CCleaner launched a public beta last week, a month after a sketchy update gathered data on users and reversed user preferences.

That update caught users by surprise, resulting in barrage of bad press before the feature was rolled back. A public beta could prevent that from happening again, by giving dedicated users the chance to provide feedback before updates are pushed to millions of users.

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Piriform, the Avast subsidiary that makes CCleaner, announced the change on their forum (via Techdows):

Available to everyone, Beta releases are an interim version that requires user testing prior to the full public release, they will typically contain bug fixes to important issues, the latest cleaning definitions and early looks at new features. Since the focus of these releases is on providing you with faster fixes and improvements they do not contain any installer offers such as Google Chrome or Avast Antivirus.

The lack of bundled software is a nice touch, but also a reminder of how much CCleaner has changed over the years. Geeks recommended this program to friends specially because it didn’t bundle crap like this, and was even available as a portable app.

But I digress. A public beta is a smart move after a public relations fiasco on the scale of last month. New releases will be reviewed by CCleaner’s most dedicated users, who can provide feedback about changes before they’re pushed out to users.

We’re still not sure you should be using CCleaner, though. It’s not the clean, reliable app is used to be, and there are better tools for the job. Still, if you’re a dedicated CCleaner user, a public beta can only be seen as a good thing.

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