Software Annoyances that Need to Go Away

I think the author of this article would probably find that a majority of users would agree with him, but since most of the annoyances listed are used by software companies as a means to generate additional income, I don’t think many of these annoyances will be going away in the near future.

I install hundreds of programs each year and while most of those installations work just fine and without issues, some come with annoyances that most users would probably like to live without. While many of the following annoyances are found in installers, some of them are experienced while the program is running, upgraded or removed from the operating system. The majority of annoyances perform operations without giving the user a choice in the matter, or hide the choice so that most users won’t prevent its execution.

Feel free to add your own annoyances in the comment section below.

Software Annoyances

Opening Web Urls after installation or removal

open website installation

Some programs like to open web urls after you have installed them or have started the removal process. While there is nothing wrong with that if the program gives you a choice in this regard, it can be very annoying if a program does it on its own without giving you that choice.

These sites, often either a “thank you” or “sorry to see you go” page which may be useful for some users but usually are not very.

Sometimes, they may also list upgrade offers to a pro or premium version, or highlight other programs by the company.

Deceiving adware offers

smplayer adware

While it is easy enough to avoid any third-party offers in software installers by using portable software whenever available, some companies make it difficult for users to determine how to avoid those third party offers.

This may include hiding them behind an “advanced setup” switch or confusing users with the options presented in the installer (does next really mean that I won’t install the third party offer?).

Changing settings

imgburn adware

Changing search providers in web browsers used on a system is a lucrative business, and it comes as no surprise that companies try to make those changes either with user consent or sometimes in sneaky ways that are not obvious right away.

The Internet is filled with support requests by users who had their search engines, new tab pages or home pages modified and want to get them restored to their former self.

Closing Browsers

good close prompt

Another favorite that you may witness during installations but also while running software like browser cleaners.

The main issue arises when this happens without prior warning and prompt as you may lose unsaved work or open tabs depending on how you have configured your browser.

Adding autostart entries

google installer

Another favorite of mine. I don’t mind if programs ask you whether you want them to add an entry to the system’s autostart.

It becomes an issue as soon as programs do that without asking for user consent. You end up with programs autostarting with Windows that should not. On top of that, the start of the system may be slowed down by those additional entries.

Re-adding autostart / Task Scheduler entries

google update

Probably the most notorious program to get added over and over again to the autostart is Google Installer, and to the Task Scheduler Google Update.

It is not the only program with the behavior on the other hand, and the main issue here is that program’s should honor a user’s choice.

If I disable a program’s autostart once, or disable it in the Task Scheduler, then it should not re-add itself at a later point in time regardless of whether I install an update for it.

Installing other programs by the same company

install program

This is very similar to including third-party offers in a program installer, but instead of installing  a third-party program, a program by the creator of the program that you have decided to install on your system gets added on top of that.

If it is hidden behind a “custom” or “advanced” install option, and not required to run the actual program you want to install, then everything said about adware applies to the program as well.

No Close Option

emet no close

Some programs minimize to the System Tray area when you hit the close button, and may offer a close option only there when you right-click on the icon.

Others may not even offer that, which leaves forceful termination as the only viable option to close the program on the system once it is running.

Microsoft EMET is such a program. It cannot be closed once it is running, at least not by normal means.

Not telling you where software is installed to

Most programs provide you with options during installation to select an installation directory on the computer system.

Some however don’t ship with that option which means that you don’t really know where it was installed to.

While you may not need to know all the time, for instance if it added a start menu entry or desktop icon, programs that don’t do that and don’t tell you may be difficult to start especially if they are not saved using the program name but a developer or company name.

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