Ask the Readers: What’s the Worst Software You Can Think Of?

Is there a program or app that you absolutely hate? Tell us about it in this Ask the Readers segment.

When judging software, there are several different aspects to consider, such as its stability, interface, performance, price, and overall usefulness. Sometimes, a program or app might seem significant at first, but it updates into a bloated piece of crapware after using it for a while. Now is the time to vent about whatever software out there bugs you the most.


Everyone has a program out there that they love to hate. It could be a program you’re forced to use at work, or maybe a home program that doesn’t have a good alternative. Perhaps it’s just software that you’ve given up because you managed to find a suitable replacement. Whatever the case, we want to hear in the comments section below. What do you think the worst software in the world might be?

The software that receives the most complaints will receive a groovyPost Award for the Worst Software of 2012 and earn a place among the top ten apps/programs to avoid coming soon.



  1. Ryberg360

    Norton. It is the 1st program I uninstall when I setup new PCs. If you do use it, it crashes processes for a number of other running programs. Anytime you google search an issue, the first thing that shows up is “check to see if Norton is running.” Garbage

    • Steve Krause

      Now you got me thinking about all the Junkware installed on my HP when I bought it last year….

    • Brian Burgess

      Yeah, crapware gets a big + for new PC’s. Unless it’s a Microsoft Signature PC, the first thing I do to a new computer is reformat and install a fresh copy of Windows.

    • ShockerSH

      Exactly. Microsoft actually wins in my book on the AV side of things — Windows Security Essentials.

      Hey @disqus_8H4zdmnIVx:disqus / @mrgroove:disqus — is AV built into Windows 8?

      • Brian Burgess

        ShockerSH Yes! Windows 8 has built in Antivirus now. It’s called Windows Defender, and it’s the original Windows Defender, which protects against spyware, and merged with Microsoft Security Essentials, which is Microsoft’s free Antivirus protection — which we fully endorse here.

        If you want to check out more about that, here’s an article I wrote up about it:


  2. dlminton

    Adobe cs5. Actually Adobe anything. I can envision the development thinking, “Hey, this feature works, let’s change it, it’s too intuitive., Useful Help? Ha! They don’t need no stinkin’ help…let ’em ask each other”. Overpriced, overfeatured bloatware.

    • Steve Krause

      Adobe Anything :)

      I like that…..

      • Nan Bushq

        Adobe anything, squared! Awkward, bloated, and now that they’re drunk on their own version of design, illegible and unreadable. I’ve dumped everything, yes, even InDesign, which I used to love.

  3. BillyBean

    iTunes! It’s the worst and most terrible software I’ve ever installed on Windows. It’s even worse than most of the bundled bloatware that comes with prefab PCs.

    Have you seen how many processes iTunes installs and runs in the background? Here they are:



    And that doesn’t even include the 6 or 7 sync processes that are installed if you try to tie it into your Outlook or webmail contacts.

    It’s almost as if Apple purposefully made iTunes bad, I’ve heard it is better on Mac but that doesn’t make it excusable. While we’re at it, Safari for Windows is also terrible. Apple went as far as to entirely stop updating it about a year ago.

    • ZHexDFix

      Seconded. iTunes is the worst software in history. It has caused nothing but problems. It is the main reason I switched to Android early on.

    • Steve Krause

      +1 more for iTunes….. That’s the first one that came to my mind. Now that I’m past that….. I’ll think of the next one!

    • Brian Burgess

      +100 for iTunes on Windows. I think iTunes 11 is even worse too. I got off my iTunes habbit a couple of years ago though, and haven’t looked back.

      • ShockerSH

        What alternatives are there on a PC?

        • Brian Burgess

          ShockerSH There’s much better alternatives. Personally i like Foobar2000. It’s definitely more geeky, but you can skin it to death and it works with iOS devices…and other mobile players too.

          Here’s an article I wrote on it: https://www.groovypost.com/howto/sick-of-itunes-intall-foobar2000/

          Otherwise, I still have my collection of Music stored on my Home Server, then most of the time I use the streaming service MOG — https://www.groovypost.com/reviews/mog-windows-desktop/ — I like it better than Spotify, it streams at a higher bitrate, and has most of the music I need.

        • k.misc

          I would recommend MusicBee as an alternative.

    • ShockerSH

      You know what, I think the same thing. It’s like they make iTunes crap on my PC so i’ll buy a MAC.

      Is iTunes any better on the MAC? Anyone?

