Here is a list of software that we currently uninstall by default at the helpdesk and an explanation of why we do so. Some of this is certainly debatable, and if you have a reason to believe the software should not be included in this list or something that is not here and should be, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. These are the opinions (based on experience) of James Bear as of 1/16/2014.
Weatherbug — I like the weatherbug. It provides a nice service. I always remove it when a computer is slow, however, because it does consume resources. I am opposed to any software that by default starts when the computer starts. So, it’s not just weather bug, but Spotify, Skype, and Yahoo Messenger. Most of these pieces of software can be set to only come on when you tell them to, but most people don’t take the time to do that and then the computer runs slowly.
Babylon Search Toolbar and other Babylon software — This is software which takes over your browser. It redirects you to websites which you don’t want to go to and it seems like it is more likely to do this when you are shopping and are ready to enter a credit card. So, in addition to uninstalling these, you need to reset your web browsers to their default settings.
Search Conduit — This behaves much like the Babylon Search Toolbar.
Sendori — This is a piece of software which purports to speed up your internet access, but what it really does is hijack your DNS settings and makes some websites inaccessible.
Default Tab — This behaves much like Babylon and Search Conduit
24×7 Support — This software takes over your computer and makes it all but unusable.
McAfee Security Essentials — We use McAfee VirusScan, but Security Essentials is a free piece of software that gets installed with other software online. When Security Essentials is installed, sometimes some websites are blocked on the U of J campus.
Speed up my PC — This is much like 24×7 support and sometimes seems to be installed alongside it.
Any Toolbar — I fail to understand why any toolbar should be installed for your web browser because you can search using the address bar. Anything with the term ‘toolbar’ in it can safely be uninstalled.
Ask Updater — This usually gets installed alongside the Ask Toolbar. I see no valid reason to have either and both consume resources.
TopArcade Hits — Definitely Malware. Also, extensions probably have to be removed from web browsers.
Yontoo — I’m not certain what the function of this software is supposed to be, but I do know a plethora of people that have downloaded it on purpose. It does cause issues.
Ebay — You do not need an application for ebay. You can just go to www.ebay.com.
Fast free converter — I am certain this gets downloaded for a legitimate reason, but anything with the words ‘fast free’ in the title can probably be assumed that it will not help you out in the long run.
Less tabs — Anything which purports to enhance your web browsing experience is probably not going to help you.
Web Layers — Again, anything which purports to enhance your web browsing experience is not desirable.
Dell DataSafe Backup — This is a program which comes for free on a lot of Dell computers. And there’s probably nothing wrong with it. But, if you do not set it up, it is going to give you annoying pop-ups.
My Dell — Again, this is probably good software if used correctly. But, most people never use it and then it does run and it consumes resources. If you’re not using it, get rid of it.