How to Remove Bloatware from your Mac
What is bloatware?
Long story short, bloatware is any piece of software that weights a lot and eats up too much RAM. Certainly, there is software like video editors or stuff for 3D-modelling that is supposed to weight a ton and hog all the RAM you’ve got, but bloatware is different. The main difference is that it’s usually made for simple tasks, often pre-installed, and in most cases — you don’t need it.
How bloatware is different from adware and crapware?
While none sounds too appealing, there are some peculiarities. Crapware is mostly synonymous to bloatware and means useless pre-installed software. But it can also refer to poorly made software that doesn’t perform as expected or even harms your Mac.
Adware is the worst of the trio. It means software that shows you ads, redirects you to certain advertising websites, and collects your personal data. And, in some cases you didn’t even install it on your own, it could have been tied up to another app by an unashamed distributor.
Types of bloatware on your Mac and how to remove it
Language packs are something a few Mac users know about. These are localization files for a whole series of languages, most of which you will definitely never need. They are stored in the Content Package folders of your apps.
How to remove Language packs
There’s a simple way to do it and a manual way. The simple way would be to get a bloatware remover like CleanMyMac X, which finds and removes them together with other system junk you might have on your Mac. Simply download CleanMyMac, click on System Junk tab and run a scan. Then, in the results of the scan, check Language files and hit Clean.
You can also remove language files on your own, but it’s way more complicated. You have to go into Contents folder of every app, and find Resources, and in there delete all language files manually. Problem is, you don’t know for sure if an app even has language files and you’ll have to look through each app one by one, so it’s a hurdle. Here are more details on manual removal of language packs.
These can be of two kinds: the ones you know about and the ones you’ve never seen in your life, yet they are in your browsers. While not every extension uses lots of RAM, it’s generally not advisable to keep a dozen on, unless you regularly use all of them. So make sure to go over extensions in your browsers and remove those you don’t need.
The other kind is the sneaky extensions. They usually squeeze into your browser while you install some other app, as an unpleasant bonus. They can be a pain to remove and a pain to have. Plus, they can incorporate themselves into your browsers rather deep to collect info about your browsing.
How to remove browser extensions
Some can be removed manually through each of your browsers, but it’s a time consuming affair and might not work with sticky self-installed adware. The easy way to get rid of it would be with CleanMyMac and its Extensions tool.
We’re talking about both old apps you no longer need and the apps that you never needed in the first place, but ended up having, for instance, as a part of bundled software. This could also include pre-installed apps, but there’s only one way (and a tricky one) to delete those.
How to uninstall useless apps
The first thing you need to know about deleting apps is that Trashing them doesn’t really delete the whole app. There are leftovers. Usually, leftovers are small system files that don’t take up much space, but can influence the way your system works.
How to delete preinstalled apps
Removing apps that came with your Mac as native is a little complicated as they might actually be vital to your Mac OS.
Warning: Before you proceed, please make sure you’re well aware of what you’re deleting and why.
- Open Applications folder.
- Choose the app you’d like to remove.
- Right-click, Get info.
- Go to the very bottom and click the lock icon.
- Enter your password.
- In Sharing and Permissions, change settings to Read & Write for everyone.
- Now, if you have admin right to your computer, you should be able to delete the app.
How to get rid of all bloatware at once
The easiest way to get rid of all bloatware you can have on your Mac is to get professional bloatware remover. In other words, an app that can delete language files, browser extensions, useless apps, and other junk — and spare you the time of doing it manually.
It’s pretty easy to accomplish all that with CleanMyMac. It’s a cleaning app that has a whole bunch of useful tools to remove everything you might want to remove on your Mac.
In CleanMyMac’s main menu you can see the three modules you might need to get rid of bloatware: System Junk (for language files), Extensions (obvious), and Uninstaller (for apps). They’re pretty intuitive in use and you’ve got tips in the app in case you need help.
How to avoid installing bloatware
- Make a point to download programs from the developer's website, if possible. Plenty of download sites create installers bundled with crappy apps, and the developer might not even know about it.
- Look for checkboxes before you download an app. Sometimes the option to avoid bloatware and adware may hide right on the download page of the app.
- If you need to click through some sort of the agreement before download, clicking every "Agree" without reading is a bad idea. It’s possible that the creator of crapware designed their "crapware agreement" exactly like the original software's terms of service of the app you’re actually trying to install. You want to click "Agree" because it seems like the only way to finish the installation, but it’s not so. If you notice that you’re agreeing to some other app, just hit decline.
- Bundles. Look carefully at each app in the bundle, crapware frequently hides in them.
And may your Mac be bloatware-free forever. Cheers.