• Software to un-bloat Windows

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    I don’t really have issues with third party programs but I have been playing with Windows for decades.  All of my programs are third party, can’t think of any MS software I use.  If you’re judicious about what you delete/disable/replace, the actual OS can be fairly well uncovered leaving a very fast, pleasant to use and look at interface.  There’s an excellent OS buried in the junkware.

    A few Third Party Utilities I’ve used for years because, well, they work well:


    Bulk Crap Uninstaller


    Rarely leaves anything behind in the registry and has never “done a CCleaner,” gradually causing Windows to become glitchy.  Easy learning curve, portable version works fine.

    Nirsoft, Anything


    Great little utilities, most have portable versions that work fine.  Some nirsoft stuff doesn’t do anything really useful but only a few.  Try chromecacheview if you use Chrome and believe the clear cache at shutdown setting:


    previousfilesrecovery, taskschedulerview, wifiinfoview, searchmyfiles are all very useful.



    Brings back much of the functionality of Win 7 and XP to tweak window title bar sizes and colors, remove/disable lots of bloatware, ads, etc.  Along with Open Shell (the start menu only!) it’s possible to make an attractive desktop vs. the standard touch screen kiddie GUI.


    (The direct Open Shell site is in GitHub which can be inscrutible to the uninitiated.)


    Snappy Driver Installer Origin


    Let it run, compare your drivers with what SDIO finds by hovering over each one, check the ones that are newer, better, whatever, then click install on the left sidebar menu.  Otherwise, the interface is really confusing, there’s no reason to download libraries of dozens of drivers.  Portable version runs fine and mostly offers drivers from oem sites, just easier.  SDIO is vastly better than say, Driver Booster, which installs stuff everywhere and nags, nags, nags.

    Driver Store Explorer


    (This Git is very obvious, just click the blue text.)  Portable. Allows you to delete backup drivers Windows saves in Driver Repository in case a driver in use flakes out for some reason or WU quits for some reason.  Use Device Manager in Control Panel to check current driver versions before deleting older ones.  May want to keep one old version if all this is new to you.  If Windows keeps installing old drivers and you’ve disabled driver updates in Win Update, this is where they live.




    Best thing there is for cloning disks, always works right, ancient interface, drive stuff is very simple but cryptic to those who don’t format/partition much or ever.  If you have trouble with GUI based utilities sometimes working and sometimes not, Clonezilla will definitely work.  Need to make a CD or usb image to run it.  Steep learning curve.




    Beside the Piriform (pear shaped?) aquisition and Avast re: data collection, using CCleaner by letting it run and delete what it finds without checking each entry, which is very tedious, will definitely result in a computer that won’t work right after a while.  CCleaner used to be a great way to disable those silly Windows apps, clean cookies that aren’t deleted as claimed and disable some Firefox bloat but the last version I used wouldn’t even start without being online.

    Windows 10 Debloater


    (Git is just too obscure for this one.)

    Great if you really, really understand what is happening and use only some of its features.  If you allow it to actually remove apps vs. disabling them, your computer will still work and will be fast like it should be but certain things such as GUI’s for graphics drivers can’t be installed without Store access (UWP plague.)  Windows Update won’t work, etc. Uninstalled apps can’t be reinstalled, an OS reinstall is the only solution.

    If you’re used to just accepting what Windows gives and Updates does but tired of both, there’s no reason you can’t customize Windows to suit your needs but you’ll occasionally wreck something so make backups (shadow copies are probably fine for small changes) beforehand.  Also, I’d highly recommend upgrading to Win 10 Pro.  Using gpedit, it’s possible to stop a huge amount of the rummaging that goes on constantly.  Unfortunately, Home versions have become ad servers with minds of their own.  🙂

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