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Is CCleaner a virus?  Do you use CCleaner?

Posted on 2016-09-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2017-09-18
Yes?  Why do you use it?

No?  Why don't you use it?
Question by:Kyle Santos

Expert Comment

by:Daniel Checksum
ID: 41790029
Yes, for internet history cleanup, for registry cleanup after a load of malware removals or uninstalls, and recently the startup tools have been extremely useful.
LVL 19

Assisted Solution

by:Edward Pamias
Edward Pamias earned 200 total points
ID: 41790035
Same as above. I have used it for a long time. I have the PRO version.
LVL 25

Assisted Solution

NVIT earned 200 total points
ID: 41790048
Yes. As Daniel said. I use it, to keep my network clients users Temp folder clean.

If you have a domain, get their Network Edition. It installs an agent on your domain clients. You can manage and report on them.

You can probably strike a deal with Piriform, based on number of client computers. Very reasonable pricing.
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LVL 84

Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 200 total points
ID: 41790087
I have used it a few times over the years.  Yes, it deletes some files but It has never seemed to make any difference in the performance of any of my computers.  Considering that you can totally disable a computer by making the wrong selections with it, I try to keep it off my client's computers.
LVL 17

Author Comment

by:Kyle Santos
ID: 41790091
Why would my antivirus (ESET) flag them as potentially unsafe?  I started downloading it and then my antivirus recommend I block it so it canceled the download.

LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 200 total points
ID: 41790094
No. There is just no reason to use it. Registry cleanup is not needed, and can cause more harm than it helps. The Web Browsers have their own ways for cleaning up their histories. It's just something that is of no use.

Accepted Solution

Daniel Checksum earned 200 total points
ID: 41790109
It's definitely not a virus, considerably cleaner than other tools that do the same thing.  I'm not sure how ESET picked it up as having a bundled toolbar as I've just installed it and didn't have to uncheck any boxes and no toolbars showed up.  Some real touchy users here apparently, it's decent software, yeah, there's a SLIGHT chance that it will break something in the registry, but, i've been using it for 5 years and on at least 1000 machines and never once had it break anything.  To say it has "no use" is not true at all, it has many uses and makes cleaning your pc a bit more efficient.  Will it speed up your PC?  No, most likely not.  Does it speed up the manual cleanup of your PC?  Yeah, a little bit.
LVL 56

Assisted Solution

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 200 total points
ID: 41790140
> Do you use CCleaner?

NO! I strongly recommend against registry cleaners (and aggressive uninstallers, too). My experience is that they can do more harm than good. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard a user say that apps stopped working after they ran a registry cleaner (or aggressive uninstaller). There are folks out there who swear by the likes of CCleaner for registry cleaning (and Revo for uninstalling) — but not here. Just one person's opinion, of course.

Btw, here's a current EE thread on the same subject:

Regards, Joe
LVL 17

Author Comment

by:Kyle Santos
ID: 41790153
Thanks for the additional feedback.  I figured it would be ok to update my version since its already installed, but I thought maybe the mirror to which I was downloading contained a virus?  I don't know.

Personally, I started using it a few years ago upon a recommendation from a friend.  I was told it would make my computer 'faster and clean useless crap'.  What did I find?  I found some noticeable areas of improvement, as well as, it cleaned a lot of areas of 'crap' that I've yet to need to go back and ever recover.

This is definitely an interesting split on feedback about the usage!  =)
LVL 99

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 200 total points
ID: 41790312
As per above, CCleaner is definitely not a virus.

I do not use it - no need and for a well run computer, "cleaning the registry" will not speed it up. Running Disk Cleanup CAN help remove temp files and make things faster.
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
Thomas Zucker-Scharff earned 100 total points
ID: 41790538
Use and recommend.  I have never had a problem in normal use.
LVL 27

Assisted Solution

tliotta earned 100 total points
ID: 41790697
I used it for years up through WinXP on numerous systems to good effect. But I wouldn't lightly recommend it to any non-computer-literate user simply because of the potential for mis-use. Any significant "cleaner" will need some appropriate knowledge to make some of the decisions.

(Note -- only "up through WinXP" is because I dropped Windows as XP was losing support from MS for security patches. It's been all Linux, mostly Linux Mint since then.)

