Send garbage where it belongs

You just received a new computer for Christmas, or as a birthday present, or from your rich uncle. Did you notice that it came with every piece of software imaginable?

What applications will you actually use; and what about all the others that will never see the light of day? Of course, let us not forget the trial period for pretty well all of these nifty software packages. What do you do after that trial runs out? The trial period is, of course, try-before-you-buy, or it’s free. In that case, however, it will run with limited functionality, or worse – with some sort of adware, or other annoyance. The answer – prioritize and uninstall!

Most new computers from the big brand names load the hard drives with free software. You can definitely try them all, and then decide on what you like, need and want to keep – after the typical 90-day trial runs out.

The first step is to decide what you will be using the computer for, and then analyze what will help you achieve that purpose. One example is photo editing and applications such as Photoshop, or Paint Shop Pro. These are terrific for photo editing. If you are not into photo editing, you might consider uninstalling them after the trial runs out.

Chances are you already have an Internet service provider (ISP), so you have no need for the software from other ISPs – uninstall it.

For those of you who forgot where or how to accomplish this task, look in your Control Panel; select the Add/Remove Programs icon.

Typically, the more applications you have installed, the longer you’ll have to wait for the installed programs list to populate, so give it a bit of time. Once you have the list, first highlight an application to select it. then click the Change/Remove button to the lower right of the application. This will invoke the installer/uninstaller application. In some cases, it may offer you three options: to modify, repair, or uninstall the application completely. Pick the latter.

While examining the list of installed applications, you should take note of some absolute “Ëœmust haves’. These are your security-suite applications, such as anti virus, anti ad/spy-ware, and security software (firewall, e-mail spam protection and so on).

If you accidentally – or in a fit of rage – uninstall everything you didn’t recognize, in the very least, try to remember to keep your installed Windows Updates and service packs, AND anything that relates to anti virus, anti spyware and security. If you are unsure, try to remember the names of the biggest developers of software for general guidelines.

Here is a list of a few:

If you are still unsure, you can search your favorite search engine for the manufacturer’s name. That will acquaint you with the manufacturers and their product names.

As some added options to reclaiming more hard drive space, you can reduce the size of your recycle bin. Simple: right-mouse-click on your recycle bin, select properties, slide the recycle bin maximum size slider to a lower value, such as 3 to 5 per cent. Internet Explorer stores 20 days of browsing history, and 10 per cent cache size by default. You can reduce both of these, also. Try 10 days history, and 5 per cent cache. To do so, open the Control Panel and choose Internet Options to change these settings.