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Bloatware: What it is and how to get rid of it

Preston Gralla | Aug. 24, 2015
Is your new Windows system laden with unnecessary -- or even harmful -- software? Here's a rundown of what to look for and how (or if) you can uninstall it.

Falcon Northwest also sells bloatware-free machines and they also charge top dollar: $1,700 and up for desktops.

Velocity Micro will ship bloatware-free PCs if you configure them that way, and they have a wider range of prices, including desktops in the $700 range.

And Puget Custom Computers told Horowitz that their PCs are bloatware-free. They sell at the higher end of the spectrum, with typical desktop prices starting at $1,200.

How big vendors stack up

What to do if you're not willing to pay extra for a bloatware-free PC? You should at least know ahead of time before buying from a traditional PC maker what you'll get.

The website Should I Remove It? has an excellent section devoted to "Manufacturer's Bloat" on systems for Toshiba, Sony (which has since moved out of the PC and laptop business), Lenovo, Dell, HP, Asus and Acer. It gives capsule descriptions of the type of software typically preinstalled on each vendor's machines, and lists bloatware installed on specific models. As of August 2015, the site rated Toshiba PCs in general as having the most bloatware, followed by Sony, Lenovo, Dell, HP, Asus and Acer.

Even better, the website lists descriptions of each piece of bloatware each vendor installs, along with what percentage of its users remove that software.

The bottom line

If Lenovo truly does eliminate bloatware on its PCs as the company promises, it may well be that other vendors will eventually follow suit.

Until then, though, most of us who use Windows PCs will have to live with bloatware as an accepted industry practice. So go back through the advice in this article to make sure your new PC is as free of bloatware as possible and then use the right tools to get rid of whatever rode in that you don't want.


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