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One of the most infuriating things when you buy a new PC or laptop is the sheer amount of useless software and unnecessary extras which are installed by the manufacturer. Major names like Dell, HP, Asus and Lenovo all do the same and while some things they add are innocuous like a desktop shortcut to a shopping site, others are more serious like installed trials for security software, browser toolbars or OEM provided support utilities. Some of this stuff is even classed as malicious as the recent cases involving Lenovo and Superfish show.
All these things added to your brand new Windows install wouldn’t be quite so bad if they didn’t affect its performance quite so much causing the computer to boot slowly and be sluggish out of the box. It’s not unusual for a new computer to have 20 or 30 unnecessary items installed which all really need to be removed so you can get the computer performing like a new computer should.
Advanced users might perform a clean install of Windows which wipes all the bloat and junk away, but not everyone is willing or experienced enough to do that. If reinstalling Windows isn’t an option, you can manually go through the operating system and remove the software if you know what is not needed and safe to uninstall. Another option is using a third party utility that can try to help identify the bloat and junk and remove it for you, cutting down on the manual work. Here are 5 tools for you to try out.1. PC Decrapifier 2.3.1
There are more than 25 alternatives to Should I Remove It?, not only websites but also apps for a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac, PortableApps.com, Windows Explorer and Waterfox. The best alternative is Bulk Crap Uninstaller, which is both free and Open Source.
PC Decrapifier has been around many years and is one of the first programs of its type and built specifically to remove bloat, trials and other unnecessary junk from computers. It uses a simple wizard style interface and is a portable executable so you don’t need to install extra software onto your computer while trying to get rid of the other junk you want removed.
The whole idea here is that you don’t want to yank a storage device from your laptop before your software is done using it. Despite the fact that USB hardware can be hot-swapped, unplugging something that’s in use means that you can lose files — a bad thing. Privacy Preference Center. Though portable air conditioners come with a washable pre-filter, it is often best to use an additional filter. Many units offer a carbon filter as an accessory, which work to not only remove smoke and odors from your air but also to boost the efficiency of your unit. There are also great anti-microbial filters available from 3M. Why should you remove batteries from a portable radio? If you are not going to be using the radio for a long time, or even if you think you might not use it for awhile, remove the batteries. This is true of any electronic device that uses the typical alkaline AA or AAA battery. Such issue occurs when the Samsung Portable SSD Driver, instead of the SAT SMART Driver, is installed on the mac OS X. Installing the SAT SMART Driver, instead, should allow you to use your T7 Touch with such products. However, your use of the Password Protection feature of the SAMSUNG Portable SSD Software may be restricted.
Run the standalone executable (don’t check for updates), accept the license and select Yes if running the program on a new computer. After a scan it will hopefully show a list of items which should be removed from your computer, those it’s sure about will be ticked already, any unsure items will be unticked for you to decide whether you want to keep them or not. PC Decrapifier uses an internal list of items so if your junk items are not in the list, they won’t be detected, something to watch for on computers from 2014/2015 and newer.
After selecting what’s to be removed another window will show additional items that were not included earlier. This window has essentially the same list you will find in Programs and Features so it can be ignored and any of those items can be removed later from Control Panel.
Download PC Decrapifier
What about PC Decrapifier 3.0?
We’ve listed the older version of PC Decrapifier and not the current version 3 for a simple reason. Version 3 never picked up a single questionable or recommended item for removal on three junk filled computers we tried it on, no toolbars, no trials, no OEM add ons, nothing. Version 2.3.1 on the other hand picked up 21 specific items on a single computer and auto selected 18 for removal.
You may have better luck with finding more items for removal, but we cannot recommend version 3 because it seems to find almost nothing compared to its predecessor, from this evidence and tests around the web, PC Decrapifier 3 on the whole is far less effective.
SlimComputer has a disadvantage compared to PC Decrapifier because it needs to be installed, but on the plus side it does have some features in addition to cleaning the preinstalled junk. There’s a startup and service optimizer, a general software uninstaller, a browser search and toolbar checker and a Windows tools section that has quick access to a number of programs like Regedit, Disk Management or Device Manager.
SlimComputer’s searches are divided into categories of unwanted applications, browser toolbars and addons, startup items and pre-installed shortcuts. Click the Run Scan button to see what it finds. Go through each category that has found items and verify each one you want removed is ticked, then click Remove. The more info buttons offer information from other SlimComputer users about the entry and its usefulness. A handy feature is the Restore option which can undo a removal if you make or mistake or something unexpectedly stops working.
