12 Unnecessary Windows Programs and Apps You Should Uninstall
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 While some of these apps are just outdated, others are downright malicious or dangerous.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 for more info.
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.
Once a trusted Windows app for cleaning junk, CCleaner has fallen from grace. We’ve explained why you should get rid of CCleaner 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 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.
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.
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.
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 . 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 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
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 .
Windows also includes some default folders that you might want to remove , like Camera Roll and Saved Pictures.
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. If you don’t want to uninstall something entirely, you could perhaps move the program to another location.
Looking to strip out more clutter that you don’t need? We’ve shown Windows files and folders you can delete to save space .
Image Credits: rodimov/Shutterstock