Ever since its first version, Windows 10 always bundled apps that Microsoft wants us to use, even if we have other ideas. These apps are the so-called bloatware: software that we don't want or need, but which are preinstalled on all Windows 10 computers and devices. Unfortunately, there are more than just a few such apps found on every Windows 10 installation, both on new and old PCs and devices. Here is what you might find on yours if you are using a recent version of Windows 10:
Microsoft bundles Windows 10 bloatware by default
Windows 10 bundles quite a lot of unwanted apps. To get a clearer picture of just how much bloatware you get from Microsoft, we decided to install a clean Windows 10 operating system and compile a list of all the apps you do not need for it to run well. As you can see below, the list is pretty long and includes both third-party apps and apps developed by Microsoft.
Here is the list of bloatware you get in Windows 10 with May 2019 Update:
- 3D Viewer - the app is useful when you want to view 3D models for 3D printing or 3D animations for Mixed reality experiences. Most Windows 10 users are never going to need this app.
- Age of Empires: Castle Siege - a mediocre game developed by Microsoft. It lets you rule your empire through the Medieval Era. It features several civilizations, including the Britons, Teutons, and Kievan Rus.
- Asphalt 8: Airborne - a car racing game with beautiful visuals and many game modes, in which you can meet and drive speed cars from manufacturers such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Bugatti, and so on.
- Bubble Witch 3 Saga - lets you shoot bubbles to defeat the evil. It is a game that both young and old can enjoy, but which is also bloatware for many users.
- Candy Crush Friends Saga - a popular game created by the developers of Candy Crush Soda Saga and Farm Heroes Saga. The game is about cookies and candies, and about switching and matching them.
- Candy Crush Saga - yet another Candy Crush game, with different visuals and slightly different gameplay.
- FarmVille 2: Country Escape - Do you remember FarmVille? This is its next iteration: a game in which you enter a world of farming, harvests and raising animals.
- Fitbit Coach - a fitness app that is designed to provide you with personalized training so that you stay motivated in your quest for a healthier lifestyle and a stronger body. One problem with this app is that it has limited free content, and to use it, you have to pay a subscription. Also, even Fitbit users may not want it on their PCs, and prefer this app on their smartphones instead.
- Gardenscapes - a game in which your primary purpose is to restore a garden to its former glory.
- Microsoft News - is an app developed by Microsoft and which is designed to give you the latest news from your region. Among others, you get curated news from top news providers such as The Washington Post, CNN, The New York Times, and so on.
- Microsoft Solitaire Collection - a free collection of card games originating from the original Solitaire. Solitaire has been present in Windows for over 25 years now and includes Klondike (the classic Solitaire), Spider, FreeCell, TriPeaks, and Pyramid.
- Mixed Reality Portal - useful only to Windows 10 users who have a virtual reality headset or a HoloLens, and a computer that is powerful enough to run mixed reality experiences. This app should have been made available in the Microsoft Store, and not preinstalled on most Windows 10 PCs.
- Phototastic Collage - lets you create collages using your photos, with modern or classic designs.
- PicsArt Photo Studio: Collage Maker and Pic Editor - includes a photo editor and a collage maker, and lets you edit and stylize your photos using effects, clipart, stickers, and other drawing tools.
- Print 3D - this app is useful only to people who have a 3D printer, to prepare the printing of 3D objects. Since this is a niche market, most Windows 10 users do not need it, and this app should have been placed in the Microsoft Store, so that people who need it, can download, and use it.
- Seekers Notes: Hidden Mystery - a classic hidden objects type of game that requires you to spend energy points to play scenes and puzzles.
- Sports - the app is similar to Microsoft News. It is designed to show only sports-related news, making it useful only to sports fans from a limited number of countries. Its database does not cover sports news and data from all over the world, only from big countries like the US, Canada, Germany, Spain, and a few others.
- The Secret Society: Hidden Mystery - another hidden objects game in which you have special powers, and you are the only one that can find your dear Uncle Richard.
- Twitter - the official app of the popular Twitter social network. It is useful if you have a Twitter account and prefer using an app to connect to it, instead of using a web browser.
As you can see, the list above includes many casual games. They are free to play, but also provide paid upgrades and options. Most probably, Microsoft makes money from providing a vast number of installations for those games, and a commission from in-game purchases.
It doesn't stop here. Manufacturers of Windows 10 PCs and devices add more bloatware
Unfortunately, the list above only covers the bloatware that Microsoft tends to install by default in Windows 10. The list gets extended by the manufacturers of Windows 10 PCs and devices, like ASUS, HP, Lenovo, Dell, and so on. Every manufacturer adds its unique set of bloatware that might include apps like McAfee LiveSafe, WinZip, TripAdvisor, WPS Office, Dropbox, Evernote, or Norton Internet Security.
On top of them, they add vendor-specific apps for providing you with updates for firmware, and drivers, tech support options, app portals, user documentation, web storage, notifications, and so on.
As a result, when you buy a new Windows 10 laptop, PC or device, and you open it for the first time, you are invaded by startup apps, prompts, shortcuts to bloatware, and so on. It is not a pleasant experience, and Microsoft should consider restarting its Microsoft Signature program so that we could enjoy Windows 10 PCs with zero software bloat, excellent performance and only the basics you need, delivered out of the box.
Apps that we do not count as bloatware but which might not be useful for some users
Besides all the bloatware that is bundled in Windows 10, you also get some apps that we do not consider as bloatware, but which may not be useful to some users, depending on their needs and usage patterns. Windows 10 also bundles apps like Groove Music, Maps, MSN Weather, Microsoft Tips, Netflix, Paint 3D, Spotify, Skype, and Your Phone.
Another set of apps that some may consider as bloatware are the Office apps, including Outlook, Word, Excel, OneDrive, PowerPoint, and OneNote. The Office app lets you access all your Office apps and get back to your work quickly, by showing you your most recently used documents and files. If you do not have the full Office suite installed on your Windows 10 PC, you also get shortcuts to the free Office online apps.
What Windows 10 apps do you consider bloatware?
Our list of Windows 10 bloatware may not be complete. The list of apps that you consider junk might be higher than what we said. Also, depending on where you are, and the manufacturer of the Windows 10 PC that you have bought, you may see different bloatware that we did not mention. Therefore, at the end of this article, tells us whether you found other Windows 10 bloatware that we should add to the list. Some of our friends even suggested that OneDrive should be on our bloatware list. Do you agree? Comment below and let's vent our frustrations with Windows 10 bloatware.