12 Unnecessary Windows Programs and Apps You Should Uninstall
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Out of all the software on your computer, how many programs do you actually use regularly? Most people keep a fair amount of unnecessary software installed on their systems. While some of these apps are just outdated, others are downright malicious or dangerous.

Here are the unnecessary Windows 10 apps to uninstall.

How to Check Your Installed Programs

It’s easy to review the installed programs on your system. Windows 10 users should open Settings and head into the Apps > Apps & features section. Here, you’ll see a list of everything installed on your PC.

Those on Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 can click on the Start button and search for Programs and Features. This will open your a similar list where you can review everything currently installed on your system.

To remove a piece of software, just click to highlight it and choose Uninstall. Depending on the software, it might uninstall immediately or require you to advance through some dialog boxes. See our guide to uninstalling programs on Windows 10 How to Uninstall Programs on Windows 10 the Fast Way How to Uninstall Programs on Windows 10 the Fast Way Sometimes the default installers in Windows aren't good enough. There are other ways to remove Windows programs and apps quickly. Read More for more info.

1. QuickTime

QuickTime is Apple’s video player. While it’s still a current program on macOS, the company hasn’t supported the Windows version since 2016.

Shortly after Apple announced the deprecation of QuickTime for Windows, Trend Micro announced that the software had a few critical vulnerabilities. Since Apple will never patch these, it’s not safe to have QuickTime installed anymore.

Removing QuickTime shouldn’t cause any disruptions, as iTunes doesn’t rely on it. If you need a replacement for QuickTime, use VLC, which will play pretty much anything.

2. CCleaner

Once a trusted Windows app for cleaning junk, CCleaner has fallen from grace. We’ve explained why you should get rid of CCleaner Is CCleaner Safe? Not Quite. And We Show You How to Replace It Is CCleaner Safe? Not Quite. And We Show You How to Replace It CCleaner was once a must-have utility. But this has changed. Here's why CCleaner is no longer safe to use and how to replace it. Read More and documented its faults, including forced updates without permission, data collection that enabled itself after restarting, and the software itself distributing malware unknowingly.

Since 2017, Avast has owned Piriform, the makers of CCleaner. All these issues have happened in this time frame, including obnoxious behavior like CCleaner trying to install Avast antivirus by default. Follow our guide to cleaning your PC How to Clean Your Windows Computer: The Ultimate Checklist How to Clean Your Windows Computer: The Ultimate Checklist Spending some time cleaning up Windows can yield vast performance improvements. Here's the ultimate checklist for cleaning your Windows computer. Read More to clean your computer without this trash.

3. Crappy PC Cleaners

Many people have installed (or accidentally installed) a PC-cleaning app at some point. The majority of these products range from useless to harmful, as registry cleaners don’t improve Windows’ performance at all. If you find garbage like MyCleanPC or PC Optimizer Pro in your installed apps list, you should remove them.

Read our guide to cleaning mentioned above for a real cleanup method. We recommend using a combination of built-in Windows tools and trusted software to safely remove unneeded files.

4. uTorrent

uTorrent Download Garbage

Like CCleaner, uTorrent was once a beloved tool, considered the gold standard of torrenting software. However, it’s had a host of issues over the years that make it untrustworthy now.

Aside from having ads crammed into the interface, uTorrent also included offers for junk browser extensions like the Conduit Toolbar. But its worst offense came in 2015, when the app was found to bundle in cryptocurrency mining software without letting users know. This wasted your system resources in the background to make money for the company, which allegedly gave some to charity.

There’s no reason to bother with uTorrent now. We think qBittorrent is the best torrent client The Best Torrent Clients to Replace uTorrent The Best Torrent Clients to Replace uTorrent Are you still using uTorrent? It's time to switch to a cleaner and more trustworthy BitTorrent client. Here are the best uTorrent alternatives for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Read More , and it’s free of all this nonsense.

