Which bloatware should be removed from a Dell Laptop?


Jul 25, 2005

I just bought this for my brother as an early Christmas present. The one software I plan to remove immediately is anti-virus since they usually give Norton or McAfee, both of which are not great. Plan to use AVG, Avast, or Panda.

Wondered if there was any other bloatware that should clearly be removed? I know the MSI laptops are notorious for bad bloatware, was not sure about the Dells.


[H]F Junkie
Feb 6, 2006
I wouldn't bother with any of those. AVG is terrible now, Avast is annoying as hell. Panda.. never used it. Windows Defender does just as good as any of those if you're not an idiot, and if you are nothing will help anyway.

As far as bloatware, The last few Dells I've bought have been decent about not having a bunch of crap installed that didn't need to be, and what was there wasn't really bothersome, mostly just their support crap, but it's easy to get rid of if you do want it gone.

Deleted member 245375

First rule of buying OEM laptops: avoid the consumer models if at all possible, and that would mean Dell Inspirons in favor of their Latitude or Precision series business class hardware but I know that because of supply and demand they do sell more Inspirons hence the prices being lower on the consumer hardware.

Second rule of buying OEM laptops: wipe the fucker as soon as possible and do a complete clean installation of Windows (whatever the version of the OS it comes with happens to be, such as Home, Pro, whatever)

This second rule aspect can be difficult for some because it requires clean installation media and some folks don't want to go that far but with how Windows 10 works (and all new laptops come with it by default now) one can go get the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft, run it, allow it to make a USB stick (or create an ISO for safekeeping so you don't have to re-download the ~3GB of files needed more than once), and then do the clean installation of Windows 10 from that USB stick (or burned ISO if needed as that still fits on a single layer DVD but not for that much longer because they're getting larger all the time meaning the install files).

All the drivers you'll need to get the laptop functional will be in Windows 10 almost all the time but on occasion you might discover a network driver (either for an actual hardline NIC if the laptop has support for the RJ-45 jack or it's got some funky wireless card like from Broadcom which will not allow their drivers to be distributed by Windows Update) could be missing but it's somewhat rare nowadays. You can always hit up support.dell.com and punch in the Service Tag for the laptop and grab the latest necessary network drivers in that respect and install them manually after Windows 10 is up and running.

There isn't a lot of bloat on a default Dell laptop anymore, but even so I'd never use the OEM install, not even on Latitudes or Precisions (the only hardware I use is business class, I don't use consumer class pretty shiny plastic shit). I always wipe 'em almost as soon as I get 'em out of the box 'cause there's just nothing I want kept around. Even in spite of the low amount of potential bloatware they may have out of the box, they're never going to work as well as a true clean installation of the bare OS itself and then drivers installed as required then my applications after.

Also, if there's a recovery partition on the hard drive or SSD, it's wasting space, so use whatever tool Dell includes to make the recovery discs (since they don't really include physical DVDs anymore to restore their machines). You run their recovery tool, it will burn anywhere from 1 to 5 single layer DVDs (aka DVD5) for you to be able to restore it to "factory" out of the box condition in case you decide to sell it or whatever at a later time. Make those, and when you're done, wipe the fucker and install Windows 10 clean using the media you created with the Media Creation Tool aka MCT and you'll be good to go.

One last thing: during a clean install of Windows 10 on an OEM laptop (from any manufacturer) you do NOT type in a key - it should not even ask you for one but if it does just click the skip thing or whatever (not the Next button, it'll be a link to the left of the Next button) and Windows 10 will activate itself once you're online. The necessary Product Key is embedded in the UEFI/BIOS on OEM machines so that Product Key on the sticker (if the laptop even has one) will not work to install it. On OEM hardware with Windows 10 on it, that key is there just for show, it's the sticker itself that is the license, not the key.

Anyway, you'll figure it out. Wipe it, start totally fresh, get all the performance it's supposed to have (even in spite of all the mitigation shit like Meltdown and Spectre) now hurting performance on Intel-based hardware - I have no idea what a hit such things have on AMD-based hardware if any, but every little bit counts.

Having said all that I did just now look at that offer link, and while I despise the Inspiron line of hardware, for the price that's a nice machine overall. Has a matte finish display panel which is quite rare on consumer models, it really is, and the overall specs are nice so it should be a solid machine, but do the clean install anyway after making the recovery discs. :D


Dec 22, 2012
All of it unless you need some proprietary hardware that needs that software like lighting or what is.

It being in Inspiron probably wouldn't need any.


Limp Gawd
May 4, 2011
While I cant comment on DELL Inspirons. There Alienware's ship with next to nothing for bloatware, except for candy crush saga...? No idea... dont use it. Besides that it's pretty straight forward.