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An operating system (OS) that’s been around as long as Windows has had plenty of time to accrue features. Several of them are under-appreciated 6 Underappreciated Features of the Windows Operating System 6 Underappreciated Features of the Windows Operating System There are plenty of Windows features you use every day, but some you might not have ever seen. Let's give these underrated tools some credit. Read More and don’t get enough credit, while Windows 10 offers its own slew of new features 10 Surprising Reasons Why You Will Like Windows 10 10 Surprising Reasons Why You Will Like Windows 10 It's almost cool to hate on Windows 10 these days. Don't let that deprive you of all the benefits Windows 10 will bring! We show you what you're missing out on. Read More to tempt you into upgrading. However, it’s not all perfect in Windows land.

In the past few versions of Windows, Microsoft has introduced some irritating features that the OS would be better off without. Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of Windows’ most annoying features that we wish would get axed. This list would be longer if Microsoft hadn’t already retired some obnoxious features 6 Retired Windows Features We'd Rather Forget 6 Retired Windows Features We'd Rather Forget Windows has gone through a lot of features over the years. Here are a few nobody really misses. Do you remember them? Read More , so be sure to check those out, too.

1. Pre-Installed Store Apps

Windows has always come with games pre-installed, but with Windows 10 Microsoft forsook traditional favorites like Minesweeper Minesweeper: Restoring The Classic Windows Games In Windows 8 Minesweeper: Restoring The Classic Windows Games In Windows 8 Bring the default games in Windows 8 back to the desktop. If Metro-style, full screen apps aren't what you want when you play Solitaire, Minesweeper or Free Cell, you're probably disappointed with Windows 8 –... Read More and Solitaire to bundle in Candy Crush Saga You Probably Won't Read This Article In Full, Because Smartphones [Tech News Digest] You Probably Won't Read This Article In Full, Because Smartphones [Tech News Digest] Smartphones are bad OK, Candy Crush comes to Windows 10, Reddit finally tackles harassment, Rdio Select lowers prices, and the trippiest 3D music video you're ever likely to see. Read More . Candy Crush is a freemium game only interested in sucking your money away 5 Warning Signs For Avoiding Freemium Games That Want To Suck Your Wallet Dry 5 Warning Signs For Avoiding Freemium Games That Want To Suck Your Wallet Dry Many games are free up-front, but bombard players with an endless array of in-game purchases, some of which are impossible to avoid if you want to complete the game. Read More , so it’s understandable why most people don’t want it around. Aside from that, there’s other bloatware like Bing Food and Drink or Zune Music wasting space on your Start menu.

Bloatware is annoying no matter where it comes from, but it’s more understandable when hardware manufacturers load a machine up with junk How To Remove Bloatware & Avoid It On New Laptops How To Remove Bloatware & Avoid It On New Laptops Tired of software you never wanted consuming your laptop's resources? Your computer isn't free ad space. Here's how to get rid of bloatware. Read More in order to keep the price down. When Microsoft is doing it to their own OS, it’s a whole different story. We shouldn’t have to spend hours on a new installation of Windows 10 removing a ton of junk Microsoft forces on us.

Thankfully, it’s not too difficult to remove Windows 10 bloatware How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 Windows 10 comes with several pre-installed apps that take up space on your device and aren't easy to remove. Sounds like bloatware, doesn't it? We show you how to remove these apps. Read More . You can remove individual Modern apps if only a few bother you, or use PowerShell commands to hide them all in seconds. Hopefully, in the future, Microsoft will get the picture and make these apps optional instead of pre-installing them. It would make for an immediately cleaner experience.

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2. Default OneDrive Integration

Microsoft started pushing OneDrive integration in Windows 8 SkyDrive For Windows 8: The Cloud Storage And Modern File Explorer App SkyDrive For Windows 8: The Cloud Storage And Modern File Explorer App Got Windows 8? Then you have SkyDrive and in combination with a Microsoft account, you get 7GB of free storage. SkyDrive is a cloud storage solution and also doubles as a modern file explorer. Read More , and it’s been married more deeply to the system since Windows 8.1 and 10 released. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with OneDrive, some people don’t want to save all their files in cloud storage (especially by default). In addition, Microsoft reduced the amount of free storage How to Move OneDrive to Google Drive After Storage Cut How to Move OneDrive to Google Drive After Storage Cut The Internet is angry at Microsoft. After promising unlimited storage with the Office 365 subscription, and 15 GB of storage for free users, the company has reneged on its promise. All because some users abused... Read More for OneDrive down to a paltry 5 GB, angering many users.

