Unchecky – Software Review
This is a follow-up on my previous guide on ” How to avoid installing unwanted toolbars and softwares? “
In my previous guide, which was more of a consumer awareness article than a guide – I strongly recommended readers to be alert and read all the tick/check boxes, accept/decline buttons and other selectable choices while you are installing a software on your PC. Now, what if someone else takes care of the mentioned tasks for you?
The reviewed version of Unchecky is 0.2.4 Beta, released on January 13, 2014
Unchecky – Avoids installing unwanted toolbars & softwares – Automatically!
“Unchecky” as the name suggests, is the magical software application that can avoid installing unwanted toolbars & softwares – Automatically!
Unchecky is currently only available on Windows.
This will be a short and simple review, but I will try to cover as many aspects of the software as I can.
Unchecky Installation & Resource Usage:
The download & installation process was simple and straight forward, no adware/toolbars bundled! Download was less than an MB. Unchecky installs in your Program Files (x86) directory and persistently runs in background in your computer’s memory (RAM). The version of Unchecky I tested (0.2.4), hardly occupied 2 MB of my PC’s RAM and CPU usage was also negligible. Overall, Installation is as easy as it can be & it does not hog your PC’s resources and to slow down your PC.
Customizable Settings / Options :
Unchecky hardly provides any customizable settings or other options to fine tune it. To be frank, I cannot think of any customizations that could allow more control over what it does. The main window, does allow us to temporarily suspend the Unchecky background service – this may be if you are facing any trouble with your computer and you want to be sure it’s not because of Unchecky.
The settings screen provides Language Selection with English + 19 other languages :
There is also an Advance settings button which provides us control over Automatic Updates and Host File rules. I would recommend you to leave these options to their default selections. The only time I may disable Automatic Updates is if I am on a very expensive data plan with per KB download charges.
There is no option to manually block an adware/toolbar installer which may not be known to Unchecky yet. I have noticed frequent updates to the Unchecky Beta software, and the its developers are adding newly discovered installers to their database at regular intervals, in short – this is more than what I can expect from a beta software.
After I installed Unchecky, I headed over to download.com and downloaded many different types of softwares just to test the effectiveness. I will give 3 examples with screenshots – uTorrent, Advanced System Care and Adobe Flash Player.
Unchecky uTorrent installation test >
uTorrent gives you 3 “offers” while installing the program, and Unchecky successfully detected and automatically unticked all the offers by default :
An unaware computer user, will now finally be able to install uTorrent without any extra, unwanted music/toolbars/softwares. Although you still have all the freedom to select the offers if you want to.
Unchecky Advanced System Care installation test >
Unlike uTorrent installer, Advanced System Care provides only 1 toolbar installation offer. There is no checkbox for Unchecky to uncheck as you can see from the screenshot below :
Now, an average PC user will always click “Accept and Install” on this screen as that seems to be a logical button to go forward with the installation of the required software program (Advanced System care, in this case). But the fact is that the “Accept and Install” button is not for the main program here, but for IObit toolbar. Only few aware users would know that the safest way to go forward will be the “Decline” button to decline the IObit toolbar offer but go ahead with the installation of main program.
I behaved like an unaware PC user and clicked “Accept and Install”
A message popped up alerting me that I am about to accept and install a potentially unwanted program and recommended me to decline this offer. I am really impressed by this alert system.
Unchecky Adobe Flash Player installation test >
Adobe Flash Player installer is more cunning, and presents the “offers” on its download web page. Unfortunately, Unchecky currently does not detect web page based unwanted “offers” as of me writing this review. Infact, Unchecky’s developer is looking for help in creating a browser add-on designed to detect and uncheck web page based offers.
Even after I downloaded the default Flash Player installer with McAfee Security Scan as most of the unaware users would, Unchecky would not detect that I am installing one of the potentially unwanted programs. It let me install Adobe Flash Player & McAfee Security Scan with no warnings.
Overall, I am very much impressed by Unchecky. It is clean, lean, fast and effective. I am sure the effectiveness will improve further once they figure out how to detect and uncheck web-based installers. It is still in beta, so it may have bugs or may not be perfect yet. During my use, I never encountered any crashes or bugs – which is remarkable for a beta software. I wish Unchecky all the best to make this program more effective and remain free. I also wish they could they could make a Linux version.
I would strongly recommend Unchecky for all PC users to keep their PCs free of additional unwanted programs.
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