Bloatware! You probably have heard its name. However, if you own a smartphone, it is vital that you understand what is bloatware in-depth and the reasons why you should take it seriously.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about bloatware. So, without further ado, let us get into it.
What is Bloatware?
It is popularly known as Potentially Unwanted Programs. These programs are like unnecessary apps, add-ons, and packages that slow down your device’s performance by taking up your device’s resources.
In simple terms, it is some pre-installed software that comes with your new computer or smartphone. They are extra software that you have not asked for, and there is no need for it.
It can lead to decreased battery life and slower performance. Sometimes it can even cause a security risk.
Where Does It Come From?
There are two main ways through which you get bloatware on your device.
As a pre-installed software
Generally, manufacturers install a few apps on brand-new devices. To do that, software developers pay them. So, their apps get featured on your device, which might interest you. Mostly you will see added programs like file managers, music apps, and a few third-party software as bloatware on your device.
As a downloaded program from the Internet
Another way your device gets it is through the Internet. This can come from various websites or third-party platforms. A few bloatware you get through the Internet can have malware or adware in them. However, that does not mean each bloatware you downloaded is risky, but the security risk is much higher than pre-installed ones. Therefore, you should be careful what you are downloading from the Internet.
Also read: How To Remove Bloatware From Xiaomi Phone
What Does It Do?
As it takes up your device’s hardware resources, sometimes it can slow down the performance of your device. Even if these programs contain some maintenance apps, they can affect the performance of your device because it needs computing power to work. In short, it affects the efficiency of your device and, in the worst cases, leads to significant security threats.
Types of Bloatware
Generally, bloatware falls into two categories.
Software that the user knows is installed on the device.
This first category is installed by manufacturers, device manufacturers, or app developers to promote their products or services to users. Usually, it is for a trial period. However, some software developers even pay manufacturers to install their apps or software on the device, and this app or software can even collect user data.
Software that users do not know is installed on their device
The second category is purposely malicious. Generally, it is installed unknowingly to manufacturers or even hidden in software to spy on users. Users even download it unknowingly while browsing websites or accepting cookies.
Now, let’s check out the most common types of it.
It is a trial-based software that comes pre-installed on brand-new devices by third parties. Usually, these third parties pay manufacturers to pre-install their apps or software. It will help them promote their product or service in front of customers.
Utilities And Applications
Sometimes manufacturers install their apps or software on the device they sell. For example, Mac and iOS devices have few pre-installed stock and music apps. When you don’t use these apps for a long time, they can take up storage on your device.
The following types of apps or software come as a feature or add-on to the device.
- Finance apps
- Weather apps
- Music players
- Virtual assistants
- Navigation apps
- Browser extensions, etc.
It is advertising software installed on the brand-new device to put pop-up advertisements and possibly malicious downloads. Adware is not easy to detect, which is why it is even harder to remove it.
Also read: How To Remove Bloatware From Oppo Phones?
Is Bloatware Bad?
Not all bloatware is bad. Some of them come from non-harmful, legitimate developers. The main intention of it is to make money through baiting, advertisements, and freemium trials. To put your system at risk is not the goal of it, but through their sales and marketing techniques, they can affect the device’s performance and user experience.
Usually, unknowingly downloaded bloatware from the internet puts users at risk, and the system can be vulnerable to spyware or malware. Therefore, it is vital that you be careful while installing any app on your device.
Pros Of Removing Bloatware
- Completely removing it can free up the storage space on your smartphone.
- Besides, it also saves your smartphone’s RAM by freeing the memory.
- Removing it can help you conserve your smartphone’s battery.
Cons Of Not Removing Bloatware
- Not removing it can expose users to high cybersecurity risks.
- If the bloatware connects to the internet, it can expose your computer to malware which can exploit computing power, personal information, and financial information.
Signs You Have Bloatware
Here are some red flags which will let you know you have installed bloatware on your system.
- The app or program you have installed is difficult to uninstall.
- You are not able to identify or recognise the program or an app.
- A few apps or programs constantly encourage you to make purchases of their software’s paid versions.
- The browser you are using has started to show pop-ups.
- The app or software is not at all useful to you.
How to Remove It?
Steps to remove bloatware from the Android device
- In the Android device, bloatware usually comes in the app form. If you want to remove it, you need to disable them so the app will not run in your device’s background.
- First, go to the “Settings” tab.
- Then, click on “Apps & Notifications.”
- After that, choose the unwanted app from the list.
- In the last step, click on “Disable.”
Steps to remove bloatware from iOS device
In iOS devices, bloatware also comes in the form of pre-installed unwanted apps. Therefore, follow the below steps to remove it from an iOS device.
- Click on “Settings” -> General.
- Choose “iPhone Storage.”
- Now, choose the unwanted app.
- Click on “Delete App”
- Click on the confirmation pop-up
Hopefully, now you understand what is bloatware – in simple terms, it is software that you undoubtedly do not want on your device. Some are pre-installed and generally aren’t so dangerous, while others are quite harmful. Here, the important thing is this program takes up your device’s space and adversely affects its performance.
Just like spam calls and emails, bloatware is here to stay for a long time. Although it is a nuisance, it is vital to manage bloatware properly. Otherwise, it will evolve into a more significant threat.
Also read: How To Remove Bloatware From Lenovo Laptop?
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