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Google Discontinuing Chrome Tool for Removing Unwanted Software

Google has announced the discontinuation of the Chrome Cleanup Tool, an application for identifying and removing unwanted software.

Google this week announced that it’s discontinuing Chrome Cleanup Tool, an application that allows users to identify and remove unwanted software.

Introduced in 2015, the tool also helps users recover from sudden settings changes, and has performed over 80 million unwanted software cleanups.

According to Google, the existence of the Chrome Cleanup Tool appears redundant amid a continuous decline in user complaints about unwanted software: in the past year, only 3% of user complaints were about such applications.

Furthermore, the number of unwanted software detections on user devices is very low, with less than 1% of the Chrome Cleanup Tool scans performed last month identifying potential threats.

On top of that, the internet giant explains, Google Safe Browsing and antivirus software are now more effective at blocking unwanted software, eliminating the need for the Chrome Cleanup Tool.

“Where file-based [unwanted software] migrated over to extensions, our substantial investments in the Chrome Web Store review process have helped catch malicious extensions that violate the Chrome Web Store’s policies,” Google explains.

At the same time, the internet giant has observed new trends in the malware ecosystem, such as the rise of cookie theft, which resulted in improvements in blocking malware downloads, malicious landing pages, and phishing and social engineering emails.

Chrome 111, which was released this week, no longer allows users to request a Chrome Cleanup Tool scan or to use the ‘Reset settings and cleanup’ option. The component that performed automated scans and informed users of identified threats will also be removed.

“Even without the Chrome Cleanup Tool, users are automatically protected by Safe Browsing in Chrome. Users also have the option to turn on Enhanced protection by navigating to chrome://settings/security – this mode substantially increases protection from dangerous websites and downloads by sharing real-time data with Safe Browsing,” Google notes.

Related: Chrome 111 Patches 40 Vulnerabilities

Related: Passkeys Now Fully Supported in Google Chrome

Related: Google Improves Chrome Protections Against Use-After-Free Bug Exploitation

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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