Bloatware apps come pre-installed in every newly purchased phone, tablet or computer. Most of it takes up the storage of the device unnecessarily and even affects the system’s battery life and overall performance. These programs usually do more harm than good. Here, we will discuss what bloatware apps are and how they can affect your device.
What are Bloatware apps?
Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUP), more popularly known as bloatware apps are needless programs that take a toll on your device’s performance. Device manufacturers introduced these bloatware apps to provide users with additional programs that they might want to use, while making money on the way. Gradually, these apps, rather than being helpful, end up being a headache for users.
Generally, these apps that run in the background are hidden and locating them becomes a tough job for the users. It could be any software on your computer, phone or tablet that consumes a lot of resources like — memory, storage and battery life. This hogging up of resources slows down the performance of your device.
However, some of them are supposed to help your system run efficiently, like maintenance apps, which also need computing power to work and end up affecting the performance. These apps curb the efficiency of your system and make the device frustrating to use and can even lead to security threats.
Different types of bloatwares found on devices
There are three most common types of bloatwares that can be found on any device. It is important to note that there might be other kinds of bloatwares.
Utilities: These types of bloatwares come from manufacturers and third-party developers and are usually pre-loaded on your device. These offer added functionality to your device, which includes file management apps, gallery, backups, video players and more. These apps become bloatware if you don’t use them regularly. Third-party utilities can be removed right easily, but manufacturer utilities often can be hard to uninstall. These are a part of the system and you will need advanced configuration to remove them.
Trialware: These types of bloatwares can be found usually on Windows computers and these devices usually come with preloaded softwares that need a licence to work. Users can experience the app as most of them offer free trial modes in new devices. However, these programs keep on consuming your device’s resources, even after the trial period is over. Trialwares usually don’t pose security threats, but they can be annoying as they keep on running in the background and affect your device’s performance. These types of bloatwares can be removed easily.
Adware: These types of bloatware typically gets downloaded while downloading softwares from the internet. They don’t always pose security risks and constantly show ads on your web. These pop-ups can be usually annoying and will make you want to delete them immediately. Some manufacturers also sell their devices with pre-installed adwares.
Different ways to get bloatware apps on your device
There are two ways to get bloatware on your device — either it comes pre-installed in your device or may get downloaded from the internet. Let’s discuss both the ways that users get bloatware apps on your device.
Pre-installed Software: Manufacturers get paid by software developers to put their apps on devices. This is why users find additional programs installed on newly purchased devices. These programs include file managers, music apps and other third-party software that might interest you. These bloatwares are usually harmless and may only show you some ads. However, it is best to remove them as some collect data without the user’s knowledge and are also vulnerable to external attacks.
Downloaded programs from the internet: The web is another way for users to get Bloatware on their devices. It is not necessary that every bloatware you download is dangerous, but the security risk is higher than the pre-installed ones. It can come from multiple sites, especially malicious websites and third-party platforms. Some bloatwares stay hidden in application bundles and can have malware or adware in it. The bloatwares that get downloaded from the web usually display advertisements on your system and slow down the device. These programs can sometimes spy or remotely manage your machine if you are not careful about what you download. These harmful programs may even lead to man-in-the-middle attacks.
Are all bloatwares dangerous?
Bloatwares were created to generate money through ads, baiting, and freemium trials. Some bloatwares come from legitimate, non-harmful developers and not all of them are dangerous. The goal of bloatwares usually doesn’t include posing risks for your devices. But the sales and marketing techniques they use affect device performance and user experience, compelling users to remove them immediately.
However, there are some bloatwares that can be dangerous. Some pre-installed trialware and toolbars, which may lead to suspicious websites. These programs can make your system susceptible to malware or spyware. Some downloaded bloatwares may carry malware that can put users at risk. Users need to be very careful with the apps that they install on their devices.