Debloat Windows 10

Completely Debloat Windows 10 in 2021 – Safe Guide

Many default programs that come prepacked with Windows 10 may be slowing down your computer and using a good amount of your system resources. I guess you don’t want that, that’s why you are here!

In this post, I will show you step by step how to debloat Windows 10 and increase the responsiveness, privacy, and performance of your computer. But before we get to the debloating part, let me explain to you a few things that you should know!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does debloating Windows 10 actually mean?

Debloating Windows 10 means getting rid of most of the pre-installed apps in Windows 10. Most of the time, these apps are useless to us, and also tweaking/optimizing some windows settings and registry values for better privacy and performance.

Is Debloating Windows 10 worth it?

Debloating Windows 10 is definitely worth it if done correctly since the operating system comes with so many apps pre-installed that makes your computer slow for no actual reason.

What are the benefits of Debloating my computer?

Your computer will use fewer resources, which automatically means you will have more resources to use on your games and apps that you actually use. You will also have a cleaner computer and a more responsive interface.

Do I need to fresh install Windows before debloating?

No, but ideally, you should debloat the system right after installation.

What is a Windows 10 Debloater?

Combined Powershell scripts whose main purpose is to uninstall and remove pre-installed applications from Windows 10 which are not useful to the users, disable telemetry functions and disable unnecessary scheduled tasks for the users to have a better Windows environment, faster and more responsive computer and overall a cleaner and better system use.

Is it safe to Debloat Windows 10?

Debloating Windows 10 is completely safe if you don’t mess up with services you don’t know what they are doing. As long as you follow my guide, or you know what you are doing, debloating Windows 10 is completely safe.

Step 1 – Install all the Latest Updates on your Computer

The first thing you should do before you debloat Windows 10 is make sure your pc is up to date with the latest Windows 10 updates.

  1. Type “Check for updates” in your search bar and click on the result.
  2. Click on “Check for updates,” if there is any update available, let it finish the installation and restart your pc if needed.
To show the user how the Windows Update tab looks like.

Step 2 – Create a restore point

I highly recommend creating a restore point before debloating Windows 10. If something goes wrong or you don’t like some of the changes made, you can revert everything to the previous state with the restore point. ( The script we will be using will automatically create a restore point for us, but it’s super easy and quick to do it by yourself that is definitely worth it. Just in case anything goes wrong.)

To create a restore point follow the steps below :

  1. In the search box, type Create a restore point and select the option from the results list.
Shows how to Create a restore point in Windows 10 before debloating the computer.
type ” Create a restore point ” and click on the option

2. On the System Protection tab, click on your system drive, and press on configure. Enable the option Turn on system protection, and on Max usage, choose a value between 5% and 10%. It should be enough to save your new restore point.

How to configure your restore point in Windows 10.
Choose your system drive and click on configure !
Setting the system protection on and the max usage on GB's of your system restore point.
Click apply and OK

3. Click on Create, type a description, for example, “before debloat” and again click on Create.

Giving a description name on your Restore point, so you can remember it if needed.

Now that we created a restore point, we are safe to proceed to the actual part of debloating our Windows 10 computer with the help of some scripts and software.

Step 3 – Let’s Debloat Windows 10

There are a lot of debloat scripts around the internet which are referred to as Windows 10 debloaters. Personally, I’ve used a lot of them. But the Windows 10 debloater we will use in this tutorial is from farag2 on Github since it frequently updates, and it’s one of the best scripts out there. If you want to support the creator and the contributors to this tool, you can visit the farag2 Github profile.

Here is a sum up of the core features of the Sophia script :

A list of the script's core features I am using on this guide to debloat Windows 10 in 2021.
Core features – Can be found on GitHub too
The scripts supported Windows 10 versions as of January 2021.
Supported OS Versions – Check frequently since the developers are actively working on the project!

Now that you know the main features of this script and the supported windows 10 versions, I think we are ready to start!