5. Shockwave Player

Adobe Flash Player is dying a slow death, as Adobe plans to stop supporting it in 2020. A similar runtime plugin, Adobe Shockwave Player, was discontinued in April 2019. The company no longer offers it for download, and you’re extremely unlikely to find a website that needs it.

You can thus remove Shockwave Player without worry.

6. Java

Java is another media runtime that includes two components: Java on the desktop, and the Java plugin for browsers (which is notorious for having security problems). Though it was once fairly common, very few websites use it nowadays. It’s even less common than Silverlight; W3Techs lists that something like 0.02 percent of websites use Java.

Modern versions of Chrome and Firefox don’t support it, which means that Java is less of a security problem than it once was Why Java Is Less of a Security Risk Now on Windows, Mac, and Linux Why Java Is Less of a Security Risk Now on Windows, Mac, and Linux Most people know Java is insecure, but is it still the most dangerous piece of desktop software? Can it still cause problems on Windows, macOS and Linux? Let's take a look and find out. Read More . Unless you’re an Android developer or use some specialized software that relies on Java, you should uninstall it. You’ll probably never notice a difference.

7. Microsoft Silverlight

Silverlight Deprecated

Silverlight is a web framework, similar to Adobe Flash, that enabled rich media content in your browser. Years ago, these plugins were necessary on a lot of websites. But now they’re deprecated and no longer useful. According to W3Techs, under 0.1 percent of websites use Silverlight as of mid-2019.

Modern browsers don’t even work with Silverlight; Chrome and Firefox haven’t supported it for years, and it was never compatible with Edge. Silverlight is only officially supported in Internet Explorer, which most people shouldn’t use anyway. You won’t lose anything by uninstalling Silverlight.

8. All Toolbars and Junk Browser Extensions

When you’re wondering what to uninstall from Windows 10, one of the obvious candidates is junk in your browser. Toolbars were once a far more prevalent problem, but modern versions of Chrome and other browsers have rendered them less common. However, spammy extensions are still in the wild.

Have a look in your programs list for toolbars like the Bing Bar, Google Toolbar, Ask Toolbar, Yahoo! Toolbar, or the Babylon Toolbar. If you find any of them, uninstall them. Next, review the installed add-ons or extensions in your browsers. Make sure you recognize everything there.

9. Coupon Printer for Windows

The purpose of Coupon Printer for Windows is to provide access to deals from Coupons.com. However, since this software is typically found bundled in with other programs, chances are you that you didn’t want to install it in the first place.

If you’re a diehard Coupons.com user, you can leave this one installed so you can access your discounts. Everyone else should uninstall this program and use another coupon site that doesn’t require installing anything.

10. Manufacturer Bloatware

Unless you’re running a premium device like the Surface Pro, or installed Windows from scratch on a new desktop, chances are your computer came with lots of junk from the manufacturer preinstalled. Laptops from HP, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, and more are prone to this issue.

These bloatware apps are another great candidate for Windows 10 apps to uninstall. None of it is required for Windows to function. Some of the pre-installed branded programs, like photo and gaming apps, or those that duplicate Windows tools, are completely unnecessary. Others, such as driver/BIOS update utilities (like Lenovo System Update), are worth keeping around.

Of course, we can’t comment on every piece of manufacturer software. To find out about yours, it’s a good idea to check out Should I Remove It?, which gives an overview on what each program does and how others have rated it. When in doubt, it’s probably not a necessary tool.

11. Windows 10 Bloatware

windows 10 bloatware removal

Fighting manufacturer bloatware is annoying enough, but Microsoft includes a fair bit of its own in Windows 10. It comes in the form of Store apps. Thankfully, you can uninstall most of it without much hassle.

Some of the default Modern apps, like Xbox and Weather, are useful to some people but not others. Others, like Candy Crush Saga, are junk you should remove. You can find a full Windows 10 bloatware list, and see how to uninstall these apps (one-by-one or all at once), in our Windows 10 bloatware removal guide How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 Windows 10 comes with its own set of pre-installed apps. Let's look at the methods you can use to remove the bloatware on your PC and debloat Windows 10. Read More .

