CCleaner has had its fair share of controversies surrounding privacy and functionality in the past couple of years. While there is no data available on the impact of these issues on the application's userbase, it is clear that some users have moved on in the meantime.
Most user concerns were privacy related, and here on the bundling on unrelated programs, often by parent company Avast, and on data collecting. The bundling caused Windows Defender to flag CCleaner as potentially unwanted in 2020, while privacy options, or the lack thereof, was a cause of concern in the past years.
CCleaner 5.71 has been released. The changelog is short but one change in the new version addresses the bundling issue on CCleaner's end:
All users can now opt out of offers for other products.
Users who install CCleaner on supported systems may get offers, usually by Avast, the parent company. These offers were opt-out in the past, and users who did not pay attention to the installation would end up with extra software installed on their devices. Microsoft's Defender application did flag CCleaner because of this behavior. Offers may also be displayed as banners frequently to users.
Tip: if you have to use CCleaner, it is better to use the portable version as it does not need to be installed (and thus does not display offers during installation). You find it on the builds page on the official website.
CCleaner users find the new setting under Options > Privacy.
Since it is opt-out, it is activated by default but only for Avast company products and not third-party offers. The third-party offers option can be enabled in the privacy settings, but it is disabled by default.
To opt-out of data sharing and first-party offers, uncheck the following two options:
Users who want to know more about the data sharing find links to privacy and products policies, and a data factsheet that summarizes core information.
The opt-out does not seem to help users during first install, as offers may be presented during installation as the setting is activated by default. It is still recommended to disable the functionality as soon as it becomes available, or avoid it altogether by either using the portable version or a suitable alternative such as Bleachbit.
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