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.
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.
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.
If 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 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.
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.
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