AdwCleaner logo on Windows 10 desktop background

AdwCleaner just got better. The latest version of the free Malwarebytes tool can now remove manufacturer-installed bloatware on Windows PCs. We already loved it for removing potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) like adware and browser hijackers.

We’ve loved AdwCleaner for a long time, since before Malwarebytes acquired it back in 2016. It’s a great way to remove toolbars and other adware from your PC. Now, it’s even a great way to remove preinstalled junk you probably don’t want on a new PC.

We recommend Malwarebytes as one of the best antimalware solutions for a Windows PC, but this tool is useful even if you already have Malwarebytes installed. It detects additional things that not everyone would want to remove. AdwCleaner is completely free for everyone, too.

To use it, download and run Malwarebytes AdwCleaner for Windows. The tool will run with no installation required—just click “Scan Now.”

Malwarebytes AdwCleaner dashboard interface

You’ll see a list of software you might want to remove. To see more information about a piece of software, right-click it here and select “See Threat Definition” to pull up the definition page on Malwarebytes’ website.

Malwarebytes AdwCleaner scan

As Bleeping Computer points out, this feature is new in AdwCleaner 7.4, released on July 24, 2019. Before this release, AdwCleaner was focused only on adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs,) not bloatware.

Finally, if you really want to be rid of bloatware on a new PC, we recommend Windows 10’s Fresh Start feature—it’s like reinstalling Windows 10 from scratch, but easier.

RELATED: What's the Best Antivirus for Windows 10? (Is Windows Defender Good Enough?)

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »