1. Goal 2
  2. Step B

Remove Unused Software

Clean up clutter and improve security at the same time


Why clean up your computer?

Imagine your computer as a workspace. Just like a desk piled high with papers can hide important documents (or even a coffee cup!), a computer loaded with unused apps and old files can hide potential security risks. The fewer apps you have installed, the smaller your device's “attack surface” and the more secure your device.

Deciding what stays and what goes

Taking Stock
First up, let's see what's on your computer.

Windows folks, Right-click on your Start menu button and click either "Apps and features" or "Installed apps" in the window that pops up.

If you're using a Mac, open the Finder app, then click on the Applications folder. It's likely located at the top in the left panel of Finder.

Look at each app and ask, "Do I really need you?" If the answer is a hesitant "not really," it might be time for it to go.

Look It Up
Found an app, and you're not quite sure what it does? Hold off on the delete button for now. A quick web search can tell you what it's for and whether others find it useful or not. Sometimes, an unfamiliar app is actually pretty important, so it's important to check.

Uninstalling the unnecessary

Once you determined which apps you don't need, follow these simple steps from Microsoft or Apple to remove them.

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