Since Microsoft likely won’t let up on this, you’ll have to take it upon yourself to remove OneDrive integration in Windows How to Disable & Replace OneDrive in Windows 10 How to Disable & Replace OneDrive in Windows 10 OneDrive is deeply integrated in Windows 10 and Microsoft might tell you that removing it is not possible. Well, not unless you're willing to dig deep. We show you how to extract OneDrive from Windows... Read More . If you like, you can even replace it with another cloud storage provider — Google Drive gives 15 GB for free, Dropbox has tons of uses 15 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Dropbox 15 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Dropbox Cloud storage services have come and gone, but Dropbox is probably the one that's been here the longest. And now it has upped its game with a host of new features. Let's explore. Read More , and there are ways to secure your data in the cloud 3 Tips To Stay Safe From The Dangers Of Cloud Computing 3 Tips To Stay Safe From The Dangers Of Cloud Computing Cloud computing is the big buzz these days and we have more choices available to us now than ever before. How many of us use Dropbox, SkyDrive, or Google Drive on a daily basis? How... Read More for security-minded folks.

3. Aggressive Tracking

One of the most publicly covered facets of Windows 10 is that it tracks nearly everything you do Windows 10 Is Watching: Should You Be Worried? Windows 10 Is Watching: Should You Be Worried? Since its release, Windows 10 has been dogged by rumors concerning user privacy. Some of these are accurate, whereas others are myths. But where does Windows 10 stand on privacy, really? Read More . Even if you’re still on Windows 7 or 8.x, Microsoft has introduced updates to add similar telemetry “features” Is Microsoft Gathering Data From You in Windows 7 and 8? Is Microsoft Gathering Data From You in Windows 7 and 8? You haven't upgraded to Windows 10 because you're worried about privacy? Microsoft has released a series of updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 that introduce similar diagnostics tracking. The good news is, you can remove... Read More to keep tabs on you, too. Of course, nothing is truly free Windows 10 Upgrade - Free Doesn't Mean It Won't Cost Anything Windows 10 Upgrade - Free Doesn't Mean It Won't Cost Anything There's a catch to the free Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft understands its audience all too well; they are more likely to pay for the freedom of control, rather than for extra features. Read More , so it’s not a surprise that Microsoft would want to collect this kind of data in exchange for a free OS upgrade — but that doesn’t make this stalking any more welcome.

Many of the settings you need to check right after installing Windows 10 7 Default Windows 10 Settings You Should Check Immediately 7 Default Windows 10 Settings You Should Check Immediately Microsoft made some questionable decisions with Windows 10. Some of its default settings should not be left alone. We show you how to improve privacy, conserve bandwidth, reduce distraction, and lots more. Read More are the preferences that allow to disable these data-collection tasks, and users of older Windows versions can shut off the “features” in far fewer steps. Since Windows 10 is likely the last version of Windows Windows 10 Is the Last Version of Windows. Ever. Windows 10 Is the Last Version of Windows. Ever. Microsoft is sick of you not upgrading, and has a solution: Windows 10 will be the final "version" of Windows. Ever. This could mean that you will never again have to buy Windows. Read More , Microsoft wants to take user information and utilize it to keep their OS on top. However, it’s reasonable to expect most people won’t want their computer doing this.

4. Settings/Control Panel Confusion

For a long time, the Control Panel was the place to go for any preference tweaking Unlock Windows Potential: Control Panel Demystified Unlock Windows Potential: Control Panel Demystified If you want to be the master of your Windows experience, the Control Panel is where it's at. We untangle the complexity of this power tool. Read More in Windows. From keyboard settings to power options to user management, the Control Panel collected commonly used settings so you didn’t have to track them down elsewhere. Starting in Windows 8 and continuing now, Microsoft is phasing out the Control Panel Why Microsoft Is Killing the Windows Control Panel Why Microsoft Is Killing the Windows Control Panel The Control Panel is being decommissioned. In Windows 10, the Settings app has adopted most of its features in a more stylish and mobile-friendly interface. Is that really necessary? Read More in favor of the Settings app.

