Microsoft blocks official CCleaner domain on its Answers site - gHacks Tech News

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Microsoft blocks official CCleaner domain on its Answers site

A report on the Italian site HTNovo suggests that Microsoft added 11 domains to a blacklist on the company's official Answers support site.

While it is not uncommon for forums to block certain sites, e.g. sites that are malicious in nature or problematic in other ways, it is a rare occurrence that legitimate sites get blocked on official forums.

Update: Avast provided the following statement via email.

"Microsoft has confirmed to CCleaner that it was erroneously placed on a blacklist and they are taking immediate steps to correct this now that they are aware of the issue."

End

The reporting site reveals that www.ccleaner.com is one of the domains but does not reveal the remaining ten domains that Microsoft blacklisted as well. According to HTNovo, the remaining ten sites fall in the download or information category.

A quick test on the Microsoft Answers forum confirms that the domain ccleaner.com is changed automatically to **** when a post is published or edited. It does not matter if a protocol or www is used or not, the domain is always changed when the post is submitted or edited.

Affiliated users, moderators and site administrators, may still post the domain name in question though. Users could bypass the blocking by using link redirection services.

microsoft answers block ccleaner

Why CCleaner? HTNovo's blog post does not tell, only that Microsoft informed moderators on the forum about the blacklist filter.

One possible explanation, and HTNovo seems to hint at that possibility, is that CCleaner may be used for good and bad. In other words, the software may cause issues on Windows systems and that may lead to additional support requests on the official forum.

Even the cleaning of temporary data may cause issues on the user's end as it may remove data such as cookies that users may prefer to keep to avoid having to sign in to sites and services on the next visit.

Piriform, maker of CCleaner, was acquired by Avast in 2017. It became known shortly thereafter that the software's distribution system had been compromised. The software is still bundled with software, e.g. Avast Free Antivirus in 2017 and nowadays CCleaner Browser, which caused issues of their own for users.

It seems improbable that the bundling or any of the privacy issues caused Microsoft to blacklist the domain on its Answers forum.

The CCleaner application is not blocked by Microsoft Defender or SmartScreen at the time of writing.

Now You: What is your take on the banning of the domain? (via Deskmodder)

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Microsoft blocks official CCleaner domain on its Answers site
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Microsoft blocks official CCleaner domain on its Answers site
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A report on the Italian site HTNovo suggests that Microsoft added 11 domains to a blacklist on the company's official Answers support site. 
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Comments

  1. Anonymous said on September 25, 2019 at 1:49 pm
    Reply

    So Microsoft does not mention he who shall not be named despite the fact that it is incredibly well known and has a reputation for being one of the lighter, and for that reason safer crap cleaners.

    It seems to me the more logical approach would be to advise questioners of the pitfalls of cleaning systems with 3rd party cleaners or at least “the absent website name was suppressed because…”

    1. ann said on September 25, 2019 at 2:47 pm
      Reply

      well Since CCleaner is sold to avast this is no longer true.
      For myself, I also stopped using this until then wonderfull and good tool, because it came bad.

      1. Rush said on September 25, 2019 at 9:52 pm
        Reply

        The last known clean download of CCleaner before Avast is: v5.32.6129

        Search for that version to download:

        https://filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/76624/

        Once downloaded, turn off wi-fi or unplug ethernet cable.

        Install Ccleaner v5.32

        Options: uncheck / check for updates.

        Uncheck system monitoring.

        Reconnect: Internet

        Download https://singularlabs.com/software/ccenhancer/

        re-open CCleaner and check the boxes of the additional items you want cleaned.

        Viola’

      2. Tom Hawack said on September 26, 2019 at 3:18 pm
        Reply

        @Rush, “The last known clean download of CCleaner before Avast is: v5.32.6129”.

        Indeed, yet I went up to version 5.40.6411, latest non-adware non-tracking version I’m aware of, at least with the proper blockers. But I didn’t and won’t update from there on.

        The blame of this odyssey is of course to be put on neither the CCleaner developer team nor Piriform but Avast which has ruined a once unanimously appreciated software.

        As far as Microsoft’s move is concerned, no idea what the true motivation is but whatever it is I wouldn’t grant the company’s policies and recommendations given their own status, tricky and incompetent, heavy, insidious, together with Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and now Cloudflare. Exercising extreme caution with these companies, avoiding them as much as possible is an approach I highly recommend for any privacy concerned user.

      3. Rush said on September 26, 2019 at 9:16 pm
        Reply

        @TomH

        As usual, excellent comment by you, good sir.

        v5.40.6411 is good to know, Thank you.

