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Et Tu, CCleaner!

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@Shades: Quite a while back, I did consider using System Ninja from <>, but it's not really the same thing. I opted instead for their CCEnhancer software, as it really did enhance CCleaner's rigour.
I never run CCleaner now, excepting it is through CCEnhancer, and I have been very satisfied with the results. I often use cleanmgr.exe as a check to sweep up any bits that CCEnhancer+CCleaner might have missed, but there's usually not much left to do.
I could be wrong, of course, but I reckoned that the combination of the two things (CCEnhancer+CCleaner) was probably superior to what System Ninja does.

As well as Avast-Piriform rather sneakily effectively turning CCleaner into an apparently untrustworthy "telemetry" (Microsoft-style) personal/PC data-gathering device, it seems that they may have also effectively turned CCUpdate (which is part of the CCleaner installation) into a persistent PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program). It automatically loads via Windows Startup and runs continuously, doing goodness knows what - since you can't trust 'em (QED) - and which process oddly declares itself as "CCleaner emergency updater (32 bit)" (my laptop is a 64-bit system and I run the 64-bit version of CCleaner).

My approach to this so far has been to continue to use CCleaner, but ring-fence it using ProcessTamer and WFC (WindowsFirewallControl), whilst it is in use. However, I have to say that I am wondering whether I shouldn't ask Avast-Piriform for a refund of the licence fee, since the product (CCleaner+CCUpdate) was turned into a PUP in an underhand way without my knowledge and I thought that I was buying a licence for a pukka system cleaning software and wouldn't have wanted to buy a licence for a PUP.

Interesting post + suggestions at
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
CCleaner Disregarding Settings and Forcing Update to Latest 5.46 Version
CCleaner Disregarding Settings and Forcing Update to Latest 5.46 Version
By Lawrence Abrams 
September 17, 2018 01:36 PM
Image: CCleaner melting

Reports are coming in that Piriform is forcing CCleaner to update to the latest 5.46 version even when users had configured the program to not perform automatic updates. To make matters worse, once the users were upgraded to the latest version, their privacy settings were reverted to default, which is to allow anonymous usage data to be sent to Avast/Piriform.

This was first reported on September 6th at Piriform's forum, where users stated that their installed versions of CCleaner were being updated to 5.4.6 even after disabling automatic updates. This was later confirmed in a post to our forums.

Post at
In that same Piriform topic, an employee replied and stated that "Since the release of v5.46 we have updated some users to this version to meet legal requirements and give users more autonomy and transparency over their privacy settings."

Post to Piriform Forum from employee
As a test, I downloaded and installed the Slim version of CCleaner 5.37 that we host at

During the setup procedure, I configured the program to not automatically check for new updates. Even with that setting disabled, CCupdate.exe was automatically executed by the installer and CCleaner was updated to version 5.46 before I could even start the program. This is illustrated in the video below.

... This is obviously a concern that CCleaner is ignoring user's preferences and forcing the update of a new version. BleepingComputer has contacted Piriform/Avast for comment, but have not received answers to our questions at the time of this publication.

How to disable CCleaner automatic updates
As CCleaner is ignoring a users preferences and forcing updates to be installed, if you want to disable updates you need to delete an executable called CCUpdate.exe that is installed along with CCleaner.

When CCleaner is installed, it will install a file at C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCupdate.exe that is used to install updates to CCleaner. This program is then configured to automatically run every day by a Scheduled Task called CCleaner Update.

CCleaner Update Scheduled Task
To prevent this program from running you should delete the scheduled task. To be even safer, you can delete the actual C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCupdate.exe executable.

Once the task and executable have been deleted, CCleaner will no longer update without you actually installing a new version.

Thx to Ivan for sharing the news tip.

--- End quote ---

I've been using Avast free version; lately, it got more and more invasive, so I've been thinking of switching to Avira free version.

I use WiseCare 365 Pro; regularly, they have special offers on their site, so that even a 3-pc "lifetime" version is quite cheap. (I had been using the free version for some time and had been very pleased with it, so I checked for their offers, then took one of these.)

Thus, I certainly don't need CCleaner for general maintenance, but with new FF, there are no "Click and Clean" or other add-ins left which would regularly delete all those horrible cookies and the like, so I've been using CCleaner for that very same task since, manually, and it's several hundreds of cookies (among other things) that it deletes for me. (With the new EU regulations in effect, almost everybody tells me they "value" my "privacy", want my "ok", often with panes so big, and the main (text) pane not scrollable while the "ok" pane is there, that I HAVE to give my consent, in order to read, even proactively allowing for them spying on me - they probably do it anyway, anyway...

Now CCleaner's price model is ridiculous, 25 bucks plus VAT p.a. if you want it to delete the cookies automatically, after your closing the browser; Click and Clean did that for free. Thus, I have to start CCleaner manually, than run the delete command manually; since its window is non-standard, or "newer standard", AHK is not able to send the necessary key combinations; sending mouse clicks would probably succeed, don't remember if I tried - unfortunately, AHK development is all about "objects", so they aren't interested in day-to-day usefulness of their tool anymore, and more and more applications appear with those "newer" windows AHK cannot interact with anymore - if you ask for help with these things (EDIT 2: well, ask them to look after these things, after all, "help" being a gross euphemism), you are ignored.