The ratings system is community driven so other users will have shared their ratings and comments for each item. This is problematic because if other users mark something as good but you consider it junk, such as a toolbar or trialware, it will show as good in the program. We got better results by going to Settings > Advanced and changing the scan threshold to Aggressive. You can also create a portable version for USB from within Settings > General.
3. Decrap My Computer
This program is a heavily slimmed down and modified version of JV16 Power Tools from Macecraft Software but is designed more to completely remove the unnecessary bloatware that comes with a new computer. It is also a portable program which is a bonus.
After the initial first few screens (DO NOT tick automatic mode) and an automatic program restart it will display a list of items found on your computer. This tool is slightly different because it doesn’t concentrate on finding junk specific items but lists everything, including startup software, desktop items, drivers and “probably” important software, third party software and Windows software. During uninstall the process can be set to automatic and it works like other uninstall tools by searching for and removing leftover files and registry entries.
Decrap My Computer’s main problem is it doesn’t discriminate between good software, junkware, trialware, toolbars or anything else and just shows everything that can be removed in one long list, so experience of what can be ignored or removed is a must. As such it’s more of a bulk uninstaller which can take a number of both good and junk items off your computer at once. If you want everything completely removed to start from scratch, the automatic mode comes in useful.
Download Decrap My Computer
4. Should I Remove It?
This program calls itself a detector and remover of manufacturer bloatware and trialware and unwanted programs including adware, toolbars, crapware and other junk. It scans the computer and then grades everything found, so the higher up the list an item is, the more recommended it is for removal.
Should I Remove It? needs installing and on launch it will run a scan and grade all of your installed software using the percentage of removals by other users. Obviously red items are the most serious in need of removal, orange are more optional while the green items are considered a low priority for removal. Clicking a entry in the list will show buttons to uninstall it or find out more information about it on the website.
The worrying aspect when testing is that it only flagged one item on our most bloatware filled computer as even slightly unwanted and everything else including trialware, toolbars and other junk was marked green, so average users will think it’s fine to leave alone. The whole rating system seems more based on what people think of the software itself and not whether it should be considered as unnecessary bloatware, the image above is a good demonstration.
Download Should I Remove It?
This last tool is different to the others because it’s only designed to search your system specifically for, and then give you the option to uninstall security software. As antivirus and internet security trials are one of the biggest drains on a new computer’s resources, it’s an important component to remove if you have no use for the software in question. McAfee and Norton products are the biggest culprits in this area.
Simply run the portable executable, agree to the terms and press the button to scan. Then tick any security software detected and choose to remove it. Just removing common trial software like McAfee Antivirus or Internet security should give your computer a performance boost on its own as it’s known for being one of the most resource heavy products of its type.
Final note: It’s clear that none of these tools claiming to clean your computer from the useless and unnecessary stuff that gets installed by the manufacturer provide a magic bullet that does it all for you. Much of what should be removed will be missed by the programs and you’ll end up manually removing much of it yourself, or getting an experienced person to help. The programs can be a useful complement to help in these situations but are definitely not a one click solution.
3 Tools to Help Remove Toolbars and their Leftovers4 Tools to Check Installed Software for UpdatesChange or Remove Button Missing at Control Panel Add or Remove ProgramsUninstalling Any Nero Burning Software
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10 Comments - Write a Comment
Thank you very much for this share Raymond!! Very useful!!Reply
good point, most laptop and trade mark pc’s comes with a lot of unwanted software ,and most users don’t know how to uninstall (like norton) , your post very useful
this is very topical for me !
My mother-in-law has just purchased a Toshiba laptop, which I am to receive tonight, to set up for her.
I know that Toshiba are infamous for loading their Laptops/PC’s with bloatware, and I suspect this one will be no different.
I was actually in the process of downloading PC Decrapifier when I got your e-mail.
Thanks again RaymondReply
you are great raymond. :)
thanx for giving us this info
Thank you very much for this share Raymond!! Very useful!!Reply
Thanks Ray, really a nice tip!Reply
For years now (since the early MSDOS 2.1days, I would always build my own PC’s, except portables of course. Reading all the horror stories about Vista, I decided to buy a Vista “dedicated” HP machine because I suspected the upgrades were at fault. Since the introduction of that malevolent Registry feature, all Windows iterations would “deteriorate” in course of time (even XP!) and in my opinion, upgrading an already “deteriorated” OS was not done. So it was always a fresh install after formatting…
I of course do agree with you in not using recovery discs. But then, this HP has no OEM disc and you even have to burn your own recovery disk!
