Microosft’s Windows Defender warns of CCleaner

The CCleaner is a popular tool for Windows users. However, Microsoft does not recommend using the program. Windows Defender now warns users of the tool.

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If you want to install the Windows CCleaner tool, you may currently receive a warning. Because Windows Defender classifies certain installation versions of the CCleaner as a “potentially unwanted program” (PUA). Microsoft reports on its website.

According to Microsoft, these are the free installers and the 14-day trial versions of CCleaner, which come with “bundled applications – including applications not required by CCleaner or produced by the manufacturer Piriform”. This means software that is additionally installed on the computer during installation. In the case of the CCleaner, for example, these are the antivirus program from Avast or Google Chrome. The paid version of the CCleaner is not classified as PUA.

Microsoft calls “negative user experience”

Microsoft continues its statement that the bundled applications are “legitimate” in themselves. However, “Bundling software, especially third-party products, may lead to unexpected software activity that could affect the user experience. To protect Windows users, Microsoft Defender Antivirus CCleaner detects this behavior as potentially unwanted applications (PUA).”

Microsoft also points out that “although the CCleaner installers offer an opt-out option,” users may overlook it.

CCleaner manufacturer Piriform previously told the squeaky computer portal that it suspected an error behind the warning: “We discovered this classification Tuesday after our customers reported problems installing CCleaner with Windows Defender,” said a Narrator for “Bleeping Computer.” “We believe that the assessment is false positive.”

Problems with CCleaner

The CCleaner was released in 2003 and is a so-called optimization tool for Windows. It can, among other things, search for registry errors and remove file residues. The program has been downloaded more than two billion times so far.

In 2017, CCleaner manufacturer Piriform was acquired by the antivirus manufacturer Avast. The program subsequently received criticism for collecting more and more user data and sharing it with third parties. In September 2018, users also reported that CCleaner automatically installed updates even though they disabled the feature.

Microsoft itself has repeatedly advised against programs such as the CCleaner. In April 2018, the company wrote on its website that tampering with the registry “ could cause serious damage. ” In 2019, Microsoft also briefly blocked links to the CCleaner from its community forum.

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