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Jul 17, 2010

How to Clean Up Your New PC

Unfortunately, no new, major-brand PCs that I know of come with a way to install a fresh, unencumbered version of Windows 7. If you want to get rid of all that useless and annoying bloatware that companies load onto their machines, you're going to have to either spend money or spend time--or both.

The most expensive solution is to buy a retail version of Windows 7 and install it from scratch. This gives you the cleaner new installation. But aside from the expense, the idea just doesn't sit well with me. You bought Windows when you bought the computer; you shouldn't have to buy it again.

The other solution, and the one I use, is to uninstall all the unwanted junk. Do this with either Revo Uninstaller Portable or Total Uninstall. These programs start by running the uninstallers that come with the unwanted apps (which is the only thing that Control Panel's Remove Programs applet does), then clean up the mess left behind.

Which is better? Revo is free, and comes in a portable edition that doesn't have to be installed--or uninstalled--itself. But the free version doesn't support 64-bit programs. Total Uninstall supports them, and handles uninstalls that require a reboot better than Revo.