CCleaner, originally called Crap Cleaner, as the name suggests, is software used to clean unwanted files in a computer. It also helped to remove any invalid Windows Registry, a hierarchical database used to store different low-level settings for the Microsoft Windows OS. Although it currently is one of the oldest and most highly established cleaning systems for computers, there are several facts that make us a question: is CCleaner getting redundant? Well, this blog should help you find out the answer to this question, so keep reading!
The origins of CCleaner
The original creator of CCleaner is Piriform Software Ltd. It is a British Software Company and is one of the leading companies that develop optimization and cleaning tools for macOS, Microsoft Windows, and other Android-run operating systems.
Piriform released CCleaner in 2004 and was specially designed for Microsoft Windows. In 2011, the management of the software developing company announced that they were working on a beta test program for Mac CCleaner as well.
In the initial years of the company, the software received extremely positive responses for technical gurus and critics. CNET went on to call it a ‘must have’ tool and it received CNET’s Editors’ Choice Award in 2009.
In 2014, CCleaner was at the top of the most in-demand software for over a year on FileHippo, a website that is used for downloading software.
In 2016, the company announced that it had recorded more than 2 billion downloads across the globe. Since its inception, the software has been a point of interest for various tech magazines like TechRepublic, TechRadar, Chip.de, and PC Magazine.
What does CCleaner exactly do?
The software detects and deletes unwanted files which may be left behind by certain programs like Windows Media Player, Microsoft Office, Adobe Flash Player, Internet Explorer, GIMP, McAfee, Adobe Acrobat, and the list goes on.
An unwanted file is a temporary file that gets automatically created on the computer or a smart device. These files help in running certain or specific tasks and are no longer once the task is executed. The files remain important only for a certain duration because computer programs or apps require them to conduct a computing task. However, as soon as the event is completed, the files become unuseful and can be removed from the system. This is where system cleaners come to play.
CCleaner was one of the smartest tools in its segment at the time. It is capable of modifying or uninstalling programs that may get executed while starting up. All the versions of the program after the 2.19 version can effectively delete System Restore points by Windows.
CCleaner also comes with a browser of its own and is called CCleaner Browser and has some amazing attractive features like the absence of advertising which is generally an area of distraction in other browsers. CCleaner Browser has a built-in security feature against phishing, malware, and any ill-intended downloads. It also avoids tracking, excessive browser cache, and pop-ups.
In 2017, Piriform was acquired by Avast, a Czech international cybersecurity software company using machine learning and artificial intelligence, and an active subscriber list of 435 million on a monthly basis.
If CCleaner has such fascinating features, what is the reason why CCleaner seems to be becoming redundant and why are people choosing other cleaners instead of CCleaner? The issues that make critics question whether the program is 100% without a glitch are mentioned below in detail”
- In 2018, users became displeased over the Active Monitoring and User Data Collection issues which made the company go back on various scanning functions and merge data collection. In the 5.45 version of the software, the company added a section for detailed reporting which was intended to help fix bugs and improve the overall product. However, Ghacks noted that this segment covered the changes in data collection features.This was achieved through the Active Monitoring and heartbeat elements of the software which were responsible for sending user information to the servers of CCleaner. The company claimed that the data collected was anonymous and helped the program fix bugs quickly. However, the users were not pleased with this change and the company had to make the changes in the next version. However, by this time, many users had already lost trust in the company and uninstalled the app, a massive blow to the company’s reputation
- In the same year, another controversy erupted. When the users tried to download CCleaner, Avast Antivirus automatically got installed in the system without asking for the user’s permission. TechSpot claimed this is exactly the kind of malware that CCleaner was supposed to protect the system from. The Bundled software issue also resulted in massive user loss to the company although Piriform later rolled out a new version in which Avast Antivirus was optional.
- If this wasn’t enough, another massive strike was waiting for CCleaner in 2017 when the 5.33 version became the victim of trojan horse, a malware that misdirects the users of the true intention. The cyber-attack led to around 2.27 million systems getting infected. Avast claimed that the malware was already a part of the coding program before it was purchased from Piriform. Of the 2.27 million compromised systems, 40 received a second-stage payload which was mainly intended for companies like Intel, Samsung, O2, Asus, Fujitsu, and more. Of course, the company had to roll out a new version called CCleaner Cloud 1.07.3191 and CCleaner 5.34 which did not include the malicious code.
- In 2019, there was an attempt to breach system security however, this time Avast was more careful and could successfully disable the attempt.
With all of this data in hand, we leave it up to you to decide if you are wondering ’Is CCleaner getting redundant?’. It is difficult to trust an online program when it has so many untrustworthy features built into it because, after all, it’s the users who are the most affected by malware, data theft, and data breach.
There are multiple options present in the market where businesses have learned from previous mistakes and built systems on them. Only time can tell if CCleaner manages to keep its hold in the market or get taken over by the competitors.