Malwarebytes, maker of the security solution of the same name, released a new version of the company’s AdwCleaner program this week. AdwCleaner is a standalone free program designed to detect and remove adware and other unwanted software programs from Windows machines.
The first big update of AdwCleaner released this year brings the version of the program to 7.4 and introduces preinstalled software detection and cleaning to the application.
Malwarebytes acquired AdwCleaner in 2016 and maintained a standalone version of the program that is free to use since then.
AdwCleaner 7.4 can be downloaded from the project’s page on the Malwarebytes website. Existing users should receive an update notification when they launch a previous version of the application; they may use the prompt to download and install the update to AdwCleaner 7.4.
Note: AdwCleaner collects anonymous usage statistics by default. You can disable the functionality under Settings > Application > Usage and Threat Statistics.
The application supports a number of new features, the most prominent one introduces the ability to scan and manage preinstalled software. The developers of the application define preinstalled software as “software that typically comes pre-loaded on a new computer separate from the operating system”.
Most pre-installed software is not required to run the system according to Malwarebytes and that is certainly a true statement. Depending on what is pre-installed, it may even impact system stability, performance, or security in a negative way.
The definition excludes software that comes with the operating system; users who hoped that AdwCleaner would allow them to deal with pre-installed Windows applications need to find other ways to deal with those.
Is there a pre-packaged app that is not necessary for your machine to run? You have the option to get rid of it. Is there a pre-installed, superfluous program taking up vital space on your computer? Feel free to get rid of it.
And if you accidentally remove a preinstalled application by mistake, the newest version of AdwCleaner allows you to completely restore it from the quarantine.
The quarantine separates pre-installed software from adware to make the distinction easier.
What else is new? A glossary has been added to the scan results page. Just click on the ?-icon to open it in a new window. It provides explanations for the different types of adware, e.g. potentially unwanted programs, spyware, or preinstalled software, that AdwCleaner detects and uses for classification.
Other changes include supporting HTTP/2 for all HTTP requests, library updates, and support for using a styled titlebar on Windows 10.