CCleaner Rolls Back Sketchy Update, Promises Not to Undo User Preferences in Future Version

Piriform, reacting to widespread backlash, rolled back recent changes to CCleaner that made it functionally impossible to prevent data collection.

Version 5.45 of CCleaner collects anonymized system information. Users can disable this data collection only for CCleaner to automatically re-enable the settings when it restarts.

RELATED: Here’s What You Should Use Instead of CCleaner

This prompted widespread outrage last week, with users, privacy advocates, and journalists crying foul. So Piriform, the Avast subsidiary behind CCleaner, rolled back CCleaner over the weekend.

Here’s the forum post announcing the change:

We’re currently working on separating out cleaning functionality from analytics reporting and offering more user control options which will be remembered when CCleaner is closed. We’re also creating a factsheet to share which will outline the data we collect, for which purposes and how it is processed.

Today we have removed v5.45 and reverted to v5.44 as the main download for CCleaner while we work on a new version with several key improvements.

It’s a step, for sure—the program will remember user settings after it’s closed! How nice of them. Needless to say the next version of CCleaner needs to ditch these dark patterns entirely and make it clear to users exactly what is happening with their data. We probably won’t recommend you use CCleaner regardless, however. Here’s what you should use instead.

Our thanks to Lawrence Abrams at Bleeping Computer and Venkat at Techdows for pointing these developments out to us.

Image Credit: ben bryant/

Justin Pot is the News Editor for How-To Geek. He lives in Hillsboro, Oregon and runs the Hillsboro Signal, which offers local citizen journalism. Follow Justin on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.