The first thing I want you to do is to check your Windows version!

How can i check my Windows 10 Version ?

  1. Go to your search bar and type ” winver ” and hit enter
  2. You should be able to see the exact version
How to find your exact windows 10 version that your computer is running.

Once you know your exact windows 10 version, go ahead and download the script. ( Make sure to download the file that matches your Windows 10 version.

How to find and download Sophia script.
Choose the version depending on your Windows version
How to download Sophia's script on Github.
Download the script zip file

Once you downloaded the file, go ahead and extract it. As the developers suggest, you can edit the file and choose what gets changed and whatnot. If you have no idea and you think you may mess up everything, stick with me, and continue reading!

Now that you have extracted all the files, your folder should look like this:

How the files of the Sophia script look after extracting the zip file.

Now let’s actually start debloating Windows 10 !

Step 1 – Run PowerShell as admin from the scripts folder directly.

On the top left of the folder that you extracted the script files, click on file then move your mouse to the arrow of the option “Open Windows PowerShell” and click on “Open Windows PowerShell as administrator“.

How to run PowerShell as administrator from a specific folder.

Step 2 – Set execution policy to be able to run scripts on this PowerShell session

Copy this: Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force and right-click on the PowerShell tab, and hit enter.

Step 3 – Run the Script (Debloater)

On the same powershell window type: .\Sophia.ps1 and press enter.

Step 4 – Choose which Scheduled Tasks you want to disable

I prefer to disable everything, but you can go ahead and untick whatever scheduled task you want to keep enabled. Once you choose the ones you want to get disabled, click on the Disable button.

The script's first phase shows a tab to choose which Windows 10Scheduled Tasks you would like to be disabled by the script.
Tick the tasks you want to get disabled and click on the DISABLE grey button!

Step 5 – Disable Windows Features

The next tab will ask you which Windows features you want to disable. Go ahead and disable everything unless you know you need some of these features. WindowsPowerShellv2 is an older version, and if you are a normal user, you will probably never use it, so you can disable it right now.

Shows the debloating scripts tab to choose from several features, which one you want to be disabled.

Step 6 – Optional features to disable

These features right here, it’s a personal preference. I usually disable everything. Suppose you don’t really use any of these features. I recommend deleting everything since there are better alternatives. Remember that you should tick the ones you want to be disabled. Once you made your choices, click on Disable, and let’s move on to the next step.

Step 7 – Background Apps

By the time you get here, in front of your screen should be the background apps tab. Disable whatever doesn’t need to start up with your computer. I personally have everything turned off. But don’t worry, though. We will go more in-depth later on.

Step 8 – Changing Locations of the main folders

  1. Would you like to change the location of the Desktop folder?
    • Type S and hit enter, unless you want to change it.
  2. Would you like to change the location of the Documents Folder?
    • Type S and hit enter, unless you want to change it.
  3. Would you like to change the location of the Downloads Folder?
    • Type S and hit enter, unless you want to change it.
  4. Would you like to change the location of the Music folder?
    • Type S and hit enter, unless you want to change it.
  5. Would you like to change the location of the Pictures folder?
    • Type S and hit enter, unless you want to change it.
  6. Would you like to change the location of the Videos folder?
    • Type S and hit enter, unless you want to change it.

Step 9 – Deleting UWP Packages

Here you want only to keep the ones that you really use. Many of these may be useless to you, so go ahead and tick the ones you don’t need. I only keep some of the Xbox packages, Calculator, Windows Photos, and the Windows Camera.

Once you are ready, on the top right side of the tab, make sure to tick the option ” Uninstall for All Users ” and click on Uninstall. If you don’t know which ones you must uninstall, go ahead and copy my selections below.

Demonstrate the tab of the Windows 10 UWP Packages you want to be unistalled by the script.
Demonstrate the tab of the Windows 10 UWP Packages you want to be uninstalled by the script. * 2nd page

Give it some time to finish uninstalling. Once completed, move on to the next step!