      4. Martin P. said on September 27, 2019 at 3:49 pm
        Reply

        It ain’t “viola”, it’s “voila”. Trust me I’m French. HTH

      5. Rush said on September 27, 2019 at 4:28 pm
        Reply

        @Martin P

        I stand politely corrected. Thanks.

      6. Tom Hawack said on September 28, 2019 at 12:57 pm
        Reply

        Especially that “viola” is, in French, the paste tense of the verb “violer” which means “to rape”, “to break”, “to desecrate”, “to violate”.

        “Il viola un secret défense et l’on n’entendit plus jamais parler de lui” :=)
        Et voilà !

      7. scorpiogreen said on September 28, 2019 at 2:18 pm
        Reply

        @Rush @Tom Harwick

        I too use 5.40.6411. Just make sure you use Winapp2.ini to update it’s database settings every once in awhile. That will keep your old version current without updating.

        https://github.com/MoscaDotTo/Winapp2

        Scroll down 1/4th of the page for further instructions

  2. ärd said on September 25, 2019 at 1:50 pm
    Reply

    I have dumbed CCleaner since 2017. Now using BleachBit, which is handy as nowadays I do mostly use Ubuntu in stead of windows and BleachBit works on both O.S.’s

  3. Jeff said on September 25, 2019 at 3:37 pm
    Reply

    Good riddance. That app does more harm than good. Use the official Disk Cleanup. CCleaner developers don’t know what they are cleaning, neither does the user.

  4. Yeah said on September 25, 2019 at 3:56 pm
    Reply

    The cleaning of temporary data may cause issues on Microsoft’s end as it may remove data such as cookies that Microsoft prefers to keep.

    1. No said on September 25, 2019 at 8:14 pm
      Reply

      HAHA good one! :D

  5. Anonymous said on September 25, 2019 at 4:43 pm
    Reply

    You’ll need something stronger than CCleaner to get rid of all the crap in Windows. Shame it wasn’t Candy Cleaner or Cortana Cleaner….

  6. tripper said on September 25, 2019 at 5:16 pm
    Reply

    I stopped using it the day Avast took over, and like all their products are riddled with adware and bundleware. A once staple in my PC toolkit how a long gone memory. My company has also for lack of a better term banned Ccleaner and the IT Dept has instruction to remove it if its installed on systems

  7. Malte said on September 25, 2019 at 5:32 pm
    Reply

    What about https://www.glarysoft.com ? Is Glary Utilities also blocked?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 25, 2019 at 6:08 pm
      Reply

      I don’t think so.

    2. Cigologic said on September 26, 2019 at 12:27 am
      Reply

      > Malte: “Is Glary Utilities also blocked?”

      Yeah, that’s what comes to my mind too. If third-party system cleaners possibly causing system instability is the purported reason for all mentions of CCleaner being censored to *****, why is this rule not applied across the board — to the likes of BleachBit, PrivaZer, Cleanmgr+, Wise Registry/Disk Cleaner, KCleaner, etc. ?

      In fact, compared with the aforementioned, CCleaner (well known to take a “softly softly” approach) seems relatively mild in terms of potential damage impact.

      Unless Microsoft is targeting the lowest-hanging fruit …

    3. ULBoom said on September 27, 2019 at 2:52 am
      Reply

      There are free lifetime licenses that appeared in various forums for along time, for Glary Pro, not a secret at all, should still work in US anyway.
      License Name: EaseUS Users
      License Code: 3788-6167-9582-3423-62

      Be aware that Glary makes a number of connections, not only for the software updater, others, too. Block it in your firewall and all is good!

      The free version is good enough, Pro gives a few features that may not be missed.

  8. TelV said on September 25, 2019 at 6:10 pm
    Reply

    You have a cleaner[.]com in the 3rd paragraph Martin which seems to be owned by a company called Frontier Communications of America, Inc. with IP 50.124.123.183

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 25, 2019 at 7:30 pm
      Reply

      Thank you!

  9. John said on September 25, 2019 at 8:06 pm
    Reply

    People have been advised to stop using CCleaner for years now.

    https://www.lunarsoft.net/featured/ccleaner-s-usage-on-windows-has-become-obsolete

  10. Yuliya said on September 25, 2019 at 11:44 pm
    Reply

    LTSC/Server 1809 have a software exclusion list, CCleaner 4.19 is on that list: https://i.imgur.com/oNJ7ijV.png
    I don’t know where that list is exactly to configure/disable it, it’s probably somewhere is GPedit, most likely. It’s the only prigram I am aware of being blocked by it. Probably older versions too. Also I’m sure LTSB/Server 1607 either don’t have it or don’t enforce it by default.
    CCleaner, especially older versions can break things, corrupt browser profiles, or even damage certain Windows functionalyti. I bet M$ got fed up with people recommending CCleaner to solve issues which did not require any 3rd party software and many people damaged their systems even further as a direct result.
    I bet the rest of those 10 or so addresses blocked are, for the most part, other cleaning software, “system tuning utilities” or false claming to speed up your system and what not.
    Ofcourse, I’m against any sorts of censorship, but in this case I just don’t care, I myself never found anything useful on those M$ community pages or whatever. Pertinent questions with complete rubbish responses from people who are, by the looks of it, M$ employees.