The new Settings app How to Control Windows 10: The Settings Guide How to Control Windows 10: The Settings Guide The Windows control panel is on its way out. Its replacement, the Settings app, has received a significant upgrade in Windows 10. We'll reveal all its secrets for you. Read More is designed to be more user-friendly, especially for novice users, as it uses simple controls and features big gaps perfect for touchscreen use. This isn’t bad, but the identity crisis of Windows settings is. For now, half of the items you want to change are in the Control Panel, and others are in the Settings app.

It’s likely that Microsoft will either retire the Control Panel completely or rebrand it as a legacy feature reserved for power users — similar to the Run menu Everything You Must Know About The Run Dialog & Most Useful Commands Everything You Must Know About The Run Dialog & Most Useful Commands Are you using the easiest way to save time on Windows? It's the Run dialog. We show you how to quickly create custom commands to open any program or file in two easy steps. Read More now. Other than nostalgia, it won’t be a problem to see the Control Panel go if Settings is a worthwhile replacement. Microsoft just needs to make up its mind and stop splitting the options between two interfaces.

5. Forced Updates

While Windows Updates are annoying, it’s wise to keep your software up to date Why Do Apps Nag Me To Update & Should I Listen? [Windows] Why Do Apps Nag Me To Update & Should I Listen? [Windows] Software update notifications seem like a constant companion on every computer. Every app wants to update regularly, and they nag us with notifications until we give in and update. These notifications can be inconvenient, especially... Read More to stay secure and gain the latest features. Since most people don’t want to manually check for updates every time they use their computer, automatic updates are efficient and usually stay out of your way. Windows 10, however, takes the concept of automatic updates way too far.

Users of the Home Edition of Windows 10 are forced to accept all updates no matter what they contain, while those with Professional or above can defer new features for a few months — they’ll still be forced to get them eventually, though. Security patches are unavoidable for everyone.

Automatic updates aren’t a bad thing Fix Windows Update & Make It Less Annoying Without Compromising Security Fix Windows Update & Make It Less Annoying Without Compromising Security Windows Update can be a nuisance. Here is how you can protect yourself from its annoyances without compromising security. Read More in themselves, and in fact they probably help the average user out quite a bit. However, Windows veterans don’t want to be forced to blindly install every update without knowing what it contains, especially when updates can cause problems When Windows Update Fails, This Is How You Fix It When Windows Update Fails, This Is How You Fix It Did a Windows Update crash your system? Here's a quick list of troubleshooting steps that will help you restore Windows to a functional state. Read More .

Thankfully, with some help you can get a handle on Windows 10 updates How to Manage Windows Update in Windows 10 How to Manage Windows Update in Windows 10 For control freaks, Windows Update is a nightmare. It's designed to operate in the background, automatically keeping your system safe and running smoothly. We show you how it works and what you can customize. Read More , including removing updates after they’re installed. It would be nice to have an “I’m an advanced user; let me control updates” option, though.

Of course, this doesn’t even take into account that Microsoft has been forcing Windows 7 and 8.x users to update to Windows 10 Microsoft Strikes Again - How to NOT Upgrade to Windows 10 Microsoft Strikes Again - How to NOT Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 is now a recommended update on Windows 7 and 8.1 computers. If you're not yet ready to upgrade, it's time to double-check your Windows Update settings. We show you how. Read More several times. The free upgrade offer runs out in July, and they want as many people to make the jump as possible. Talk about an inescapable update.

What Would You Toss?

Most of these features have their root or have been exacerbated in Windows 10, but to be fair, there are good and bad things about the newest version of Windows 7 Best & Worst Windows 10 Features 7 Best & Worst Windows 10 Features Was Windows XP your favorite operating system, too? Windows 8 made me switch to OS X. Windows 10 has been my homecoming and while some features are convincing, others still need work. Find out where... Read More . None of these are OS-breaking behavior, but if we had our way with the next major Windows update, we’d be taking a look at pruning these features off.