      • Henry Barnett

        I have itunes on my iMac and it is fine. In addition it works very well with the Apple TV and Airport Express Wi-Fi set up and of course the Remote app. Never had a problem. All these perople saying it is “the worst” are probably anti Apple. I am anti Windows having changed to iMac 2 years ago after using Windows since it started!! Worst software? Windows in all its forms.

        • Andy

          It’s not a case of being ‘anti-Apple’. More a case of not being so pro-Apple that you have bits of ‘California Designed’ products dripping out of every orifice like it seems you do.
          If Windows is so poor, give us a FEASIBLE Apple alternative to an enterprise solution that doesn’t involve mp3’s and teenagers.

          • Anthony

            Ha, love this post. Apple is so far away from enterprise ready that they even stopped trying when it came to servers and told people to use a mac mini instead. It’s on their own website, if I were them I’d be ashamed to call that little thing anything more than a print server. http://www.apple.com/server/

    • Russell

      I agree totally that iTunes is the worst. I’m not a big Apple fan anyway – I think they started in the wrong direction when the dropped the Lisa and, now that Steve Jobs has gone, I think they’ll just go downhill at an ever increasing rate.

      My daughter bought me an iPad Mini for Christmas and I want to synchronise the calendar on it with my PC. I have tried to use iTunes to do it but it just doesn’t do what the instructions say it should. It might work OK for music but it’s absolutely useless for anything serious. I have an Android based (Samsung) phone and synchronising that with my PC, using Samsung Kies, is an absolute breeze.

    • TheRock30

      I just got home from a frustrating day at work using- or trying to use Lotus Notes. Its a sin that they make people use that garbage especially in work places. Despite that, I have to cast my vote for iTunes, it actually makes me mad just thinking of that big big bloated piece of $#@! Even more when I see an update throwing another shovel full onto the pile.

    • whitelephant

      I second, third, and quad that! I have had a functioning computer before installing itunes in the past and itunes actually broke the os! Not to mention it slows to a crawl if you have a large music library….like over 2000 songs….yuk, time to kill itunes forever!

    • Gayle

      Adobe is the worst program ever! It infiltrates my system every time I ever want to watch anything, and even fifteen minutes after I’ve installed their update, I still can’t watch what I want to, and it insists I must update again. I literally can watch nothing now! It should be outlawed from the web.
      Also, I have a full-time university job. I can’t spend hours and hours fixing other people’s mistakes and trouble-shooting for people who didn’t bother to do it before releasing their creations into the world. Do your own work and stay out of my computer!

  4. Bogdan Bele

    I’ll go with BillyBean on this one. iTunes always finds new ways to make me hate it.

  5. tooltip86

    adobe reader is one of the worst i’ve ever seen. A lot of useless updates, big ram consumption, and a few other issues. By far the best reader is foxitreader, light and easy to use and the ability to use tabs like any browser. Also Adobe flash is just awful, a lot of security issues, useless and frecuent updates, I open three videos or more and the browser crashes, using around 600mb of my ram wich is unaceptable for me and the worst part is that android ics and jelly bean doesn’t support this crap.

  6. Brian Burgess

    Just off the top of my head: iTunes, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader, Norton, McAfee, Digsby, WinZip, Worthless Toolbars, any and all Crapware!

    • Forrest Hopkins


      • Austin Krause

        You know, Java itself isn’t bad. What is bad is Oracle mixed with Sun and Microsoft. Terrrrible combination.

    • M Hanson

      You forgot IE

      • Brian Burgess

        Actually I don’t hate IE like I used to. IE 10 for desktop is pretty tight now, the metro-style version on the other hand, leave a lot to be desired. I use IE 10 for Microsoft sites, but Chrome is still my default ;-)

        • Steve Krause


          Chrome is my default but IE 10 metro in my Win 8 tablet. It works.

  7. Ziggy

    Microsoft Vista by far would have to be the worst software, Nightmarish to say the least. So for me, it’s “Hasta la vista”, Vista!

    • daikyozin

      You think Vista is bad?! What, you don’t remember Windows ME?
      Did you ever see Microsoft Bob?

      • Ziggy

        I bow in reverence to you, daikyozin! How on earth did I fail to remember good (bad) ‘ol Windows ME. Must have been blinded by Vista’s eye-popping candy and all its bells-n-whistles. I think I need to visit Microsoft Bob. I hear he’s handing out more candy and party balloons…

  8. Ocelotty1

    iTunes, monster system hog, svelte & sleek Apple my A$$ – It is so bad I refuse to have it anywhere near my primary rig. and if Adobe ask me for yet another update…..

