Windows 11 comes packaged with a bunch of preinstalled programs that most users will find to be a waste of space. Such bloatware clutters your PC and can also lead to system performance degradation.
Fortunately, removing most of them is quite straightforward. And even ones that refuse to go can be uninstalled via the Command-Line.
In this article, weve detailed the steps to debloat Windows 11 with these methods, as well as other ways to improve performance.
How to Debloat Windows 11
We recommend using the first two methods listed below to debloat Windows 11 as they are native methods. But if you value convenience, weve included some reputable third-party tools as well in the sections below.
Uninstall Unnecessary Apps
The easiest way to debloat Windows 11 is to remove all the preinstalled bloatware via the Apps and Features window. Here are the steps to do so:
- Press Win + X and select Apps and Features from the power user menu.
- Locate the app youd like to remove, press the ellipsis button and select Uninstall.
- Accept any prompts and follow the on-screen instructions to remove the app.
Most users remove apps like Solitaire, Candy Crush, or Your Phone using this method. But the option to uninstall will be grayed out for a few core apps, such as the photos app, for instance. To remove such apps, youll have to use the command-line method which weve detailed below.
You can use the
Remove-AppxPackage cmdlet to remove an app package from a user account. If youre the only user, this alone should suffice. But if your PC has multiple accounts, you must remove the packages from those accounts one by one.
Similarly, to prevent the packages from being automatically installed on future accounts, you can use
/Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage and remove the app package from the Windows Image entirely. Here are the necessary steps:
- Press Win + R, type
powershell, and press CTRL + Shift + Enter.
- Execute the following command:
Get-AppxPackage | ft name, PackageFullName -AutoSize
- Locate the app package youre trying to remove and copy the package full name.
- Type the following command, replace package name with the value from Step 3, and press Enter:
Remove-AppxPackage -Package packagename
- To remove provisioning for app packages from the image, use the following command instead with the appropriate values:
DISM /Online /Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage /PackageName:
Debloater tools were very popular back in Windows 10, and most of them still work or have been updated for Windows 11. Some popular open-source options from Github include ThisIsWin11, Iex Win10Debloater, and Sycnex Win10Debloater.
Please do note that while these are the most reputable ones available, they are still third-party tools, and there is always a small degree of risk when using them. So if youre going to use them, we highly recommend creating a system restore point so that even if things dont go as intended, you have a safety net to fall back on.
How to Improve Performance on Windows 11?
In addition to debloating, there are a number of things you can do to improve system performance on Windows 11:
Temp files tend to build up over time, and they can occupy a significant amount of space if theyre never cleaned up. So, its good practice to periodically use the Disk Cleanup utility and clean up temporary files. You can do so with the following steps:
- Press Win + R, type
cleanmgr, and press Enter.
- Select the system drive (usually C:) and press OK.
- Check the temporary files box. Optionally, you can read the description and select other types of files to cleanup as well.
- Press OK to perform the disk cleanup.
With normal PC use, i.e., you install some programs, delete others, move files, etc., the data scatters all over the HDD as fragments. Defragmenting, as the name suggests, organizes the data to reduce such fragmentation which leads to better performance. Thus, we recommend occasionally defragmenting with the steps listed below:
- Press Win + R, type
dfrgui, and press Enter.
- Select a drive and press Optimize.
- Additionally, you can also set up a weekly or monthly schedule for automatic optimization. To do so, press Change Settings and select the frequency.
Check Startup Apps
If youve installed a large number of programs on your PC, chances are, a lot of them are set to launch at Startup. Apps like Skype, Steam, Adobe programs, etc., are notorious for this, even though this is unnecessary in most cases. Thus, its best to review the startup list for your system with the following steps:
- Press CTRL + Shift + Esc and switch to the Startup tab.
- Go through the list, select a program you dont need at startup, and press Disable.
Update your System
Both driver and system updates play an important role in maintaining system stability and performance. Windows updates often fix critical bugs and issues which wouldve otherwise degraded system performance. Updating device drivers, especially certain ones like the GPU drivers, can also lead to improved performance. So, we recommend you do the same with the steps listed below:
- Press Win + R, type
ms-settings:windowsupdate, and press Enter.
- Press Check for Updates, and download and install any available ones.
- Press Win + X and select Device Manager.
- Right-click the device driver you want to update and select Update Driver.
- Click on Search automatically for drivers. If youve downloaded the latest driver from the OEMs site, you should instead select Browse my computer for drivers to install the driver manually.
Scan for Malware
Malware often uses large amounts of system resources while disguising itself as a legitimate system process. If your system is already protected by Windows Defender or a third-party antivirus, good job! If not, we highly recommend at least using Windows Defender and performing a scan with the following steps:
- Press Windows + I and navigate to Privacy and Security > Windows Security > Virus & Threat Protection.
- Select Scan Options > Full Scan > Scan Now.
- In the case of antiviruses, you can right-click the icon from the taskbar and select the Scan Option or do the same via the application interface.
A bit of a no-brainer, but assuming there are no budgetary restrictions, the best way to improve your systems performance is to upgrade the components.
Particularly, we recommend upgrading to an SSD if youre not already on one, as this will provide the most noticeable improvement. Next, you could also upgrade the RAM, GPU, and CPU, according to your needs and preferences.
Can I Use Scripts to Debloat Windows 11? Is It Safe?
Weve recommended a few reputable debloaters in the article above, but as reliable as they are, they are still third-party tools. Open source doesnt always mean vetted; some popular tools have been found to contain Trojans in the past. So, ultimately, we recommend sticking to the native tools to debloat Windows 11.