3+ Myths Told about Windows that Aren’t True (Anymore)

Ben Stegner 23-05-2015

While the authors at MakeUseOf carry diverse preferences on computer OSes, we’ve written in defense of Windows 8 In 10 Desktop Computers Runs Windows And So Should You Getting a new computer? One devil urges you to buy a Mac or Chromebook, while the other insists you try Linux. And here's me explaining why you should stick with a Windows device. Read More , explaining why it’s still a viable option in the world of Mac OS X and Chromebooks The Fundamental Advantages Of Using A Chromebook Chromebooks are highly divisive and a consensus about the merits of Google's offering is a long way from materialising. Here are the key advantages of using a Chromebook when compared to Windows and Macs. Read More . Of course, people continue to hate things they don’t prefer using Your Apple/Android/Windows Hatred Is Irrelevant, Give It Up Getting upset because someone is buying something you're not interested in benefits no one – so why do we get mad anyway? Read More and so stereotypes about Windows persist.


Today, let’s take a closer look at some Windows myths that have lingered throughout the ages. Not all of them will turn out to be false, but by examining the facts instead of just shouting angrily about “the other people,” maybe we can reach an understanding that Windows isn’t the buggy, virus-laden mess people make it out to be.

Myth: Windows is Not Intuitive

It’s an overused joke by now that Windows 8 made some annoying design choices, and though 8.1 cleaned up a lot of the mess it’s still a good idea to fix common Windows 8.1 frustrations Easily Fix These Common Windows 8.1 Frustrations Windows 8.1 can be frustrating, not just because of how different it is. We're talking about blurry text, laggy mouse pointers, touchpad issues, and SecureBoot problems -- typical Windows annoyances. Here's how to fix them. Read More . However, this doesn’t mean that these issues are exclusive to Windows, as we’re also looked at some big OS X annoyances that need resolved 8 Mac OS X Annoyances (Yes, They Exist!) Resolved Mac OS X computers are the very model of simplicity and usability. Read More .

Though both operating systems have some quirks, it’s not about counting up how many changes you need to make out of the box. Rather, the takeaway point is that intuitiveness is subjective. Mihir advised those who consider switching away from Windows Hey Windows User, Should You Switch To Linux or Mac? Did you ever consider switching from Windows to Linux or Mac? The quick answer: if you're on Windows, stay on Windows—and don't worry about upgrading just yet. Here's why. Read More to think about how invested they are in the environment.


If you’ve been using Windows all your life, you’re used to its quirks and how it functions, even down to simple things like how maximizing and closing windows works. On a Mac, that’s totally different – and that doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but it takes some getting used to 7 Good Habits Every Mac User Should Get Used To Today we're going to share our favourite good Mac habits, while desperately trying to forget the bad ones. Read More .


If someone has never used a computer in their life, there could be arguments made for what’s most intuitive at first glance. However, most Windows haters don’t fall into this category and so they don’t consider the subjective nature of this complaint; thus it can’t really be used effectively. There are big perks to being a Windows user that you’ll lose on a Mac 4 Things About Windows That You'll Miss on a Mac Thinking about switching over to a Mac? It's easy to find faults with Windows. But are you aware of the things you'll miss? Read More ; in the end, it all comes down to choosing the best environment for you.

Myth: Windows Gets the Most Viruses

Now we come to a myth that isn’t totally false, but needs closer examination. Contrary to the common cyber security illusion 4 Cyber Security Myths That Must Die Read More , Windows is not inherently insecure, meaning that it’s not a glued-together pile of rubbish just waiting to collapse. Rather, Windows is simply the most-used desktop OS and thus the biggest target for attack. If you wanted to write a piece of malware and get the biggest return, which OS would you choose to target?


Obviously, from this usage graph we can see how huge of a market share Windows has. It logically follows that the most malware would exist for Windows, then, since it has the biggest user base and therefore the most possible targets and highest profit margin. Of course, that’s not to say Macs don’t get malware. Though it isn’t common unless you’re installing unapproved software, you may still see signs your Mac is infected 3 Signs Your Mac Is Infected With a Virus (And How to Check) If your Mac is acting weird, it could be infected with a virus. How can you check for a virus on your Mac? We'll show you. Read More .