Most of them are forced on users who should be able to choose whether they want to use them, which is a stark contrast to our earlier list — as annoying as Clippy was, you could easily turn him off. It’s interesting to compare the annoying features of 10-15 years ago to today.

For further reading, look back on the brighter side of Windows and see how legendary Windows tools were succeeded by new features 5 Legendary Windows Tools Replaced by New Features 5 Legendary Windows Tools Replaced by New Features Windows includes lots of tools that you use every day, but some have lasted longer than others. Here are parts of Windows that don't exist anymore. Read More .

What feature would you remove from Windows? Let us know what grinds your gears in the comments!

Image Credits:Young woman with shears by Elnur via Shutterstock

  1. Larry Bradley
    July 31, 2016 at 1:21 am

    Ultimately, customers never win when a company has a real or virtual monopoly on the market. Near-complete power over others breeds near-total hubris.

  2. Larry Bradley
    July 27, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I would toss Windows itself and go with Ubuntu Linux.

    • Ben Stegner
      July 27, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      I knew I'd see this comment on the article sooner or later. Thanks!

      • Larry Bradley
        July 31, 2016 at 1:17 am

        Is that a bad thing?

  3. Scott
    March 3, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    I install several new Windows 10 Pro computers in business environments weekly. It gets very cumbersome to have to at least remove the links in Start to Candy Crush, Solitaire, Xbox, Mail, Calendar, Install Microsoft Office, etc. Business computers don't need all this crap!

    • Scott
      March 3, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      OneDrive is also unnecessary!

  4. Sam
    February 24, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    You could unplug the computer from the internet and it solves the Telemetry issue.

    OneDrive saves you in the even you are hit with a virus or computer dies.

    Forced updates? Hey the popular iOS does the same you get stuff on your device regardless if you want it or not, as I said unplug your PC from the internet and that will solve your issues.

    • Ben Stegner
      February 25, 2016 at 2:00 am

      I don't think unplugging your computer from the Internet is really a viable solution. It makes it next to useless.

      OneDrive is nice, but it being mandatory is a sore spot for some. Also, most iOS updates aren't mandatory. I know several people who are still running an outdated version of iOS.

      • Larry Bradley
        July 31, 2016 at 1:18 am

        Ubuntu Linux updates are never mandatory.

  5. Keith Brooks
    February 22, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Oh yeah, I forgot this in the first post. I'd make the settings portion go away. We're all used to the Control Panel. How about improving it, instead of having Control Panel & Settings. DUMB< DUMB, DUMB.
    FIX YOUR OWN MODERN APP'S MICROSOFT!!!!
    IF YOU CAN'T GET THEM WORKING, HOW CAN YOU EXPECT ANY OTHER COMPANY TO PUT APPS?PROGRAMS IN YOUR STORE.
    SPEAKING OF THE WINDOWS STORE_ WE DEMAND DESKTOP SOFTWARE & GAMES FROM ALL SOFTWARE?GAME COMPANIES IN IT. IF YOU CAN'T ACCOMPLISH THAT, THEN KILL THE STORE OFF, TOO.
    ALSO, BEFORE PUTTING WHATEVER APP OR SOFTWARE ON/IN APPLE/GOOGLE STORES/DEVICES FIRST.
    AFTER ALL IT WAS US IBM COMPATIBLE PC USER'S THAT HAVE MADE YOU RICH FOR OVER THE PAST 2 1/2-3 DECADES, NOT APPLE OR GOOGLE CUSTOMER'S.
    WE ALSO DEMAND REAL PC GAMES, NOT CONSOLE RE-BRANDED FOR PC GAMES!!!
    BATMAN:ARKHAM KNIGHT PC GAME ANYONE?????THAT'LL NEVER SUPPORT SLI OR CROSSFIRE?????

