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Avoid Crapware with Giveaway of the Day Free Software

Giveaway of the Day is an interesting site and sometimes they offer some decent programs for free. However, there is always a catch, they try to include crapware during the app install. We’ll show you how to avoid the extra junk during the install process.

The first thing they try to install is Software Informer. Notice they say it’s (recommended) and some might think they need to install this as part of the free program, but you don’t. Make sure you select No on this screen.

sshot-2009-11-10-[19-52-42]

What is Software Informer?

It is a utility that is designed to give you information about software installed on your computer when it is out of date. The problem is that it doesn’t do a very good job and gives several false positives about updates. If you want to make sure your software is updated, use an HTG recommended program like Secunia PSI which we have previously covered in this article.

4gotd

By default it sits in an awkward place on your desktop and in the Notification Area and pops new GOTD downloads. One of the reasons they give to install it is it notifies when GOTD has a new program available… well you don’t need that because there is a new one up everyday at 2am CST.

3gotd

Another interesting thing I found is that it is a Beta version of the program. It doesn’t tell you that at all, and I know a lot of users don’t want apps still in beta stage on their PC.

5gotd 

The other thing you may not want is the GOTD site added to your bookmarks. This option is checked by default, so make sure to uncheck the boxes if you don’t want them. It appears under the software app install screen and you’ll see it after the free app they’re giving away installs. Notice there is another attempt to install Software Informer here as well.

2gotd

Conclusion

We’re not anti-GOTD as they sometimes have quality free commercial software. Just be careful not to install the extra junk if you don’t want it. You will be offered Software Informer and the bookmarks every time you download something from them. For more on avoiding junk in your software installs check out our article…Rants: We Hate the Scam of Bundled Crapware.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/11/09

Comments (17)

  1. Punchy

    I was a GOTD visitor in it’s infancy, but I found that increasingly the quality of the software offered was subpar or at times even downright dangerous. On one occasion the offending offering rendered my system unusable and forced me to re-install the operating system. As you mentioned, there are some real gems that come up from time to time, but please be sure to dig into the user reviews and see what others have experienced with installations, removals, included toolbars, BHO’s etc…before you take the plunge.

    Rarely go there these days and prefer sites such as this one to tip me off on new releases, giveaways and deals, along with the accompanying review to put my mind at ease.

    Punchy

  2. calebstein

    GOTD is one of the best sites I have found and the software informer is very useful. I haven’t found any crap with any GOTD software I have installed.

  3. jon

    GOTD is a great idea, but they never seem to give away any software that I want. It’s all junkware that nobody wants in the first place. They do have to make money somehow, I suppose, but it seems like the installer is trying to trick people.

    At least somebody is looking out for us, thanks!

  4. Mina

    I’ve used GOTD for a couple years now with great results. There are many good games given away and some are great. The same goes for the applications.

    Check the rating at GOTD on what’s available and it’s a good source of games and utilities.

  5. Steve Smith

    I’ve been a daily visitor to GOTD for about 2 years now. I’ve found some gems from them, and – more often than not – software that’s of no interest. However, given it’s free, beggers can’t be choosers. And like I said, they do sometimes give away great software. And regarding the “add-on-ware”, many freeware programs offer to install other apps by default. As mentioned in this article, it’s up to the user to be sure they only install the items they want.

  6. Doc

    Not a fan of Giveaway of the Day. If I could download something and install it whenever I wanted, I’d be much more interested.

  7. Calvin

    Today (11-14-2009) I downloaded “SaveTubeVideo” from GOTD. I hadn’t read this article, and the next thing I knew “Software Informer” was installed. I stop the program “SI” at the last second and clicked display the information you are about to transmit. To my dismay, along with software and version, it would have transmitted drive and directory location.
    Can anyone out there explain why an external source needs this information???!
    Security being our number 1 issue with computers these day, no good purpose for extracting this MUCH information comes to mind, and after all of that with the Software/System Informer, the SaveTubeVideo is juke. It locks at the end of each video it’s attempting to download.

  8. Calvin

    Update on GOTD’s SaveTubeVideo. Several hours after I left the internet, my top processes gadget reported that “SaveTubeVideo” was using 14% of my processor for downloading something I know nothing about (it has 4 Outbound threads in my firewall). My Internet Lock at the time was using 6% of the processor. I thought it was odd that the Internet Lock ask for internet access a little earlier, but I didn’t monitor my system at the time. It’s never asked for Internet access before???!
    It and “SaveTubeVideo” are burning up the processor when they should both be idle.

  9. Roee Adler

    I wonder why GOTD bundles such software with their downloads. They must know about the resistance it creates among some users, and as you mentioned letting the user know when GOTD has a new app available does not seem like a good enough reason. So what’s the gain?

  10. Rick

    I agree about most of their offerings being “sub-par” at best. I mean, how many movie converters does a person want anyway? I was particularly impressed (not!) with one of their vendor websites that had more broken English and misspelled words on it’s home page than I had ever seen before.

    Anyway, the main reason for my post: For those folks that do like to try out some of their offerings, I would suggest a program called Regshot. It’s free and it’s here:

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/regshot/

    If this link violates the rules and is removed, I’m sorry. If that happens, just Google Regshot. What it does is take a snapshot before and after you install a program and gives you a complete report of ALL changes made to the Windoze registry. This can be a life saver when you have to remove one of those programs by the roots!

    Rock on people.

  11. Lille Skvat

    I got a trojan once from GOTD. Then, I stopped downloading their software…

  12. ggtt

    people… isstop!

  13. jb

    The best part of the GOTD site is the forums as the people their steer you in the right direction,also very informative about a subject I may be interested in and probably know nothing about.

  14. jd

    The GOTD is a scam in my opinion. Only being allowed to install the program on one specific date, makes it a scam. When it comes time to reinstall your operating system, which happens often with many people, your screwed when it comes time to reinstall your “free” software. Its nothing but blatant false advertising, so that the software manufacturer can get you on their email spam list. It wouldn’t surprise me if the GOTD site gets paid for each install.

  15. jd

    Their forums are also moderated, so you aren’t going to get any truthful/unbiased answers there.

  16. Bernard

    It isn’t a scam: how could the manufacturers sell their software if it were permanently available from GOTD? I have found many useful free programs on the site and – touch wood – have so far had no trouble with any of them. It is always a good idea to set a restore point before installing any program, though.

  17. BLooDSaCHoK

    What nonsense.. There are no extra crap. I use zonealarm with avast antivirus and none of their gotd tried to access the net.
    It’s free to install for that day only because it’s not a freeware. Google that software and you will find that you have to purchase it.

    GOTD’s SaveTubeVideo? Who would install that when browsers have add on?
    They offer free software/games but who would install every daily giveaway. Just install what interest you and dont install blindly.

    PS: Peerblock is a must have. I added china to my list. They have been active nowadays. Stole my email account to spam my friends.

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