Another qualifier on this myth has to do with the various types of malware What Is The Difference Between A Worm, A Trojan & A Virus? [MakeUseOf Explains] Some people call any type of malicious software a "computer virus," but that isn't accurate. Viruses, worms, and trojans are different types of malicious software with different behaviors. In particular, they spread themselves in very... Read More . Today, traditional viruses aren’t the concern as much as ransomware Avoid Falling Victim To These Three Ransomware Scams Several prominent ransomware scams are in circulation at the moment; let's go over three of the most devastating, so you can recognise them. Read More , adware, and other sleazy software that inject ads into everything you do. And thanks to some loopholes, installing this junk through checkboxes that you accidentally leave ticked OpenCandy: The Reason You Should Never Just Click "Next" Clicking "next" repeatedly is the quickest way of installing apps on Windows - until you find you installed other programs on your computer without realizing it, thanks to OpenCandy. Let's do something about that. Read More is considered totally legal. Most of this affects your browser Let's Put A Stop To Pop-Up Browser Ads Once And For All! Pop-ups can catch you off guard, and if you're not careful they can create problems. Learn how to avoid them and how to handle them if they do come up. Read More and is somewhat OS-independent; our friends at the How-To Geek have chronicled how the biggest download sites all serve up crapware, and how the epidemic is spreading to Mac OS X, too.


So yes, Windows has the most viruses. However, using that as an attack on it is like saying people who work outside get the most sunburn. If every OS had the same market share, this Windows complaint would be more valid. However, while Windows continues to dominate, its virus problem is a sad truth but not one that can be used as significant leverage against it.

General Myths

There are plenty of myths that we’ve either looked at sometime in the past or aren’t significant enough to warrant their own section. Let’s take a look at some classic Windows myths that are hopefully dying out.


Registry Cleaning

First, cleaning the registry will not help speed up your computer Don't Believe The Hype: Registry Cleaners Don't Make Windows Faster Much advice has been given on how to keep your computer running smoothly, as well as how to fix it when it has become slow. We have even published a Windows on Speed guide, written... Read More . Regular users should never have reason to look into the registry, and even thousands of “errors” wouldn’t bring the slightest dip in performance Using Registry Cleaner: Does Is It Really Make a Difference? Advertisements for registry cleaners are all over the Web. There’s an entire industry out there bent on convincing inexperienced computer users that their registry needs fixing, and that, for ten easy payments of $29.95, their... Read More . PC cleaning programs such as MyCleanPC (that go so far as to advertise on late-night TV) count every temporary file and cookie on your computer as a “problem” and then scare you into paying them $20-$40 to do nothing of value. Don’t fall for these shysters; learn how to actually clean out old files 6 Ways to Free Up Space on Your Windows Computer Clutter can be a big downer on productivity. Over time, files get lost, programs go unused, and suddenly, your once spacious hard drive is packed with useless things and you have to clean it up.... Read More and avoid the scams.


While defragmenting is not useless 3 Excellent Defrag Utilities & Why You Still Need to Defragment In 2012 Accessing files from the hard drive is a speed limiting step in operating a computer. Hard drives used to be a major bottle neck and fragmentation of data slowed them down even further. With the... Read More like cleaning the registry, it’s becoming less important as time goes on. If you have a solid state drive How Do Solid-State Drives Work? In this article, you'll learn exactly what SSDs are, how SSDs actually work and operate, why SSDs are so useful, and the one major downside to SSDs. Read More (SSD), you should never defragment the drive as it could cause damage. Those who still have a traditional hard disk drive (if you’re not sure, you can easily find out what you have) can defragment every so often, but the latest versions of Windows do this automatically and so you shouldn’t have to even think about it.

Premium Antivirus

There are plenty of good free antivirus programs out there (save for Microsoft Security Essentials Why You Should Replace Microsoft Security Essentials With A Proper Antivirus Read More ), so you don’t need to pay for a premium product. However, you don’t want to run multiple antivirus programs at once; they will at best slow down your system and at worst conflict, miss infections, or cause deeper problems. Stick with just one, such as avast! (our avast! review Stay Protected From Every Type Of Malware With Avast Free Antivirus Comprehensive malware protection doesn't need to cost a fortune. Many reputable free antivirus programs are equally effective as paid ones, and avast! Free Antivirus stands with the best Windows antivirus programs. Read More ). Matt has written at length why AdBlock is poisonous to the Internet It's About Ethics in Stealing Games Journalism: Why AdBlock Needs to Die A simple, free browser plugin killed Joystiq – and is ruining the Internet. Read More , but if you still insist on using AdBlock, don’t use multiple versions. Just like antivirus utilities, you’ll be wasting system resources and bogging down your browser.



