What Is Bloatware And What Can I Do About It?

Bloatware is a form of malware that has been with PCs since their inception. Bloatware began when computer manufacturers loaded software on to their machines by default in order to make money as well as provide customers with additional software they may desire. Start reading our guide and learn everything about Bloatware, and how you can get rid of it.

Ben Grindlow

Ben Grindlow is the founder of ProXPN, a company that provides reviews about VPN products and services. Ben's interest in cybersecurity and privacy led him to start ProXPN, which has become one of the most well-respected VPN providers in the world. Ben is passionate about his work, and he is constantly exploring new ways to improve ProXPN's in-depth guides.

Last updated: 12:12PM 6/19/2022

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Bloatware or (less flatteringly) ‘fatware’ is unnecessary software on a computer, smartphone or tablet. Bloatware is often installed without the user’s knowledge as an add-on to downloaded programs that are actually wanted.

Sometimes bloatware apps are unwanted software that comes with the installed applications when you purchase a laptop or PC from device manufacturers.

Fortunately, unwanted apps, unnecessary pre installed software and bloatware are relatively easy to remove regardless of your operating system.

Common bloatware app examples

Even a new device may be loaded with bloatware. A few examples of bloatware you may encounter are:

  • A trial version of a virus scanner that comes with Windows
  • Preinstalled software, advertising software or pre installed apps you don’t need
  • An extra search bar or toolbar in your browser that isn’t necessary
  • An app on your smartphone that you never use but that always gives you notifications

Is bloatware (pre-installed software) dangerous?

Not all bloatware is dangerous, but it can be annoying. Unwanted software on your device distracts you with annoying pop-up ads, notifications or advertisements.

Bloatware can also cause your smartphone, laptop or PC to lose computing power by:

  • Working less efficiently
  • Working more slowly
  • Depleting disk space or other storage space
  • Shortening battery life

These effects occur because bloatware taxes the internal memory, RAM, and/or processor on your device as the bloatware runs in the background. Even with a powerful device, it benefits you to remove bloatware.

Privacy

Some bloatware can compromise your privacy by monitoring your activities and collecting data from you. A keylogger, for example, is a kind of software that records what you type. Keyloggers can even record your login information, including passwords. Who needs that kind of bloatware?

You should always strive to identify bloatware like this and root it out. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom from bloatware.

Bloatware removal: deleting potentially unwanted programs

Everyone likes a puppy, but nobody cares for PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs).

When downloading new apps or third party software, keep an eye out for downloaded bloatware that may sneak onto your device.

Luckily, bloatware is relatively easy to remove from your device once you know how to identify these unwanted apps and know the proper procedures.

Now that you can identify bloatware in the software installed on your device, let’s roll up our sleeves and start to uninstall bloatware.

Not sure how? Keep reading for instructions on uninstalling bloatware on different devices.

Androids

Manufacturer-issued bloatware is standard on many Android devices (smartphones and tablets). Think of the countless apps that Samsung, Sony or Motorola add as standard to an Android device.

That’s bloatware.

You would probably rather remove bloatware as much as possible than having the bloatware run down your device’s resources, right?

To remove unwanted bloatware apps from your Android smartphone:

  1. Go to Settings on your smartphone
  2. Scroll to Apps and tap it
  3. Comb through the list and remove the apps you don’t need

Sometimes it is not possible to remove an app, perhaps because it was installed by the manufacturer. On Android devices, you should see the option to ‘force quit’ an app to remove bloatware.

  • Forcing an app to stop prevents the app from consuming power, running in the background and draining RAM or processor resources.
  • The disabled app will no longer use resources or require updates.

Are you in the market for a new smartphone? Check out the Google Pixel models for a new phone free of bloatware.

Rooting your phone

This is a more drastic method that is best left to more advanced users, as it is not easy without either some technical knowledge or some expert help.

  1. It may not be for everyone, but advanced users have the option to ‘root’ their smartphones in order to remove as much bloatware as possible.
  2. Rooting a phone will provide you the rights needed to uninstall apps, but tread carefully: computer manufacturers will no longer cover such devices under their warranties.
  3. It’s up to you to decide whether or not to remove bloatware using this approach; just consider it carefully.
  4. If you want to go for it, search YouTube to learn how to root your device to get rid of bloatware.

iPhones

Fortunately, Apple iPhones have relatively little bloatware, compared to Samsung or Motorola, for example. You won’t need to remove bloatware quite as much on an iPhone.

To remove bloatware or disable bloatware on an iPhone, start from the settings menu:

  • Go to Settings –> General –> iPhone storage
  • Tap on the app you want to get rid of
  • Uninstall the bloatware app

Bloatware on Windows 10

Lots of bloatware is installed by default in Windows 10. The good news is that you can remove or uninstall much of this bloatware yourself on Windows computers, as follows:

  • Go to Start (the Windows icon) at the bottom left of your screen
  • Click on or search for Settings
  • Click on Apps
  • The screen will display a list of apps installed on your system.
  • Much of the bloatware (pre installed applications) you see came from the Microsoft Corporation.
  • Only remove bloatware that you are sure you won’t ever use or need

You can also remove many Microsoft Store apps by clicking on Start at the bottom left, right-clicking on the app and then clicking on Uninstall. Enjoy your bloatware free PC!

Windows Debloater

If you want to remove all unnecessary apps at once, you can use one of the app removal programs such as the Windows 10 Debloater.

The Debloater is a PowerShell script that you run on your Windows PC.

If you feel comfortable tackling this to remove bloatware, do a search on YouTube to find a tutorial for installing and using Windows 10 Debloater.

Bye-bye, bloatware!

Tools to uninstall bloatware

Does it feel like a challenge to remove bloatware from your computer or laptop all by yourself? In this case, you could try using a special tool to remove unwanted aps. A couple of examples bloatware removal tools are:

  • PC Decrapifier
  • ShouldIRemoveIt.com

Then there are always apps that you can buy to permanently remove unnecessary software from your device.

The modest cost may be worth it to remove bloatware and rid yourself of unwanted apps.

Regardless of your level of technical skills, a cleaner, leaner device free of bloatware is now within your reach.

Frequently asked questions

Many Android users are familiar with bloatware, which is software that comes preinstalled on their device. In most cases, bloatware arrives in the form of applications. To remove any on your phone in the safest way, you should turn them off. The apps won’t run in the background of your device and will use storage space.

Bloatware exposes users to an increased level of cybersecurity threats. If it connects to the internet, it exposes the computer to malware by offering a range of programs designed to use computing power and personal information for profit, including financial information.

To remove bloatware, go to Settings > Apps & features. Locate the bloatware and hit Uninstall on the Apps & features window. The program is then uninstalled after you leave the Applications folder for a moment.

To see what preinstalled Android applications are on your device, click the Settings icon. Select as many apps as you like and then press Hibernate. In one fell swoop, Avast Cleanup will hide all of this bloatware. You may simply “wake them up” if you want to use them again because the programs are put

Bloatware exposes users to a higher number of cybersecurity threats. It exposes the computer to malware by introducing a range of applications designed to exploit computing power and personal information, including financial information if it is connected to the internet.

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