Have you ever ever wondered why your new laptop comes pre-installed with a bunch of programs that you rarely use? Or, if you've updated some of your software, why your computer is still running slow? It doesn't necessarily mean that you need computer repair, because the problem could be something called "bloatware" – and no, your computer isn't suffering from digestive issues.

Bloatware – which is also sometimes known as "trialware" or "elephantware" – is essentially just software that takes up a lot of space on your computer's hard drive, in spite of the fact that you rarely use it. Often, this bloatware comes built into other software programs, so it can be difficult to separate what aspects of the software you need from the parts that just take up a lot of unnecessary space.

Unlike malware, or even spyware, bloatware isn't going to harm you or your computer. It's basically just software that companies have paid to be installed in conjunction with your computer's other included programs. But, it can slow your system down and prevent you from downloading software that you do need and use.

"Aside from having to wade through the icons on your desktop and in the start menu, the [bloatware] programs themselves take up space," notes Joel Santo Domingo, lead analyst at PC Magazine Labs, in his recent article for the publication.  "It may only take up a few gigabytes per program, but this is still space you've paid for. Think about it: Would you allow a two-cubic-foot display case for a soda company to take up closet space in your new house without you asking for it?"

Bloatware can be removed manually by simply un-installing the programs you don't use. However, if you are unsure about which programs you might actually need, it might be a good idea to contact your local Virginia computer repair center, as well.