Debunking the Haters

Of course, there are many more myths about Windows that don’t seem to die. If you think Windows isn’t aesthetically pleasing or isn’t customizable, check out the dozens of themes that totally change the look of Windows Get A Windows 7 Makeover With These Awesome Themes Read More , or give your cursor a makeover Custom Mouse Cursors for Windows 10: How to Get Started Here's how to get custom mouse cursors on Windows 10, including where to find cursor icon packs and how to install them. Read More . Windows isn’t perfect, and it is an easy target for some of the criticisms used against it.

However, by looking at the truth instead of perpetuating falsehood, we can get a better idea of what Windows is really all about and why it doesn’t deserve to be bashed constantly. If you’re a Windows hater, when was the last time you actually sat down and used the OS? Misconceptions built on Windows XP are outdated and are in sore need of an update (just like how XP itself is antiquated Windows XP: What's Happening To It Now? Windows XP may be dead, but it's not yet gone. Over 27% of computers connected to the Internet still run Windows XP. Here's exactly what "end of support" means for Windows XP systems. Read More , in fact!).

Hungry for more myths to bust? Check out the truth about speeding up your machine How To Really Speed Up Your Computer - Common Myths & What To Do Instead Suffering from a slow computer? You might not know why and maybe you're trying to fix it in all the wrong ways. Let us help you with tips for a real speed boost. Read More and security fallacies that can be dangerous if followed 5 Security Software Myths That Can Prove Dangerous Malware is still a thing! Tens of millions of PCs remain infected worldwide. The damage ranges from unstable computers to identity theft. What makes people not take malware seriously? Let's uncover the myths. Read More .

What Windows myths are you sick of hearing about? Do other operating systems carry as many myths as Windows does? Please share your thoughts below!

Image Credits: Point to laptop screen via Shutterstock, Annoyed Designer via Shutterstock

Related topics: Anti-Malware, Registry Cleaner, Windows, Windows Registry.

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  1. Menatoorus Meer
    May 29, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Operating systems are TOOLS used to make life easier. No tool is perfect ,some are useful. Dealing with these tools as a sacred stuff had created religions and cults. Windows,like God's, will never get better if we idolise it. Evolve or Die dilemma IMHO.

  2. Prateek Kumar Singh Rajput
    May 26, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Guys, guus, guys... Do remember that Windows is also the most pirated OS there is (Mac needs compatible hardware and Hackintoshes are extremely complex) and most of the BSOD, Genuine Windows Validation, malware problems occur on either pirated Windows or pirated application softwares. Going by prima facie evidences, 90 out of 100 people in India use a pirated IDM over FDM/DownThemAll. And it is these softwares like Office, IDM, the various Youtube downloaders, game patches and cracks that cause these havocs. Now I am not speaking about power users here but most of the time it is PEBKAC. A genuine copy of Windows which remains genuine after repairs and upgrades (assuming by third party) and free or open source software does not just fine but does excellent. Atleast it has been the case for all PCs under my administration.

    • Itanaman Dakar
      May 26, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Please remember that Windows is the most pirated because Windows is the most used, runs on the cheaper hardware, so it is also most purchased. Also, the days where Hackintosh was hard have been over for quite awhile, and Mac OS is pirated quite these days. Check out orilla and other places of the such that do just that. Heck you can even run Mac OS X in VirtualBox now, so the claim Mac need compatible hardware is no longer applicable. As far as most of the malware problems occur on pirated windows or pirated applications is no longer the case either. Malware infects millions of computers worldwide daily that are not using any pirated software through the use of internet. Perhaps the small percentage of PCs in general to worldwide usage, under your administration do fall in that category, but if that is the case then the security protocols in place for the computers you administer must be extremely lax.

  3. Pradip Shah
    May 26, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Why talk about XP ? At my old place of work they are still using Win 98 and DOS based accounting software on hardware that is 15 years old. It does the job perfectly and the quality of hardware is far superior to anything that one can find today.

  4. xenarulz
    May 25, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Let's see: Yes, the BSOD still exists and happens quite often (on 7) Yes, windows gets infected pretty often and even if it's more used than other OSs it doesn't mean that it should be so vulnerable compared to other OSs. Please don't ask me for numbers it's not my job to compare infections and viruses but it should be pretty easy for a pro to find evidence for what I said. A HUGE problem with win is the enormous privacy holes it leaves open compared to other systems. How do I say this? Simple. I have an deep distaste for windows and the way it handles privacy. But I am forced to use it at work because my company finds it more convenient to lose data every now and then to viruses and other system failures, than make a transition to linux (mac isn't even on the radar, expensive as it is!!) The only issue with linux so far is that it has no professional software comparable to the windows one. You can't reduce it all to LibreOffice! Businesses need way more and until there's what entrepreneurs demand, linux will remain a geek environment, and that's a shame.

