Apps

Five apps for getting rid of aggravating crapware

SlimComputer

SlimComputer removes crapware and performs basic performance tuning, such as disabling services and reordering startup items. It can also remove less intrusive items, like links to trial offers.

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

49 comments
harpazo
harpazo

I am glad you have placed Revo Uninstaller in the list! It is a program I use almost every single time I work on client's PCs. The normal Windows "remove programs" feature is almost useless. Not completely, but almost. R.U. is tremendous at digging out crap that doesn't need to be on a system. That, coupled with a lot of command line removals, helps me to get my clients happy with their systems once again.

jsmith
jsmith

My choice of tools is Sysinternals Autoruns to stop crapware from running on boot up and CCleaner to safety clear out temp files such as the ones AutoCAD products leave behind.

roderick
roderick

So you managed to Google "crapware" and "removal", took a few screen shots and called it a publication. No testing involved, no good or bad, no advice. Looks pretty crap to me.

kgonczy
kgonczy

As a not too experience enthusiast, I would like your opinion as to which is the best of these that would suit someone like me. I have been using CCcleaner for years and use it every week. I would appreciate your expert comments. thank You Karl

Gisabun
Gisabun

Unsure about the others but Dell's business side offers very little to no crapware and even gives a non-trial anti-virus. Yes, consumers can purchase from the business side.

MadYank
MadYank

All the hype about Linux this, Crapware that, Windoze something else. I've been running Windows since 1.03, and when I have a problem with some garbage program I don't want on my system, I delete everything about it from the drive, run Update/delete programs, and then edit the registry for a final kill. That, plus ANY DECENT Anti-virus program that is REGULARLY UPDATED, and monitoring where you go on the Web and what you downlaod, will keep you crisp and clean, with NO caffeine (except for what you drink intentionally). I don't CARE whether you're running Wintel, Mac, Linux in any of it's bazillion flavors, or still living in the DOS or C-P/M world - if you KNOW what you're doing with your hardware and your software, and have at least SOME common sense, then crapware is NOT a problem. And as a last resort, you can always run a VM - one problem and you kill it and restart CLEAN. Sheesh; talk about "sound and fury, signifying nothing.' Merry Christmas, everybody; go salute a Mayan or something.

thebaldguy
thebaldguy

...A Linux Mint install disk. No crapware in years! ;-)

GuardianBob
GuardianBob

It is always strange to see that THE PEOPLE have to pay for all the great schemes imagined by pig corporations like DELL, IBM, HP, and all the other letter-oriented-toward-money-companies. It is a shame and the biggest shame is that the one we elect LET them do that, they even get some bonuses from these Craporates. I am not personally affected by these things because I've never adhered to the corporate thinking thus I've learned to build my PC. This saves a lot of money, pain, and keeps some money out of the craporates pockets, which are way to full already anyway. So those nice 3rd party software must also get some "revenue" from the craporates to come up with those software to remove what the craporates put there in the first place. It's their ways! Invest in HotDogs but since it's not good for the stomach also invest in Pepto Bismol, that's the craporates way, get the most out of everything, suck their life out so you can steal all they have, and the world is still turning....for how long?

PJW9779
PJW9779

I consider Windoze crapware. I've started using Linux (Kubuntu) years ago and have since been astounded by the amount of problems Windows-users encounter, be it crapware, malware or downright bugs and backdoors.

computercain
computercain

I've used CCLeaner since 2005, never had a problem with it, I also have jetclean as well... I use both of the... jetclean first ..then CCleaner.. my compputers run smoother, more efficently...

Julees
Julees

I just wizz into msconfig and untick the unnecessary stuff from the startup menu. (Then if its really annoying I then completely remove it in the registry) With IE, I just view the toolbars and IE 9 now disables the add-ons when you remove a toolbar. Sometimes my customers actually like some of the crapware.!

abhu
abhu

CCleaner, simple yet effective, is by far the best cleaner available and that also for free.

Alienwilly
Alienwilly

You wouldn't have that problem if you either didn't install it to begin with, do trial installs on what I call a risk taking machine, or use OEM OS's and build what you want, not unbuild the junk they send you in the recovery system. Computer repair tech 20 years. I can build one faster than I can unbuild and correct problems and it's easier.

iblbmb
iblbmb

I have used Iolo's System Mechanic in the past; I found it found and deleted the most files of all; Unfortunately, every time I used the "full-on " cleaner, I had to re-install Windows; Nine times in all ! I don't/won't use it now, can't think why,.....................

alan.douglas
alan.douglas

Anyone who's savvy enough to get rid of crapware is savvy enough to not require most of these pseudo-crapware products. Any common user trying to use them is going to bung up his/her PC to the point where a reinstall of the OS will be necessary. The only one of the 5 products I've found any use for is Revo Uninstaller - it works to get rid of all traces of some products that just plain refuse to go away.

thebalancepro
thebalancepro

On the strength of your article I installed Slimware, only to have it install AVG SecureSearch and override my preference for using Google Search in my own browser-- without asking. This in the middle of a busy day. Slimware's an American company. I've read somewhere that Americans can sometimes have a little trouble with irony. But anti-crapware that installs its own crapware comes little short of ironic genius in my book. Nick

JCitizen
JCitizen

One of the best lists I've seen in a while! :D

wentz1
wentz1

I have been using C Cleaner for years a it just works! Free crapware leads to expensive fixes, Expense crapware lead to more expensive fixes!

james.vandamme
james.vandamme

...by installing the crapware-free operating system of your choice.

tedeansiii
tedeansiii

I've had some pesky programs that even the above programs wouldnt uninstall, it would remove it and say to reboot to continue uninstallation. I ended up downloading a handy little utility name Unlocker. Some virus scanner do detect it as a threat but that is because the program puts hooks into processes. Basically if you need to get rid of a program go into the program files folder and delete the folder for the program, it may or may not complain about being in use. If it is "in use" that is where unlocker comes in, it automatically opens and asks what you want to do. i select delete, it will kill the hooks and delete the file(s)/folder(s). at this point you can use ccleaner to clear all the mess left behind.

brvan
brvan

It does a fine job cleaning my computer and has never messed up anything that it can't fix in a couple of minutes

enjama
enjama

Crapware for getting rid of crapware?

