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  • CCleaner vs. HP Support Assistant

    Posted on Kathy Stevens Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 CCleaner vs. HP Support Assistant

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      • #2287646 Reply
        Kathy Stevens
        AskWoody Plus

        The AskWoody blog contains numerous criticisms of CCleaner including a recent series of negative comments related to it wiping Firefox extension settings.

        We have been using CCleaner’s Custom Cleaner to remove detritus from our drives for more than six years without incident but are concerned about privacy. Our primary purpose for running CCleaner is to remove any footprints from our drives that can reveal our computer related activity.

        Our Windows 10 HP computers have an application called HP Support Assistant.

        Support Assistant is a set of apps that can:

        • Fix our network,
        • Fix audio issues,
        • Optimize PC performance,
        • Check the Windows 10 operating system,
        • Run hardware diagnostics, and
        • Diagnoses printer issues.

        Under the Optimize your performance option the app can:

        • Empty Recycle Bin and
        • Clean Web-browsers history, cookies and cache.

        Included in the HP system cleanup is:

        • The deletion of temporary files,
        • Deletion of prefetch files,
        • Emptying the Recycle Bin, and
        • Cleaning of web browsers.

        However, if we run CCleaner’s Custom Cleaner immediately after running HP’s Optimize to empty recycle bin and clean web-browsers history, cookies and cache – CCleaner finds additional 10’s of MBs of bits to remove.

        Has anyone taken a deep dive into HP’s Support Assistant to see if it is any good?

        Are the problems with CCleaner real or is it safe to continue using the application?

        If we decide to continue using CCleaner should we use an older version – we have installation files going back to at least 2006?

      • #2287649 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Are the problems with CCleaner real

        The problems were/are real and surfaced after Avast bought Piriform
        Switch to ccPortable

        From Woody’s newsletter : Freeware Spotlight — ccPortable

        A classic example is Piriform’s CCleaner. First launched in 2004, it was a wildly popular system cleaner, trusted by millions of PC users as safe, effective, and free. For years it was on most must-have-utilities lists.

        But in 2017, things went seriously wrong. Avast acquired Piriform — and soon after, the installation app was injected with the Floxif Trojan. The infection lasted over a month and reportedly affected over 2 million PCs and servers. The attack was apparently highly sophisticated, and it was especially embarrassing for one of the leading anti-malware companies — Avast.

        Then, in 2018, CCleaner stumbled twice. First, customers discovered that Piriform/Avast was collecting user data (more info). Next, users started posting complaints that CCleaner was installing Avast Antivirus without their permission. (Boo, hiss!) At that point, dropped CCleaner from its database. We don’t tolerate bundleware or potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). Grrrr!

        Even Windows Defender flags CCleaner as PUA:Win32/CCleaner

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Alex5723.
        • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Alex5723.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2287659 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Cleaning Clean Web-browsers history, cookies and cache.. isn’t enough to remove any footprints from our drives that can reveal our computer related activity.

        Every app you run transmit data to home servers even if it is just to check for updates and leaves cashed data on the PCs.
        ccPortable (CCleaner) has an Applications tab where you can select to clean applications cached data.
        In order to widen the list of applications you should download manually winapp2.ini file and put the file at the same directory of ccPortable (CCleaner). Or, run the free portable CCEnhancer which will download winapp2.ini for you. You should update this file from time to time.

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Alex5723.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2287815 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Rather than remove the data, encrypt the disk with BitLocker (Windows Pro and above) or Veracrypt (Windows Home). Then no one except you can see what you’ve been doing.

        cheers, Paul

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