Why you should always read and install software to avoid installing unnecessary software?

We all love free stuff. Freeware, as we call it, is a free software and there are many. Nowadays, there are many good free programs out there that are as good as paid ones. While free software is good, just watch out how you install them. You may end up installing unnecessary software -spywares, adwares etc.

What is a Piggybacked Software?

A piggybacked software is a software that comes along with another software. The act of piggybacking is one of many annoyances that computer users face when installing software. Even legitimate software like Adobe Reader, Foxit reader and Java updates try to piggyback programs like browser toolbar, search engines or free versions of security software etc. If you don't read the installation screens properly, you might end up installing them.

How to avoid installing unnecessary software?

A simple rule - Ditch the “click to finish" habit.

Most of the time we just hurry to install a software that we do not read the installation information on the screen. We just keep on clicking next to finish. This is a bad practice which will end up getting unnecessary software getting installed. 

Most “bundled” free software will give you an option to skip installation of those “piggybacked software” but you will miss them if you don’t read the setup or installation instructions. Eventually, these programs, besides the fact that you do not need them, might as well be affecting your system performance by occupying unnecessary space, memory, even sniffing around your stuffs, hijacking your web browser with it’s own homepage and toolbars etc.

For example, even when installing Java, we get the option to install Ask Toolbar. If you do not need the Ask Toolbar, than it becomes a “bloatware”. But you have the option to choose not to. Others who do not read will just download and install both.

Always be cautious when installing software, especially free software.
  • Read the installation instructions on screen
  • Look for SKIP or NO THANKS buttons when you are presented with an unwanted software install
  • Look what permissions or actions it is asking to do (Eg: changing your browsers’ home page, toolbars etc.
Following the basic steps as discussed should help avoid getting unwanted software installed.

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