  5. Khauf Fadlilah
    May 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    I have install Distro Linux and WIndows 8.1, but I hate some people say windows the home of malware. of course no and wrong, if you install piracy app you've already for the consequency, malware, if you wont malware for your pc you should don't use piracy, easy right, or you can try install some open source app almost of them is free :)

  6. George Klein
    May 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    There are exceptions to the "rule" of "power" users of one OS hate any other OS.
    I don't hate Windows, but, since switching to Apple six years ago I like Mac OS X more than Windows since it has more advantages and less disadvantages than Windows has.
    I am involved in digital restoration of old photographs and digital remastering of old LP's, both for my own sake.
    I don't hate Android phones, but, since I switched to Mac OS X I have to use iPhone since Android phones are incompatible with Mac OS X. IT IS AS SIMPLE AS THAT.
    I will not go back to Windows.

  7. Michael
    May 24, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    My favourite OS was XP, but Win 7, which I currently use, is fine. I haven't seen a BSOD in years,but a few days ago,my Win 7 Home Premium became unusable,with a pop-up saying IE had stopped running,and CTL-ALT-DEL didn't fix it,and I had to hold down the on/off button.When I rebooted,the machine ran normally.

  8. DuShawn Nedelkovich
    May 24, 2015 at 11:47 am

    I actually agree with the author here. Here's the thing - power users of *any* system are hating on the other guys and OS platforms. Just like with the phones (Android/iPhone).

    I use all three OS, but my primary dev environment is set with Windows as a client, and VM Linux running in the background for the server side.

    You don't have to use one OR the other system people. Use the best of all worlds, depending on the need, and the strong-point of each platform.

    That being said, Windows is still most dominant and best platform for the client-Desktop, Linux for the servers, hands down, and OSx is well polished status-symbol for your meetings.

    • George Klein
      May 24, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      You are wrong by generalizing a personal opinion.
      See my comment further down on this issue of "hate".

  9. Occasional Wanker
    May 23, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    I don't hate Windows. In order to hate, I would have to care.

  10. testy teleski
    May 23, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Nice Ad. I'm surprised there wasn't a '90's MIDI version of "Give Peace a Chance" autoplaying in the background..

    Let me clean this mess up for ya: if anyone actually using windows stumbles on this accidentally, please feel free to download absolutely ANY OTHER free operating system and then decide for themselves what myths are actually facts.

    Case in point:

    • Ben S
      May 23, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      This isn't an ad. I've been using Windows my whole life, including the 80+ articles I've written and it's served me quite well.

  11. Litho
    May 23, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Do BSODs still occur? I read the title and was sure it'd be one of the Myths you debunk. Serious question, btw. Haven't use Windows in years so I genuinely don't know whether BSODs still exist or not.

  12. dragonmouth
    May 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    What, no sneer for Linux?

    "Windows is not inherently insecure, meaning that it’s not a glued-together pile of rubbish"
    It may not be a "glued-together pile of rubbish" but a Windows program running in user space can still bring down the entire system. Other O/Ss are compartmentalized so that user programs can only bring down that user's session.

    " Windows is simply the most-used desktop OS and thus the biggest target for attack"
    Maybe yes, maybe no. *nix (Linux, Unix, BSD) run most of the worlds servers, yet Windows servers get most infections.

    " If you’re a Windows hater, when was the last time you actually sat down and used the OS?"
    If you hate something, why would you continue to use it? If you hate pain, why would you keep banging your head against a wall? I notice that Linux haters do not use Linux but have absolutely no qualms about spewing vitriol about how bad it is (whatever "bad" means).

    • Gavin
      May 24, 2015 at 9:17 am

      Just like how you don't use MS but have qualms spewing virtriol about how bad it is?

    • dragonmouth
      May 24, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Did I say "Windoz sux!" or "Windoze is a POS"? You need to check a reputable dictionary for the meaning of the word "vitriol."

    • Tens
      May 24, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      ” Windows is simply the most-used desktop OS and thus the biggest target for attack”
      Maybe yes, maybe no. *nix (Linux, Unix, BSD) run most of the worlds servers, yet Windows servers get most infections."

      Have a proof of that ?