Bloatware is a factory pre-installed application that comes with smartphones and computers. They can be present on Android phones, iPhone (iOS) and also on operating systems such as Windows and macOS. These applications usually have little or no functionality and are rarely used, but by accumulating unnecessary functions, they can clog up the internal memory and RAM usage of mobile phones and PCs. Check out the list below on how to spot bloatware and how to remove it from your smartphone.

What is bloatware?

Bloatware is dispensable software that is not very useful but can use large amounts of memory and RAM on devices. The word comes from the combination of two English terms: “bloat”, and “software”, data processing system. That is, they are programs and applications that amass useless tasks and “bloat” the system, congesting the use of internal memory in an unnecessary way.

How to identify bloatware?

On mobile phones and computers, bloatware usually comes pre-installed from the factory through programs or applications. The idea of manufacturers and developers is to make free apps and programs available for a limited time and after that time, the software requires the user to pay a subscription. However, these programs and applications are rarely used and, over time, consume the internal memory of the devices, which can cause crashes and slow down the system, among other things.

What are the risks of bloatware?

Bloatware is harmless software, but because they are dispensable applications that use significant amounts of internal memory and RAM of mobile phones, they can be the cause of the crashes and slowness of the devices. It is possible to disable and even uninstall bloatware in some cases, but as they are factory pre-installed apps, care is needed as some may carry vital functions for the proper functioning of the device’s operating system. In other words, uninstalling bloatware completely can compromise your smartphone and cause instabilities, or even not allowing the latest system updates.

Read: Android Recovery: What It Is and How to Access and Use It

How to remove bloatware?

Bloatware can be completely removed from smartphones, but this option may vary depending on the operating system of each device. The iPhone, from the iOS 11 update allows bloatware and even native system applications to be uninstalled and re-installed by the user via the App Store if necessary.

Android phones have the option to disable bloatware, which is not the same as uninstalling these apps. Disabling an unwanted application just keeps it “paused”, and uninstalling an app completely removes it from the device. To uninstall bloatware or a native Android app, you must root, which gives you access to the most advanced and important system settings. However, when uninstalling an app as root, care must be taken as some system functions may become unstable or at worst corrupt to the point of rendering the device unusable.

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