Easy steps to remove bloatware from your Windows 10 computer

Laptop buyers are always seeking the most efficient and most user-friendly devices. So it came as a bit of a shock when the highly acclaimed Windows 10 operating system was found to be riddled with bloatware — unwanted pre-installed software that takes up space and computer memory.

New PCs and laptops are always fun to unpack, especially since Microsoft continuously optimizes its software’s user experience to make it engaging right from the start. But so many users are dismayed to find out that after the great time they had setting up their computers, they’ll tend to have a not-so-fun experience of dealing with bloatware.

The term “bloatware” refers to software and apps that are preloaded into computers even if the user doesn’t want them. These apps tend to take up storage space, consume processing power, and be quite a headache to remove.

Bloatware has long been a scourge of mobile devices, particularly those that run on Android operating systems. But these days, even laptops are no longer exempt from such nuisances — software giant Microsoft has packaged its Windows 10 operating system to come with preinstalled apps that most users won’t even give a second glance to. Some of the worst offenders are as follows:

  • 3D Viewer (previously called Mixed Reality Viewer)
  • Candy Crush
  • Cooking Fever
  • Disney Magic Kingdoms
  • Groove Music
  • Movies & TV
  • Paint 3D
  • Snip & Sketch
  • Sticky Notes
  • Voice Recorder

While many of these programs are pleasant add-ons for those who find value in them, many users prefer to start with a leaner operating system due to storage space and processing power concerns. If they want a particular software program, they prefer to download it themselves. This gives them greater control over their machines and their hardware and software experience.

What’s worse is that bloatware can also cause critical vulnerabilities. The most ironic example of this was a pre-installed version of Keeper Password Manager. Instead of keeping passwords safe, it allowed malicious people behind any website to steal passwords. While Windows 10 users needed to enable Keeper to store their passwords for them to become vulnerable, it makes you wonder why such a flawed password manager app is there in the first place.

How to rid your device of bloatware

Removing inclusions you did not ask for is a hassle in and of itself, but thankfully, the process is not too tedious.

  1. Click the Start menu, then the gear icon.
  2. In the Settings window, select Update & Security.
  3. On the left-hand side, click Recovery.
  4. Select Reset this PC.
  5. Click Get Started.
  6. Select Keep my files and then choose where you wish to store them.
  7. Lastly, set “Restore preinstalled apps?” to “No.”

Bloatware not only clutters your laptops and PCs, but it can render your business vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches as well. Save yourself from tons of headaches down the line; learn more about protecting your computers from bloatware. Call our team of IT experts today!

This post was originally published on this site

Easy steps to remove bloatware from your Windows 10 computer

Laptop buyers are always seeking the most efficient and most user-friendly devices. So it came as a bit of a shock when the highly acclaimed Windows 10 operating system was found to be riddled with bloatware — unwanted pre-installed software that takes up space and computer memory.

New PCs and laptops are always fun to unpack, especially since Microsoft continuously optimizes its software’s user experience to make it engaging right from the start. But so many users are dismayed to find out that after the great time they had setting up their computers, they’ll tend to have a not-so-fun experience of dealing with bloatware.

The term “bloatware” refers to software and apps that are preloaded into computers even if the user doesn’t want them. These apps tend to take up storage space, consume processing power, and be quite a headache to remove.

Bloatware has long been a scourge of mobile devices, particularly those that run on Android operating systems. But these days, even laptops are no longer exempt from such nuisances — software giant Microsoft has packaged its Windows 10 operating system to come with preinstalled apps that most users won’t even give a second glance to. Some of the worst offenders are as follows:

  • 3D Viewer (previously called Mixed Reality Viewer)
  • Candy Crush
  • Cooking Fever
  • Disney Magic Kingdoms
  • Groove Music
  • Movies & TV
  • Paint 3D
  • Snip & Sketch
  • Sticky Notes
  • Voice Recorder

While many of these programs are pleasant add-ons for those who find value in them, many users prefer to start with a leaner operating system due to storage space and processing power concerns. If they want a particular software program, they prefer to download it themselves. This gives them greater control over their machines and their hardware and software experience.

