Why You Should Rid Yourself of Bloatware

Blog / Why You Should Rid Yourself of Bloatware

Bloatware is an unfortunate fact of life these days. For those of you who don’t know, bloatware refers to all those annoying pre-installed applications on your devices. Once the exclusive scourge of mobile devices (particularly Androids), bloatware has made the move to PCs and laptops. It’s usually the result of distribution agreements with developers trying to get exposure for their software (like Candy Crush) or to provide some basic functions like limited image and video editing for users who might not need their expensive, full-featured counterparts. Here are a few examples you can likely find on your own Windows 10 computer already:

  • 3D Viewer
  • Candy Crush
  • Groove Music
  • Movies & TV
  • Paint 3D
  • Snip & Sketch
  • Sticky Notes
  • Voice Recorder

To be clear, not all of these examples are necessarily bloatware for everyone, as mothers with Candy Crush addictions will certainly attest. Similarly, you may do a lot of lightweight image editing but paying for Photoshop would be overkill, which makes Paint 3D valuable to some users. You’ll have to judge according to your own use requirements what constitutes bloatware for your computer.

Regardless of its origins and which apps fit your particular definition of it, bloatware can have some seriously negative impacts, particularly for businesses. For example, memory is incredibly cheap these days, but it’s not unlimited. Bloatware takes up storage space, reducing your available resources. Bloatware applications can also consume processing power (even when not in use) slowing you down and impacting productivity. Users who prefer fast, lean machines have a strong dislike for bloatware for good reason, as do those who prefer clean installs with just the software they want (and will likely download themselves).

But the most serious concern is security. Sadly, bloatware isn’t just a bunch of cumbersome apps “weighing” your computer down; it’s also a threat to your business’s security. The most famous example is the Keeper password manager incident of 2017, when 3rd party researchers discovered a vulnerability that let any website to steal any password. Keeper quickly patched their program, but the incident serves a good warning to users that unrequested applications pre-loaded onto devices aren’t as safe as you might think.

Unfortunately, bloatware can be difficult to remove from your machine. Although simply uninstalling the offending software sometimes works, some applications may require more extreme measures like resetting your machine. This is also a great tactic if there is a lot and uninstalling every program would be tedious and time-consuming, but it does require some technical expertise. Another problem arises when Windows performs a major update, as many of the bloatware applications you worked hard to remove can suddenly reappear. Make sure you check your machines for unwanted apps after every major update.

Regardless of how you choose to go about it, ridding your computer of bloatware can not only improve performance but also close unknown gaps in your cyber security. If you would like help identifying and removing bloatware from your fleet of machines, contact a TRINUS account manager today.




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