Whether it's Windows 10 or 11, bloatware remains a persistent and irritating problem for users. By dragging your computer with their unnecessary processes, these applications can seriously impact performance, especially on low-end systems.
But removing them can be tricky. Many of these apps don't come with uninstallers, and in many cases they don't even show up visibly. How can you find and remove bloatware from your computer? Let's find out.
What is bloatware?
In general, the term bloatware is used to denote useless applications on your computer (or even on a phone). They usually come pre-installed, bundled from your operating system itself. Sometimes, these might even be accidentally installed by the user.
These apps clutter up your storage space, taking up unnecessary disk space that could be used for better purposes. Worse still, some of these run on startup, increasing your PC's startup time and slowing it down during use by consuming memory and processing power.
To ensure that your computer runs as smoothly as possible, it is highly recommended that you remove all these extraneous applications. Eliminating bloatware is one of the simplest ways to speed up your PC and reduce system load.
Uninstall from the Start menu
Pulling up the Start menu opens up a whole list of games and apps that you don't remember installing. On Windows 11, some of these aren't actually there but get installed when clicked, but on Windows 10, there's no such convenience.
So how do you remove these apps?
- It's pretty simple, actually. Just right-click the icon (or tile, in Windows 10) and select Uninstall.
- A small window will appear asking you to confirm your decision. To hit Uninstall once again to delete the application.
Add or remove programs
Not all bloatware appears in the Start menu. There are many other equally useless applications that are hidden in some directories on your computer. Instead of trying to track them down manually, you can use the built-in utility for this.
Add or remove programs is a Control Panel tool that, as its name suggests, allows you to install and uninstall applications. It is the best way to locate all the apps on your computer and remove them.
In Windows 11, it was folded into the file App card of Settings even if it works exactly the same way. Interestingly, you can still find the old interface in the Control Panel and remove the programs from there as well.
- On both Windows 10 and 11, you can find it by searching Add or remove programs in the boot menu. You can also access the utility directly by going to the Control Panel and selecting Uninstall a program. (Note that while this approach also works in Windows 11, the most recent version of the tool is found in Settings > App > App and features).
- You will see a list of all the applications installed on your computer, in alphabetical order. You can search for specific apps or use different sorting and filtering criteria to narrow the list.
- Right-click the app you want to remove (in Windows 11, click the three-dot menu) and select Uninstall.
- Depending on your account permissions, you may be prompted to allow the tool to make changes to your computer. To select Yup proceed.
- The utility will now run the dedicated uninstaller of the selected application, if any. Otherwise, you'll see a generic Windows uninstall wizard that does the job.
And this is all. You can continue to remove the programs listed in this window in this way, one at a time. You can also view the size of each app listed next to the name, allowing you to judge the worst bloatware and prioritize accordingly.
So far, we've looked at methods for deleting third-party apps. But what about games and applications bundled with Windows itself? Such apps cannot be uninstalled directly, neither from the Start menu nor from the Control Panel.
To remove such programs, you need to use PowerShell.
PowerShell is a command line utility that allows you to automate tasks and manage your computer via scripts. Basically it acts as a modern and more powerful version of the command prompt. Using PowerShell commands, you can disable or remove even Microsoft applications that are normally impossible to delete.
- To open PowerShell, search for it in the Start menu.
- Be sure to Run as administrator because many commands require administrator privileges to function. A new PowerShell terminal will open.
- The simplest command you can use to get rid of a protected app is the Remove-AppxPackage. Unfortunately, it only hides the specified app, instead of deleting it.
- To actually delete the apps, we first need to get the full package names. Use the DISM / Online / Get-ProvisionedAppxPackages | select-string Packagename to get a list of all active packages on your computer.
- While the names may seem like a bunch of nonsense words, pay attention to the first few words to determine real names. Simple Solitaire, BingNews, etc. are the names of the apps as we know them. Copy the package names of the apps you want to remove and paste them into a notepad file for now.
- Now let's use the command DISM /Online /Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage /PackageName:PackageName, where PackageName should be replaced with the actual package name copied in the last step. This will remove the app from your computer, as well as prevent it from automatically installing again.
If all of these commands seem a little too complicated to you, here's a brief explanation. Basically, there is a service called DISM (Deployment Imaging Service and Management) responsible for downloading and updating core utilities and applications. With these commands, you simply remove the apps from this list, so that it is no longer updated by Windows.
Through an automated script
While PowerShell commands are certainly powerful, they can be a little too technical and difficult for a casual user to use. Wouldn't it be great if there was an app to do the same thing automatically?
It turns out there is. is a nifty little free tool that can completely remove bloatware from your computer, including protected Microsoft apps that you can't uninstall directly. It does this via PowerShell commands similar to those discussed in the previous section, without you having to write a single line of PowerShell script yourself.
- Like many community-managed tools, Windows10Debloater is hosted as a Github repository.
- To download the utility, use the green button Code and select Download ZIP. This will download the entire package as a zip file to your computer.
- Extract the downloaded file to get a set of files and folders, including three PowerShell scripts that can be used to run the tool.
- Each of these is a different version of Windows10Debloater. Since the GUI version is the easiest to work with, right click Windows10DebloaterGUI and select Run with PowerShell.
- A PowerShell terminal will open, along with a new GUI window representing the application. Just select REMOVE ALL BLOATWARE button to delete all unnecessary applications from your computer.
And you are done. A series of commands will be executed in the PowerShell terminal, performing the necessary tasks. None of them need user input and the process will complete before you know it.
This makes Windows10Debloater an excellent tool even for casual users, as it requires no technical knowledge to use. You can even use it to uninstall Windows components like OneDrive or unlock tiles from the Start menu, all without writing any code.
Why is it necessary to remove the bloatware from the PC?
If your PC takes a long time to boot up or isn't running as fast as it once did, the culprit could be bloatware. Unnecessary applications are the bane of any computer, as they take up critical system resources without providing any utility.
For this reason, it is always recommended to remove bloatware from Windows. You can manually uninstall those apps from the Start menu or the Apps & Features panel, or even use PowerShell commands.
In case it sounds too boring, you can always use an automated tool like Windows10Debloater to do the job for you. Use PowerShell scripts to clean up your PC, removing all junk applications and bloatware.