My Win10 system is getting bloated with software. I’m losing all my disk space and startup is slowing down too. How can I go through and remove unwanted programs from Microsoft Windows 10?
Mac or Windows, Linux or Android, seems like every device we use ends up filling up with programs, utilities, games and other apps that seem cool, amusing or useful at the time, but end up hanging around way longer than they should, launching at every startup and eking out their little share of system resources. Not so good. The common symptoms of this app sprawl is that your startup process takes longer and your system runs just a bit more slowly every month. Loss of disk space is also common, of course, but some programs take up remarkably little actual disk so don’t expect a dramatic increase in free space!
As with so much in Windows 10 or Win10.1, the easiest way to get started is to use the [Cortana] search system and tell it what you want to accomplish.
In this case, it’s “remove”, as shown:
The first option isn’t quite right, but “Add or remove programs” is exactly what you want to do, so click or tap on it, depending on if you have a touchscreen or not.
It launches the System Settings in the “Add or Remove Programs” window:
You can search for the specific program or programs you want to remove, but I like to just wait and get a detailed listing of all the programs installed on the system. Notice the second box has the programs sorted by size. You can change that if you want, but if you’re worried about disk space, removing some of the biggest programs might be a good thing.
After a few seconds it’ll show you a list of all the apps and programs that are installed on your Windows system and registered with the OS (obviously malware isn’t going to be registered with the system, which is why you need a good anti-virus program to check for ’em. Windows Defender can manage the task if you don’t want to go beyond the Microsoft world, but only if it’s installed and running!).
Here’s a small subset of the apps installed on my Win10.1 system:
I of course don’t want to remove Microsoft Solitaire Collection, but both of the other programs look like candidates for the chopping block. Let’s remove the HTC Driver Installer.
To do that, a click on the app on the list brings up a button:
Click on “Uninstall“…
Ayup, we really do want to remove HTC Driver Installer, so another click on “Uninstall” and then the OS itself will seek confirmation:
We’re running the uninstaller so yes, we’re going to grant the uninstall app permission to make changes to the PC.
After a few seconds you’ll be taken back to the list of installed apps and programs, except the program you just opted to uninstall will be missing. Done!
That’s how you remove programs. My only caveat, or, perhaps, warning, is that you should be careful about what you delete as some programs have helper apps that are required for them to run properly, so zealously deleting everything can have bad consequences. Smart: Search to find out what each program is before you opt to delete it if you’re not completely and 100% sure of its function.