What is the Registry Cleaner PUA?
Registry Cleaner is untrusted software endorsed as a tool for cleaning, repairing and optimizing the operating system by managing registry files. Due to the dubious methods used to proliferate Registry Cleaner, however, it is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).
PUAs are often unable to operate as advertised and can have harmful capabilities that are not declared.
Dubious distribution techniques can be used to promote legitimate software, yet these tactics are more commonly employed to proliferate unwanted and even malicious programs. PUAs typically seem normal and innocuous. They can also offer a wide variety of "useful" functionality, however, the features rarely work as promised and, in most cases, do not work at all.
This software may require activation (i.e. purchase) to perform its functions, yet even after activation, it remains nonoperational. Fake anti-virus tools are a prime example of PUAs that generate profit in this deceptive manner. As mentioned, these unwanted apps can have dangerous capabilities, which can lead to serious problems.
Some PUAs can force-open dubious and malicious websites. Adware-types run intrusive advertisement campaigns (i.e. deliver pop-ups, banners, coupons and others). The delivered ads diminish the browsing experience and, when clicked, redirect to dangerous sites and even stealthily download/install rogue software.
Other PUAs called browser hijackers make modifications to browser settings and restrict access to them to promote bogus search engines. The promoted search engines are usually unable to provide unique results, and so they tend to redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other genuine sites.
Furthermore, most PUAs (regardless of type) can track data. They can monitor browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect sensitive information derived from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The gathered data is likely to contain personally identifiable information.
PUA developers monetize this information by sharing it with and/or selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, the presence of unwanted software on devices can lead to system infections, financial loss, serious privacy issues and identity theft.
To ensure device and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.
|Name||Registry Cleaner potentially unwanted application|
|Threat Type||PUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application).|
|Supposed Functionality||Registry file management.|
|Detection Names||DrWeb (Program.Unwanted.2420), BitDefenderTheta (Gen:NN.ZelphiF.34242.xC1@aWp6xubi), Ikarus (PUA.SystemCleaner), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Pointstone.A Potentially Unw), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal).|
|Symptoms||A program that you do not recall installing suddenly appeared on your computer. A new application is performing computer scans and displays warning messages about 'found issues'. Asks for payment to eliminate the supposedly found errors.|
|Distribution Methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|Damage||Monetary loss (unnecessary purchase of fake software), unwanted warning pop-ups, slow computer performance.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Registry Life, ScanUtilities and System Care Pro are some examples of other PUAs similar to Registry Cleaner. Despite how legitimate and useful this software may seem, it is usually nonfunctional and can have harmful capabilities. The only purpose of these unwanted applications is the generate revenue for the developers.
Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs cause redirects, run intrusive ad campaigns, hijack browsers and collect private data.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Some PUAs (including Registry Cleaner) have "official" promotional web pages, from which they can be downloaded. These apps can also be downloaded/installed with other programs. This deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is termed "bundling".
By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps, using "Easy/Express" setting, etc.) many users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content into their devices. Intrusive advertisements proliferate these applications as well. When clicked, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are strongly advised to research all software products to verify their legitimacy, prior to download/installation and/or purchase.
All downloads must be done from official and verified sources, since untrusted download channels including unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders can offer deceptive and bundled content.
When downloading/installing, read the terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features and other additions. It is also important to exercise caution when browsing. Intrusive ads may seem legitimate, however, they can redirect to dubious sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
If you encounter ads or redirects of this kind, inspect your devices and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Appearance of Registry Cleaner application (GIF):
Installation setup of Registry Cleaner application:
Website promoting Registry Cleaner application:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Registry Cleaner?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove malicious plug-ins from Internet Explorer.
Removal of potentially unwanted applications:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window, look for "Registry Cleaner" and other suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:
At time of research, Registry Cleaner did not install any unwanted browser extensions, however, some unwanted applications can be installed together with adware and browser hijackers. If you experience unwanted ads or redirects when browsing the internet, continue with the removal guide below.
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the registry cleaner potentially unwanted application, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with registry cleaner potentially unwanted application removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the registry cleaner potentially unwanted application, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the registry cleaner potentially unwanted application, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
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Some PUAs (e.g. Registry Cleaner) have "official" promotional web pages, from which they can be downloaded. These apps can also be downloaded/installed with other programs. This deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is termed "bundling". By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. by ignoring terms, skipping steps, using "Easy/Express" setting, etc.) many users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content into their devices. Intrusive advertisements proliferate such applications as well. Once clicked, the ads can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' consent.