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What unnecessary software can I uninstall?

by elliehowe / December 18, 2014 3:25 PM PST

My PC (Windows 7) has a long list of programs that I don't think I need. Examples: Microsoft Visual C+++ (several variations listed), Windows LIVE (several), Visual Studio, Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe AIR, QuickTime, Microsoft NET Framework, and many more that I've never heard of.

Which ones can I safely remove without messing up other software programs? I don't even know if I use any of the ones I've listed. There are many others, too. How can I tell whether or not I can remove them? I think my PC is running slower because of all these programs. (I have virus protection, adware protection, malware protection that I keep up to date and run regularly, so I really think it's a software overload.)

As always I will greatly appreciate any advice, caveats, or other assistance my Forum friends can offer. Thank you. - Ellie

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by elliehowe

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What you need to look at
by orlbuckeye / December 26, 2014 12:06 AM PST

is what programs are running at startup. Installed programs take up little space compared to pictures, videos and other media so removing programs won't add more space. Drive space affects system speed more on system with lower amounts of memory. Your system caches programs when multi-tasking and uses virtual memory which is on the hard drive. So adding memory and/or adding a SSD drive can affect performance on a 64 bit OS more then any other addition. A 32 bit OS will only read a little over 3 gb and the rest is wasted.

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Thanks!
by elliehowe / December 26, 2014 3:00 PM PST

Hi, orlbuckeye,

Thanks for your response to my question. I thought programs were the biggest users of space, so I guess I won't worry about deleting them, although there are a few games that I think one of my children downloaded without permission, and I will take those off.

I appreciate your information; I always learn something new on the CNET forums!

Happy new year!
Ellie

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Answer
Re: uninstall
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 18, 2014 5:00 PM PST

- Microsoft Visual C++ (only 2 plusses) is a tool used by several other programs. I see I have 2005, 2008 and 2010 on my Windows 7 PC. Just leave it alone.
- Microsoft .NET framework is something like that. Many programs need it, even some Windows ones. Just leave it alone
- Silverlight and Air are used by some websites to show animations or movies or such. It's like Flash. You never know when you need it.

- Windows Live programs (as shown in http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-live/essentials) are all optional. You can uninstall them if you don't use them.
- Visual Studio is a programmers tool. Why did you install that?
- Quicktime (from Apple) can play certain types of movies. It won't harm to uninstall it if you have other players. If it's needed you can install it again.

Uninstalling the last 3 will certainly free some disk space. That is to say: move the files to the area where they are saved for a possible system restore. They are only deleted if you clean that.
However, deleting programs you don't use doesn't make any difference for (lack of) speed for the programs that are running. Making your system faster involves more, alas.

Kees

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Uninstalling software
by elliehowe / December 19, 2014 12:56 PM PST
In reply to: Re: uninstall

Hi, Kees,

Thanks for your rapid response... (You have helped me before...) The ones I listed came already installed on my PC when I bought it about 3 years ago. If they were preinstalled I figured they must be essential. But if deleting them won't make a big difference in my system speed, I'll leave them alone as you suggested.

I also have Advanced System Care and whenever I run that, my PC seems to be a little faster... or maybe not.

If you have any ideas for a "newbie" that I can use to speed up my system, I would appreciate them.

Merry Christmas, Kees, and a happy, healthy, prosperous, unhacked New Year!

Ellie

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Re: speed up system
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 20, 2014 6:20 AM PST
In reply to: Uninstalling software

We don't advise to use programs like Advanced System Care, although I don't think it's the cause of slowness.

The tricks of having a generally fast computer are:
- have enough RAM for all your programs
- no unnecessary program or services running (at startup or in the background)
- 15% free disk space on the c:-drive
- no malware running
- use SSD in stead of HDD

Not of all this is for a newbie. However, if you do a clean install of Windows (back to factory conditions - a lot of work to catch up again after that) your system is as fast as it was when it was new. Then you start adding things and it gets slower.

If only specific things are slow, it's different, for example:
- to have a high fps in games you need a good videocard
- to have no hiccups in streaming video you have to have a fast enough broadband connection
- to do fast video conversion, you need a fast CPU

Kees

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RE speeding up my PC
by elliehowe / December 20, 2014 2:38 PM PST
In reply to: Re: speed up system

Hi, Kees,

Thanks again for your response. I have enough RAM I think, but I will check to see what programs or services are running at startup or in the background. I don't know what SSD is but will investigate. I don't do games or stream video or do video conversions... just what I call basic Internet surfing and researching/comparing items to buy in real stores.

One question: Why not Advanced System Care? Is there a similar program that you do recommend? I like it partly because it's free... but if there's a better one that will take care of my system, I don't mind paying for it.

Thanks again, Kees...

Ellie

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Re: Advanced System Care
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 20, 2014 10:36 PM PST
In reply to: RE speeding up my PC

We find all programs like that, paid or free, rather useless. That's all.

Kees

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Re: browsing and SSD
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 20, 2014 10:39 PM PST
In reply to: RE speeding up my PC

An SSD is a solid state drive, a HDD a hard disk drive. Access to files on a SSD is faster. You notice the difference when booting or when starting a (big) program. Not or hardly when everything is up and running, and you're just browsing or mailing or writing a letter.

Kees

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advance system care
by renegade600 / December 21, 2014 8:26 AM PST
In reply to: RE speeding up my PC

as was previously stated, those type of utilities can cause a lot of problems because they will make changes to the registry. If you are having problems, those registry changes can make things worse.

sometimes they will seem to make the computer run faster but only because they will delete temporary files from your system giving your more disk space. Windows own disk cleanup tool can delete most of those temporary files for you. It is in the start - all programs - accessories folder.

If you are going through your startup, whether in the task manager or using msconfig you can check the following resource as to whether or not it is needed.

http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_search.php

the following will show you how to use msconfig

http://www.netsquirrel.com/msconfig/msconfig_win7.html

as previously stated, depending on the harddrive size, you need at least 15-20 percent of your c drive free.

One thing to note, computers tend to slow down because of software updates, age, and more. It is not unusual.

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Forum Members Rock!
by elliehowe / December 22, 2014 7:22 AM PST
In reply to: advance system care

Thank you, Renegade and Kees, for responding and offering me help and more importantly, new knowledge about my PC. I always wondered what msconfig is or does!

I do delete temp files using the Windows software, so I guess I will dump the Advanced System Care. It is always popping up saying my software is out of date, and then when I click on it to "update," I get the message saying, "It is already up to date, you fool."

Very Merry Christmas and a happy, hack-free new year!

Ellie

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Help me uninstall
by Charles_EB / December 21, 2014 7:47 PM PST
In reply to: Re: uninstall

I have mistakingly deleted an installed program's installation folder form the main drive.
To clarify
i installed a modem software for a dongle device.
the installation files got deleted
and now the programs and features dialog still show the software to be installed
when i click to un-install it an error dialog appears that files do not exist but it still appears in the list

Please help me resolve this.

Thanks in advance

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I handle this in a few ways.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 22, 2014 12:02 AM PST
In reply to: Help me uninstall
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Re: list
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 22, 2014 1:21 AM PST
In reply to: Help me uninstall

That list is somewhere in the registry and lines that point to something that doesn't exist anymore don't harm at all.

So the three options are:
1. Ignore.
2. Install again, then uninstall. This will delete the line in the registry.
3. Use regedit to delete that line in the registry yourself.

#1 us the easiest.

Kees

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I agree with number 1
by renegade600 / December 22, 2014 5:26 AM PST
In reply to: Re: list

I look at it this way, with as fast as the computer reads the registry, a few extra lines makes absolutely no difference in the speed of the computer.

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