Crapware is a blight on the good names of many PC manufacturers. 2nd- and 3rd-rate software companies pay PC companies a fee to let them put their crapware on PCs. In nearly every case, crapware is inferior -- sometimes vastly inferior -- to software you can choose yourself
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983
Stop paying for software:
Get rid of the junk software that comes on new PCs
June 13, 2010
By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2010, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2010, The Post-Standard
WARNING: Some of you followed a deceptive link and got the wrong software -- and got a
message that said you have to pay. The software I am recommending in this column is FREE for personal use. If you are asked for
payment, you have the WRONG software. Uninstall it. A new link for a safe download is below.
The best way to save money is to stop spending it. That's the idea behind my series on the best free
software for Windows and Macs. This week I'm recommending a free way to remove unwanted extra software from new Windows PCs.
New PCs often come with software you didn't ask for, don't want and seemingly can't
get rid of. This junk is called crapware.
You can get rid of this garbage, for free. I'll tell you how.
Crapware is a blight on the good names of many PC manufacturers. 2nd- and 3rd-rate software companies pay
PC companies a fee to let them put their crapware on PCs. In nearly every case, crapware is inferior -- sometimes vastly inferior
-- to software you can choose yourself.
Crapware comes in three varieties -- free software, trialware (which you must pay for after a period of
free use) and ransomware, which starts out free but then duns you for payment as if you had intentionally chosen deferred
payment. (Antivirus software from some of the biggest companies in the computer business is notorious for this.)
Removing this junk yourself sometimes is easy, but usually it's hard.
First, you have to be savvy enough to identify it. (Most crapware looks like legitimate software. You could
easily spend an entire weekend trying to check each program on your PC for the ones that belong in the junk pile.)
Second, normal uninstallation methods sometimes don't work for crapware. If you've been using Windows long
enough, you probably have your own horror stories about software that wouldn't go away no matter how hard you tried to get rid of
The best way to remove crapware is by running PC Decrapifier, a free program that can be downloaded from this safe Website. If you have an older version of Windows, note that
PC Decrapifier only works on recent versions (XP, Vista and Windows 7). It does not work on Apple's Mac computers. (Apple, unlike
Microsoft, tightly controls the software placed on its computers, so Macs don't have crapware.)
Ideally, PC Decrapifier should be run it right after you've settled down with your new PC. That way it can
strip out everything and leave no traces in the Windows Registry, which tends to get cluttered with hard-to-remove entries after
Windows has been running for a month or two.
But it can still get rid of all the crapware on your PC even if you've had your PC for quite some time. I
ran it on my Windows 7 netbook PC after I had cleaned out crapware myself and it still found stuff to get rid of.
A nice touch about PC Decrapifier is that it doesn't install any crapware itself. In fact -- and this might
be hard to believe -- it doesn't even install itself. You simply run it from whatever location you downloaded it to.
This is a refreshing added touch to an outstanding program.
Programs marked for removal
These programs are marked for removal by PC Decrapifier. You can tell the software keep any of these
programs just by clicking a preference checkbox.
AOL UK AOL 9.0, UK Version
AOL US AOL 9.0, US Version
Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI
Corel Photo Album 6
Corel Snapfire Plus SE
Dell Search Assistant
Dell URL Assistant
Digital Content Portal
Earthlink Setup Files
Get High Speed Internet!
Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
Internet Service Offers Launcher
Microsoft Office Activation Assistant 2007 trialware
Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003 trialware
MS Plus Digital Media Installer
MS Plus Photo Story 2LE
MusicMatch Music Services
muvee autoProducer 5.0
My HP Games
NetZero Internet Access Installer
Norton Internet Security
Norton Protection Center
Norton Security Center
Norton Symantec Live Update
Office 2003 Trial Assistant
PC-cillin Internet Security 12 Trend Micro
Quicken 2006 Possible Trial Version
Reset IE Home and Search Pages
Roxio Express Labeler
Roxio MyDVD LE
Sonic RecordNow Audio
Sonic RecordNow Copy
Sonic Update Manager
Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 14
Wanadoo Europe Installer
Wild Tangent Games
Yahoo! Music Jukebox
Yahoo! Toolbar for Internet Explorer