Bloatbox was initially designed as an extension for Spydish to give users options to remove Windows applications and system apps from the operating system. To avoid adding bloat to Spydish, it was later decided to make it a standalone program that users may run independently.
Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system ships with numerous integrated applications. Some of these are app-versions of popular Windows tools, others offer new functionality.
Windows 10 administrators may remove some of the included apps using Settings > Apps, but most included applications cannot be removed. While some may ignore these and use third-party software, others may prefer to remove the apps altogether.
Bloatbox is a free portable program for Windows 10. Interested users can download the latest version from the official GitHub project site, or download the source code instead.
The program has a size of less than 100 Kilobytes when extracted. Note that Windows 10 may throw a SmartScreen warning prompt at you when you execute the application on the system. That's common practice and does not mean that the application is malicious or problematic, only that it is new and that Microsoft does not have enough information about it to make an educated decision.
The interface of the application is divided into three columns: the leftmost column lists the supported applications, the middle column the available functions, and the right column the list of applications the user wants to process.
A total of 63 different Windows applications are listed in the current version by default. The majority of applications are apps that ship with Windows; users who have installed Windows apps will find them in the list as well, and that is also true for apps installed on the system by the manufacturer or Microsoft (that are third-party).
To name a few: Bing News, Get Help, Microsoft 3D Viewer, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, MS Paint, People, Surface Hub, Todos, or Wallet.
Check the "show system apps" option to increase the number to 107 supported applications.
Note: The program removes the applications for good. Doing so may impact functionality on the system. It is advised to create a system backup before you use the application to remove apps from the system.
Select the uninstall button in the interface to start the removal process. The titles of the action buttons may be somewhat confusing, as you find "remove" and "uninstall" actions and may not know the difference between the two. Uninstall removes the selected applications from the system, remove merely removes them from the list of apps to uninstall.
A better system would be to remove the "add" and "remove" options altogether and move apps on selection to the list it is not listed in.
Bloatbox does a good job at removing Windows apps from the system provided that you run it with elevated rights. The application is very basic, but it is tiny and portable, and works well. It could some user interface and usability improvements; besides the already mentioned confusing remove/uninstall options, it would be good if each application would display a short description on selection, and if the selection of "show system apps" would show a warning.
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