Step 10 – Setting graphics performance ( Optional )

The script will ask you if you want to set the graphics performance setting of an app of your choice to “High Performance.”

Type A and hit enter. Now look for the .exe file of the game/program to apply the high-performance setting. This will increase the fps in your games, but there is a good possibility you’ve already done it if you watch optimization videos on YouTube.

Step 11 – Enable Controlled Folder Access ( Optional )

There is a good possibility you want to protect a specific folder just if there is any malware on your computer. If you have any financial documents or anything valuable to you, you may consider enabling this option to that folder.

Step 12 – Allow an app to access the folder you previously Protected ( Optional )

If you enabled the controlled folder access feature, you might want to allow an app to access that folder. If you do, type A and hit enter if you don’t skip to the next.

Step 13 – Specify a folder to be excluded from Microsoft Defender malware scans?

The title speaks by itself. Press A and enter to add or S and enter to skip .

Step 14 – Specify a file to be excluded from Microsoft Defender malware scans?

Same as the previous step .

If everything went well, we should get a yellow message at the end of the PowerShell telling us to make sure we restart our computer.

Don’t restart yet!

Now before you restart your computer, let’s do some final tweaks on the start-up apps, and we are ready to go.

Step 4 – Eliminating Startup apps and processes

We will now disable some startup apps and processes that we don’t need and are bloating our system. We won’t go with the traditional way from the task manager, but instead, we will go more in-depth in the processes with the help of Autoruns by Microsoft. Autoruns will allow us to see every single app and process running and automatically start when our computer turns on.

Go ahead and download Autorun as shown in the image below.

How to download Autoruns for Windows ( Microsoft tool )

Once downloaded, extract the files to a folder and right-click on Autoruns.exe, and choose run as administrator.

How the Autoruns folder looks like when we extract the zip file.
Run Autoruns.exe as administrator

Now a tab should open and look like this

The main page of Autoruns tool by Microsoft.

Move to the logon tab, and go ahead and untick every single service you don’t need to start up with your computer. It’s safe to disable everything in this tab if you wanted to .

My Logon tab looks like this :

Logon tab from Autoruns software and how it looks optimized.

Once you are done with the Logon tab , let’s move on to the Scheduled Tasks tab.

On the Scheduled Tasks tab I prefer to keep enabled only what’s related to my GPU/CPU software updates. I disable everything related to browsers and other software that i barely use, since if there is any update you will most probably get a notification from the program itself.

My Scheduled Tasks tab looks like this:

Scheduled Tasks tab from Autoruns software and how it looks optimized.

The last tab we are going to optimize and tweak is the Services tab and debloat our Windows even more.

On the services tab, we don’t want to disable anything that will make our game/program unstable or don’t even start. For example, if you disable EasyAntiCheat, you may get errors when playing online games that depend on it. Another example is that if you disable MBAMService, Malwarebytes will not start on startup.

There is a description box in every service that will give you an idea of what this service is about and what you should expect if you disable/enable it.

Here is a screenshot of my Services tab :

Services tab from Autoruns software and how it looks optimized.

Once you are done with the Services tab, close autoruns

Step 5 – Uninstalling the rest of the apps manually.

It’s a great idea to uninstall any software/app you are not using to free up some space on your drive.

Go to your search bar and type “Add or remove program” and click on the option available.

Now go ahead and uninstall any app you are not using on your computer.

How to uninstall apps you are not using on Windows 10.

Step 6 – Last but not least ( Optional )

In this final step, you want to make sure your computer is fully clear from spyware, adware, malware, viruses, etc.

Go ahead and download AdwCleaner, and once download, just click on the file. Agree to the terms and services, and now you should see a window like this one below.

Remove adware and spyware using AdwCleaner by Malwarebytes

Click on Scan Now, and let AdwCleaner finish scanning your computer. Once completed, you should see the option Quarantine on the bottom right side of the window. Go ahead and click on it. Note that it will restart your browser once you do it.

