In our constant battle to clean up consumer systems and get them running like new again, we often have to remove a number applications we classify as "garbageware". The number of malware and garbage applications that willl install as a result of downloading something from the Internet is growing exponentially. If you think you found a free application on the Internet, think again before you download and install it.
There is a large varience of what this term garbageware is by various IT professionals, but here is how we define it.
Garbageware - any software application that is not essential to the operation of a computers everyday use, inhibits the system's proper function, or may ineffectively use system resource with little to no benefit to the user. This list also includes malware and spyware apps that may have hooks into the various web browsers.
As a self-help tip for those interested in knowing what to remove from their system to improve the system performance, here is our list of common applications that typically fall into our garbageware list. The Malware column contains some of the worst applications that can be found in the Uninstall Programs application of the Windows Control Panel. This list is constantly changing so you may want to check back frequently.
NOTICE: Before making any changes to your computer, be sure to create a complete backup of your computer first in the event that your changes cause the operating system to fail to boot.
We understand that not everyone will agree with this list so please don't write us with your comments just because you disagree with one or more items on our list.
We also know that several applications in our Non-Essentials list include antivirus and other possible applications that users might have intentionally installed. We recommend that users purchase antivirus software instead of using a free application. Our recommended antivirus software is Symantec's Norton Antivirus or Kaspersky Antivirus. For both vendors we recommend only the basic versions and not the versions with the additional bells, whistles, and features.
There are several utilities that are listed in our Non-Essentials list that are noted with an asterisk (*), which we recommend using under close supervision of an IT professional. These applications may have portable versions that don't require installation, which we prefer over the installed versions. We recommend removing these applications from the computer when they are done being used. You should note that any tool that modifies the system registry, such as CCleaner has the potential of making changes that could cause the computer to fail requiring a complete reinstallation.