I would love for Steve Gibson to share with us how he eliminates the crap out of Windows 10. I am frustrated with my home computer.
Try Leo’s recommendations:
The whole thread is worth reading for the various tips.
This needs elucidation. It’s unclear how the “crap” you’re referring to is causing you this frustration. Are you frustrated that you’re seeing software you didn’t explicitly request? Are you frustrated because you’re being blocked from achieving some specific goal? What, specifically, about it is the frustration?
I ask, because Windows is a very large code base, and there are very many ways to tweak it. The version you have Home versus Pro versus Enterprise makes a difference as well, as these are different base configurations of a package set.
In any case, you can quite significantly tame Windows, but it does take some time and effort. Some steps that I take: I disable Cortana and One Drive and then disable One Drive in startup and then uninstall it. I right click on most of the pre-installed software in the Start menu and uninstall it. I remove EVERYTHING in the flyout of the Start menu and only add MY stuff there. I turn off any option in settings related to “suggestions.” (aka ads) Using an admin account, I disable and/or minimize everything in the Privacy section of the settings. That includes disabling all background stuff. I disable the MS provided screen saver (with ads.)
One other thing that may make you happier is to consider a replacement Start menu. If you miss, for example, the Windows 7 experience, that can be achieved by various free and or paid programs. Look into the software provided by Startdock, for example:
or for a free option try:
Steve also has a Visual Studio (MSDN) subscription so he has access to the long term service release of Windows 10, which is pretty bare-bones as far as inclusions.
I should also mention, tongue firmly in cheek, that if you get really pissed off with MS you could go the route of a replacement… Unfortunately I don’t really feel like ReactOS is ready for much of anything meaningful yet… but maybe one day:
PHolder’s solution to de-crapping WinX sounds great. For the laptops I donate to teachers I wipe the drive with DBAN and then install a “clean” WinX load using the latest installer from MS WinX media creation tool. That DOES include the MS “crap” but EXCLUDES the stuff the laptop mfgrs like to load on. Then I uninstall or unpin everything in the Start flyout. And remove all program links from the taskbar, except for those programs I load for the teachers. Also go through startup programs and disable anything I don’t want, like OneDrive, Spotify, etc. This gives the teachers a fairly “clean” installation of WinX.
Been following and donating to ReactOS for years. One day we’ll get a usable build… One day…
Steve is more concerned with the privacy issues than the bloat so not sure he has done much to tame it beyond that.
I try and remove and disable as much crud as I can regardless of if it is a privacy issue.
Fix the menu and add back old Explorer icons with Open Shell (the successor to ClassicShell)
With Winareo Tweaker and Ultimate Windows Tweaker
Disable all the windows helpers and preloaded crud.
Enable the old Windows 7 GUI elements that still exist in the bloat-boat.
Enable Areo Lite theme for those without, and put borders back on the edge of the windows, which you can set to your preferred size.
These 2 tools allow a vast amount of tweaks and overrides.
If you have Windows 10 Professional then I highly recommend elevating (run as administrator) the gpedit.msc (Group Policy Editor). In there, go to Administrative Templates / Windows Components. There, find OneDrive and disable it. Then go to Search and disable the things around Cortana, Cloud Search, and web search. Close and reboot. (I have found I need to log in once as the Admin to get the policies to properly apply when not in a corporate setup.)
When tweaking, make sure to read the text to get the correct options. Some are actually disabled by selecting an enable option… Way to go MS.
My understanding is the group policies are basically friendlier front ends to registry tweaks, so there are probably [also] registry changes that could achieve these same results.