How to clean up Windows 11 without additional programs

Do I need to clean and optimize Windows 11 after installation

Operating systems, be it Windows, Android or even Linux, can be used to promote products and services. Therefore, at present, one of the main questions after reinstalling the OS is not how to install new programs, but how to remove pre-installed ones. For unnecessary, useless software that is installed against the will of the user, they came up with the term bloatware.

These unnecessary applications are often added to startup and consume system resources (RAM and CPU resources), take up space on the screen and even in the quick launch bar, they are automatically updated, sometimes at the wrong time, for example, when using a limited Internet connection.

There are several tools for removing unnecessary software, cleaning and optimizing the system for Windows, but how useful and harmless are they?

To begin with, I would strongly advise against running executable files on your computer from any source other than those that you are absolutely sure of.

There are open source tools available, such as a Windows cleanup script written in PowerShell. In my opinion, all these tools, even open source ones, are of little use and may even be harmful.

In most cases, it is enough to make a few settings and remove a few tools from autorun to get rid of bloatware in Windows. As for the dozens and even hundreds of other actions that Windows cleaning tools perform, they are mostly either useless or can cause unforeseen consequences.

In this note, we will look at how to remove unnecessary apps from startup and how to remove useless programs and icons from the quick launch bar.

Cleaning Windows 11 after installation without additional programs

This is what the Taskbar and System Tray look like in a freshly installed Windows 11:

Other than the Start menu, I don't need any of these icons! Let's see how to customize the quick launch bar (Taskbar) for yourself.

Checking and cleaning startup

Press Win+x and select Task Manager.

Click on the “More details” button, go to the “Startup” tab, sort by “Status” and disable applications that you do not need in autorun.

To remove an application from startup, right-click on it and select “Disable”.

The changes you make will take effect on the next boot.

How to remove icons from the taskbar

To customize the Taskbar, right-click on it and click “Taskbar settings”.

In the window that opens, find “Taskbar items” and disable the ones you don't need.

For example like this:

After that, the taskbar began to look like this:

I don't need a Microsoft browser (I use Chrome and Firefox instead), I don't need Windows Explorer (I use Double Commander instead), and I don't need the Microsoft Store in Quick Access. To remove all these items, right-click on them and select “Unpin from taskbar”.

See also: Free analogue of Total Commander

All that's left is this:

To add applications that you frequently use to the Taskbar, open the application, right-click on the application's icon in the Taskbar, and select “Pin to taskbar”.

My selection of the most used programs:

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