Dramatically Improve the Performance of Your New PC

Last Updated Oct 20, 2010 10:19 AM EDT

It's not exactly a secret that new PCs frequently come loaded extra software which slows them down. Affectionately known as crapware, this is stuff that PC vendors shovel onto your new hard drive to make a few bucks and improve the tiny margins on PC sales. While we can sympathize with the vendors, the net result is they sell you a PC that has wasted hard drive space and significantly underperforms compared to what you thought you were buying.

The first thing you should do when you bring a new PC into the office is say goodbye to all the crapware. There are several ways to do this, depending upon your technical skill level and how much control you have over office PCs:

Manually uninstall anything that doesn't belong. The vast majority of crapware can be removed in the standard way, through the Windows Control Panel. Click Start and then type Remove in the search box. Choose Add or remove programs. Now just scroll through the list and remove anything that isn't essential.

Use PC Decrapifier. If you're not confident in your ability to accurately identify non-essential software, there's a popular automated approach. As we've mentioned before, PC Decrapifier removes all the junk that your PC maker installed to make an extra buck. You can browse the complete list of apps that the program removes. It's a painless and safe way to ensure your PC starts from a clean, high-quality state.

Flatten the machine. The nuclear option: If you have access to a Windows 7 install disc (if one came with the PC you purchased, for example, or if you have the ability to re-install Windows over your network) this wipes the slate clean and deposits nothing but essential Windows. Unfortunately, most PC makers don't include a Windows disc anymore -- just a recovery disc that's already preloaded with crapware -- but you can often get the Windows disc for a small fee.

Photo courtesy Flickr user dogbomb