by Martin Brinkmann on March 15, 2019 in Software – 8 comments
The most recent update for the temporary file cleaning and system maintenance software CCleaner, CCleaner 5.5.5, introduced a new Software Updater tool.
Software Updater scans installed programs on Windows PCs to make sure that they are up to date. The program checks for new versions and informs the user about these new versions.
CCleaner’s Software Update tool is available in free and professional versions of the desktop application but it is fully functional only in the Professional version of the application.
The free version of CCleaner features the Software Updater entry in the Tools menu but it is feature limited as it reports outdated versions only but gives users no option to update the programs using the tool’s functionality.
The selection of “update” or “update all” displays the “you’ll need to upgrade to use Software Updater” popup.
All of that would not be much of a problem; it is not uncommon for companies to highlight features of a paid version of a program in the free version. In this particular case, however, it is.
Piriform decided to bind a popup notification to the Software Updater tools menu. The popup is displayed if Software Updater is selected. Problem is, the company decided to make Software Updater the default tool in the Tools category.
Means: if you select Tools, you get the popup that advertises the upgrade to CCleaner Professional. There is no option to make another tool the default tool or to block the popup from being displayed.
The popup is displayed only once per session but it is displayed in every session, at least for now. If you use the Tools menu regularly, you will get the popup once in each session.
Piriform introduced advertising popups in CCleaner 5.44 and has been using them ever since to push CCleaner Professional versions. The company ran software bundling experiments previously as well to increase revenue.
I’m not a fan of nag screens. While I understand the need to sell professional licenses, I’d very much appreciate it if Piriform would display these popups less frequently or introduce an option to disable them entirely.
These popups may annoy some users enough to switch to a different program such as Bleachbit or use one of these methods to free up space which come without these annoyances.
Now You: Do you use CCleaner?