Is your newly bought PC, laptop, or smartphone viciously slowing down? Are annoying ads popping up too much on your device’s screen? Have you found out an application that you had never installed? These cases all are linked with a problematic matter termed ‘Bloatware’. You need to be wary of bloatware like you do when it comes to viruses, hacking, or malware files because bloatware is also capable of breaching your device’s security and degrading the device’s performance. Our today’s topic is on these important matters- ins and outs of what is bloatware, how to identify it, and how you can remove it from the device. Let’s begin.
What is Bloatware?
Bloatware is one kind of pre-installed software or unwillingly installed software which most often adds no value to your service and thus, remains as unnecessary junkies on your computer, laptop, tablet, android, or IOS devices.
Most of the computer’s vendors, partnered with software companies, pre-install anti-virus software, video editing software, music software, lame games, and much other software that serve as an extra revenue-generating option. So, when you buy a brand new laptop that should have been clean and without any kind of software installed on it, actually contains a heap of unnecessary annoying software. These are bloatware.
Sometimes you accidentally, unwillingly, or willingly, without having any research, install applications on your system. Then you just forget about them and those apps, running in the background, eat up a considerable amount of space on your device. This, in return, slows down your device to a great extent. Here is another form of bloatware.
At first, you might not bother about any of the bloatware that is enjoying its stay on your system. However, as time goes on and those poorly designed software clogging up your device with erroneous files and bugs damage the system’s performance, then your attention is drawn. Many feel relax thinking bloatware as harmless elements; it’s maybe true partially but a deep analysis would show us that the damage can be deep-rooted than you might think.
Types of Bloatware
Bloatware can come in different forms and methods. Bloatware is not an individual thing; rather, the compilation of unnecessary applications on your device is known as bloatware. In the broader sense, bloatware can be originated from two primary sources:
Computer manufacturers are responsible for pre-installing bloatware on new computers before customers buy them. They do it mainly to generate money from the software developers. However, there might be a customer-friendly reason in this regard- service software from the vendor is also pre-installed and it is done so that the customers can easily solve a computer-related issue by themselves or update OS or check the device’s files and folders.
Installation without Knowing
When you visit websites on the internet world, you come across different ads and sometimes, offers of downloading and installing particular software. Many non-tech guys go ahead with the installation without knowing much of the software. Most often this software turns out to be useless but good at eating up your device’s space without your knowledge.
We have a bad habit of installing apps from unknown and unauthorized sources. How many Windows users would install apps only from Microsoft Store? I bet the number won’t be too many. Hence, the installed software from the unofficial site usually bears hidden ads, bugs, or erroneous files with it and causes your PC to slow down.
Under these two broader concepts of bloatware’s origination, there can be adware, trialware, and vendor’s software, etc. which are worth mentioning.
Sometimes, you see that ads popping up on your computer’s screen directly or on websites that you visit. These ads show up to entice you in buying something. You may think of these ads as a harmless commodity, but in reality, they can be used to spy on you.
Many software developers provide a way of using their product free for a certain period. If you like the software, you may buy the full version of it- this is the business policy. This trialware is often pre-installed by computer vendors. Trialware is not a big threat as you can easily identify and uninstall it if you don’t want to use it anymore.
The utility software provided by the manufacturers for customer support and increasing usability through many services and thus helping consumers. However, this apparently good-looking software can even contain malicious files.
What Damages can Bloatware Do?
Several problems can be created by bloatware installed on your devices. Some of these damages can be mild and others may cause brutal effects. Here is a list of damages that bloatware can do to your devices-
1. Bloatware, installed on your device, can significantly put the device’s storage space in danger. As a result, booting, restarting, and shutting down devices take up too much time. Who would like an annoying slow smartphone or laptop which takes a lot of time in executing a simple command?
2. Hackers can get access to your system through the loophole created by bloatware. Hence, your private accounts, password, credentials, credit card pin- all are under severe threat of theft.
3. Adware often is associated with toolbars which are invisible as separate software, and cause irritation to the users by popping up from time to time. And this bloatware is not easy to identify for uninstalling.
How to Identify Bloatware?
The obvious sign is- when your PC or android is getting slower by a significant margin, you can know that bloatware along with some other factors is the guilty party. Then, your job is to check the application list and find out which were not installed by you. These unknown apps and software are definitely bloatware of some sort.
You can also use bloatware identification software available for Windows, Mac, Android, and IOS platforms. Check online stores for this software which is easy to install and can efficiently detect unnecessary apps running on the system. Remember, this type of software is not 100% accurate and some of the detection you have to make manually. You can also run checks from multiple bloatware identifiers for a better result.
How to Remove Bloatware?
Most likely, the visible bloatware on Windows and Mac OS can be uninstalled with the usual process. Be sure that you do not need these apps before uninstalling them. You can also use PC Decrapifier, Should I Remove It, Slim Computer, Clario, and other cybersecurity software for full scanning and removing bloatware from the PC.
Removing bloatware from Android devices is difficult to work compared to PC. Many bloatware apps are integrated with the system and just cannot be uninstalled at all. So, what to do in this respect? You have to disable these apps so that they do not run in the phone’s background consuming power and space. Yes, the apps are not completely removed but disabling them is more than enough. You can root your phone too for a deep strike on the bloatware.
Now that you know all about bloatware, I am pretty sure that you will be able to protect your smartphone, tablet, and PC from such security threats and make your devices optimal than ever before. That’s it for today; do not forget to read our next article.