10 Annoying Apps We're All Stuck Using (And How To Make Them Better)

Every app has its share of annoyances, but some are so popular that you're just plain stuck using them — either because your friends do, because you need it for a particular gadget, or just because there's no real alternative. Here are 10 popular apps that get on our nerves, and what you can do to fix them.

10. Skype

Skype isn't our favourite video chat app, but it is one of the most popular, which means if your friends and family use it, you're stuck using it too from time to time. You can't fix Skype's bad interface, but you can at least fix its desire to always be in your face. Just head into the settings and uncheck "Start Skype Shen I Start Windows" under General, "Keep Skype in the Taskbar" under Advanced, and turn off some of its notifications. That will at least keep it out of your way.

9. Spotify

Spotify is a fantastic service with a mediocre desktop app and a horrible mobile app to back it up. If you want to take advantage of its music library, though, you have to deal with the apps. Again, you can't fix their interface, but you can stop Spotify from broadcasting your activity to everyone on Facebook, in both the desktop and mobile apps. You can also turn off "Spotify Social". Lastly, you can mute the ads if they're getting on your nerves, but as a site that makes a living on ads, we'd recommend you use this sparingly.

8. YouTube

Like Spotify, YouTube is an awesome idea wrapped in a site with more than a few annoyances. Some aren't exactly YouTube's fault (like the positively idiotic comment section), but others are baked right into the service (like videos that play automatically. We've shared a number of extensions and scripts that make YouTube a lot better, though, so with a few tweaks here and there you should be good to go.

7. Twitter

Twitter has gotten more and more annoying over time. They track you on the web, they limit third party clients, pile on the ads, and more. The official site and apps aren't very good these days, but if you want to be a part of the network, you can make it a little nicer to use. First, make sure they stop tracking you all over the web, then try a new Twitter client like one of our favorites. You can even bring Instagram previews back, if you want. Image remixed from rudall30 (Shutterstock).

6. Java

When we asked you guys what your least favourite apps were, a number of you responded with Java, mostly for its in-your-face attitude about updates and its browser plugin's security issues. Luckily, if you need Java on your system, both are pretty easily fixable. To avoid security problems, just disable the browser plug-in. For those pesky update notifications, head on into Java's settings to tweak how often it notifies you of new updates, as well as other scheduling features (though you should let it update automatically, so it stays as secure as possible).

5. Anything Printer Related

You'd think it'd be easy to write a simple printer helper, but history dictates otherwise. If you're sick of your awful, slow and buggy printer companion, help is on the way: check out our guide to de-crapifying your Windows printer and scanner setup. When you're done, you'll have a fully working printer without all the crap that comes with it. Image: Kevin Cortopassi.

4. iTunes

Mac users may not understand this pain — since iTunes is actually a decent program on OS X — but it might just be one of the most horrible apps available on Windows, mostly due to its unbearable slowness. Installing a better music program is always an option, but if you've got iOS devices to sync, you're stuck with iTunes. Our recommendation? Import your library into another music app, then use iTunes just for syncing. It's a bit more work, but you'll be happy you switched.

3. Adobe Flash

Ah, Flash. Nothing makes my laptop's fans spin out of control and overheat quite like you. Nobody likes Flash, but we need to use it on the web nearly every day. The best solution? Install an extension like FlashBlock (or enable Chrome's click-to-play feature) to at least keep Flash from running when you don't need it. It'll white out any space that has Flash in it, and you can click on it to start it up. If you really want to, you could also go the somewhat-overboard-John-Gruber route of uninstalling it entirely and just using Chrome when you need Flash.

2. Facebook

Where do we even start? From privacy issues to confusing interface elements and just plain annoying people, Facebook is an app that a ton of us use and most of us hate. If you don't want to quit Facebook, you do have some options for making it better. Check out our always up-to-date privacy guide, as well as our guide to making Facebook infinitely better with one browser extension. And when it comes to annoying people... well, there are ways of silencing them as well. Image remixed from trekandshoot (Shutterstock).