Also, for some months now, I can't simply open CCleaner anymore as before, but I first get a UAC window to overcome, so I've been doing the cookies cleaning 2 times a week only, lately, which makes near 1,000 cookies to be deleted every time.

So I read this thread with interest, and had a look a System Ninja which seems to do it similar to CCleaner: You'll (soon?) need the "Pro" version, in order for it deleting your cookies, etc. automatically? But I've been particularly appalled not by its pricing, but by their way of making you pay: Become a member of the "Pro Club", then get the Pro for free - or even not? "is only available for Club member" not necessarily meaning it's included, so they possibly even hide the additional price, available only after joining their "Club" ("Pro Club Special Offer - Sorry, you need to be logged in to see the special offer.") - all this is so much targeted at 12-years-olds that my faith in their software couldn't possibly grow up to normal size anymore either.

So at the end of the day, I suppose that a simple SCRIPT would do, and which upon the closing of your browser, would simply delete all that left-over crap from all those sites which "value your privacy" while blatantly spying on you.

I suppose a simple file-and-registry compare "before browsing - after browsing" would sufficiently indicate which crap folders such a script should empty, and then, using a very acceptable "maintainer" like the above-mentioned Wise 365, something similar or even nothing of that kind, you certainly would not need any more spying and / or clubbing tools, in order to at least prevent the most obvious spying on you, from anybody who invites themselves into your system since you dared visit their (often even totally worthless) homepage (often invited by evil google: first google page often enough equals ten times crap nowadays; not speaking of them stealing your time, at the very least)?

EDIT: Btw, google itself often follows me over weeks (they sometimes know what possible purchases I'd been looking for), my "individually standardized" window sizes giving me away (as said, 2 screens, FF at the left 2/3 of the right one, web sites getting your resolution and the size (if not position) of the browser window - among other things of course).

EDIT 2: Most amusing, wordings like "You can change our tracking settings for you anytime." - well, I've got better things to do, so I let them track me for some hours, and then, when their pseudo-AI starts to decide which type of their paying friends' crap I could possibly be interested in, it all comes to an end - except google, sometimes, as said. People who do not regularly stop (most) tracking must be considered lunatics, afai'm concerned. Very amusing, too: When I look up some mechanical tools, then buy one - which google should "get" indeed -, and then I get google ads for that very same tool: do they really think that today's (missing) "quality" (not only "Bosch Blue" made in Russia, but also higher-priced tools you'd think have some stamina) triggers replacement purchases EVERY DAY? At least, their AI should have read the Bosch, or Metabo, or whatever maker's guarantee certificates (pdf by google: they read (scan) whole books now, no?), so that they knew that before 3 years (even for the Russian shit: they hope you will use it intermittently only) you'll probably not buy another one: So what they (try to) do must be called stalking.

EDIT 3: Well, this ("so I let them track me for some hours", well, some days now, lately, as explained above...) brings me to the additional question why on earth all those cookie, etc. deleters insist on your closing down your browser first. Wouldn't it be possible to do at least some partial cleaning while the browser is open? Would FF or other browsers really crash if in the middle of the road you'd (i.e. your script) already deleted all that tracking trash at least partially? And if yes, why would browsers be programmed so badly?

EDIT 4: Yes, and that famous "experience", e.g. "By using the site you agree to our privacy settings - We'll give you the best experience - We'll show you relevant advertising" - relevant to whom? (Copyright dailytrash, pardon me, dailymail. EDIT 5: Example: - well, many of them are probably both, in order to complicate things over the top) - Btw, just like the "Have a nice day", this "experience" thing came to Europe from the U.S., both expressions had been totally unknown on the old continent, and while it's become absolutely impossible now do some shopping in town without being said goodbye "Have a nice day" (and even, but then just in another intonation, after having been informed, "We don't serve you!"), their openly musing about your "experience" with them spreads more and more, and every time, I then must proactively stop my killer instinct overwhelming me. (And those numb politicians ask where all that hate comes from: Well, there's a degree of insincerity which becomes blatantly offensive - so much for my global "browsing experience" and similar. Oh, and lately, they've begun to call your purchase wish "your project" - would they just scream if you strangled them, or would they, looking into the eyes of death, begin to understand that raping your language is a crime, too, and which asks for emergency relief (I mean defense in support of a third party) whilst not outright retaliation?)

@ital2: Thanks for the rant and info. It was interesting - especially the bit about System Ninja - and mostly/all made sense to me.
Regarding having to close a browser before CCleaner can delete its cookies, etc.: I would guess that the reason for having to close a browser before CCleaner can delete cookies or other files (e.g., cache) would be simply because those files will tend to have been locked by the browser whilst it is running and only get unlocked when the browser is shut down.


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