Junk offender: IObit Uninstaller Free

Oh, IObit. Let me count the ways you annoy me. You put Upgrade buttons where Uninstall buttons should be, then swap them round. You bundle pre-ticked junk in your installers. Now you’ve filled my PC with junk files and folders without asking me, or indeed telling me.

And yet, I still use IObit Uninstaller Free. In fact, I love it. Partly because I’m used to it, but also because it’s great for removing leftover files that other uninstallers leave behind.

When did IObit dump this junk folder on to my
PC – and will it do it again?

But its pros may soon be overtaken by its cons. This week, Malwarebytes AdwCleaner (www.malwarebytes.com/ adwcleaner) found three dodgy IObit items on my PC: a folder called ASCDownloader and two rogue IObit registry entries. ASC is Advanced SystemCare. This useless extra program is pre-ticked in IObit adverts and currently appears unticked, in the installer for IObit Uninstaller Free. ASC itself has never installed on my PC, but the sudden appearance of this ASC-related junk suggests IObit is hoping it soon will.

Where did this pre-emptive rubbish come from? From other IObit software, perhaps. I recently tested the new beta parallel release of IObit Uninstaller, but its installer didn’t contain junk. IObit Start Menu 8 (Named & Shamed, Issue 495) did have a PUP in its installer, but I was careful to avoid it. And it was ages ago.

What’s most likely is that IObit downloaded the junk by itself. My installed version of IObit Uninstaller Free doesn’t update automatically, but it is connected to the internet. Like most other installed software, it sends data to and from the internet all the time.

Adverts, usage data and so on. My guess is that’s how this ASCDownloader folder got on to my PC. It was easy to remove and seems to have stayed away, but I hope this doesn’t turn into a trend.

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I still think IObit Uninstaller Free is a good program. At the time of writing, neither IObit Uninstaller Free nor the beta are bundling pre-ticked junk in their installers. But do I trust them to treat your PC with respect? Now, I’m not sure.

THIS ISSUE’S EXPERT: Bing Wang, Product Director at lObit

(www.iobit.com) IObit

I downloaded lObit’s Advanced SystemCare, and Malwarebytes detected it as a threat and deleted it. Why?

John Binnell, Birmingham

IObit recently found that Malwarebytes flagged Advanced SystemCare 10 as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and removed it without warning, resulting in hundreds of complaints from users.

Many antivirus programs have their own criteria for detecting and flagging threats, but most allow the user to choose what action to take. However, Malwarebytes does not follow this path.

In this case, many users who have both Advanced SystemCare and Malwarebytes installed on their computers find that even if they exclude SystemCare files from Malwarebytes results, the scan continues to report SystemCare files as a threat. This has led some users to mistrust Advanced SystemCare.

When the false positives were identified, IObit contacted Malwarebytes to enquire about the details, but unfortunately these requests have not been taken seriously. IObit immediately initiated a self-inspection of its programs to eliminate any potential issues that may have caused the false positives. According to the news website The Windows Club (bit.ly/club422), IObit is not the only victim.

We would like to apologize to our users for the unnecessary frustration caused by these circumstances.

This goes against IObit’s ultimate mission: to offer the best service for our customers. We hope to resolve this issue through communicative channels. We appreciate the support our users have given IOBit and Advanced SystemCare during this time.

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