    • ShockerSH

      Adobe… Isn’t Adobe the reason Windows always gets hacked at Hackathons?

  9. Steve Krause

    Well….. this is more of an online service but I’m going to have to go with Google DFP (DoubleClick for Publishers).

    Super confusing. Very annoying trying to start out on it.

  10. Mike Rothman

    iTunes for Windows is the easy, cheap answer. Quite the temperamental resource hog.

    But my real favorite, the disk management tool I tried years ago which quickly and effortlessly let me erase my hard disk – which I had not intended to do. Bad on me.

    • Steve Krause

      Nice… And the name of this feature rich disk tool?

  11. Tom Hier

    Any of the Microsoft Office products since they went to the ridiculous ribbons at the top. The old menus worked just fine. The new ribbons are complex, tedious, poorly named (what’s the difference between “View”, “Review” and “Slide Show” in PPT, I ask you??). I so much hate the ribbons that I installed a program that sits on top of the ribbons with a quasi-old-style menu. But someday that’s not going to work, and I’m going to be out of luck. Stupid, stupid, stupid “enhancement” that adds absolutely no value. Thanks, Microsoft!!

    • Joe Green

      The gargantuan space-hogging Ribbon is just the icing on the cake. MS Word gets *everything* wrong. Not just in terms of the UI but its behaviour is indescribably awful. Scrolling jams; cut’n’paste cuts/pastes the wrong thing almost every time. It makes inscrutably wrong decisions about auto-formatting. It re-inserts spaces when you hit backspace, but only every other time. Sometimes it deletes things which are nowhere near the cursor. It does *different* wrong things for mouse and keyboard interactions. It’s all so over-engineered; I bet *nobody* uses most of what it claims it can do. (I could get by with Wiki markup and an external spelling checker.) Templates do bizarre things. I could go on and on. All this would be bad if it were a new product but it’s as old as the hills. None of this would matter if I didn’t have to use it at work, but it’s such a drain on productivity that I literally freeze at the keyboard hardly daring to type or touch the mouse for fear of wrecking the document.

      Rant over. I’ve got to back to pretending to use it now.

      • Joe Green

        (Ok so not literally literally freezing but certainly literally metaphorically freezing.)

  12. Sam

    Has anybody played with ACT!! ? This is the worst by far. I have to use this at work. Everyone hates it but no one admits it because it is supposed to be this awesome database where we can reference anything and everything. Instead everyone has to come to me to access anything. ERR! It runs in the background even when you shut it down it still has little fingers out there in all of your programs just trying to get a grip and rip out everything you love about your awesome work computer.

    • Steve Krause

      Act…. wow, that is taking me back. Is that the customer contact app where you keep track of customers and other things?

      I remember working on that for a client back…. 20 years ago. Is that still around? wow…

      • ShockerSH

        dude… how old are you? LOL

        • Sam

          I’m 23 years old. They have “updated” this system to the current year and it is still a giant pain.

  13. Peggy Dorgan

    I have to agree with the iTunes Folks. I absolutely hate it & the newest version is even worse. Is there an alternative to use for updating & adding music & books to my iPad & Kindle?

    • ShockerSH

      Yeah, I don’t know. That would be a great groovy topic!

    • Brian Burgess

      Peggy Dorgan To add books to the Kindle, or iPad using you can use the Kindle App. Then you can just drag music over to your Kindle Fire by plugging it in to your PC. Or you can just use Amazon Music Scan and Match too. Here’s a few of our articles that might help:


      I guess I am not sure if you can put music on the regular Kindle Reader or not?

      • Peggy Dorgan

        Thanks a bunch. I would like to get rid of iTunes completely. Mobi Pocket Reader seems to work fairly well on my ‘old’ Kindle but I haven’t been able to find anything that will work with my iPod Nano.

        • Brian Burgess

          Peggy Dorgan Have you tired SharePod? It’s free and I know several people who have given up iTunes swear by it. Here’s an article about it:

          Which version of the Nano do you have?

          • Peggy Dorgan

            You know I don’t remember. It is an 8gig & is about 3 years old. I am going to try the SharePod because I truly hate iTunes. I think every time they update it they make it worse………Many Thanks, Peggy

  14. ShockerSH

    OK – you know what drives me crazy? Quicken.

