Every browser claims to protect users from hijackers and adware, but their defences are limited and over time it’s easy for your system to fill with junk.
ZHPCleaner is a free tool which aims to help by scanning your PC, detecting dubious addons, toolbars and settings, and removing them on demand.
The program is very convenient to use. There’s no adware, no registration, no need to install anything, not even an archive to extract– just download and run the single executable, and click “Scanner”.
If you have any browser windows open, ZHPCleaner displays a warning alert. You can then close them yourself, or allow the program to do it.
We found ZHPCleaner occasionally displayed prompts during the scan, and these weren’t always clear.
“Have you installed this server?”, it asked, displaying two IP addresses we didn’t recognise, and presenting us with Yes/ No buttons. Which server? Where did it find this information? What would the program do with our answer? ZHPCleaner didn’t say, so we clicked “No” and waited to see what would happen.
Once the scan completes, the program takes a more familiar and helpful approach. There are lists of problems and adware traces, all checked by default, but you’re free to browse and clear anything you’d like to keep.
Our “Have you installed this server?” answer hadn’t caused any real problems, either. It turns out the IP addresses were the leftover DNS servers of an uninstalled VPN services, so ZHPCleaner had marked them to be deleted, but we could easily have decided to keep them if necessary.
ZHPCleaner’s interface isn’t always clear, but the program seems to be very thorough, detecting genuine issues on our test system while avoiding making any big mistakes. It still needs to be used with care, but overall the package deserves a place in your portable security toolkit.
ZHPCleaner is a free tool for Windows XP and later.