Bloatware is computer software that is unnecessary and inconvenient for users. It is typically associated with pre-installed programs on personal computers, but can also be found on mobile devices. It typically consists of trial versions of software, advertisements, and other non-essential programs. Generally, bloatware is not desirable, and can slow down the performance of a device.
Though the term is generally used to refer to pre-installed programs, it is also used to refer to digital downloads. Many software downloads include unwanted add-ons, toolbars, and other features that take up memory and can cause problems with a device’s performance.
The term “bloatware” is first thought to have originated in the early 1990s with the introduction of Windows 3.1, which included the Microsoft Office suite as a part of its package. Later on, in the early 2000s, the term became widely used to describe pre-installed software on personal computers.
Bloatware is problematic for consumers because it takes up valuable hard drive space and slows down the overall performance of a device. Additionally, it can be difficult to identify and uninstall the bloatware, and in some cases, it can’t be uninstalled at all.
To combat bloatware, some companies have embraced the idea of “lean computing,” which involves the elimination of non-essential software and elements to improve the user experience. While this practice is not yet widely accepted, it is slowly becoming more common.
For added protection, some users may purchase applications that can detect and uninstall bloatware on their devices. Additionally, many tech experts recommend that users download software from trusted sources and read reviews and user agreements carefully before committing to an installation.