    Every year they bug me like hell to upgrade to the next version. I say “Why, Quicken runs great already!”.

    So, to get even they timebomb me and after two years drop all bank update support so I “HAVE” to upgrade.

    GAH!!!!! Die Intuit!

    ok. I feel better.

  15. Stan Silverman

    I think Java ranks right up there with iTunes and Norton

    • Jaredjeya

      Really? I don’t think you understand what Java is. It isn’t a piece of software – it is what software is made of. Without it you wouldn’t have half the programs out there.

      Just because it tries to bundle AskToolbar (but doesn’t force or trick you) and updates frequently to fix security issues (which you get in programming languages) does not mean it is the worst software out there.

  16. daikyozin

    I had to use Dell DataSafe Local Backup to make recovery disks for my laptop. It used half the screen and half the CPU time pestering me to upgrade, the whole time it was running. You would have to see it to believe how obnoxious it is.

  17. HENRYB65

    How about JUSTCLOUD. It’s an iCloud backup which runs an app on your computer. Looks good and looks great value for money. Mine then stopped and they told me that the software has a bug that they cant fix. (Have it in writing!) Their suport took FIVE MONTHS to tell me this. Get my money back? Well they kept 3 months of use. “I had a service” they said. Crap!

    • Steve Krause


      Ok looks like we will do a roundup of best cloud backup solutions OK.

      Thnx for the comment. I know backup is a hot topic for readers. A good warning in this JUSTCLOUD.

      • Henry Barnett

        Steve, happy to see the “Ouch” comment. Companies that produce software that fail and 1) Do not help 2) Deny liability and 3) When faced with an abuse report as with BBB.org decide to try and rectify the situation, but only marginaly, derserve to be “Named and Shamed” Perhaps that’s the next title for a “Cloud Post”. Glad you took notice.

  18. John Smith

    Probably against the tide but have to hate Windows 8 – It wants too much control over how I set up and use it. Can’t imagine how much they had to spend in subsidies(bribes?) to get computer companies to install it for new sales.

  19. Steve West

    +1 for iTunes for Windows. This piece of software after an upgrade would no longer recognise my Apple devices. It prompts you to uninstall iTunes and re-install it, this in itself is crazy and time consuming. I did this about 20 times over a few weeks and also tried various tips to get the Apple Mobile Support drivers to work, in the end I gave up.
    I managed to fix the problem bu re-installing the OS and then crossed my fingers when i installed iTunes, so far so good. My confidence in Apple is now dented :(

  20. Mark Vlach

    iTunes + QuickTime + whatever other services and BS get’s installed — Try MediaMonkey as an alternative on Windows. It’s deep and can be daunting at times but it will sync just about any device including Apple i-(your choice). Been using it for years and have it completely dialed in to do exactly what I want. One of the best apps I’ve ever owned.

  21. DudeInMyrtleBeach

    Oh, come on.

    As an IT engineer, I can name in a second flat the worst crapware ever written.

    AOL Desktop

  22. Ms Hanson

    Internet Exploder, hands down.

  23. Anonymous

    Mac OSX is the worst ever. Windows 8 is the second worst.

  24. DanV

    itunes – cant tell you how many times it has wiped my ipod music colletion despite synching only selected playlists and folders.

    It does as much for Apples reputation as Windows Vista did for MS !

    Can I sue apple for wiping my music collection again ?

  25. RuM

    iTunes and Adobe Reader. Both are at version 11 and have become so overgrown that they are in need of a reboot.

    Windows 8. Have you ever tried to explain the Start screen, charms, and hot corners to someone who just purchased a new laptop without touch? What do you tell them when they can’t play DVDs out of the box?

    Adobe Flash and Java. Great technologies, but age and popularity have taken their toll in the security department.

    Web Browsers. It’s awesome we have a choice, but with so many web browsers (and their 20+ versions a piece) makes it hell on a web developer and e-commerce! Throwing in smartphones and tablets only puts more fuel on the fire. Why can’t the world ever be perfect where websites render the same under all available web browsers?!

  26. Jaredjeya

    I can’t understand why so many people are hating Java…it’s a programming language. There are going to be so many security holes in it because people could use it in unexpected ways. It actually updates far less frequently than “Windows .NET framework”, doesn’t require a restart and doesn’t force or trick you into installing the bundled toolbar.

    • Joe G

      They hate Java because they hate the Java updater constantly nagging them. This makes 100% sense.