Gisabun
Gisabun

Why does WinPatrol remnind me a lot of Microsoft's Autoruns? I use Autoruns. Simple and potrtable.

mbetzenheimer
mbetzenheimer

If you are lucky enough to have an OEM restore disks, format the drive and just load the basic operating system. Saves me lots of time in the long run.

amyraghunath
amyraghunath

I have used this software to clean the registry on a couple of computers. Only to realise that it removed valid registry keys. So i don't use this feature anymore.

mcyr
mcyr

I noticed in one screenshot the suggestion to remove java's autoupdater. Don't do it. Java runtime is notorious for security issues. Being reminded when an update is available is a good thing.

imsoscareed
imsoscareed

You could just use Add-Remove Programs or Programs & Features to remove them yourself and not be so lazy.

da philster
da philster

but you can order a Dell business machine with Windows 7 if you are not all that excited about Windows 8 ...... :-)

Gisabun
Gisabun

Buy a Blackberry. No crapware. :-)

thebaldguy
thebaldguy

I now order bare-bones from tigerdirect or newegg, just the way I want (and then install my OS of choice).

Gisabun
Gisabun

Why am I not surprised. A Linux zealot commenting about Linux in a discussion intended for Windows users. Do we really care about Linux here? A reminder: Windows: about 90% of the marketshare. Linux: about 1.25% of the market share.

Duke E Love
Duke E Love

It still boggles the mind how anyone who uses terms like "Windoze" or Windohs" expects to be taken seriously. And before you "educate" me, I have been using Linux since 99.

cunnind
cunnind

I have been using this for a couple of years now on mine and dozens of friends with no problems whatsoever. I first tried it after I saw it recommended on a Microsoft site and since then many others seems to agree with my thoughts.

JCitizen
JCitizen

bark at you to tell you about a new startup. I like the alerts. Hey it's free anyway. Not sure if it can actually stop anything though. I had the paid version for a while and it was more granular. I went to Emisoft's Mamutu, because it rules the processes, and actually puts the hammer down on spies. If you have legal DRM onboard you must set the process to unmonitored to enjoy protected content - however.

maj37
maj37

It would if the restore disks just restored the OS but most these days seem to put the sytem back with all of the crapware intact.

jfuller05
jfuller05

I've never had a problem with CC's registry cleaner, but as a rule, I always backup the registry before cleaning it for that time it might delete valid keys.

jdcnservices
jdcnservices

after a malware attack, I've found that Ccleaner can fix some pretty annoying problems (lack of sound on one machine). I avoid registry cleaners unless either getting rid of junk on a new PC or a problem creeps up, but Ccleaner is one I've not had an issue with. It even asks you if you want to back up the keys first. I'd suggest sending a friendly email to Piriform if it is removing something incorrectly.

dmessenger
dmessenger

That's strange. I've never had that problem and I've been using it for years. I've used others in the past that messed up my AutoCAD products but CCleaner has never done that. Plus, it will make a backup of the registry entries it deletes if you tell it to, then you can just put them back if it screws up something.

misgateway
misgateway

If you allow your users to log in as local administrators you have a far bigger security risk. If you don't they can't update java anyway, so the reminders are a nuisance and a constant source of support calls. Better to turn off auto-update and manage updates though group policy, scripts, third party applications or whatever works best for you.

dmessenger
dmessenger

Revo is great for uninstalling stuff most of the time. I have found some programs that do not show up in Revo, but it does a much better job of getting rid of the files and registry items that don't always get removed when uninstalled. I will say that a lot of software in Windows 7 seems to not leave anything behind anymore, but every once in a while you'll find something that does. If you don't try a lot of software, Add-Remove Programs is fine, but if you try lots of software or are trying to get rid of something that was "accidentally" or "maliciously" installed, Revo is a great tool in the tool box.

mcyr
mcyr

You can't kill annoying aspects of programs you need by uninstalling them, e.g., quicktime. Then you wouldn't have the program. Quicktime also checks on every run to see if its annoying bits have been removed and tries to restore them.

bwallan
bwallan

Never had problems with CCleaner BUT stay away from RegUtility 4 with a passion. It screwed things up so badly on our development PC we had to restore from backup to recover!!

lehnerus2000
lehnerus2000

I use CCleaner after every Internet session (using an automatic VB script). Reg Cleaners can break poorly written programs. I had a problem with MS Project. It created a huge number of empty keys, which I purged with CCleaner. The next time I tried to load my project (course assignment) MS Project claimed that the project file was corrupt. I reinstalled MS Project and "lo and behold" my project file was no longer corrupt. :O That's the only problem I've encountered though. As [b]jfuller05[/b] said, create a backup when the option is offered to you.

Gisabun
Gisabun

And for home users to do it once every month or so manually...

pslat
pslat

Heh that about sums it up, one of the programs that ccleaner caused registry problems with in the past was the MS Office Suite so it defaults to unchecked now. CCleaner is a very handy tool but it can cause problems if you change the default settings. -backup amyraghunath@.

misgateway
misgateway

Ninite works great to keep java, flash, Adobe Reader and other softwares up to date.