How can I safely remove all the “trial” software that came with my new PC so I can get some hard drive space back from programs I don’t want?
Those programs that came preinstalled on your new computer can all be removed, either one-by-one through the Windows Control Panel or in a batch by using an application designed to remove unwanted software. These “trial” programs, which typically work for a couple of months before pestering you to buy the full version, are not part of the operating system and are often referred to as “bloatware” (or something worse).
To yank out these unwanted programs through Windows, go to the Start menu, select Control Panel and under Programs, click “Uninstall a program.” Windows presents you with a list of all the software installed on the computer. Click on the name of the program you want to remove and click the Uninstall button at the top of the window. Depending on the program, a minute or two may be needed to fully uninstall the software. Repeat as necessary until you have removed all the unwanted programs.
If you suspect there may be other unwanted software lurking on your system, Microsoft’s free Autoruns utility reveals the programs that are starting up when Windows does.
Some third-party programs can tackle much of the bloatware at once. If you want to try this approach, software like Revo Uninstaller and PC Decrapifier can help speed the process. Both programs have free trial versions or are simply free.
Many new Windows computers include antivirus software with a limited subscription for updates. While removing security programs is always a personal choice, a PC without any protection against malicious software is much more vulnerable on the Internet.
If you don’t want to buy a full subscription to the trial security program and choose to remove it, you many want to consider installing a free antivirus program instead, just to get some basic protection for the PC. Free programs include Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG Anti-Virus Free and Avast Free Antivirus.