Crapware, or bloatware, has been an issue on computers for many years now. Now while in more recent time many users are becoming wiser to this and pc manufactures are beginning to change what they load onto a computer, the problem of crapware still exists and I’m sure it will be with us in some form or fashion for quite a long time. Today, the problem is still the largest on Windows, but has bled over onto other platforms, as well.
What Is Crapware?
I’m sure many of you have heard that term and I know that all you I.T. guys out there know what it means. But, for those of you that don’t, let me explain. Crapware, or bloatware, is software installed at the factory by the PC manufacturer way before you even swipe that credit card to purchase the machine. This software can range from virus software such as games, Norten Antivirus or McAfee or even extra internet toolbars such as the toolbars on your web browsers. Most of the time all this software is good at doing is slowing down your brand new system and taking up valuable space on your hard drive.
Why Do They Do It?
You may be asking yourself, why do the manufacturers do it? Well one big reason is advertising. Ever notice on the ads for the computers they sometimes list all this great software you get if you buy from them? Heck sometimes they list that instead of the specs of the machine. The other even bigger reason is money. You see most of the crapware that comes on new systems is trial software. So, if you god forbid decide you like a piece of software and purchase it, the software company gives a cut of that sale to the pc manufacturer.
What Can You Do?
Now I know after reading this you are saying to yourself, “I don’t want that on my system.” And if you aren’t saying that yet, you should be. So what do you do? Let’s see…
You don’t buy from the manufactures. Instead you pay your favorite I.T. guy buddy or relative (and I know you all have one) to build you a new system. Most I.T. guys will work for money, a free meal, beer, and if you are a woman having a computer built – a smile and a peck on the cheek and I can almost guarantee you they will do it. There are pros and cons to going this route. You will have a custom built system using some of the best parts out there and you will get it at the same cost or sometimes even cheaper than you can from a manufacturer. But, you will be subject to just the manufacturer’s warranties on each part so if something breaks it will be more difficult to fix. Also your only tech support will be the wonderful I.T. guy you got to build it for you in the first place. Again see above for what it might cost you.
Purchase from a manufacturer to receive the coveted warranty but before you begin using your computer reformat your hard drive with a nice fresh install of your operating system. When you do this all that will be left on your computer is what YOU decide to put on. You might need an I.T. guy friend or relative to do this if you do not know how. Please again see above for payment requirements.
Now I know many of you have no idea how to go about reformatting your hard drive and you might not want to pay an I.T. guy. So for those of you who are cheap you need to learn where your Control Panel is and how to use Add/Remove Programs in Windows XP or Programs and Features if you are using Windows Vista. From there, you can uninstall all those useless programs that you do not want. This is not necessarily the best solution but I promise it’s better than just leaving the crapware on your computer.
Some pc manufactures have begun to realize how much people hate crapware. Slow enough aren’t they; people named it crapware for goodness sake. A lot of them will remove it for you before you receive the machine but like many things in this world there is a fee to do this. For those of you that want the least amount of hassle and don’t mind giving them the extra money they would make by leaving it on your system this is the route to go.
Crapware is one of those evils that for the time being we just have to live with. I don’t see it completely going away anytime soon. I hope now you all have a little more knowledge about crapware and how to deal with this problem. If you take the steps above, I guarantee you will have a much more enjoyable experience with your new system. And yes, I think crapware stinks! Someone light a match!