CCleaner is updating itself without users' permission

CCLEANER is back in the grumble-net again, after apparently auto-updating, whether users want it or not.

The once-loved housekeeping app for Windows was taken over by anti-virus company Avast last year and has seen a flow of complaints ever since including monitoring, bundleware, pop-ups and of course those privacy changes which were reversed after public outcry.

The latest version - v5.46 - was sent to us along with a list of what had been removed, and seemed to show that the team had been listening.

That was until the time came for a further update which according to multiple reports has been installing itself without and indeed in spite of permission settings.

Piriform, the now-subsidiary company that makes CCleaner, explained that the new version is GDPR compliant and that it stops cleaning of Windows.old folders which could have caused borkage.

So that's the reason. What's the excuse? Because by its own admission, the GDPR thing has been in place since v5.43 and moreover, there was no obligation to comply with it anyway as the company doesn't keep data on its users.

And so, after some puffery about how great v5.46 is, we get another mea culpa: "While we're not planning on carrying out an update like this soon, we have taken your feedback on board and are working on a better solution with greater transparency and that provides our users with more control."

Whilst this is heartening, it's another example of Piriform/Avast using the Microsoft strategy of doing something silly, then apologising and reversing it if there's enough complaining, and that's not cool.

Historically, CCleaner has been probably the best tool of its type, but if it continues to alienate users there's every chance its crown will slip.

We asked Avast for comment and they've promised to get back to us, so we'll update this story when they do. μ