12. WinRAR

While having a file extraction and compression tool around is certainly useful, WinRAR is not the best choice for the job. The app has become a bit of a punchline due to its old-school “shareware” license. While you can download a “trial” of WinRAR for free, it asks you to pay after using it for some time. However, the app never actually locks you out of using it, so you can use it indefinitely without paying.

There’s really no reason to use WinRAR anyway. 7-Zip is a free and simple tool that covers most people’s needs. If you find 7-Zip a bit too ugly, try PeaZip. But whatever you do, please don’t pay for WinRAR.

How About Windows 10 Files and Folders?

The above programs are unnecessary because they no longer serve any useful function. If you uninstall something and find that you need it again, you can always reinstall it. But it’s wise to do some cleaning on your system and remove old or junky Windows 10 programs.

Looking to strip out more clutter that you don’t need? We’ve shown Windows files and folders you can delete to save space Delete These Windows Files and Folders to Free Up Disk Space Delete These Windows Files and Folders to Free Up Disk Space Want to clear disk space on your Windows computer? Take a look at these Windows files and folders you can safely delete. Read More .

Image Credits: rodimov/Shutterstock

Explore more about: CCleaner, Install Software, Java, Uninstaller, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Apps.

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  1. Muzammal Baig
    August 26, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Very Funny. You don't let me even see the page without blocking addblock. But yet you have the courage to recommend to general public not to pay for winrar.

    I hope winrar sues you one day.

  2. Guido
    June 14, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    this article is from the stone age and should be deleted instead of adding new things at the end. And while on it, it should also be better researched and with meaningful content added instead of just writing "you should delete all bloatware".

    Moreover Java is essential for many work applications. For instance software such as Libreoffice, yed, or freeplane, ganttproject and so on need java to work.

  3. Paulo Braga
    May 21, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Just a point: WinRAR offers a repair feature which may be able to repair a corrupted rar or zip file if it included recovery records.
    I have been able to rescue a number of files using that feature.
    AFAIK, no other tool offers that feature - am I wrong?

    • Oddfellow
      May 23, 2019 at 7:04 am

      WinRAR is a good tool and has always been useful to me. The paying/not-paying issue it not reason enough to get rid of it in my view. But what's more, if you want to pay for it, why wouldn't you as it is shareware? Discouraging users from paying for it if they want to is not a very defensible attitude.

  4. Burton Guidry
    May 21, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    I have been using CCleaner for years and never had a problem with it. Your cleanup article also suggests CCleaner. So before you talk about a certain software being bad you need to check other articles you may have done.

  5. dragonmouth
    May 16, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    "registry cleaners don’t improve Windows’ performance at all"
    Registry cleaners may not improve Windows' performance but they do clean out the registry keys Windows habitually leaves behind during the uninstall process.

    "While some of these apps are just outdated, others are downright malicious or dangerous."
    Windows itself is malicious and dangerous. One never knows what data it harvests and where it sends it.

    • Oddfellow
      May 23, 2019 at 7:10 am

      I have downloaded and installed a game from Windows Store, "Operation: New Earth". I found it is impossible to access its actual executable, and amongst the accounts having permission for this application, there are two totally unrecognizable, mysterious "unknown accounts" (indicated as such) whose names consist of a very long string of characters. Their permissions are greyed out and you can't change them.

  6. Gav
    May 5, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Insecure apps? Do they need therapy?

    • Maryon Jeane
      May 21, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      They're obviously with the same therapist as the permanently alarmed doors :-)

  7. Steven
    April 12, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Windows 10 operating system is bloatware.
    End of line.

  8. Wiiie May
    March 22, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    I was looking for how to remove bloatware program such as XBOX on Windows 10 and Contana. It appears that your site does not care to address those bloatware programs.

