My technicians and I work on a lot of client computers. Our goal is to always have those computers that we support working in their tip top shape. Sometimes what our computer support team discovers can really slow down the computer, cause computer issues and errors and can just clutter the computer screen. This article helps address some of the issues we find and shows how to correct or prevent them from happening.

Junk Programs Installed
We define a junk program as a piece of software that gets installed on your computer my accident (most of the time) that doesn’t need to be installed and is serving you no purpose on being on your computer. Some of these programs try and accomplish what another program or Windows itself is already doing. This can cause role conflicts, errors, or slow down the computer. Some of these programs get installed when you are trying to install a different program.

An example would be Google Toolbar. For most people running Windows 7, this is a redundant program and simply makes your internet browser load more slowly and can cause internet browsing problems. This is a popular program that also gets installed when installing other programs such as Adobe Reader. If you go to the download page for Adobe Reader, Adobe tries to sneak in Google Chrome and Google Toolbar automatically. You have to read closely and uncheck the box so that it is not automatically installed.

Some other programs try to install McAfee Security Scan Plus. This software simply tells you if you antivirus program is not up-to-date, firewall is turned off and other alerts. This is already done by your antivirus program itself and Windows. No need for this program to be installed.

Here is a picture of a program trying to install the Ask Toolbar be default… I unchecked the box.

Even brand new computers can have junk programs included with them. When you buy a Lenovo, HP and other computers, they will usually include a lot of non-needed programs. These programs start when Windows loads and can conflict with other programs and simply slow down the computer.

Removing these junk programs can really help your Windows experience. If you know which programs are needed and which ones are not, you can simply go to your Add and Remove programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows 7) and uninstall ones you do not need. You can also use the msconfig command from the Run window and tell programs not to load when Windows starts. You then simply run them when you need them.

If you are not sure what programs are Junk on your computer, give us a call and we can assist further. We can also monitor your computers with our managed IT service for certain programs that you do not want to be installed. If they do get installed on your computers we will receive an alert and can remove them. Our number is 406-414-0532.