Remove Pre-Installed Programs

When you turn your new PC on, you will (hopefully) find that the computer company you bought it from has installed an operating system for you; the downside is that they probably added some pre-installed programs too.  

In the computer business, software companies ply their wares into pristine, new computers by buying "ad space" from computer companies. This essentially means that all the trial software littering your new computer has bought its place to be there in an effort to get you to try it, love it and buy the full versions. This is an effective tactic and you may find yourself doing just that for many pieces of software – but what do you do about the pre-installed programs that you don't want to use?

Find

The first step is identifying the infiltrators. Click the Start Bar and browse through the Programs List. There may be some software you recognise and some you don't. Do not automatically assume that everything you don't recognise should be deleted – open the program, see what it does, then add it to the list of "Keep" or "Delete".

Destroy

Depending on the time and energy you want to give to clearing your computer of pre-installed programs, you can give it a thorough once-over, or simply download a program that will do it for you. The programs that do this are not as thorough as deleting things manually and you may find many useless programs still installed.

To remove these programs manually, click on My Computer, then Add/Remove Programs. A list of "legitimately" installed programs will be displayed and the option to remove them. Do this to as many as you can, but keep in mind that many programs will be hidden.

Hidden programs lurk in the shadows, taking up valuable hard-drive space and utilizing memory. If you've written down a list of pre-installed programs you want deleted, search for these Archives on your hard-drive and delete them manually. The delete key, or a click-and-drag to the recycle bin should do it. This method is time-consuming but is the most effective way to clean out your computer.

Protect

Once you have gone through the arduous process of eliminating unwanted programs from your computer, the key is to keep them out so you never have to do it again. 

Install a good virus scanner and of course backup your files with ouronline backup software.

When installing new software, carefully read what you are agreeing to – many programs come with "extras", and "free trials" made by the same software company and will install these by default.

Check for unwanted programs at least once a month and delete them as soon as you see them to stop them from banking up.

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