What Is Bloatware? Beginner’s Guide

When you buy a new device, whether it’s an Android mobile or Windows PC, you expect it to be clean and untouched. Well, if that was the case, you wouldn’t be reading this at the moment. You’ve probably noticed that your device is clogged with unnecessary preloaded software, right? Yeah, that’s what we call Bloatware. You have questions considering the matter at hand and I have the answers. Here’s all you need to know about Bloatware.

What is Bloatware?

What is Bloatware?

Bloatware 101

This software comes in many different forms. Most bloatware isn’t dangerous, but it can slow down your system and take up space on your hard drive. To give you an example, are you using a Samsung device? Try to uninstall Youtube. Well, you can’t. The application is pre-installed on your device and cannot be removed. This might be due to Youtube developers paying money to install their products on Samsung devices.

The same thing goes to other applications that are just there. For example, I doubt any of you used Samsung Pass or even know what it is. However, you can’t get rid of it no matter what you do. This is a perfect example for Bloatware. Technically, the software is harmless but can slow down your device drastically due to the RAMs it consumes.

Now, this is where it gets serious. There’s another type of Bloatware that comes from websites you visit. Not only that, but some pre-installed software can jeopardize your safety and privacy. These applications can create security vulnerabilities by downloading system updates and tools.

The problem is that they may download Trojan viruses that can easily infiltrate operating systems. That’s an issue Lenovo had to go through back in 2016. Unfortunately, they didn’t take it seriously at first. It took many months of consumer complaints, cybersecurity analyst reports and articles about the issue for Lenovo to stop the practice.

Bloatware can also hide in software bundles. This bloatware is more dangerous as it often contains adware or malware. So, in other words, it’s doing you more harm than good when it comes to elevating your device’s performance.

How Did They End Up on My Device

Whether it’s Android or Windows PC, manufacturers are allowed to pre-install their own apps and software on your device. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not, it’s there to stay. Apple also pre-loads several apps that cannot be deleted, including Stocks, Weather, and Maps. Have you ever tried Bixby on Samsung?

Yeah, the software cannot be removed and you’re forced to keep it installed on your phone. You can even change the button’s use as it’s only assigned for the software. So, are you still asking yourselves why do these apps exist on your phones? Again, that’s because software vendors pay manufacturers and distributors to install their products onto devices hoping to expand their customers. However, gradually, the bloatware weighs down the device’s processing speed. This makes even small applications take far too long to operate.

Beating the Bloat

You probably want to know how to get rid of these annoying applications that you don’t even use. Well, luckily, there’s a way to do so but it depends on the device you’re using. If you’re on a Windows Phone, you can uninstall any of these unwanted apps with ease. Other devices require some technical skills or some clicks here and there.

How to Remove Bloatware on Windows PC

Windows PCs are most often affected by bloatware. However, this varies depending on the manufacturer. For example, Acer and Asus devices tend to contain less bloatware than Toshiba or Sony.

Some of the Windows 10 bloatware is easy to remove using a regular uninstalling process. This can easily work with several applications on Windows 10 including Money, News, Sports, and a few others that fill your Start menu. So, on your Windows PC, you can ease the pressure and debloat it by regular uninstall, it’s really easy.

On the other hand, you can purchase an already de-bloated PC. Microsoft has a line of Signature PCs without third-party software. The native programs could be removed either by regular uninstall, Powershell or bloatware removers. You can find dozens of applications that specializes with removing bloatware so don’t worry. It’s really easy to find a de-bloated PC, but I must warn you, you’ll spend a couple more pennies on those.

How to Remove Bloatware on MacOS

We all know that MacOS focuses on their own products. That means you won’t find that it’s affected by bloatware as Windows PC is. But still, you might find some apps that you don’t even need and want to get rid of them for the sake of your device’s performance. Luckily, you can do so with Mac, but it requires a few more steps in this case. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. First, head over to the Applications folder.
  2. Now, choose the application you wish to delete and select Get Info.
  3. After that, hit Sharing and Permissions
  4. Click on the lock Icon. You’ll be asked to submit your admin password.
  5. Finally, enable Read and Write privilege.
  6. You can now delete the software you don’t see useful on your mac.

