October 19, 2016 - As part of our mission to get more aggressive in the detection of Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) we are announcing the acquisition of AdwCleaner.

Your device, your choice: AdwCleaner now detects preinstalled software

For years, Malwarebytes has held firm to a core belief about you, the user: You should be able to decide for yourself which apps, programs, browsers, and other software end up on your computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

Basically, it’s your device, your choice.

With the latest update to Malwarebytes AdwCleaner, we are working to further cement that belief into reality. AdwCleaner 7.4.0 now detects preinstalled software.

What is preinstalled software? Preinstalled software is software that typically comes pre-loaded on a new computer separate from the operating system. Most preinstalled software is not necessary for the proper functioning of your computer. In fact, in some cases, it may have the negative effect of impacting the computer’s performance by using memory, CPU, and hard drive resources. 

Preinstalled software can be the manufacturer-provided systems control panel. It can be the long-outdated antivirus scanner. It can be the never-heard-of photo editor, the wedged-in social gaming platform, the all-too-sticky online comparison shopper. 

So, why remove it? Besides the potential for performance impacts, we simply feel that when you buy a device—whether that’s a laptop for school, work, or fun—you should have the right to choose which programs are installed. That right should also apply to the types of software that can show up preinstalled with a device, before you even had a say in the matter.

Preinstalled software applications can be difficult to remove. They linger, buzzing around your digital environment while dodging simple uninstall attempts. We want to change that.

We also want to be clear here: Preinstalled software is not malicious. Instead, for some users, preinstalled applications serve more as an annoyance.

Advanced users typically prefer to remove all non-essential applications from their systems. With the latest version of AdwCleaner, we extend that capability to users of all technical abilities. AdwCleaner now allows users the option to quarantine and uninstall unnecessary, sometimes performance-degrading, preinstalled applications.

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.

You should be able to choose the programs that end up on your device. With the latest update to Malwarebytes AdwCleaner, that choice is in closer reach.


David Ruiz

Pro-privacy, pro-security writer. Former journalist turned advocate turned cybersecurity defender. Still a little bit of each. Failing book club member.