What Does Crapware Mean?

Crapware refers to any program that is included in a PC’s initial software package even though it does not benefit the end user. The definition of crapware can change from one user to another, because while some might want a particular program, such as an anti-virus utility, a disk defragmenter, or a game or other app, to someone else, these programs serve no purpose and make the computer run more slowly.


Techopedia Explains Crapware

Some discussions of crapware revolve around large anti-virus or security programs added by original equipment manufacturers by default. Other kinds of crapware include games and promotional apps, as well as other kinds of programs that have very limited use. Some of these programs are set to run on boot-up and throw pop-ups onto the screen.

Cleaning up crapware involves uninstalling programs and removing any "scraps" off of the computer drive. Programs like CCleaner and PC Decrapifier can help. Challenges in erasing crapware involve potential problems with a registry, and completely untangling elements of these useless software programs from whatever else is on a PC drive. Some tech companies have tried to offer crapware removal services for a fee, but these have generally been unpopular.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.