    I realised this when I’ve seen someone complaining about audio clipping in Windows 1607 (which was fixed in 1703). The kind of responses that person got from “Microsoft MVP”s were along the lines:
    “did you try turning it off and on?”; “try a system restore point”; “did you try lowering the volume?”; “did you try with a pair of headphones”
    Yes, these were the responses to core Windows functionality issues, already known internally at Microsoft! I know they were know, because I got a response from a MS employee through another medium and the issue was known and fixed in, at that point, the insider build of what eventually turned Windows 1703.
    Eh, I guess the last part is a bit derailling from the subject, but still kind of relevant. Also I already typed all this and I dn’t feel like removing it from my message now, so…

  11. Deo-et-Patriae said on September 25, 2019 at 11:59 pm
    Reply

    ccleaner 5.46 w/o all the crap, avast etc.

  12. Pierre said on September 26, 2019 at 2:30 pm
    Reply

    OK. Must I uninstall it ?

  13. Sylvio Haas said on September 26, 2019 at 3:52 pm
    Reply

    Hello, Martin, I’d love to keep on using CCleaner, it always worked well for me, but the alerts here are stimulating a wish to find another third part alternative. What do you suggest as an alternative to CCleaner, Glary Utilities 5?? Thank you.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 26, 2019 at 4:05 pm
      Reply

      You could try open source solution BleachBit. It is not as pretty and as extensive, but it may work: https://www.bleachbit.org/

      1. EP said on September 27, 2019 at 3:00 am
        Reply

        either BleachBit portable or Wise Disk Cleaner would be very good alternatives to CCleaner

  14. vip said on September 26, 2019 at 4:36 pm
    Reply

    I’m no expert on these things. All I can tell you is I’ve been using CCleaner for years with no problem that I have any reason to believe is related to CCleaner. I use Windows Disk Cleanup, but no product is going to get everything.

  15. John G. said on September 26, 2019 at 4:57 pm
    Reply

    I love CCleaner, I don’t care Avast at all. CCleaner is very useful despite any privacy issues.

  16. Mark Hazard said on September 26, 2019 at 9:32 pm
    Reply

    I recently renewed my subscription to CCleaner Pro. No ads, but you have to watch for PUPs when downloading the renewed version – but that’s minor.

  17. Norbert Gostischa said on September 26, 2019 at 9:53 pm
    Reply

    Update: The original report of a ban has now been retracted, with HTNovo now saying:

    CCleaner is not in any Microsoft Blacklist and there are no Blacklists regarding other domains in the official Microsoft forums

  18. ULBoom said on September 27, 2019 at 3:15 am
    Reply

    I loved the older versions of CCleaner, such a clear interface with eyes into areas I didn’t know existed. Best feature was the ability to simply disable all those stupid Windows Store apps.

    Then Avast turned it into a data collector and I dumped it. Best part of that was I learned how to use Windows Firewall, GPEdit, delete/disable those bogus apps manually and generally understand Windows and Firefox much better.

    Now, I only use one cleaner, Bleach Bit and that’s not really necessary but it works well.

    There’s a program on Git Hub called Windows 10 Debloater which zaps the store apps, disables Cortana, One Drive and some other stuff, you can choose. This also has never borked Windows. Nice to use if an update reinstalls that stuff.
    https://github.com/Sycnex/Windows10Debloater
    or
    https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/windows10debloater.html

    The additional cost of upgrading to a Pro version of Windows for GPEdit gives a huge bump to what you can control, more than most any utility.

  19. Anonymous said on September 27, 2019 at 4:15 pm
    Reply

    Did you know CCleaner uninstalls almost all windows 10 app’s, including Xbox. Makes for a much cleaner windows install.

    1. Tom Hawack said on September 28, 2019 at 12:49 pm
      Reply

      That itself could explain Microsoft’s decision to block the official CCleaner domain on its Answers site :=)

    2. scorpiogreen said on September 28, 2019 at 2:22 pm
      Reply

      I figured they had a devious motive behind it. No surprise, there.

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