One of the greatest things about the internet is the amount of free software available at the click of a button. You can download Zone Alarm Free instead of paying for Norton Internet Security, GIMP instead of Adobe Photoshop, and LibreOffice or OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office. In most cases the free programs have all the same basic functions and are great alternatives for the majority of people.
One of the downsides to downloading free software are the additional junkware programs that may be included in the installation. Sometimes it’s easy to just click “Accept” in every window without reading them , only to find out later that you installed 2 or 3 programs unknowingly.
As an example, I downloaded the installer for a popular FTP program, FileZilla. The FileZilla logo is displayed at the top of the first two screens, and the giant ACCEPT button is just begging to be clicked on. A little reading makes it clear that you’re agreeing to install both the Vosteran Browser and Super PC Tools.
Since we are all guilty of getting a little click happy, someone decided to make a program to un-check those boxes for you- Unchecky. A simple, lightweight program that runs in the background waiting for you to install software. When it detects unwanted junkware, it un-checks those boxes to help prevent you from installing them. And in the event that you check off the box by mistake, unchecky warns you about it.
If you download software on a regular basis I highly recommend installing this to save yourself the headache of unwanted toolbars or browser search re-directions.
One of the duties I perform most often for customers is cleaning out unwanted programs from their computers. Sometimes they are afraid to delete the program because they’re not sure if they may need it and other times they simply don’t know how to remove the program.
This is where Should I Remove It comes in. This small, free program scans your system and then helps you decide which programs to keep and which ones to trash.
The next screen lists the programs you have installed on your computer, and displays a bar graph that shows which programs other users have uninstalled. In my example, many users have chosen to uninstall the ask.com toolbar (a wise choice!).
Click the uninstall button and walk through the uninstallation of your program.
Your computer now has a little less clutter installed on it.