What’s worse is that bloatware can also cause critical vulnerabilities. The most ironic example of this was a pre-installed version of Keeper Password Manager. Instead of keeping passwords safe, it allowed malicious people behind any website to steal passwords. While Windows 10 users needed to enable Keeper to store their passwords for them to become vulnerable, it makes you wonder why such a flawed password manager app is there in the first place.

How to rid your device of bloatware

Removing inclusions you did not ask for is a hassle in and of itself, but thankfully, the process is not too tedious.

  1. Click the Start menu, then the gear icon.
  2. In the Settings window, select Update & Security.
  3. On the left-hand side, click Recovery.
  4. Select Reset this PC.
  5. Click Get Started.
  6. Select Keep my files and then choose where you wish to store them.
  7. Lastly, set “Restore preinstalled apps?” to “No.”

Bloatware not only clutters your laptops and PCs, but it can render your business vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches as well. Save yourself from tons of headaches down the line; learn more about protecting your computers from bloatware. Call our team of IT experts today!

This post was originally published on this site

Handy tips to declutter your Windows 10 PC

If your computer is cluttered with unused apps, error logs, and bloatware, it’s not going to run optimally. This, in turn, could slow you down at work and bring down your productivity. Fortunately, decluttering your computer is easy — just follow these tips.

5 Types of PC clutter

There are five types of clutter that may be causing your Windows 10 computer to run more slowly than it should.

  • Windows updates – This includes failed update downloads. While Windows will delete some of these corrupted and unusable files, others will hang around your computer forever if you don’t look for and delete them.
  • Registry bloat – This type of PC clutter includes files and applications you’ve deleted as well as every action performed in Windows, which is recorded in your computer’s registry.
  • Error logs – These are log files kept by Windows whenever software in your system crashes or encounters errors in processing. Just like registry bloat, error logs accumulate in your computer over time, slowing it down considerably.
  • User bloat – This refers to large numbers of your files, especially if they’re unorganized.
  • Bloatware – This refers to unwanted preinstalled software such as trial versions of antivirus programs, games, and the like. Bloatware takes up plenty of space in your computer’s central processing unit, random access memory, and storage. What’s more, it poses a raft of security risks; for instance, it can introduce apps designed to exploit personal information stored in computers.

How to remove PC clutter

To remove these five types of clutter and optimize your PC’s performance, try these methods:

Run Disk Cleanup
Windows has a built-in tool called Disk Cleanup that removes hidden junk files. To run this tool, type “disk cleanup” in the search box on the taskbar, and select Disk Cleanup from the results. Pick the drive you want to clean, then click OK. Under “Files to delete,” select the file types you want to get rid of, then click OK.

Delete programs you don’t use or need
Free up memory and storage space by removing unused and redundant programs that you rarely use or don’t need. To do this, type “add or remove programs” in the search box on the taskbar, and select Add or remove programs from the results. Click on the files you’d like to remove, then click Uninstall.

If necessary: Refresh Windows 10
You can start fresh with a clean and up-to-date Windows 10 installation to get rid of clutter. This option will remove most installed apps (e.g., Microsoft Office, antivirus software, etc.) but it will keep your personal files and some Windows settings. However, it’s still best to back up your files before installing a fresh version of Windows 10.

To do this, type “recovery” in the search box on the taskbar and select Recovery Options. Under “More recovery options,” click Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows. Click Yes in the pop-up window that says, “Did you mean to switch apps? Settings is trying to open Windows Security.” This will launch the Windows Security app where you can click Get started to begin the Windows refresh process.

These are just some of the ways you can enhance your Windows 10 PC’s performance and get the most out of it. For more useful Windows tips, give our experts a call today.

This post was originally published on this site

Handy tips to declutter your Windows 10 PC

If your computer is cluttered with unused apps, error logs, and bloatware, it’s not going to run optimally. This, in turn, could slow you down at work and bring down your productivity. Fortunately, decluttering your computer is easy — just follow these tips.

5 Types of PC clutter

There are five types of clutter that may be causing your Windows 10 computer to run more slowly than it should.

