These days, most of the free software out there are not actually free. Software developers are bundling crapware and malware with their free software. One needs to be extra careful while installing free applications.
As you probably have noticed, while installing software, the setup tries to install browser toolbars, browser add-ons, and other software. We need to uncheck appropriate boxes to install the required application without the offered crapware or malware. While some software developers keep the option to install the offered crapware unchecked, as you are aware, in most of the software installers, the option to install crapware is checked by default.
NOTE: We do understand that developers include browser toolbars and other software to make revenue out of their free software. We are not against the practice of offering true, useful software during the installation but developers should leave those boxes unchecked to let end users decide about the offered software.
Unchecky to avoid junkware
If you often install free software on your Windows PC, you will know that how important it is to be extra careful during the software installation. If we miss a single check box, at times, we need to spend hours to get rid of installed junkware. In fact, it’s highly impossible to uninstall many of the browser add-ons or hijackers without the help of good malware removing tools. In addition to software developers, most of the popular software directories have also following the same practice.
For those of you who often install software from the web, there is a free utility to stop applications from installing crapware without your knowledge. As some of you know, the free software has already been covered on many websites. The software we are talking about here is Unchecky.
Unchecky is a free software by the developer behind 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. Although the software has recently been acquired by another company, the product is still available as a free software (not sure about the future).
Once installed, Unchecky runs in the background and an icon of the same sits in the system tray. Whenever you launch an application installer, it automatically unchecks all the boxes. In other words, once Unchecky is installed, no software installer can automatically install additional software (or crapware) without your knowledge. You need to manually check boxes while installing software.
Unchecky is definitely a brilliant piece of software, and more importantly, it’s free. The program has been updated a number of times over the last couple of months to iron out issues and better support many third-party installers. We recommend you install this free software right away to safeguard your PC from junkware. In fact, this should be the first software you install after installing or re-installing Windows.
As said before, Unchecky has been acquired by another software company. We hope that the software continues to remain free, as it has already been helping thousands of users to stay away from crapware. Unchecky is compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Does Unchecky really work?
Well, during our test, we noticed that some software installers does manage to install crapware or other software despite having Unchecky. So, we can’t say, at this point, that it will stop all software installers from automatically installing unrelated software. That said, there is no harm in having Unchecky as it’s free and does stop many installers from automatically installing unwanted software. There is certainly room for improvement but we must thank the developer for this handy software.