Bloatware and Unnecessary Programs

We use the term “Bloatware” to describe any software that is not required for the proper operation of the system and will to some extent slow the system down or make it take longer to boot.

Bloatware can take many forms such as:

  • Manufacturer provided utilities to promote their own brand or add-on services
  • Pre-installed trial software that requires upgrading to Pay-for versions after typically 30 – 90 days
  • Sponsored software installed for third parties who pay the manufacturer to install it on new systems
  • Optional software such as “free” toolbars installed by default when installing other software.
    In all of the above cases, the motivation for installing the software is either to provide advertising for the manufacturer, income from users buying the software or revenue from installed toolbars usually in Internet Explorer.

As you can see, none of the reasons outlined above are to the benefit of the end-user and worse still, the additional software will have a detrimental effect on system performance, to some extent.

A particular issue is where additional toolbars are installed in Internet Explorer – or other web browsers.  Not only do they occupy and waste space on the screen and reduce the useful screen area for the displayed web site, they make the web browser slower to start up and also pose unknown security risks as they have access to both the details of the web sites visited – and potentially usernames, passwords and personal information entered when visiting those sites.

Many of the commonly added toolbars are also recognised as “Spyware” in recognition of their security risks and privacy issues.

Some commonly installed toolbars and software packages that should be avoided are:

Ask Toolbar (Not needed)
MyWebSearch (Spyware)
Cool Web Search (Spyware)
Google Toolbar (Slows Internet Explorer startup)
Incredimail (Do not use or install ever – no way to ever export email to another application)