Microsoft has started detecting CCleaner, a popular utility tool for Windows as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) PUA: Win32/CCleaner threat in the Microsoft Defender, the first wall of defence and security for Windows.
Piriform’s CCleaner is a top-rated utility tool that has features such as registry cleaner, application/browsers data cleaner amongst various other useful things. Their Disk Analyzer and Driver Wiper has garnered positive reviews for providing the utility for free.
What is a Potentially Unwanted Application?
Windows Potentially Unwanted Apps, also known as potentially unwanted programs that protect the computers from by disallowing the users from installing untrusted, suspicious programs that may cause irreparable harm and damage.
The PUA can be turned off from the settings as well which Microsoft advises against unless the users are absolutely sure about the application/program being blocked.
Locked Horns with Microsoft
Back in early 2019, Microsoft banned CCleaner’s website on the Microsoft Community forum.
The ban was a result of Microsoft’s consistent stance on the damage that registry cleaner does to Windows PCs.
Microsoft Identifying CCleaners as a PUA – 2020
The Microsoft Security Intelligence site has added a new entry to its database, which classifies CCleaner as a PUA: Win32/CCleaner threat.
While no reasons have been given on the move, we could gather the following Microsoft’s policy on registry cleaning utilities.
|Microsoft does not support the use of registry cleaners. Some programs available for free on the internet might contain spyware, adware, or viruses. If you decide to install a registry cleaning utility, be sure to research the product and only download and install programs from publishers that you trust.
Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the use of a registry cleaning utility can be solved. Issues caused by these utilities may not be repairable and lost data may not be recoverable.
Some products such as registry cleaning utilities suggest that the registry needs regular maintenance or cleaning. However, serious issues can occur when you modify the registry incorrectly using these types of utilities. These issues might require users to reinstall the operating system due to instability. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved without a reinstallation of the Operating System as the extent of the changes made by registry cleaning utilities varies from application to application.
Avast Enters the Picture
In the fall of 2017, Avast, a popular antivirus vendor, purchased CCleaner as a part of their expansion plan. They started bundling their additional products and promotions inside the CCleaner installer.
Piriform sunk themselves further into a puddle of problems by toying with user consent on CCleaner regarding sharing usage information with the company. This was on top of the mandatory push of updates which could not be disabled.