I found a mention of a tool called Unchecky as a minor point in a story about something else entirely. Unchecky helps to solve the problem with downloaded programs including a bunch of extra junk you don’t want.
I won’t be running it myself. But the next time I fix a computer, I’ll probably install it on that one.
There’s a certain irony in needing a program that unchecks boxes to keep even less useful–or at time downright malicious–software from getting installed. It shouldn’t be necessary. But bundleware is a real problem. Unfortunately it works. Most people don’t know what boxes to uncheck and don’t know about the existence of a tool that will help.
And before you pronounce judgment about dodgy websites or unwillingness to pay for software, keep in mind two of the most common offenders are Oracle Java and Adobe Flash Player. And since you have to update both of them several times a year, it’s really easy to slip up and make the mistake once. With those programs, the mistake is forever.
It would be better if such a program were unnecessary of course. But any machine from the last decade or so has more than enough headroom for this.