O&O AppBuster | ShutUp 10
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Actually reminds me of how you absolutely should not install Windows XP with the ethernet cable plugged in back when more home computers were directly connected to the Internet. That thing would be chock full of worms within minutes, so you had to first install a software firewall while offline.
It also does a lot more than „debloat“ which is a loaded term on itself because tastes are different. Someone might like having certain things included in their installation, some don’t.
I know, I know. Not an option for many for corporate reasons or because you need some Win-only apps that don't work with Wine. But more people should consider it.
For example, I might want to disable telemetry or certain app permissions, also disable the OneDrive integration with Explorer (because I use NextCloud or something else), but leave automatic driver updates on and allow Windows Defender to work.
It doesn't really remove software on its own, but it's a nice tool to have, and even illustrates how certain settings have changed across Windows updates (they just keep enabling telemetry with each update).
Addendum: on a slightly less related note, it feels like Windows 10 is the new Windows 7, a decent OS that people will stick with for a while in lieu of migrating over to Windows 11. In my case, it's because the redesign feels wholly unnecessary but also breaks things like my vertical taskbar (about which the developers said that they don't care because people like me are niche users) and then there was the whole TPM fiasco.
Honestly, the only things keeping me on Windows at this point are gaming (around 25% of my Steam games can run on Linux) and software like MobaXTerm, for which I haven't found capable alternatives (e.g. GUI SSH/RDP/VNC/... client with integrated FTP/SFTP and the ability to split terminals, whilst being able to do simultaneous input in all of them, or disable either with a checkbox, e.g. send input to 7/9 open sessions).
For the vast majority of debloating I use Sophia and just use the defaults so it's basically fire-and-forget, which I very much like. For any additional de-bloating, like removing OneDrive integration, I use individual scripts from .
I've recently switched my development laptop to a Macbook Pro and it's hilarious to note the difference in installation process between the two. The MacOS experience is embracing the "it just works"-concept, no configuration required and everything is taken care off. Whereas the Windows experience is basically you get a thin shell and you need to install these 20(!) updates in order to start configuring your drivers, installing packages and "debloating".
In the end I've accepted that Windows and MacOS both have a place in this world and neither have the perfect approach to an operating system. OS's are such a personal experience.
Not needed AFAIC.
I only keep windows around to run the oddball app. that doesn't run either on the web or native on Linux.
These are increasingly rarer, typically of the gaming persuasion (e.g. MS Flight Simulator).
For these, I run a windows instance inside a VM, one distinct VM for each app.
The spyware crap and all the other useless shit windows comes bundled with only gets to see me use a single app, through a different IP each time (VPN), usually once every couple of months.
Only downside is it uses up a bit of disk space, but that's dirt cheap these days.
OTOH, it's very easy to manage, every app gets installed on its own clean windows environment, and uninstalling is as easy as dumping the VM.
For my main work env. and anything privacy related, I run on a bare-bone, heavily trimmed Debian with a Cinnamon desktop.
For one, you will ultimately not win. For another, past a certain point, it should become clear that the tool you are using is not made for your use case.
I've used this one in the past. Works pretty well.
j/k of course
Whenever I run XP in a VM, I'm amazed that explorer windows not only open instantly, but fully drawn! In W10 it takes half a second to even respond, and then another half second while it draws the UI elements one by one.
If I move a folder, Sublime Text detects it instantly, but the same explorer window I used to move it takes several seconds to register the change it itself made...