Byte Me Article 410 – Essential Software

Bloatware Chokes New PC’s
Manufacturers Are Guilty of Loading Junk Software

Today we are following a trail of articles in an IT mini-series of the A-Z of computer purchase and are now at the stage where we have the PC setup at home and are about to turn it on.  If you have purchased the PC from a chain store, then be prepared to find an enormous amount of junk software slowing it and you down.  In fact, if you were a computer tech I would correctly suggest right now that you simply reformat it and install Windows 10 freshly.

It is a shame to see a modern PC which has plenty of power running like hairy goat simply because it is choked up with junk software.  It is even worse if the new PC is lacking power and choked to the point of being unusable.  Often it is the version of Windows that is installed on a new PC (in this case Windows 10) that gets blamed for certain performance shortcomings when in fact it is simply the PC manufacturers doing – with their junk software.

Every PC manufacturer is guilty of this.  They all get kick-backs from software vendors like Adobe and Norton for pre-packaging new PC’s with trial versions of this software.  Then the customer gets annoying ‘pop-up’ messages suggesting that they register the software at “only x $ dollars per month” which so many fall victim to.

When we sell a brand name PC (laptop or desktop) we re-install Windows freshly to bypass these problems and the resulting clean install of Windows 10 can often be seen to run at double the speed of the original.  The fact that for us it is quicker to do this fresh install than to try to remove all the junk software is simply indicative of how much junk a modern PC ships with.

The real ‘essential’ software for a modern PC after Windows 10 is installed is – Adobe Reader and Flash Player, Java, Google Chrome, VLC Media Player and a good Virus Scanner.  There is very little else that most users need, except for an often-required version of Microsoft Office which is never given away free.

Once you do wade through the questions of Language, Locality, Time/Date, Username, Registration on a new PC then you too will get the chance to start removing some of the bloatware talked about above.  The only problem here is that going to the “Add or Remove Programs” section of Windows is easy enough, however things are not divided into what should be shown as 2 lists of “essential” and “able to be removed” software titles.

If you have plenty of time, the ability to efficiently use Google for some answers and a propensity for adventure then significant performance gains can be had by removing as many software titles as possible from your new PC – and may I wish you luck!  Don’t be too gung ho as some of the installed software will be necessary to run the PC – such as software drivers that show up in this list.

Next, the modern Windows 10 start menu automatically populates with adverts tempting you to install different games and apps – again such as Candy Krush and Adobe Creative Suite.  Yes – software companies have even found how to invade your Personal Computer (PC) to further bombard you with advertising!!!  Once again – our custom installs remove this bloatware and you can too.

Finally, next week we will talk about what to do when things go wrong.  Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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