A software company may have launched many freeware and commercial programs for the masses. If it launches a new product, the company will bundle the new software in the setup of an existing product. When the user installs a program, the setup will install some other applications without the consent of the user.
Third party software developers try different methods to earn money from their applications. They partner with other developers for the same.
During the installation of a program, you may have noticed that the installer recommends you to download and install some other application. It displays an already selected check box. If you don’t notice this check box, the program will install junk application or a browser plugin on your PC.
The unwanted applications (popularly known as PUP) will start when the Windows OS boots. It will consume RAM even tough you don’t use the program. The addon will add a toolbar (Example: Conduit, Ask, etc) to your browser or it may change the browser settings.
To make sure that don’t get tricked by a program, install and use the Unchecky freeware from Reason software company.
Unchecky is a lightweight anti PUP program which runs as a Windows service. It constantly monitors your PC and gets into action when the user tries to install a new application, Unchecky will automatically deselect all options displayed by the installer (options to download useless stuff). This makes sure that the user doesn’t download unwanted programs on his PC.
If check boxes are not displayed, Unchecky freeware will warn you whenever a program installer tries to download junk applications.
To check if the program is running in the background or not, you should click on its icon from the Windows taskbar. When you do so, you’ll see a small window which flaunts the current status of the Unchecky Program.
The window displays 5 buttons for navigating to home, settings, about, activity log panels and suspending the Unchecky service.
In Unchecky settings, you can change the default language of the program. You can also prevent it from displaying warning tool tips, automatic updates and notification area icon.
To check if Unchecky is working or not, click on activity log button. To disable it, click on suspend service button.
I tested this program with the torrent client. During its installation, the torrent displayed an offer to download the BitTorrent bundle. Unchecky deselected the option of downloading this program. It displayed a notification for the same and updated its log file. Here’s the screenshot for the same.
Pros and Cons of Unchecky
- Fast, stable and reliable.
- Works with all types of commercial applications and freeware.
- Requires low system resources.
- Service status can be checked from the taskbar.
- Updates automatically when a new version of the program is available.
- There’s no option to save the log data in a file.
Conclusion: Unchecky is a simple but effective tool that blocks installation of potentially unwanted programs on your Windows computer. It’s one of the must have programs for those users who frequently download and install software from the web. When I was testing it on my laptop, Unchecky consumed just 1.5 megabytes of RAM.