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Purge your PC: Decide What PC Programs Get Booted (Website of the Week)

Purge your PC of program clutter and bloatware using this practical site.

site logo with text saying Should I Remove it? in black on a white background

Don't have a clue what you should remove or keep? Ever open up the Windows Add/Remove Programs app and are just utterly overwhelmed? Check out Should I Remove It, a site that lists friendly and not so friendly programs and software publishers.

The site has some great tools to help you decide what programs to keep on your PC:

  • An extensive list of software companies and what programs they've created and maintained (including ones that aren't normally pre-installed on a PC).
  • A list of active programs (and what percentage of site visitors have removed them).
  • A list of commonly installed programs, including programs that aren't pre-installed).
  • A list of computer manufacturers' who have a "habit of loading crippled versions of commercial software on a new computer in the hope that some will upgrade to paid editions". These programs are often referred to as bloatware and trialware.
  • A small utility that analyzes installed software - it shows how many programs you have installed and gives ratings and removal percentages (when available). It's a lightweight application with a clear and easy interface and minimal settings.
  • There's a handy (and brief) "How do I use it?" page that has directions for using the program.
  • Should I Remove It? supports Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. It accurately detected all my installed software and ran fine on my Windows 8 x64 machine.

Visit Should I Remove It

Have fun,
Rhiannon

Click here for more items like this. Better still, get Rhiannon's latest tasty tech treats delivered daily via your RSS feeder or alternatively, have the RSS feed sent as email direct to your in-box.

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Comments

by dadslawyer on 3. June 2013 - 0:29  (108229)

I'm seeing an alarming increase in false positives for trojans. SuperAntiSpyware had ten in one scan about a week ago, including Mozy backup. I reported these ten false positives to SAS, and their latest update didn't find any of them.

Bottom line is a lot of legitimate files look like trojans. Users should be very careful before hitting "delete" when a program flags files as "trojans."

by rhiannon on 3. June 2013 - 20:09  (108247)

There sure does seem to be an increase in false positives. The other thing I've noticed lately is that the websites that say they identify file extensions are listing some files as malware when they aren't. I'm not referring to various files that masquerade themselves as legitimate (usually Windows) files, but things like printer drivers and processes.

by DrBongo on 2. June 2013 - 15:47  (108218)

I installed it recently, ran it this morning and now I find this recommendation in my inbox. It found and let me erase a couple of crapware toolbars that I accidentally installed and a couple of other programs I decided I didn't need. It's a pretty useful piece of software. Crowd sourcing is a big help in evaluation things.

by original_steve on 11. June 2013 - 3:50  (108451)

When you state you found a "recommendation in my inbox", do you mean the program or the vendor sent you an email, or is there a box that pops up after the program is finished.

The reason I ask is that Century22 on 1. June 2013 - 16:53 (108202) ran Dr. Web on June 1st and found something called: Trojan.SMSSend.4041 20130601.

It's probably a false positive, but I'm just wondering if this program scans all your files and sends information about what's loaded back to the vendor. That could be the reason for the SMSsend alarm from Dr. Web. I can't see how a program and website like this can give useful statistical information unless they can gather information regarding programs installed on the computers that run this utility.

There's an interesting thread on WOT here between the author of the program and WOT. I'm not sure what the outcome is, but the owner of shouldIremoveit.com also owns a few other sites that are listed there.

http://www.mywot.com/en/forum/29460-boostbyreason-com

The listing of software publishers and their programs on shouldIremoveit.com is very useful, however. Can others tell me exactly how this program works, whether they've checked their firewall or used Sysinternals' TCPview to see if ports are opening when the program is running, and whether they've used an uninstaller to see exactly what files and registry strings this program adds?

by rhiannon on 11. June 2013 - 20:06  (108470)

I believe that DrBongo was stating that the program had been installed on his/her computer, and the recommendation was in the form of an email from this site that this article had been posted. Tech Treats (and other site sections)are available via RSS or email. See the intro above as well as the content in the upper left corner.

Personally, the program was not my main interest at the site. I briefly installed and then uninstalled it.
I find the site information and how it's organized to be extremely helpful and an excellent resource.

If you install the program and run it through the items you've listed please let us know what you find, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would be interested. :)

by rhiannon on 3. June 2013 - 20:04  (108246)

Excellent. :)

by w7hd on 2. June 2013 - 12:40  (108214)

Sophos classifies this as a high-risk website and blocks all access. In order to use the program, I have to turn off the on-access scanning - not willing to do that, sorry.

by Phylis Sophical on 2. June 2013 - 5:02  (108211)

Have not had a chance to install this yet but just the information on the web site is extremely valuable. Very thorough explanation of various programs.
Thanks.

by rhiannon on 3. June 2013 - 20:02  (108245)

I agree - the reason I like the site is that even if you don't use the utility there's so much useful information there.
Anyone that gets a new computer and asks me about all those pre-installed programs will be directed to that site. :)

by Century22 on 1. June 2013 - 20:53  (108202)

I ran it through Virus Total. (Again) Someone ran it on 5/31

Results:
SHA256: 68b28e5dcee5a3e97e020f2fd1ba0b39a3271899f1d1e9c5214fb221779abe19
File name: ShouldIRemoveIt_Setup.exe
Detection ratio: 1 / 47
Analysis date: 2013-06-01 19:35:43 UTC ( 0 minutes ago )

DrWeb Trojan.SMSSend.4041 20130601

ALL of the others detect nothing wrong.

This is useful. Similar to what Soluto does.
As more people use it and add ratings, this should improve.
I'll give it a 4 right now because it worked with no problems, and it found my "most useless" program, another one that I installed and never used.

Further feedback: Should Remove It quickly and easily uninstalled the program when I selected that option. It also let me go to the program's website for feedback.
This program "Should Remove It" worked flawlessly for me.
I don't know how useful, or how often I would use it, but it clearly works as intended. C22

by rhiannon on 3. June 2013 - 20:12  (108248)

I appreciate the update, none of the files it found on my system needed to be uninstalled. I'm glad to hear that it removed files with the option to give feedback. That should increase user feedback which will make it more useful.