  27. Barbara Smith

    Oh, people, people. I don’t doubt you have issues with the software you have listed, but there are other software options that are available aren’t there? Maybe I missed some posts, but all of the nominated programs COULD be avoided by using a different program, even if that is a nuisance.

    Well, let me nominate the true winner–Family Tree Maker for Mac 2. It’s the ONLY mac software that links family trees (ha! more in a minute) to ancestry.com. No choices. Why is it so bad? Here we go…

    Unless you are one of the golden few who simply are lucky, you will find this product:

    1) Suddenly unlinks synced trees and grandly tells you that the online tree is deleted. Of course, it’s not and you can even find the online tree still on ancestry. That online tree will still think it is synced, too.

    2) Creates duplicates of individuals unexpectedly and will not find them when you run the “find duplicates” app on the program. Somehow, I sort of expected individuals with the same name, birthdate, parents and maybe death date would appear as potential duplicates. Nope.

    3) The program crashes constantly for no apparent reason. Then, when reopened, you can expect to find that your previously clean file has acquired errors. Sometimes you are lucky and able to close the program before it crashes. That may still give you an error message about not closing it correctly next time you use it.

    4) Dont expect any help from the developers or ancestry.com here. Oh, they will make the non subtle suggestion that you just are making beginner errors and give you a huge list of things to try, but they don’t work. I have gone the long route around, following their suggestions and wasted hours and hours trying to fix the problems. Lucky me–all the problems are still there, even though I followed the instructions to the letter.

    This is the same review I gave on Amazon. I tried unsuccessfully for weeks to convince ancestry.com that the problem with the software was real and they should just admit it and state they are working on fixes. Even though the people are as cordial as they can be, none of them will admit anything at all is wrong with the software–therefore there is no reason to fix it.

    So there is my nomination, folks. You can easily see the scope of the problem by googling “problems with ftm for mac 2” or “problems with syncing trees with ftm mac 2” or any such variation.

    I am sure there must be some huge, expensive prize for my submission of this drek camouflaged as software. I hereby ask that any monetary reward be dedicated to FIXING THE STUPID PROGRAM.

    Cordially yours,

    Barbara Smith

  28. whitelephant

    Gotta 2nd, 3rd, and 4th the piece of crap apple makes for software Itunes….its the only software that every month or so bothers me so bad I threaten to uninstall it. Only problem is…if you want to backup your apps, contacts, etc and have a Iphone or ipad …….guess what u need it! Seriously I have spent all day many times trying to figure out what happened when I tried to download a podcast, just to have it freeze up on me! As good as Apples handheld equipment is….their software sucks as bad! Oh I have windows 7 with Itunes!

  29. Andrew

    Oh come on DudeInMyrtleBeach…!

    You’re an IT engineer and you didn’t say IE6!

    IE6 is by far the worst, so bad when designing websites the whole lot has to be pretty much re-written just to render properly for ie6.

    Windows 8 as well.

    But yes, I agree with other comments, iTunes is very very bad.

  30. Dietmar

    Syteline ERP system is the worst ever ERP System you ever can buy or work with.

    Absolute ridiculous to work with. Millions screens, no direct printing (save to a file which you have to find and then print, even checks), no financials direct to the system.
    There is nothing worse I ever worked with.

    If you want something that works right out of the box Made2Manage is your favorite.

    D. Stahl

    • Billingsly

      I couldn’t agree more. I have been using Syteline for almost a year now, and it is hands down the worst, most poorly constructed software I have ever used. I am blown away by the functionality that Sage and Quickbooks have out-of-the box that this supposed ERP system doesn’t have, and everything is 100x more complicated than it needs to be. Deciding to go with Syteline is the worst decision my company has ever made.

  31. Paulios

    Interesting read through the comments! Brought back lots of awful memories of my early computing days.
    There has been a HUGE omission from everyone’s list of bad, bad software and, to be honest I am TOTALLY STUNNED that no one has mentioned the biggest, most useless and most irritating bloated program out there!!!!
    Wondering what it is?



    I see it still refuses to die off too…Save us!

  32. cadd




    Bentley Microstation Geopak…

    it’s just f*ing awful.

    • Chris

      I’ve been repeating that exact phrase for the past month…

  33. NotesUser

    IBM Notes! How does this list not include IBM Notes? You lucky people are complaining about nothing. Try something truly horrible and get some perspective. :)

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