  • Windows updates – This includes failed update downloads. While Windows will delete some of these corrupted and unusable files, others will hang around your computer forever if you don’t look for and delete them.
  • Registry bloat – This type of PC clutter includes files and applications you’ve deleted as well as every action performed in Windows, which is recorded in your computer’s registry.
  • Error logs – These are log files kept by Windows whenever software in your system crashes or encounters errors in processing. Just like registry bloat, error logs accumulate in your computer over time, slowing it down considerably.
  • User bloat – This refers to large numbers of your files, especially if they’re unorganized.
  • Bloatware – This refers to unwanted preinstalled software such as trial versions of antivirus programs, games, and the like. Bloatware takes up plenty of space in your computer’s central processing unit, random access memory, and storage. What’s more, it poses a raft of security risks; for instance, it can introduce apps designed to exploit personal information stored in computers.

How to remove PC clutter

To remove these five types of clutter and optimize your PC’s performance, try these methods:

Run Disk Cleanup
Windows has a built-in tool called Disk Cleanup that removes hidden junk files. To run this tool, type “disk cleanup” in the search box on the taskbar, and select Disk Cleanup from the results. Pick the drive you want to clean, then click OK. Under “Files to delete,” select the file types you want to get rid of, then click OK.

Delete programs you don’t use or need
Free up memory and storage space by removing unused and redundant programs that you rarely use or don’t need. To do this, type “add or remove programs” in the search box on the taskbar, and select Add or remove programs from the results. Click on the files you’d like to remove, then click Uninstall.

If necessary: Refresh Windows 10
You can start fresh with a clean and up-to-date Windows 10 installation to get rid of clutter. This option will remove most installed apps (e.g., Microsoft Office, antivirus software, etc.) but it will keep your personal files and some Windows settings. However, it’s still best to back up your files before installing a fresh version of Windows 10.

To do this, type “recovery” in the search box on the taskbar and select Recovery Options. Under “More recovery options,” click Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows. Click Yes in the pop-up window that says, “Did you mean to switch apps? Settings is trying to open Windows Security.” This will launch the Windows Security app where you can click Get started to begin the Windows refresh process.

These are just some of the ways you can enhance your Windows 10 PC’s performance and get the most out of it. For more useful Windows tips, give our experts a call today.

This post was originally published on this site

Setting up Windows 10 on your laptop

Now that you bought a new laptop, you may think that all you have to do is go through Windows 10’s setup. But that’s not true. Your computer is not technically ready for action until you do some customization. Let’s get the ball rolling with the following tips.

1. Set up how your device checks for updates

Your new laptop should check for updates automatically, but you can also do this manually. Just click the gear icon above the Start button to go to Settings, choose Update & Security > Windows Update, and then click Check for updates. You can also type “updates” into the search box and click Check for updates.

2. Choose a restore point

If something goes wrong with your laptop, you can save a lot of time if you have a restore point, which is a backup of your entire operating system. To set up a restore point, type “restore” into the search bar and click Create a restore point. You’ll be taken to the System Protection tab of the System Properties window.

From there, you can choose what you want to be included in the backup. Click the Configure button to apply your choices. Enable “Turn on system protection” if it’s not already on. You can choose how much disk space to reserve, usually no more than 2% or 3%.

3. Pick a power plan

If you want to prolong your laptop’s battery life, you can choose from Windows 10’s Power Saver, High Performance, and Balanced power plans. Type power plan in the search button and choose either “Edit power plan” or “Choose a power plan.” Choosing the Edit power plan option allows you to set when the laptop display will be automatically turned off and when to put it to sleep. When you pick “Choose a power plan,” it will take you to a page where you can create and customize your plan.

The default recommended plan is Balanced, but if you want to create your own, click on the “Create a power plan” option on the left part of the screen. You can choose from three options depending on how you plan to use your laptop: Balanced, Power Saver, and High Performance. After selecting your preferred plan, click on the Next button to set the display and sleep settings for your laptop. Once done, click on the Create button and you’re good to go.

