Google is finally ditching one of its old Chrome browser applications, the Chrome Cleanup Tool, alongside another feature that scans Windows PCs and laptops for security threats.
According to The edge (opens in new tab)the Cleaning tool will be removed upon release Chrome 111 (opens in new tab). After that, users will no longer be able to scan their PC with the tool through the Safety Checkup feature or the Windows “Reset Settings and Clean” browser option.
While it’s a useful tool, it was never intended to be all-encompassing. There are plenty of other tools and applications that better serve its function, such as Google Safe Browsing and Chrome’s built-in virus protection. And according to Google, user reports of unwanted and malicious software have declined over the years. Apparently only 0.06% of Cleanup Tool scans in February actually revealed software problems.
In 2020, Google and cybersecurity firm ESET confirmed that they would continue their collaboration, including working with Chrome Cleanup Tool. The technology was specifically used by Google to inform users about potentially malicious software trying to access their devices, with the Cleanup Tool then used to rid the machine of the risk from said software. With Google ridding its browser of the tool, it’s unclear if or where the partnership with ESET will go from here.
We’ve reached out to Google for comment regarding the full reasons why the Cleanup Tool has been retired, and we’ll let you know if and when we hear back.
Google claims that the Chrome Cleanup Tool has performed more than 80 million cleanups since its release in 2015, restoring systems affected by unexpected settings changes and removing extensions that violated Google’s Unwanted Software Policy.
One of Google’s main reasons for eventually discontinuing the program, other than due to the overlap with other applications that perform the same function, is that new phishing and malware trends are emerging and evolving. Malicious software, judging by the less than one percent stat the tech giant has provided, simply doesn’t pose the same threat as before and it makes sense to spend budget and time improving and maintaining security measures that address current trends.
automatic safe browsing, anti-malware tools, and enhanced system protections, as well as Adblock and other browser extensions, are clearly more than capable of protecting your Windows machine from threats. It is vital that security measures evolve with the times and that we put to rest programs that are effectively obsolete.