And I had to use it four times already in less than 2 1/2 years! And it’s starting to “deteriorate” again (and as the Monty Python would say it’s “for something completely different now”: after connecting the excellent Logitech wireless KBd-mouse combo (never in all those years did I have problems with Logitech stuff), USB features became erratic and one of my Memory keys became useless (it’s sometimes but not always “seen” by the system but can’t be accessed!) and the other erratic I was able to get the data back at cost of lots of time). Problem is that the first one was used for daily back-ups of some config files and, which is worse, Registry files! If left on the computer, my PC will not even boot, stopping right in that blue basic HP start menu!
Keep up the good works!
Unfortunately you are right Raymond ! Many big computer companies (like Toshiba or Acer) bundle their laptops with a lot of `useful` programs and trials (which almost nobody uses them not even once …) – for example network or battery manager – but windows does this already without starting new services for that !
Think that a license for Office 2007 Pro is ~ 500$ (sometimes that`s more that the laptop`s value) – or try to remove completely a Norton or McAfee security suite (usually these come as trials for 90 days) and you will see that it`s hard to have a clean computer …
Thank you Raymond !
Thank you so much.
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How to Get the Most Out of Your Portable AC
Like any new appliance you bring into your home, a portable air conditioner requires a little bit of getting used to, plus the typical cleaning and maintenance to ensure it is operating to its full potential. Regardless of where you install it or how often you use it, getting to know your indoor air conditioner and how it works within each room its placed, will go a long way in helping you get the most out of it.
To help you learn how to use your portable air conditioner, we’ve but together the following tips. These tips are designed to help you increase its efficiency, longevity and overall cooling ability. For more technical info, please refer to our list of FAQs here, or the user manual that came with your portable AC.
1. Strategic Installation
Be mindful of where your portable AC is installed. While not always avoidable, there are certainly some areas of your home that you should try to stay away from when you’re installing your unit.
If possible, you will want to try to avoid placing the portable AC in an area that gets a lot of afternoon sun. If the heat of the sun is bearing down on your AC, it will likely need to work harder to keep the room at your desired temperature. This extra work may eventually lead to a shorter lifespan.
It’s also wise to install and use your air conditioning unit in rooms that have low humidity levels. This is because the higher the relative humidity is inside the room, and directly surrounding the AC unit, the more condensation it will create.
Depending on the type of portable air conditioner you are using, this extra condensation may increase the frequency that it needs to be drained and cleaned. Failing to remove this will, ultimately, lead to the unit malfunctioning.
2. The Amount of Space Between Walls
One of the main benefits of this type of air conditioner is the fact that it’s portable. This gives you quite a bit of flexibility in the location of your home that it can be installed.
However, it’s still important to pay close attention to where you place it.
No matter where you decide to install the appliance, it is very important that you leave adequate space between the walls and the unit itself. Failing to leave enough space will limit the airflow. When your unit is unable to draw in enough air while it is in use, its output is reduced. As a result, this reduced output makes it harder for your portable air conditioner to cool the room to your desired temperature.
Refer to the user manual to know how much space the manufacturer recommends for your specific model.
No matter what type of room air conditioner you are using in your home, ventilation is always going to be one of the most important factors for ensuring optimal operation and a long life of the appliance.
The importance of ventilation cannot be overstated, but it’s especially important when it comes to portable air conditioners.
Proper ventilation will direct the hot air from the compressor and out of the room. This will help prevent your AC unit from overheating, as well as keep the temperature inside your room from going up.
Use the Right Vent Kit For Your Window
Most portable AC units come with a window ventilation kit that’s designed to fit the majority of “standard-sized windows” in homes. However, depending on when your home was built, as well as the region you live or the style of your home, the definition of a “standard-size window” will vary.
It is unlikely that you should have any issues getting your ventilation kit to fit the windows in your home, but if you do, there are other ventilation options available, including kits for sliding doors and drop ceilings.
4. Keep the Exhaust Hose Straight
Now that we have ensured that the portable AC is properly ventilated, let’s now take a look at the exhaust hose. You will want to limit the amount of twists, kinks or coils in the hose leading from the unit to the window. The exhaust hose should remain straight with minimal contortions.
How to Save Money With Portable AC’s
If you’re clever in how you use your portable air conditioner, they can save you a lot of money. Here’s how you can use them to lower your energy bills.
It is strongly recommended that you minimize any kinks in the exhaust hose that will limit the airflow or reduce ventilation. This may require a shorter exhaust hose, or just simply being mindful of where/how it is installed.
What Happens If the Exhaust Hose is Twisted?
When you have a long and twisted exhaust hose attached to your portable air conditioner, the unit has a harder time with ventilation.
As a result, the moisture in the air being expelled will start to accumulate inside the hose, and eventually start to trickle back down into the unit itself. If this happens, the cooling efficiency and the lifespan of the air conditioner may be reduced.
