The Windows Club

Remove Crapware & exorcise your new Windows OEM computer before using it

A consumer buys a new-n-shiny Windows computer, all expecting it to be running fast-n-smooth, and what he sees instead every time he boots, are plenty of pop-up’s and reminders, irritating him no end!

Most users, usually accept them as a part of Windows, cursing the operating system for being so darn’ irritating and slow…filled with bloatware! New users who buy such a computer, are usually inundated with plenty of pop-up’s every time they switch it on. The user also does not expect to see so many toolbars or buttons or icons. Quite expecting their experience to a be a pleasant one, they are left with a bad taste in the mouth, when they find their new Windows machine running slow, freezing or crashing frequently.

This is not the pure Windows that you get in OEM machines, but instead what I prefer to call as its demonized version!
The same holds true for Internet Explorer too. Although IE today is a fast and secure a browser as any, the pre-loaded toolbars and craplets make it real slow and crash-prone. He then finds that a fresh install of an alternative browser is really fast.

What is Crapware

The reason for this, as many already know are the uninvited guests who arrive along with Windows OEM machines. These are called as Crapware or Craplets or Junkware or Demonware! Crapware is nothing but unwanted software which arrive bundled along with your Windows installation. In most cases they are trialware.

Publishers of such software, pay the hardware companies to push them onto new machines, in the hope that the purchaser will at some point decide to buy them once the trail period is over. And statistics have shown that conversions from such trial-ware are around 30%!

The manufacturers too don’t want to turn away this free money. Au contraire hardware manufacturers claim that this helps them keep the costs lower! In fact, I remember that a few years back Sony had actually decided to charge money from the customers for ‘Not installing’ or for ‘Removing’ Bloatware! But they later had to backtrack in the face of a huge public outcry.

You don’t see all this happening on a Mac machine, do you!? The Mac hardware and the software are well integrated with each other and shipped. But in the case of Windows machines, Microsoft sells the licenses to the manufacturers, who loaded it on the machines along with the trialware. Money is offered to the computers manufacturers by the software publishers, but the cost paid for by the Windows end user in terms of bad performance!

These craplets can bedevil your machine, hog resources and slow down you start-up time, as well as make it run slow. And the worst part is that almost all of them for some strange reason want to start with Windows, and you can at most times see their icons resting in the notification area.

Moreover, in most cases, since the user does not get a valid Windows CD with their PC he is unable to do a fresh install. Exercising the option to restore back to the factory image, simply restores the system back to the crapified state.

These programs are not bad in themselves, and include known and useful products like Norton, McAfee, Corel, Roxio, AOL or other such Internet Service providers, Quick books Financial Center, Napster, Memeo Auto Backup, Picasa 2, Wild Tangent Games, Symantec LiveUpdate. Even stripped down trial version of Microsoft Office are bundled onto a new machine! These are leading brands and widely used for various purposes.

Remove Crapware

The best thing to do would be to go in for a fresh virgin install of Windows on your PC. Only then will you experience the real speed and beauty of this operating system. But if this is not possible, then the first thing you might want to do when you buy a new computer, pre-loaded with OEM Windows 8 | 7, is to exorcise it of all the crapware. Tests have also shown that uninstalling such craplets can improve your computer performance by over 20-40%.

If you know what to look at, the task is simple. From your notification area or system tray you will get an idea of programs starting up. Or type Msconfig, hit enter and click on the Startup tab. You can get an idea about the startups here.

Browse to your C:\Program Files and/or the C:\Program Files (x86) folder/s see the software which have been installed. Identify the one’s you want to remove and uninstall them one after the other through the Control Panel.

If you are unsure of which programs to uninstall, I suggest you download and use some free Crapware Removal Software like PC DeCrapier or SlimComputer and these Toolbar Removers. These freeware will help remove crapware from your Windows PC! If you have antivirus software installed, it may complain about such programs because they may be written in a scripting language. These warnings can be safely ignored. It will identify what it thinks are crapware. You may then pick and choose what you want to remove. It will not begin removing anything without prompting you first.

Having done this, I recommend that you use a good free Registry Cleaner like CCleaner to clear you Windows installation of residual registry entries as most uninstalls are not complete.

While the PC may not get fully exorcized of the crapware, hopefully, it will run better. And remember to follow these tips on how to make Windows run faster and how to avoid Crapware & Bloatware on your Windows PC in the future.

Microsoft needs to take note of this and act on it. I know Microsoft is aware of this and have they have also said earlier that there is little they can do about it, but they have to realize that in the end, it is Microsoft itself that gets the … err … cake in its face. Microsoft is offering crapware-free signature PC’s in the Microsoft Store, but it is not enough, as they have a very limited reach. Microsoft using its own hardware and selling Surface is another good step in the right direction.

It’s a mighty fine idea of having a snazzy ad campaign extolling how fast, and secure Windows is and spending millions of dollars on it, but it all comes to naught when a consumer finds that his new crapware filled Windows machine freezes all the time.Maybe Microsoft would want to consider diverting a bit of this money to the manufacturers instead since the OEMs appear reluctant to let go of even this pocket change. It would be money well spent!