1. Your Operating System

Sometimes, the most annoying app you have to deal with isn't even an app at all — it's your entire operating system. Whether it's on your phone or on your desktop, no OS is perfect, but we're stuck with what we've got — and sometimes, you're stuck with something you don't even want (sorry, office workers). So what can you do? We've featured more guides than we can count for tweaking your OS, but this one is a good place to start. We also recommend you perform the correct maintenance for your software, whether it's Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, or Android. If you're annoyed with your phone, you can also jailbreak or root it and get a lot more out of it. Image remixed from Yuri Arcurs (Shutterstock).


Comments

    The FB app! Oh gawd, it's the bane of my existence! Slow, buggy, crashes all the time, tells me I'm not connected to the net when every other app works fine, doesn't load images, doesn't load statuses, randomly craps out when typing making the cursor jump into the middle of a random word, difficult to share, etc, etc... I tried Friendster once, but it lacks features I use often :(

      At least it waits until you've written a long comment clicked post before it tells you it's not connected! :)

    I don't understand why 1 is there... I know you've tried to justify its placement, but it's not an App...

    This article weirdly conflates the PC-based 'program', the PC-based 'website', and the mobile-based 'app', which makes it hard for me to tell which version is being complained about. Can't we just keep using different words for the different things?

      Couldn't agree more. I kept wondering throughout the article which one the author may be referring to!

    Easiest way to deal with the printer issue is to only install the drivers when you get a new printer. Plug it in, wait for the little pop up saying it's looking for drivers, then insert the disc.

    Done, no crapware that looks like it was made for Windows 3.1.

      Exactly. I never install third party printware personally. Just the drivers.

      Agreed, my latest printer a HP3520, so simple. It worked straight out of the box after the drivers were installed, and it all runs over my wifi. No added applications for any iOS device in the house, works natively with them Android too I think, can email jobs to it as well.

    Flash? Is that still kicking around?
    Obsolete 3 yrs ago.
    No excuses if you use it.

      Sadly we have to install it to all of our pc's simply due to some sites not keeping up with the times and asking for Flash.

    If you wanted to adjust the article... take out the original #1 and replace with The Browser.

    I find it interesting/intriguing/somewhat-baffling that "Browser" was not included in a list of "top ten" apps we are "stuck dealing with".

    Given that more and more the Browser is becoming the computer users interface to the world. Sure apps provide some islands of isolation from the raw internet, but they are mostly just wrappers for browser based activities.

    In many ways The Browser is becoming The OS. The same way people say they are Windows people or Linux people or OS.X people.... we also have choices, preferences and allegiances to either Chrome, Opera, Firefox, IE, Safari etc...

    And these "apps" all have their own set of foibles and annoyances. And in many cases tweaks and add-ons that help overcome them.

      The difference between choosing an OS vs choosing a Web Browser is two fold:

      1. There are no rules dictating how an OS should work / what the interface should be / what should happen when XYZ is clicked, etc. For Web Browsers, there is.

      2. The choice of OS will require a huge investment in time learning the feature and nuances, resulting in a much harder time switching. On the other hand, switching Web Browsers is almost a no-brainer.

    For iTunes, it is possible to sync iOS devices without it. The program, Media Monkey, can sync iOS devices without any hassles. Not the prettiest program but definitely worth a look if iTunes is unbearable for you. It can't back up your phone etc though, iTunes still has to do all of that, but for syncing music it's definitely capable.

    http://www.mediamonkey.com/

    I fail to see how the spotify apps are horrible? On my mac, my pc(windows 7), and on my iphone they all work wonderfully. The only real complaint is sometimes the iphone app gets stuck saying a song is playing after I pull out the headphones when it isnt.

      Having it start up automatically is annoying as I don't use it very often. Particularly when it runs the updater while you're trying to do something else.

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