Control Your Apps In Windows 10

It is hard to believe that we are approaching the sixth anniversary of Microsoft Windows 10. The Windows-As-A-Service delivered OS seems to be widely accepted, and for the most part, it is a great environment.

One of the complaints I hear most often is that there are a lot of applications running that people do not use. In some cases, the programs are irrelevant to them… often they came with Windows, or they needed them for a one-time use, or else they tried them and decided they did not want it.

There are a couple of ways to uninstall these programs. The first is to open the Settings – Apps – Apps & features window. There you will see the complete list of installed programs just by scrolling down.

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When you click on an application in the list, it will automatically expand… and give you the convenient option to uninstall it.

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The second way to uninstall an application is from the Start menu (as Microsoft has taken to calling it, the Start Experience). When you right-click on the program you wish to uninstall, a context menu appears and gives you the option to uninstall.

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Unfortunately, there are some applications that are built into Windows that will not uninstall.  You can uninstall Groove Music, but not the camera… or Microsoft Edge, as a couple of examples. This is not because Microsoft wants to force you to use them, rather because some of the functionality of these applications are necessary for certain operating system functions to work properly.

…But what about the applications that I want to keep, but do not want them to start with Windows?

That is a great question. The Task Manager allows you to modify startup applications, but that is the old-school way of doing it. The Windows 10 way of doing things is from the Settings – Apps – Startup window, where you can stop apps from loading with Windows but not actually uninstall them, so they are available for use on demand.

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…But why??

Back in the good old days, we had to keep a handle on our system resources… memory, hard disk space, and such. Today, resources have so outpaced the applications that run on them that it is easy to forget that a cup filled one drop at a time will eventually overflow. Yes, we have much more resources than we used to have, but that does not mean we should waste them. Yes, I could have Logitech Download Assistant load with  my PC, but I hardly ever use it… and while the impact is listed as “No Impact”, we have to assume that it takes something to run… seventeen milliseconds to load, 4kb of memory, I don’t know what. The resources may be insignificant, but they are your insignificant resources. Don’t let any application tell you that they need them when you do not need the application running.

In an era when computers have gigabytes of RAM and terabytes of storage, it is easy to get careless about resources… especially when the numbers are so small. These things add up, and if you want to keep your environment clean, there are ways to do so.

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