  6. Keith Brooks
    February 22, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I'd ditch Windows 8/8.1 Music apps, Windows 8/8.1's Videos App, Windows 10's Movies & TV app and Windows 10's Photos app.
    Windows Media Player 12 & VLC Player are better than the music & video app's.
    Movies & TV can't use our tv tuners to watch or record tv, we already pay our cable/satellite providers for. Why would we want to buy it again from Microsoft???
    The Windows 10 Photo's app may make pictures look better, but's it's sucked at organizing them since the very first preview build of Windows 10 and it still suck's in the current build they're trying to force on everyone.
    Now, they're going to make future Intel & probably AMD cpu's require Windows 10.
    Boy Microsoft how dumb can you get???
    We'll all just switch to Apple, Google or Linux instead.

    • Ben Stegner
      February 23, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      I agree that many of these built-in apps are useless or annoying. The older Photo Viewer and Media Player worked well and the new apps feel pretty bloated.

  7. Howard Blair
    February 22, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    6. Libraries...introduced in Win7; I see not point to them.

    • likefun butnot
      February 22, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      @Howard Blair,

      Libraries are incredibly useful, especially for machines that small primary drives or large amounts of data stored in non-standard locations. Yes, you can just relocate your primary user folders to some other disk location, but with Libraries the default view of those special locations can include multiple actual directories in one fixed directory structure. This also means that Windows doesn't break when an alternate location is temporarily unavailable.

      I will say that Libraries need a little hack to be made as useful as possible, since by default Windows won't locate Library locations on a network drive. Zorn Software's WinLibraryTool adds this functionality and should be considered essential for someone who wants to make full use of Libraries in Windows.

      • Ben Stegner
        February 23, 2016 at 3:15 pm

        I agree. Libraries seem to be useless, but if you take some time to configure them and group all your similar folders together they can be quite useful. But as they come, they're not super great.

  8. bben
    February 22, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    The first thing I tossed was Windows 10. It is NOT!! free. I paid for Win7 which is one of the versions required to get Win10. If you did not pay for one of the version required, you don't get Win10 without paying for it. I like Win7, I was an early adopter and once I tried it, I never went back. I tried an early version of Win8, and promptly went back to 7. I tried an early version or 10 and again went back to 7 within a few days. I do not like Win 10.

    I am really upset with Microsoft for trying to shove their new ad supported OS down my throat. I will probably switch to Linux when I can no longer use Win7. I have already switched on one of my several computers. When I tried a more recient release of Win10 on it I was completely underwhelmed. And especially disliked the video content in some of the tiles that included advertising. And some 'apps' that I could not get rid of even though they are something I will never use. I never got as far as trying to disable the privacy invading stuff so I cannot comment on that. Then, when trying to roll back, the roll back failed leaving me a choice to completely reinstall Win7 from scratch, Or, what I did, make that computer my Linux test box for trying out various versions of Linux.

  9. William Peckham
    February 22, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I removed all of them. I am entering this comment from a laptop running Linux Mint DE.
    My other laptop runs SPARK Linux. I do not have to worry about Microsoft Windows behvior, costs, or licensing and feel FREE!

    • Howard Blair
      February 22, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Be careful...Mint's website was hacked to replace the official ISOs with "hacked" versions with malware included in the install.
      On the other hand, what's your point? This wasn't an article about Linux Mint.

    • molderfox
      February 22, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      Not a good idea. Linux Mint is filled with backdoors.

      • fcd76218
        February 23, 2016 at 1:14 am

        "Not a good idea. Linux Mint is filled with backdoors."
        As if Win 10 Isn't?!

        Even if you disable all the data-collecting options that you are allowed to, there still is data collection being done by Win 10 and sent home to mother. Examine the packets leaving your computer.

        • Ben Stegner
          February 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm

          I'm glad you like Mint, but this article was looking at features in Windows we thought were unnecessary :)

          I'm sure every OS has weaknesses. Mint specifically was having issues this past week with fake versions, as Howard mentioned.

        • fcd76218
          February 23, 2016 at 4:10 pm

          Actually I do not use Mint. I was just responding to molderfox's and Howard Blair's gratuitous FUD that ALL Mint versions have back doors in them. So far only Mint 17.3 Cinnamon seems to be affected.

          As far as removing unnecessary features of Win 10, the back doors and tracking options come to mind. However, considering Mr. Bill's stance on Apple's dispute with the FBI, I do not foresee the removal of those Windows' "features". In fact I expect Microsoft to add more back doors and trackers to its products.

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