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PostPoints tip: Police program installers

A lot of Windows programs act as if they are the most important software in the world--or so you'd judge from their installation routines, which dump links and shortcuts all over the desktop and Start menu. Cleaning up after that junk takes time, especially when each update to the program repeats the littering offense. Instead, opt for a custom install, an option you should see presented by the installer under labels like "custom install," "options" or "customize." This should let you opt out of unnecessary desktop clutter and decline the extra applications that are installed alongside some new releases. You can also use this trick with the few Mac programs that require installers, but most Mac software only requires you drag and drop a program's icon into a Mac's Applications folder. If a strange Mac application asks you to type an administrator password before its installer will run, you should be suspicious.

(This tip originally ran on Oct. 23, 2007. I'm recycling older tips--updated where necessary--while I'm out on parental leave through mid-August.)

By Rob Pegoraro  |  August 16, 2010; 9:39 AM ET
Categories:  Tips  
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Why it is that Adobe Reader has to drop shortcuts all over the desktop every time it updates is beyond me. Who in the world opens the Reader and then looks for a PDF?

Apple's installers on Windows are some of the worst out there,as if trying to make a point about Windows by being the worst possible citizen it could be. Their newest idiocy is making Windows 7 taskbar links to iTunes inoperable after any point upgrade.

Posted by: memew | August 16, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

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