How to Remove Crapware/Bloatware & Optimize Windows
In a previous article we've shown how tools that should help with removing crapware from your new Windows computer, don't help much. That's why we decided to come back with a guide that shares the most effective way to remove crapware and optimize your Windows installation.
Step 1: Create a System Restore Point
Before you start cleaning up your computer, it is best to create a System Restore point. In case you encounter issues, you can easily revert back and avoid further headaches.
We created a step by step guide on how to create one. It can be found here: What is System Restore and How to Create a Restore Point.
Step 2: Manually Remove Programs You Don't Need
Next, open Programs and Features (known also as Add Remove Programs) and look at the list of installed programs. Don't hesitate to remove the programs you don't need.
You can find a good guide on using this Windows tool here: Where Can You Find Add or Remove Programs?.
If you want to be more thorough, you can use a software uninstaller to remove those programs. Software uninstallers can help with removing all traces left by a program. We published an analysis which helps you pick the best tool for the job: Roundup of Software Uninstallers - Reviewing IObit vs Ashampoo vs Revo.
Step 3: Manually Remove Windows Features You Don't Need
This step is not mandatory. However, if you want to be more thorough, you can also remove Windows features you don't need. You can find a guide on how to remove them, here: Where Can You Find Add or Remove Programs?.
Step 4: Remove Windows Startup Programs You Don't Need
Now it is time to optimize the applications and programs that you plan to use. It can happen that there are some programs that start when you log into Windows that are not needed right away. Therefore, having them run at startup is really not necessary.
Such programs can be removed from startup, so that your system boots in a shorter time and you free up resources while running Windows.
You can remove startup items using the System Configuration tool in Windows. We published a guide on how to use it, which can be found here: How To Use the System Configuration Tool & All its Awesomeness!.
If you don't appreciate this tool and you would rather use a better tool, with more features, you can try a third-party startup manager. We published a comparison to help you pick the best tool for the job: What's the Best Startup Manager for Windows?.
Step 5: Optimize Windows Services You Don't Use
This step is recommended only to advanced users, who are familiar with Windows services. Services you don't use can be disabled or set to a Manual startup. This can help speed things up.
Before you go ahead, we recommend reading this tutorial: Which Windows Services Are Safe to Disable & When?. Also, we have other useful articles which explain all the basics you need to know about Windows services. If your knowledge is shaky in this area, it is best to read them prior to making any changes.
Cleaning up your Windows installation from unwanted programs and features involves quite a bit of work. However, if you follow our recommendations, you should have a snappy system that works the way you want to. If you have any questions on the topic, don't hesitate to ask via the comments form below.