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Is PDF Creator Malware?

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management, Security Help

Trish has a question about CCleaner. “I downloaded and ran CCleaner per your recommendation.  It recommended to remove several ‘applications’ like PDFCreator.  I rely heavily on this, why does CCleaner want it removed?  Don’t understand & need this application.”


Trish there are a couple of possibilities. Sometimes software will identify something as a potential threat because it just plain doesn’t recognize it. CCleaner is smart, but it isn’t all-knowing. The program uses certain criteria to identify malware. It’s possible for something to meet some of those criteria without it actually being Malware.

There is a known issue with some versions of PDF Creator.  It has been known to come with a stowaway progam called PDFforge Toolbar. This is a piece of adware that can redirect you to other websites instead of your normal search engines.

But it is removable without removing PDF creator in its entirety.

Go to your search box and type Uninstall or change a program and click on the resut.


Then search for for “pdfforge Toolbar”


Find it on the list of installed programs and then click Uninstall.


Another not-so-pleasant possibility is that crooks have been know to get their hands on freeware and attach malware. So you’ll want to make sure that you get your freeware from a trusted site.

If you’ve been using PDF Creator for a long time with no issues, it probably is fine. You don’t always have to take CCleaner’s advice.

~ Cynthia

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4 Responses to “Is PDF Creator Malware?”

  1. Richard Gohman says:

    Ccleaner does not recommend any files for deletion. That is not part of its functions. It will allow your to uninstall programs and it will allow you to disable automatic starts of programs. But it does not recommend programs for removal.

  2. Richard Gohman says:

    Your reader is confused. Ccleaner does not ever recommend uninstalling or disabling a program. If you highlight the program, it give you the option of deleting it or disabling it. That is a lot different that recommending that you delete or disable the program.
    Unfortunately you did not help with your advice. Go to the Ccleaner site and familiarize your self and your reader on the facts.

  3. Jolyn Bowler says:

    For the most part, we no longer need a separate PDF generator/creator. If you are using most any word processor (MS Word, Corel Wordperfect, Open Office, LibreOffice, Google Docs) you have the option to Save As a .pdf file or to Export to .pdf. Most of the time this function is available under the File menu.

    Additionally, for those who are using Adobe’s PhotoShop Elements (not sure about the CS versions, but probably), you can also Save As a .pdf file as one of the options during the Save process.

    Hope this helps. It will allow those who are unsure about PDFCreator options to make .pdf format files.

    Additionally, I use a site This site offers downloads of many freeware. However, they strip the crapware off the installation process so that you won’t get adware/crapware loaded onto your system when you install the freeware you wish to use. PDFCreator is one of the freeware programs that is offered.

  4. Trish says:

    I have used PDFCreator for several months and find I could never live w/o it. The word processors mentioned are fine and probably very useful. I however do not use them. PDFCreator can create a pdf file from anything printable – anything. Like Cynthia’s instruction re: removing the stowaway program which I will do and then run CCCleaner again, or maybe uninstall it and re-install it from your suggested site Thanks to all, Trish

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