New tool uses crowdsourcing to remove bloatware

SlimComputer draws user feedback to filter bloatware from critical applications

The bloatware battle has reached the cloud. A new PC utility announced on Tuesday collects information from other users over the Web to help make computers run faster and free up disk space.

The SlimComputer software from Slimware Utilities collects user ratings of programs that ship with PCs and aggregates the data to decide which ones to delete. Users can give programs ratings ranging from unwanted to good.

"As more users participate, we get more data. As we get more data, the better the ratings are," said Chris Cope, CEO of Slimware, based in Biloxi, Mississippi.

The tool will identify and remove programs that many users don't want -- like the free games that come with many PCs -- and also list nonessential toolbars, startup items and shortcuts.

Software publishers often pay PC makers to include trial versions of their software on new computers. Commonly called bloatware, the software can slow boot times, drag on performance and take up disk space. Other examples of bloatware include trial productivity tools and accounting software.

SlimWare tries to be careful not to interfere with important system software such as antivirus programs, and has safeguards to prevent such software being uninstalled, Cope said. For example, users are presented with a list of the programs that are going to be uninstalled and can remove programs from the list before they are deleted.

SlimWare also gathers information about potential bloatware from computer repair shops and volunteers that examine new PC models, Cope said.

Many utilities exist already that clean out unwanted programs, but few use an online feedback program like Slimware's to rate programs.

About 2,000 users have been contributing feedback so far, Cope said. In the future the company plans to extend the cloud-sourcing capability to its SlimCleaner software, which deletes junk files. User feedback will help identify new locations where programs such as browsers store temporary files, which can then be safely deleted. The capability will also be added to an upcoming version of its driver assessment and install software.

The SlimComputer utility is available for free download on the company's website.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags softwarehardware systemslaptopsdesktop pcsSlimWare Utilities

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?