Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to tell what software is on my new Windows 8.1 laptop?

  1. #1


    Posts : 8
    Windows 8.1

    How to tell what software is on my new Windows 8.1 laptop?


    I just got a new HP laptop that comes with Windows 8.1. On my old Windows XP laptop it came with the Windows XP CD, as well as the HP drivers for that particular laptop. Now there is no CD and I am having a hard time trying to figure out all this stuff that has been installed on it - seems a lot of them are trial software installed by the manufacturer.

    Some of these look like programs designed for tablets? Programs like "Food and Drink", "Health and Fitness", "Weather", "Travel", "Sports", "News", "Maps" Are these integral part of Windows 8.1?

    Also comes with it is Windows Defender, Avast Secureline, McAfee Central I think some of these work against each other right? I think I need one antivirus software, and I am more comfortable with Malwarebytes for malware detection.

    Sorry I am all over the place here I guess my first question is how do I peel back all this fluff and strip it down to the bare minimum before I install the stuff I need?

    Second question is if the manufacturer does not provide a Windows CD and a driver's CD how do I rebuild the machine in case something happens to it?

    Thanks in advance.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    N.Y.
    Posts : 2,214
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit


    Are those programs you see as Food and Drink, etc... on Start Menu as seems as though this is where you would see them, they are Metro apps and standard to be there for windows 8.1. As Windows Defender is default Virus, Antimalware scanner and real time protection and if add another real time protection either it will disable Defender or may have to.

    McAfee Central is an app that runs in your Windows 8 environment, offering helpful functionality and access to special offers. When you install McAfee Central, a new McAfee Central tile displays on your desktop.

    Check Program and Features in control panel this will show you all that is installed and where can uninstall software, but i would familiarize myself with a new system before going and uninstalling stuff as some may be connected to other programs.

    If needed driver updates or any other system updates besides through Windows update best place to go is HP's website look under support for your model number. As far as not getting a CD with system a lot of preinstalled operating system manufacturer's do this lately as there is a backup on the system through doing a refresh in Windows 8.1 if needed.


    Avast Secureline is this and sure it is only a trial https://www.avast.com/en-us/secureline-vpn



      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    HP loads a lot of junkware and trial software since they get paid to do so.

    Since this is a new laptop. think about doing a Clean Install of Windows 8.1. You can download the iso here:
    https://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/18309-windows-8-windows-8-1-iso-download-create.html


    Then follow this tutorial" Clean Install - Windows 8

    It would be a good idea to create the recovery disc set before doing this so you can get back to where you are now if necessary, or do an image backup of the hard drive to an external USB hard drive before reinstalling.

    Doing this will give you a clean install with no junk or trial software.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    St. Augustine
    Posts : 388
    windows 8.1 64, LT -Windows 10 Home 64


    First project and a very important one.

    Make your initial system recovery disks. Locate the HP Recovery Manager either in the Apps Section or the HP Support Assistant. On a new PC you can only make this media once and it will allow you to return the PC to Out-of-the-box condition.

    Next I would make sure the Windows System Protection (Restore Points) is enabled. You can find this in Action Center (Control Panel) or white flag on bottom of screen. Recovery/Configure System Restore.

    Post a screen shot of Programs & Features screen and you will get recommendations on what to remove. HP does include a lot of junk but some of it can be useful but most of it is BS.

    Uninstall Apps that you don't want or need.

    I have been buying HP PC's for many years and currently have a desktop and laptop, both less than 2 years old. My laptop is only 5 months old so I have a pretty good idea what might be on yours.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    This little gem is great for new computers: PC Decrapifier

    I've used it with XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1.

    Fixed link
    Last edited by Ztruker; 12 Jul 2015 at 12:35.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    N.Y.
    Posts : 2,214
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    This little gem is great for new computers: PC Decrapifier

    I've used it with XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1.
    dead link
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    A screenshot of the things that you are seeing would help us find the best answer to your question.

    To check the installed programs on your computer, you need to access the "Programs and Features" section of the Control Panel. The shortcut would be:
    1. Press and hold the WINDOWS and R keys on your keyboard.
    2. On the Run window, type "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER. A new window should appear with the list of programs currently installed on your computer.

    From there, you can remove or uninstall any unwanted programs before installing those programs that you prefer such as Malwarebytes, Avast, McAfee or Trend Micro.

    By the way, all the other Control Panel shortcut commands are here: List of control panel commands and shortcut keys
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by jds63 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    This little gem is great for new computers: PC Decrapifier

    I've used it with XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1.
    dead link
    Thanks, fixed the link
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    N.Y.
    Posts : 2,214
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jds63 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    This little gem is great for new computers: PC Decrapifier

    I've used it with XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1.
    dead link
    Thanks, fixed the link
    Your welcome, nice lightweight utility, no install, gotta a laugh at the name De-Crap-ifier ! Reminds me a bit of this software from feature where shows you percentage to keep the software or not. This is rated well, but installs on PC
    https://www.slimwareutilities.com/slimcleaner.php
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    ZTrucker use the Majorgeeks.com link for the software. No issues with that, and always clean safe software. The issue with the default Metro Apps, is that they are placed in three places. There is a folder that is system only, that holds them, but you can never totally get rid of them.

    Norton is a huge problem when you try to get rid of it. You have to manually dig into the registry to get rid of all traces.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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