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What’s annoying about Windows software installers is how often you’re offered to install unrelated junk programs that hijack your browsing 3 Essential Steps To Get Rid Of Chrome Hijackers In Minutes 3 Essential Steps To Get Rid Of Chrome Hijackers In Minutes Have you ever opened your browser of choice and been greeted with a bizarre-looking start page or an unsightly toolbar glued to the top of the page? Restore your browser to tip-top shape. Read More , slow down your browser, and cause all sorts of other headaches. Diligent users are watchful enough to uncheck such offers, but even the best of us can slip up.

Give yourself a second set of eyes with Unchecky. This lightweight tool watches for bundled crapware whenever you install new programs and automatically unchecks them so you never miss any.

Check out the difference it makes with this demonstration:

Unchecky will warn you if you’re accidentally about to install a junk program. You don’t have to worry about managing it, as it automatically updates and improves its performance without nagging you.

But it isn’t perfect. You’ll still need to carefully navigate through install boxes – don’t frantically click Next even with Unchecky guarding you. The program improves with time, though, and covers all of the big offenders like µTorrent and Java (which you should uninstall The Web Just Became More Secure: Google Drops Support for Java The Web Just Became More Secure: Google Drops Support for Java When Java was first released in 1995, it was revolutionary. But now, it's safe to say that Java has lost its shine, and Google is about to drop support for it in Chrome. Read More ).

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Has Unchecky ever saved you from crapware? Do you prefer another tool? Let us know how Unchecky works for you in a comment!

Image Credit: Paul Tessier via Shutterstock.com

  1. Andrew Kelley
    October 30, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    So, you want to download yet another "Program" that may, or may not help with unwanted junk, when all one really needs to do is slow down, read, and understand what has been placed in front of them in regards to what will be installed on their computer if they continue. Honestly people quit being so happy with the enter button and read, it is the only sure way of avoiding installing excess software that you do not need. Funny thing though ... I have never had this problem whilst running Linux. ;P

    • Ben Stegner
      October 30, 2015 at 10:49 pm

      I mean, "yet another 'Program;" - we're all about showing you cool programs to use here, so I can't really help people who don't want to install anything.

      You're right, people need to slow down and read the install boxes. I agree, and it would help cut down on the amount of crap on people's computers. Maybe you haven't worked with people like I do, but the average user has no idea they don't need all that extra stuff. I've watched several friends, family, and colleagues do this. If I was setting up a computer in a set-and-forget fashion for a grandparent, Unchecky would absolutely be on there.

      Maybe you don't need it yourself. That's fine, but it does serve a purpose.

  2. likefun butnot
    October 30, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    100% of PCs I've seen with Unchecky installed have had unwanted programs anyway. I'm almost positive Unchecky is bundled with them and I remove Unchecky just like I would anything else I don't trust.

    Instead, get your free applications from a service like Ninite.com or by using Chocolatey.org install scripts in order to use a clean installation source and take five seconds to scan the screens during manual software installation.

    • Ben Stegner
      October 30, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      I'd imagine these people already had the crap on their computer before installing Unchecky. I've never seen it bundled with another program, ever, and I install a lot of software.

      Ninite is great, but it doesn't have everything. And Chocolatey is good too, but how many average users are going to use the command prompt to install software?

      As I said, it's not that hard to watch yourself during installs. However, installers are getting more tricky and switching "Next" and "Cancel" buttons, etc. It doesn't hurt to have an extra pair of eyes, especially for novice users, which is who this is aimed at.

  3. zooropean
    October 30, 2015 at 10:02 am

    This program doesn't make much sense to me. It's like fighting crapware with crapware. Plus, as the author says, it's not even perfect. On the other hand, if you don't have control over what you install, one more crapware is not gonna hurt probably.

    • Ben Stegner
      October 30, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      How is it fighting crapware with crapware? Unchecky doesn't install anything malicious and is easily removed it you like, unlike the junk that installs with other programs.

      Nothing is perfect, but it's always getting better. Would you rather have this on someone's computer, at least preventing some crap from getting in, or nothing?

      • zooropean
        October 30, 2015 at 4:16 pm

        For someone to install this it means that they acknowledge that certain programs come with bundled software. They know that if you keep clicking on "next" during an installation (or use "recommended settings") you may end up with crapware. Why have a program running in the background at all times when all you have to do is pay attention?

        It just feels like Unchecky contradicts itself. Isn't better to just pay attention during an installation and watch what you click on? Some of the crapware behaves like malware sometimes and it makes it hard for the user to detect and uninstall. Would you trust a "not perfect" program to do this for you?

        I just don't understand why we need a dedicated program for every little thing that we do on our computers. This thing doesn't even make sense as a product idea. It's made for somewhat "advanced" users who know that crapware exists but at the same time what kind of "advanced" user would trust this program and simply keep clicking "next" during installation?

        • Ben Stegner
          October 30, 2015 at 10:54 pm

          It comes down to the user. If they're not paying attention, they'll likely run into trouble. Sure, you need to pay attention, and people like you and I likely do. But the average user doesn't care and just wants to click "next" until they get into their program.

          I don't know why Unchecky has to be perfect for you to use. I'd rather have a program that detects junk 90% of the time to supplement myself that catches it 95% of the time, or have it on a family member's computer that detects the crap 25% of the time. Unchecky doesn't remove the crapware, and you said yourself that "crapware behaves like malware sometimes and it makes it hard for the user to detect and uninstall" - exactly, so let's keep it from getting on people's computers in the first place. Unchecky is one way to do that.

          "I just don’t understand why we need a dedicated program for every little thing that we do on our computers." - Fair enough, but that's what we do here. We show you how to use new programs for productivity and fun. You don't have to install everything we recommend, and different people need different tools.

          Yes, the product seems niche, but it's a self-repeating loop. People like you and I know about the crapware and can avoid it. Most people don't, which is why this crap continues to be an issue. If more people installed this tool and were more careful (which hopefully average users will after reading this article and our site in general), it would cut down on this. Just because you don't need it doesn't mean it wouldn't benefit an average user.

          Unchecky isn't meant to make it so you can just keep clicking "next." It's made to auto-uncheck the boxes for you to aid in the installation process.

        • zooropean
          November 1, 2015 at 7:23 am

          You do have a point I have to admit but I don’t know what an “average user” is supposed to be. In my mind the average user very rarely installs anything. They pretty much use whatever comes pre-installed with their computer or use whatever their “advanced” friend/family member installs for them. The average user probably uses that monster Adobe Reader for pdfs! Anyway, this is getting old. Thanks!

  4. Craig M. Rosenblum
    October 30, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I like uncheckly but I find this tool, "Junkware Removal Tool" to be much more thorough and it's free.

    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/junkware-removal-tool/

    Once you install it, it must be run from the cmd prompt, and it will scour all your pc's backend for any installed toolbars, junkware, etc.

    • Ben Stegner
      October 30, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      I haven't used this tool personally, but I know it and others like it (adwCleaner) are pretty good. However, it only acts after the crapware gets on your computer, and doesn't prevent it in the first place.

      It's another good tool to have in your toolkit though!

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