I would have no problem installing CCleaner on any user's system as long as the user clearly understood either that I or another reasonably qualified person ran the cleaning process or that running the cleaning was "at your own risk". IMO, Linux Mint has been a safer choice for a few users than CCleaner would be for the same users.

It's not a virus. It does, however, take actions in the system when cleaning that any number of malwares might also do for nefarious reasons. It can "look like" malware to AV products due to what it does. And I think that some AVs flag it just on general principles by name, because it can be a risk to corporate PCs if users use it badly.
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 100 total points
ID: 41790764
i also don't use, it or recommend it
it does not seem to fix things; or speed up the system
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

garycase earned 100 total points
ID: 41791544
Another NO vote.    There's simply no need for tools of this ilk; and as several folks have already noted, they can do more harm than good.    I'm in general not a fan of registry cleaners at all; but if you DO feel like you need to run a program of this type, the only one I'd consider is Macecraft's JV16 Power Tools => but the simple fact is I don't think you need any of these.
LVL 50

Assisted Solution

dbrunton earned 100 total points
ID: 41791593
Get if from Piriform https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download/standard rather than File Hippo.

File Hippo occasionally bundles Adware inside the files it distributes.  They may have done this here.

Now CCleaner from Piriform will come with bundled software but you have the opportunity to decline all of their offers.

For doing a cleanup of the system (obsolete file removal) CCleaner is wonderful.

The registry cleaning function (different from previous paragraph) will have been argued about in previous posts.  CCleaner is a very mild registry cleaner to many others if you wish to use it.  I don't but I do use the file removal function.
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

davidanders earned 100 total points
ID: 41791901
CCleaner is one of the few utilities that claims a billion downloads.  It was originally CrapCleaner and was renamed. I have installed it and suggested running it monthly or quarterly on 4 or 8 hundred Windows computers over the years. I have never seen the conservative registry cleaner do harm.
The application uninstaller is seemingly easier to use for simple computer users.
The management of background startup utilities for Windows and browsers is also simple to use.
Piriform's Free download has never had additional downloads, that may have changed very recently.
I also like Defraggler by Piriform, aside from defrag it also shows S.M.A.R.T. status details.
Recuva has done 5 minute photo recovery from SD.
Speccy is detailed computer specification reporter, pretty but report export could be better.
Piriform is a good company.
LVL 17

Author Closing Comment

by:Kyle Santos
ID: 41795189
Thank you, everyone!

Expert Comment

ID: 41804914
Beating a dead horse here, and necroposting I realize, but the corpse is still warm...so...

You'll get lots of heavily weighted opinions on this one.  Here is my $0.02

Q:  Will CCLEANER harm my system?  Cause Apps to crash after I run it?
A:  Meh Not really.  To people who say otherwise I guarantee you there was some underlying issue with the app that was exposed.  it is highly unlikely that CCleaner would cause it.

Q:  Will CCLEANER speed up my system?
A:  No

Q:  What good is it then?
A:  CCLEANER is good for cleaning up a few things.  Every AV/AM/Cleaning tool has it's gaps.  No one of them gets everything.  Just like any good Golf bag, there is more than 1 type of club in there.  CCLEANER is just another club.

Personally, I use CCLEANER on Workstations regularly.   No issues.  But I don't use it on a server unless it's non production.  Servers have less of a chance of having apps/registry changes installed and uninstalled repeatedly.
LVL 17

Author Comment

by:Kyle Santos
ID: 42299019
Piriform advised people with CCleaner v5.33.6162 or CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191 installed on their machines to delete them and download new versions as soon as possible. The software doesn't update automatically.

LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 42299038
If you are running a 64 bit OS with the 64 bit version of CCleaner you are OK.

It is essentially only those people who are using the 32 bit version of CCleaner v5.33.6162 (or the Cloud version) who are in trouble.

Check the registry for this key  HKLM\SOFTWARE\Piriform\Agomo:   If you have it you are in trouble.

Also see https://www.ghacks.net/2017/09/18/ccleaner-compromised-better-check-your-pc/
LVL 17

Author Comment

by:Kyle Santos
ID: 42299093
Nice.  Thanks for the clarity on that.

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