    • Orper
      May 22, 2019 at 9:34 am

      To remove bloatware do this:
      Geek Uninstaller free/portable > view > Windows store apps > right click and uninstall
      Cortana: win+r > gpedit.msc > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > search > allow Cortana > disable > apply/OK

  9. Alec Heesacker
    February 23, 2018 at 6:34 am

    I like this step by step walkthrough of removing PUPs.

  10. Sal Garcia
    January 2, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    What software do you recommend to keep computer clean?

  11. Thomas
    October 31, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Actually most video editors rely on QuickTime to open ?'s media files, so if you use video editing softwares - install an alternative QuickTime release (like QuickTime lite)

  12. jasray
    October 19, 2016 at 1:15 am

    So delete the comment that shows the original links to the article rather than delete the article, admit to plagiarism, and be a responsible tech writer. Hmmm . . . I don't think the original writer will be please.

    • Tina Sieber
      October 27, 2016 at 10:31 am

      Jasray, I don't understand your comment. What comment was deleted here and are you sure you left your comment under the right article? This article is an original.

  13. Quantum foam
    October 18, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Agreed, but as I said, I think they are referring essentially to the Java Plugin, not the Java Runtime Environment. I wish the article's sub-heading had made that distinction clearer.

    • Tina Sieber
      October 27, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Thank you for your feedback! I believe Ben was referring to the Java browser plug-in, as well as the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) found under Programs and Features in Windows.

      Since the vulnerabilities are usually located in the JRE, it makes sense to remove both, though the browser plug-in is the most likely port of entry for malware exploiting weaknesses in Java.

      As you've pointed out though, several programs rely on the JRE to work, in which case only the browser plug-in should be removed. We'll add a note of warning to the article.

      • cody ripley
        November 29, 2017 at 4:09 pm

        There are students actively studying Java for their computer science degrees.

        Java is not vulnerable itself, it is the power of the runtime environment that gives the programmer the ability to be dangerous, or innovative.

        • Eric
          September 7, 2019 at 8:39 pm

          Or dangerously innovative...

  14. Glenn Berry
    October 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Sky Go uses Silverlight unfortunately.

    • Ben Stegner
      October 31, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      I've never used the service myself, but that's a shame. Hopefully they switch to a more modern setup soon.

  15. Bornik
    October 18, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I don't think Java is an unnecessary software that everyone should uninstall.

    • Quantum foam
      October 18, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      Sure, Java environment has is uses, MATLAB, a scientific programming tool for example requires it, which is why I have it installed. However most users don't run software that needs Java.

      But I think they are referring to the Java plugin here, which is a known soft target for threat vectors. And hardly any website nowadays uses that.
      I personally have only encountered it on the nVidia website where it users the plugin to auto gather system hardware data, when you are downloading drivers manually from their website and don't want to type in the graphics card model.
      That and one or two sites, non mainstream, in over 6 years.

      • Jouni "rautamiekka" Järvinen
        October 18, 2016 at 3:30 pm

        LibreOffice Base requires Java, as do Java macros for LO. Then there's Vuze. Not sure if installable RuneScape Clients require.

        • Quantum Foam
          October 27, 2016 at 6:36 pm

          Thank you for that, I didn't know some of the software you mentioned here.
          But I believe most people will not use any of those applications. Yes, thousands or even millions would, but 100s of millions wouldn't. No one article will capture every use case, but for most people, they don't need JRE (and shouldn't even have it installed in the first place).
          The (relatively) few who run software that needs JRE will have to keep it installed, but the writer has commented above that they will update the article and acknowledge this use case exception.

    • Ben Stegner
      October 31, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks for the responses here, everyone. Yes, my main point with including Java is that most people don't use much (if any) software that requires Java any more. Coupled with its security risks, the best strategy for most people is to uninstall Java, then reinstall if needed for some software. And of course, turn it off in the browser.