Avast pulls controversial CCleaner update following user backlash

CCleaner’s parent company, Avast, has pulled version 5.45 of the popular software after a sustained backlash against its active monitoring feature, the removal of privacy features from its free version, and the fact that it prevented users from being able to quit the software at all.

The controversial changes, first reported by gHacks, were introduced in late July, and came off the back of CCleaner developer Piriform’s acquisition by the anti-virus company Avast in 2017.

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Version 5.45 made a number of very unpopular changes. For example, active monitoring (a feature that periodically reminds you to clean out your system using the software) could technically be turned off in CCleaner’s menus, but it would turn back on whenever you rebooted your PC or closed the software.

That’s if you were actually able to close the software at all. By default, it would just minimise to the system tray when you tried to close it. Your only option was to force it to close using your OS or a third-party tool.

The changes didn’t go unnoticed by users.

Although Avast has now reverted to version 5.44, this doesn’t entirely solve the problem, as previous versions of the software had already made unpopular changes.

Beta News points out that we’d already seen Avast remove the option for non-Professional CCleaner users to opt out of data-sharing (in version 5.43), and the addition of a Summer Sale advertising popup (v5.44).

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Avast had previously responded to the complaints in a forum post, where it said that it would offer separate menu items for turning off active monitoring and sending anonymous usage data, and promised to offer more details about what these features are doing.

It originally said these changes would roll out in the coming weeks, but given the backlash its plans may have changed.

How did you feel about the changes? Did they put you off CCleaner? Let us know @TrustedReviews. 

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