4. App installation tolerance level

To restrict which apps can be installed on your laptop, go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features and choose whether to permit installations from only the Windows Store, any app installations (with a warning), or unrestricted app installations.

5. Remove bloatware

Vendors package new laptops with bundled apps and software, which are mostly unnecessary and unwanted programs called bloatware.

Windows 10 offers an easy way to see which apps are installed on your new laptop and a quick way to uninstall those you don’t need. Head to Settings > Apps > Apps & features and peruse the list. If you don’t want an app and are 100% certain that your computer doesn’t need it, click the Uninstall button.

6. Anti-ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malicious software (malware) that locks all your data until you pay a ransom to hackers.

To minimize the risk of ransomware attacks, type “Windows Security” into the search bar at the bottom of your screen, click it, and go to “Virus & threat protection”. Here, you’ll be able to enable a new option called “Controlled folder access,” which protects you against ransomware attacks. By default, the Desktop, Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders are protected, but you can add other folders too.

There are myriad ways Windows 10 can be configured for optimization and security. This article barely scratches the surface of Window 10’s security and efficiency settings. Call us today for a quick chat with one of our Microsoft experts about taking your operating system to the next level.

This post was originally published on this site

Setting up Windows 10 on your laptop

Now that you bought a new laptop, you may think that all you have to do is go through Windows 10’s setup. But that’s not true. Your computer is not technically ready for action until you do some customization. Let’s get the ball rolling with the following tips.

1. Set up how your device checks for updates

Your new laptop should check for updates automatically, but you can also do this manually. Just click the gear icon above the Start button to go to Settings, choose Update & Security > Windows Update, and then click Check for updates. You can also type “updates” into the search box and click Check for updates.

2. Choose a restore point

If something goes wrong with your laptop, you can save a lot of time if you have a restore point, which is a backup of your entire operating system. To set up a restore point, type “restore” into the search bar and click Create a restore point. You’ll be taken to the System Protection tab of the System Properties window.

From there, you can choose what you want to be included in the backup. Click the Configure button to apply your choices. Enable “Turn on system protection” if it’s not already on. You can choose how much disk space to reserve, usually no more than 2% or 3%.

3. Pick a power plan

If you want to prolong your laptop’s battery life, you can choose from Windows 10’s Power Saver, High Performance, and Balanced power plans. Type power plan in the search button and choose either “Edit power plan” or “Choose a power plan.” Choosing the Edit power plan option allows you to set when the laptop display will be automatically turned off and when to put it to sleep. When you pick “Choose a power plan,” it will take you to a page where you can create and customize your plan.

The default recommended plan is Balanced, but if you want to create your own, click on the “Create a power plan” option on the left part of the screen. You can choose from three options depending on how you plan to use your laptop: Balanced, Power Saver, and High Performance. After selecting your preferred plan, click on the Next button to set the display and sleep settings for your laptop. Once done, click on the Create button and you’re good to go.

4. App installation tolerance level

To restrict which apps can be installed on your laptop, go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features and choose whether to permit installations from only the Windows Store, any app installations (with a warning), or unrestricted app installations.

5. Remove bloatware

Vendors package new laptops with bundled apps and software, which are mostly unnecessary and unwanted programs called bloatware.

Windows 10 offers an easy way to see which apps are installed on your new laptop and a quick way to uninstall those you don’t need. Head to Settings > Apps > Apps & features and peruse the list. If you don’t want an app and are 100% certain that your computer doesn’t need it, click the Uninstall button.

6. Anti-ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malicious software (malware) that locks all your data until you pay a ransom to hackers.

To minimize the risk of ransomware attacks, type “Windows Security” into the search bar at the bottom of your screen, click it, and go to “Virus & threat protection”. Here, you’ll be able to enable a new option called “Controlled folder access,” which protects you against ransomware attacks. By default, the Desktop, Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders are protected, but you can add other folders too.

There are myriad ways Windows 10 can be configured for optimization and security. This article barely scratches the surface of Window 10’s security and efficiency settings. Call us today for a quick chat with one of our Microsoft experts about taking your operating system to the next level.

This post was originally published on this site