After getting fed up with the inefficient “Add or remove programs” menu in Windows 10, I decided to investigate ways to uninstall Windows software in bulk. That led me to a useful and delightfully-named program called Bulk Crap Uninstaller, which does a much better job than Microsoft’s own uninstall utility.
BCU itself doesn’t require installation. Just download the portable version, extract the zip file anywhere on your computer, and run included program file. After walking through the setup wizard—in which I suggest leaving nearly every setting as-is—you’ll land on a master list of all your installed programs. In the left sidebar, click “Select using checkboxes,” check off all the programs you wish to remove.
A quick word of caution: Because Bulk Crap Uninstaller is much more comprehensive than the default Windows uninstaller, it may dig up some drivers and other software that you may not recognize, but are important for running other apps. Only remove programs if you’re certain that they aren’t necessary.
Jared Newman / Foundry
Once you’ve selected the programs you want to remove, you can either select “Uninstall” or “Uninstall Quietly” from the top menu bar. Select the latter, and Bulk Crap Uninstaller will try to remove everything without any annoying uninstall prompts.
Either way, the app will process the removals in an orderly fashion, so you’re never inundated with pop-ups. By default, the app will also create a system restore point, so you can go back to how things were if you’ve removed any important programs by accident. At the end, you’ll have the option to remove associated registry files as well.
BCU isn’t the only program of this kind, but I appreciate that it’s free, open source, and doesn’t come with any of its own bloatware. While some software removal tools can do more harm than good, this one actually lives up to its name.
Jared Newman has been helping folks make sense of technology for over a decade, writing for PCWorld, TechHive, and elsewhere. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for straightforward tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for saving money on TV service.