CCleaner-Microsoft-Defender-PUA-Microsoft

CCleaner is amongst the most popular PC cleanup utilities for the Windows platform. However, users may be surprised to see the app is now available in the Microsoft Store. That is because Microsoft has a long-standing issue with the Piriform-developed app.

According to Softpedia, CCleaner is now available in the Microsoft Store, although may not be for everyone just yet. So, what has brought this dramatic change where Microsoft and Piriform have buried the hatchet? Well, to get to that we must first look at the history.

In 2019 Microsoft blacklisted the CCleaner tool from its Support Forum network, censoring mentions of the registry cleaning program. Redmond’s concern was seemingly justified a month later when Avast confirmed a critical flaw in CCleaner. By 2020, Microsoft Defender was classifying the tool as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).

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It is worth noting a PUA is not a dangerous app per se, or one that compromises security. It is any app that has been installed on a machine without permission. In an explanation at the time, Microsoft offered the following reason for blacklisting CCleaner:

“Bundling of software, especially products from other providers, can result in unexpected software activity that can negatively impact the user experiences. To protect Windows users, Microsoft Defender Antivirus detects CCleaner installers that exhibit this behavior as potentially unwanted applications (PUA)”.

Microsoft Store Appearance

Users on Windows 11 can now download the tool directly on the Microsoft Store. No information has been given on why Microsoft is now greenlighting CCleaner. Is it possible the app has sneaked onto the Store?

Unlikely, so it seems Microsoft and Piriform have put their differences aside. It also seems that Piriform announced this was happening at the end of last year. While the source for the announcement is not available, the following quote has been circulated:

“Reviving older PCs and keeping brand-new Windows 11 devices healthy remains a top priority worldwide, especially during work-from-home times with people relying even more on their home PCs being fast and reliable,” says David Peterson, General Manager of CCleaner. “Making CCleaner available for Windows 11 ensures people can keep their brand-new devices running at an optimal performance.”

Tip of the day: Windows now has a package manager similar to Linux called “Winget”. In our tutorial, we show you how to install and use this new tool that allows the quick installation of apps via PowerShell or a GUI.

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