Be careful what you delete as some of the apps are an essential part of the system. You may cause problems if you remove them. If you don’t want them to take any space or RAM, just disable them.

How to Remove Bloatware on Android

When it comes to Android devices, you might run into some complications. It’s not that easy to get rid of unwanted apps. However, you can always disable the apps that you don’t want. Follow the steps below and you’ll be fine:

  1. Drag your finger down from the top of your Android to go to Android Quick Settings.
  2. Hit the gear button on the top right of the device.
  3. Select “Apps”.
  4. Now, choose the app you wish to disable.
  5. Click on Force Stop and DIsable.
  6. Finally, the app won’t run in the background. However, it will still be on your phone and use your storage space.

The cheaper the phone is, the bloatware you get on it. Phone manufacturers sell phones for a lesser value by getting additional income from software developers. If you’re looking for a phone that doesn’t have as many bloatware as Samsung for example, you should try the likes of Google Pixel or Motorola Z. These phones can give you a more natural Android experience.

Another option to get rid of bloatware once and for all is to root the device you’re using. That means you will gain superuser access and have full customization options, including the ability to delete any carrier or manufacturer frustrating app you please. Be careful which app to choose. You’ll find manuals online to help you out if you’re new to this. If you delete the wrong app, you never know what damage you might do, or the warranty you might lose.

On the other hand, there’s one more way to get rid of unwanted applications – downloading your own bloatware removing apps. There are tons of “uninstaller” apps available that essentially end up with the same results. You can use the likes of Easy Uninstaller, ES File Explorer, NoBloat Free, or Root App Deleter (The last one requires a rooted phone to operate. Simply select the multiple apps you wish to remove, then tap “uninstall.” You’ll have to confirm the uninstalling process before you can proceed.

How to Remove Bloatware on iOS

If you’re an iPhone user, you should know that you won’t find that much bloatware on your device as in Android. So, basically, your job is easier. Some iPhone and iPad in iOS 10 bloatware apps can be deleted and uninstalled, but others can only be disabled. A disabled app won’t appear in your app section and won’t be able to run in the background, but it will still be present on the device. Also, if you delete a pre-installed app on your iPhone, it won’t make that much of a difference as they’re not that big when it comes to storage. Now, if you want to delete bloatware on iPhone, follow the steps below:

  1. First, head over to Settings -> General -> iPhone Storage.
  2. After that, pick the application you wish to get rid of.
  3. Now, select Offload App or Delete App. If you choose the Offload option, the app will still be available on your phone but you will be getting rid of some storage. However, the Delete App option will permanently remove the app from the device.
  4. There you have it.

Another way to delete unwanted bloatware is to jailbreak your iPhone. You will get full control over what’s present on your device, delete whatever you like, and free up space at will. However, we all know that even the company itself doesn’t encourage you to do so. Apple is well-known for its security features. By jailbreaking your platform, you’ll make your device more vulnerable to malware and it will be less stable. So, I suggest you resort to the steps above as it’s the safest option you got.

Why Remove It?

As we mentioned, bloatware comes with unnecessary features that do you more harm than good. It takes up a large amount of memory and RAM while doing nothing at all. Many of them can grant new features, but they get too heavy and becomes a pain in the neck.

Smartphones are vying to become smarter as time goes by. However, the consumer is paying the penalty in the end. Whatever bloatware the device has within its library is working in the background. If you’re that happy with the new device you purchased, get ready to get disappointed by the performance. Bloatware ruins the device’s battery lifespan.

It drains your battery without being used, to begin with. Not only that, but it also uses RAMS in the background resulting in your phone getting much slower over time. That’s why disabling or removing such unwanted apps is highly recommended if you wish to make use of your device’s maximum performance.

What is Bloatware? – Final Thoughts

If I tell you that I know what every app on my device does, I would be lying. Some applications really don’t have anything to benefit you with, they’re present just because some software developer paid your manufacturer to feature their products. Bloatware is an unnecessary feature that uses large amounts of memory and RAM. Why would anyone want that if they don’t even use it, to begin with? Learn everything you need about bloatware in this article and the possible ways to get rid of such frustrating software.

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