If you did it, then Welcome back !

Now, go ahead and download Malwarebytes. You can get the free version or the 14day trial. ( If you want to be totally safe on the internet and can afford it, you can get the premium version and then disable Windows defender(If you wish to) – But if you know what you are doing, Windows defender or Malwarebytes free is more than enough ).

Install Malwarebytes and then open it. Click on Scanner -> Advanced Scanners ->Configure Scan, and select the option scan for rootkits and also, on the right side, select all your drives and click on Scan. This scan may take a lot of time, but it can save you from very unwanted situations.

How to remove viruses and malware from your computer

Once the scan is completed, quarantine everything and restart your PC.

That’s it, and now you have a lighter, debloated, faster, safer, and more responsive Windows 10 computer. Now that you debloated your computer, you might want to optimize your ping and network settings to have a properly configured computer.

If after following this guide you still can’t debloat and optimize your pc properly, you can book a PC Optimization appointment with me and I will be more than happy to help you out and solve all your problems.

Using a VPN?

If you absolutely need to use a VPN for whatever reason, then make sure they have a lot of servers across the world, as well as their servers, are the fastest with the lowest ping possible. If you are looking for the best gaming and general use VPN without spending too much money, then you should take a look at NordVPN and get 3 Months completely FREE!

If you absolutely need to use a VPN for whatever reason, then make sure they have a lot of servers across the world, as well as their servers, are the fastest with the lowest ping possible. If you are looking for the best gaming and general use VPN without spending too much money, then you should take a look at NordVPN and get 3 Months completely FREE!

Guides to Optimize your PC

Below you can find some posts from me that will help you optimize your PC even more and possibly increase your FPS.

If you have any questions suggestions or you need help, please let me know in the comments below!

Comments

  1. This is very helpful for people like me who is a novice. Thank you for writing in a very readable manner.

    Is there a way of undoing all the changes? and how?

    1. Author

      Hello Ray,
      Going back to a Restore point would be the easiest and most convenient way to possibly revert all the changes.

  2. Thank you very much. I “cookbooked” it and it worked out.

    With appreciation,

    Mark

  3. I am still at the very beginning and already I cannot find the SCRIPT in Sophia,,,,

    grin

    1. Author

      I’ve updated the post with two photos to get a better idea of how to download the script.

  4. Thank you for this guide! I run Linux as my main OS, but do run Win10 in Virtualbox for a couple of pieces of software that I can’t get for Linux. I wanted to strip out some of the bloat from Win10 and this guide has been invaluable! Many thanks once again!

  5. Step 3 yields

    “.\Sophia.ps1 : The term ‘.\Sophia.ps1’ is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable
    program. Check the spelling of the name, or if a path was included, verify that the path is correct and try again.
    At line:1 char:1
    + .\Sophia.ps1
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : ObjectNotFound: (.\Sophia.ps1:String) [], CommandNotFoundException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : CommandNotFoundException”

  6. Fantastic Step-by-Step assault on the bloatware MS blesses us all with! The Sophia script appears to be very thorough, and designed for folks with my low level of competence! Wish I had found your site years ago.

    I’m still hung up over finding the right file to run within PowerShell. My Win-10 identifies itself as Version 21H1 (OS Build 19043.1110). When I tried to execute the file, Sophia-Script-for-Windows-master\Sophia\PowerShell 5.1\Manifest\Sophia.psd1, I got an error message telling me to UPDATE.

    Where exactly on Farag2’s page should I be downloading the file I need?

    Thanks for any additional clarification.

  7. step 1 updating windows? wtf lm doing this because the fucking windows updates on first place…
    besides all the other step like damn, l dont have 20 hours to do this shit bro. Maybe you are a dork who loves being all day with their PC doing programming and that stupid boring shit but most people dont

Leave a Comment