5. Clean & Replace Filter Regularly
This is probably pretty obvious to all homeowners, but the filter in your air conditioner should be changed regularly. This is not only important to ensure proper operation and cooling, but is essential for maintaining your indoor air quality.
How Often Should I Change It?
The frequency that you clean or change your filter all depends on how often you use the AC unit. It would be wise to inspect it every 6 to 8 weeks, just to make sure that it is in good condition. If your home is dusty, or if someone in your family is prone to allergies, then you may want to consider cleaning or replacing your filter more often.
What Happens If I Don’t Change the Filter?
If you’re using a clogged or dirty air filter, it may reduce the intake of the unit which may lead to a variety of problems.
These problems include:
- Diminishes the efficiency, costs more to use.
- Harder to reach and maintain desired temperature.
- Forces the AC unit to work harder than it should.
- May compromise indoor air quality.
Many of these issues will only occur when the filter is neglected for an extended period of time, but nonetheless, this shows why it’s important for all homeowners to regularly check and replace the filters in their air conditioners.
What If My Portable AC Has Multiple Filters?
Depending on the brand and model of the portable AC you’re using in your home, you may have multiple filters inside. All portable AC units come with a pre-filter, and don’t always require the use of other filters.
Should I Remove It Portable
While these pre-filters are great at reducing large particulates that may be circulating in your air, they do very little for the common allergens that are known to lead to health complications, such as mold spores or pet dander. This is why it’s recommended that you use another type of air filter in your portable air conditioner.
6. Keep it Clean
Keeping your portable air conditioner clean is one of the easiest ways you can keep the device working properly, and it doesn’t take much work to complete.
The Simple Clean:
Should I Remove It Portable Battery
Simply wipe down the outside of the unit down with a damp cloth. Avoid using excessively hot water or any sort of cleaning chemicals that may damage the exterior.
How Often? Do this every 4-6 weeks.
Should I Remove It Portable Power
The Deep Clean:
Unplug your unit and clean the condenser coils to increase its efficiency. You can either purchase a coil cleaner to use or make your own cleaning solution with water and lemon juice. Spray the solution on the coils and remove after a few minutes.
How Often? Do this once a year.
The Professional Clean:
Sometimes, even when you clean the unit on a regular basis, you may require professional service to improve its functionality. If you experience issues with your unit that you are unable to resolve on your own, don’t hesitate to contact a professional air conditioning service to clean and inspect the appliance.
How Often? As needed.
7. Store it Properly When Not In Use
When you have no plans on using your portable air conditioner, it is recommended that you store it away to keep it safe for the next season. Try to avoid storing your AC unit in an area that has extreme temperatures, such as the garage or patio.
Checklist for Storing Portable Air Conditioners
Before you disassemble your AC unit and put it away into storage, it is strongly recommended that you do the following tasks.
- All water has been drained from the unit.
- Turn unit on fan setting to help the inside dry completely.
- Deep clean all other parts and allow to dry, specifically exhaust hoses and drain pains.
- Compress the exhaust hose to prevent damage while in storage.
- Cover the unit with a sheet to prevent dust or other debris from accumulating.
- Store your portable AC indoors in a climate-controlled area.
8. Electrical Requirements
When it comes to the power source for portable air conditioners, most homeowners shouldn’t have any issues. The vast majority of these AC units are designed to operate on the standard 120v electrical outlets commonly found in homes.
This is a pretty essential feature, as it would be difficult to move the AC unit from room to room if it required a different receptacle.
It may be a good idea to use a surge protector that can add a layer of protection against sudden power failures. It’s also recommended that you are mindful of how many appliances are plugged into the outlet, as to not overwhelm the circuit.
Note: This applies to the majority of portable air conditioners used to cool rooms in your home. If you’re using a commercial-size unit or a high-BTU air conditioner, you may need more electricity. All electrical requirements will be found in the user manual.
9. Pre-Cooling & Better Circulation
To help your portable AC unit cool your down in an efficient manner, it is recommended that you turn it on shortly before the room gets too hot or uncomfortable. If you wait until the sun is shining bright and the temperature is at its peak, the air conditioner will need to work harder, and take longer, to reach your desired temperature.
Another tip that every homeowner should know, is to use a small oscillating fan near the unit. This will help the cool air circulate throughout the room, and make you feel more comfortable.
There are many benefits that come from a portable air conditioner, but when you know how to strategically use it, you’ll find that you can improve its efficiency and extend its life.
By following the usage and maintenance tips listed above, you put yourself in the position to get the most from your AC unit, all while staying cool and saving money.