Malware, crapware, shovelware--it all falls into the category of unwanted software. Unfortunately, much of it arrives on the hard drives of new PCs, sucking up valuable system resources, annoying you with pop-ups, and sometimes even interfering with your system's operation. ZDNet's George Ou explains how to rid your PC of gunkware using a pair of free tools: Autoruns, a utility that lets you choose what programs run at startup; and CCleaner, which cleans out temp files, browser histories, the Windows Registry, and other system detritus.
While you're at it, check out the PC Decrapifier, which, true to its name, removes all the crapware that vendors preload on new PCs. To me that's a better option than simply disabling it, which is what you get from Autoruns.