Windows 10 Will Finally Start Blocking Scammy “Optimizer” Software

Posted on January 31, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows, Windows 10 with 10 Comments

Microsoft is finally taking action against scammy optimizer apps in Windows. The company announced on Tuesday that it’ll be rolling out a new update to Windows Defender that will block and potentially remove such apps.

In a blog post, Microsoft said that regular Windows users often use free optimization software to check for errors on their computer, but these apps later force them to upgrade to premium versions in order to protect their device against the issues. Some of these apps even mislead users by exaggerating a problem and use tactics such as a countdown timer to scare users and force them to purchase premium versions of the tool. Apps that also try to get users to sign-up for newsletters, or require users to take surveys will also be penalized, notes Ars Technica.

As part of the updated set of criteria for malware and unwanted software in Windows, Windows Defender will detect such apps and remove them from the user’s device to protect them from further damage. “Programs must not display alarming or coercive messages or misleading content to pressure you into paying for additional services or performing superfluous actions,” Microsoft said. The update will go live on the 1st of March.

These type of apps aren’t a big deal amongst technical or power users, but you’ll be surprised to see how regular users can get easily fooled by these scammy crapware. Needless to say, Microsoft should have taken action against these apps ages ago, though it’s never too late.

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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Windows 10 Will Finally Start Blocking Scammy “Optimizer” Software”

  1. rameshthanikodi

    This is great, many users still fall for predatory "omg you must install this NOW" messages. Messing with windows settings is what tends to cause issues in the first place, not the other way around.

  2. skane2600

    Moves like these might actually be more effective at competing with Chromebooks than Windows 10 S is.

  3. zybch

    One of the best things users can do it to install 'unchecky' so the plethora of 'free' bundled utilities these scammy optimizers come with are unticked.

    The number of times I tell customers to NEVER install or trust these apps that promise to speed up and make their PCs more stable is astounding, and yet EVERY TIME I make a site visit the PCs are filled with the damn things.

  4. vonronge

    They should fix Edge. I sometimes get a page with a "message from Microsoft" that I can't close, and if you restart edge it comes back. It scared the bejesus out of my wife, who thinks bow and arrow pose is a technical skill.

  5. Waethorn

    Conduit, Slimware, APN, Tuguu.

    These are just a few companies whose products Microsoft needs to completely ban wholesale, no exceptions. Also, they need to really audit business use of the "Microsoft Certified Partner" logo and litigate any who use it to claim legitimacy for illegitimate means.

    Another category they need to ban is remote desktop software which supports remote virtual desktops, i.e. the remote worker can make a secondary virtual desktop screen where the user can't see what they're doing. There's one such program that has a similar name to the unrelated ABBYY OCR software...AXXYY or something like that. A remote person can steal information and access files or install software with it without any of the owner's consent or knowledge.

  6. jimchamplin


    My mom ruined a fresh install of Windows on a Dell Venue because a nosy friend thought it was “slow” and told her to get one of those pieces of crap. Luckily there’s a fella that the parents know who’s actually knowledgeable and experienced with computers, and he got it all fixed. He gave her the same talking-to I would have. “I’m your tech. If you think something is wrong, ask me.”

    The nosy friend? She said that mom’s machine “must have gotten hacked by a virus.” Great computer skills there, Turing.

  7. karlinhigh

    Good! Next step: Browser features to detect and block tech support scam pages.