We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

9 ways Apple, Microsoft and others make us mad

Junkware, exclusivity deals... we hate them all

While we love technology, sometimes its purveyors make our blood boil. We're talking about annoying policies and practices, whether a new PC stuffed with junkware or how we have to switch providers just so we can get a better mobile phone.

Crapware on new PCs

Major offenders: Gateway, HP, Sony

PC vendor logic must work something like this: 'Mammoth hard drives are the norm, so there's ample room for stuffing new systems with trialware, adware, junkware, and other 'ware nobody asked for and hardly anybody ever wants'. Note to computer vendors: Your logic stinks. Let users install the software they want, okay?

Loading a new PC with trialware made a certain amount of sense in the pre-broadband days, when downloading an antivirus utility or game demo took longer than 30 seconds. Now there's simply no excuse for it.

Some vendors are getting the word. Dell, once one of the worst offenders, now gives customers more control over software preloads. But the vendor is alone. In March Sony began charging customers an extra $50 (£25) to remove excess apps from new laptops.

Following a public outcry, the company wisely reversed course, offering its Fresh Start 'software optimisation' feature (read: crapware remover) for free. Regrettably, the offer is currently limited to the Vaio TZ laptop line, though Sony says it will expand the offering this summer.

And, like its competitors, Sony doesn't seem ready to admit that junkware is, in fact, junk. "We bundle industry-leading applications to offer an all-encompassing value proposition to our end users," a company spokesperson says. In other words, garbage is in the eye of the beholder.

Yes, some preloads, such as disc-authoring software and security suites, are worthwhile. But wouldn't it be nice if vendors let you decide?

The fix: Before you attempt to manually uninstall unwanted programs, try the aptly named PC Decrapifier. This freeware utility, born of one user's frustration with a junkified Dell laptop, quickly scans for and optionally uninstalls many common trialware applications. Alternatively let your wallet do the talking: don't buy PCs from vendors that go crazy with the crap and tell them why you're shopping elsewhere.

NEXT PAGE: How to get round being tied to one operator with exclusive mobile phone deals

  1. Software sunset policies
  2. Crapware on new PCs
  3. Exclusive mobile phone deals
  4. More tech policies that annoy us
  5. Software that encourages you to buy or upgrade
  6. Automated email responses
  7. Preferential support for business customers
  8. Four tech policies we love
  9. What's your most annoying... annoyance?


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

Hands-on with Sony's latest smartglasses

IDG UK Sites

The 13 most inspirational Tim Cook quotes