do it, they will. Think of this as an advertising platform for McAfee and all the other pre-installed trialware and crapware. The manufacturer’s need all the profit they can get for each PC sold. Personally, although I also hate the preloaded software myself, I can’t blame them for taking this road. The PC industry is in dire trouble as it is.

    • Simon,but now I just do a clean install of Windows 7 when ever I buy a new laptop. I have got several different Windows 7 Full installation CDs,each has a different product key. And I installed Windows 8 consumer Preview on one new netbook. But I have my Windows 7 CDs so I can reinstall Windows 7 again when Windows 8 CP expires and if I don’t buy the retail version of Windows 8.I have never upgraded to IE9 I tried it once and I hated it. But when you clean install Windows 7 you don’t get IE9 as Windows 7 comes with IE8. Although now all Windows 7 install CDs come with Service Pack 1 included in it which is handy.

      As it saves a lot of time installing it yourself. And I always install 32 bit Windows 7 not 64 bit as it runs all of my Windows XP programs,that I transfer from my XP computer onto Windows 7 and now Windows 8 32 bit. Another reason for doing a clean install of Windows. And you don’t get the horrible Windows 7 starter when you clean install. As they only sell home premium and up. So I also get the full features of Windows 7. Andrea Borman.

      The only thing is,when you do a clean install you have to reinstall the drivers yourself. But on all HP laptops there is a folder called SW set up that has got all of the driver installer files so you can install all the drivers . I just back up that file onto a DVD using Windows backup and restore,which is included in Windows 7. I actually make a separate partition and store those files on there. As when I format I only format the C drive not the D drive.

      • Andrea
        Thanks for sharing your story! However, not everyone is as smart as you and I mean no sarcasm here. What you just did concerning reinstalling Windows from scratch can be considered a very advanced task for many others. That is why in my article I went over a more easier way in using an utility called PC Decrapifier to help a more novice user get rid of all the crapware on their PC. Just like you noted, getting the right drivers to load in order to make sure all of their hardware works properly is even a more daunting task! Luckily, Windows do have a huge library of default drivers that a machine can use but many other devices will just be left useless unless a specific manufacturer driver is installed.

        Again, what you talked about works, if we lived in a perfect world where everyone has technical knowledge like you! What’s worst, I believe some manufacturers are charging users a hefty price when they buy a new computer just to not have the bloatware installed on them if they choose so. Microsoft is also planning on providing a service which they will charge users to help them remove all the crapware on a new PC if they can bring it in to one of their Microsoft Stores. That’s why I’m trying really hard either through this blog or in person to teach users on how to maintain their new PC.

        • No,I am not a computer expert I just learn from the Windows forums and reading tutorials on the web. But each year I am learning more and getting better at computers. Andrea Borman.

          • You obviously haven’t tried teaching users on how to use a USB drive…..for near 20 minutes! Trust me when I say that while you may not consider yourself an expert, you certainly seem to have more technical knowledge than most other users.

            • Well I have netbooks with no CD drive. But I use a plug in USB external DVD drive to do a clean install of Windows 7 or Windows 8 from the DVD.Then I activate Windows with the product key that come with the Windows 7 installation CD. That’s why I have several Windows 7 CDs.Because you can only use 1 product key per computer.And you only get a different product key when you buy a new Windows 7 CD.So I have several Windows 7 CDs each with their own different product key.Andrea Borman.

        • I looked into Decrapifier (great name btw!) and found reports of unwanted tool bars installed, browser home page changed, hidden files installed and general crapiness that should not be associated with program called Decrapifier. I guess that if something is too good to be true, it is (still). YMMV.

  2. Anonymous says:

    At the website for the .iso files there are two files appearing identified as MIRROR 1 and MIRROR 2. Are both necessary?

    • NO! Usually when a download of any kind has multiple mirror links, that means you can use any one. The mirror links are provided for backup in case any of the links go down or are temporarily inaccessible. Each mirror links to the same file so please do not download both of them! You just have to make sure that you download the correct architecture that applies to your own PC, x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit).

  3. Anonymous says:

    The first time i got a preinstalled computer/laptop was when i purchased my Dell Studeio 1749 which came with loads of trial stuff and a bunch of hidden software. The easiest and quicked way i find to get rid of all the crap and make sure that the computer/laptop is 100% clear is to reformat using the installation CD if you have one (get one from else where if needed) the CD key for the OS is normally on the bottom of a laptop or the side of a PC.

    I have never heard of the software you said about on the second page that is an amazing piece of sofware will definatly be using that from no on :).

    • Anonymous says:

      Appearing the activation retrieval thing dosent work with Windows 7 Pro :(

      • ABR will only, and ONLY work on a computer with a pure OEM installation that came directly from the computer manufacturer. If your version of Windows 7 Professional got installed in a different way, ABR cannot help you. Also, if you did an upgrade lets say from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional, ABR will not work.

        Also, please make sure that you downloaded the Beta version of ABR. If you downloaded the version 1.0 executable, that only works on Windows Vista. You can also try running ABR as administrator by right-clicking it.

  4. I remember spending so much time to search for some useless programs which came installed with my laptop. I had to uninstall so many things.

    Infact , what worries me most is in case I had to restore my Laptop from that recovery Disk, all those programs would be back again.

    • Yeah, that’s the most hassle part. Having to spend so much time getting rid of those useless programs. Personally, I always perform a complete wipe of a new system by using the second method I wrote about in this article. After that, it’s just a matter of reinstalling the drivers and all the other software that I want and then making a complete PC image backup. That way, I don’t have to use the recovery disc that came with the computer and so when it does crash, I don’t have worry about all those useless programs being reinstalled again.

      • Oh ! I did not read the 2nd page. I would surely try this sometime. I thought that the sticker key is my actual key . so I would install fresh copy of win 7 and use my key and install drivers and them make its image so that I could use it every time.

        Anyway, i am backing up my key files using the setup you told in the post. 

        Also , in case I have an actual windows Key ( not the OEM one ) then Can I just enter it in Activation rather than using this backup procedure ?

        • Actually I made a huge mistake. The product key on the sticker is actually the one you want to use if you want to manually type in the product key for activation. The key that ABR extracts is a volume license key of some sort that the company uses to mass activate similar computers back at their factory. If you want to, you can actually try typing in the product key on the sticker after you’ve reformatted the computer. However, using the ABR method pretty much guarantees that no issues will arise. By using the product key on the sticker, activation might fail and you’ll then have to call Microsoft.

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