Unfortunately, when you buy a new PC, one of the first things you have to do is clean off the third-party junk software (more colorfully known as crapware) that the PC manufacturer has loaded on it. The manufacturers get paid to stick a lot of trialware and other largely extraneous stuff on new PCs. It clutters your desktop and hard drive and slows things down with unwanted processes automatically running in the background.
You can go through the laborious process of uninstalling the stuff one by one or you can use one of the free programs that have been designed specifically for this task. A long-term regular in this category is PC Decrapifier (reviewed here) but there is now a more recent entry worth looking at called “Decrap”.
Decrap is from the well-known software vendor Macecraft. It is free but is based on one of the components of a commercial suite of Windows system tools sold by Macecraft. A description of the application and the download links are at this page. There is a version with an installer as well as a zipped portable version. The link for the portable version is easy to miss but is in small print under the big download button for the installer version. I only tried the portable version. The program is said to run in all current Windows versions and in both 32- and 64-bit systems. It worked for me in Windows 7 64-bit and Windows 8.1 64-bit. The portable version should be placed in its own folder since it creates some cache and settings files when used.
This program is best used on a new computer before you have installed any of your own programs. Programs can be removed manually or in an automatic mode. This latter should be used with great care since it uninstalls all third-party software. Anything you installed yourself will also be removed in the automatic mode.
The program will create a list of items that it targets for possible removal. Here are the categories of items that can be removed:
- Automatically starting software
- Desktop items
- Start menu items
- Third party software
- Windows related software.
The default settng has every item in the list checked for removal so you will need to uncheck whatever entries you wish to keep before running the manual process.The removal process also includes a deletion of Registry entries for programs that are uninstalled.
There is an automatic backup process but it is always advisable to create your own backup before using programs of this type.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.