This hand-on tutorial explains what is the Software Reporter Tool and various methods to disable it:
In this buzzing world of the Internet, Google Chrome is a known name. Google Chrome is a web browser developed by Google for Windows OS, but today it is available on all major OS like Mac & Linux and now, in the world of smartphones, on Android as well.
There are a lot of interesting features that make Google Chrome the top choice for its users. In this tutorial, we will discuss one such interesting feature called the Software Reporter Tool. We will cover information about the Software Reporter Tool and see how we can disable it in Google Chrome.
What You Will Learn:
What Is Software Reporter Tool
It is not surprising that many people are not aware of this tool. It is a part of the Google package and we don’t need to install it separately.
The purpose of this tool is to keep a check on all the installations that happen on Chrome and detect any unwanted software that interferes with the normal functioning of Google Chrome on the computer.
It is important to note here that the purpose of this tool is mainly to report any such program or software that may disrupt the functioning of the browser. This tool is downloaded at the same time when we install Google Chrome.
If you are trying to look for this tool, you need to click on Run and type the below on the dialogue box:
This is better explained with the help of the below screenshot:
Software Reporter tool is also known as Chrome Cleanup tool. This program is not visible and is usually present as a file with .exe extension. (Software_reporter_tool.exe). The main purpose of this tool is to be connected with the browser and is not connected to the web.
In the above image, it can be seen as software_reporter_tool. As mentioned, this tool runs in the background and it is possible to see that its CPU usage is high. In this situation, we have an option to either disable the tool or remove it.
Usually, in this situation, the error reads as Google Chrome Software Reporter Tool has stopped working. Google now offers this Cleanup tool as a part of Chrome i.e. the users don’t need to download it separately.
This is also an indication that Google does not need any tool to fix issues with the browser. This tool lets the user get rid of any tabs or pop-up ads that do not close even after clicking Close. In a situation where there is a virus attack on the web browser, this tool will be able to identify it.
Software Reporter Tool & Chrome Cleanup Tool – Are They Same
Yes, these tools are identical and pretty much serve the same purpose. The Software reporter tool is run to check for any harmful software on the computer and if any such software is found in it, then the Chrome Cleanup tool removes the software.
It is the Chrome cleanup tool which was earlier called the Software Remover tool. Sometimes it is also called Google Chrome Software Reporter Tool.
See the screenshot below for reference:
Chrome cleanup tool provides many benefits but sometimes, it has been known to create problems as well. This tool has a high consumption rate of resources of the computer like memory & CPU usage and thereby results in slow computers. This can be checked under Task Manager -> Details tab.
This is illustrated in the below screenshot:
In the above image, we can see the software reporter tool with high CPU and high disk usage. Some users do not prefer this tool for security reasons. The result of the scan run by the tool may be shared with Google.
This can be managed easily by making some changes to the settings by following the simple steps below:
Step 1: Open Settings (Google Chrome Settings) and click on Advanced option.
Step 2: Select Reset and Clean up. (Scroll down the page).
Step 3: Click on Clean up Computer.
Step 4: The next tab gives an option to Find Harmful Software. Click on Find.
This helps the user to find all the harmful software and remove them. Users can also uncheck Report details to Google if they do not want the scan results to be sent to Google.
Advantages And Disadvantages
- Detection and removal of harmful software that can create unwanted issues while browsing.
- It also keeps unwanted extensions that get downloaded when third-party software is installed at bay.
- High consumption of resources of the user like memory and CPU usage.
- Scan results are sent to Google which may give rise to privacy issues.
- The tool can sometimes abruptly stop working and this can be a problem.
So, now the question arises -is it possible to remove the Software Reporter tool? Well, this was a simple process until it became a feature integrated with Google Chrome i.e. it cannot be uninstalled. But the good news is that it can be disabled.
Let’s look at ways of disabling this tool.
Disable Google Chrome Software Reporter Tool
To disable the Chrome cleanup tool:
#1) Open Settings on Google Chrome.
#2) At the bottom of the page, select the Advanced” option.
#3) Under Advanced, select “System” and turn off the option “Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed”.
This is explained in the screenshot below:
Software Reporter tool can also be removed manually from the computer. This can be done by removing the Software Reporter tool .exe file that runs on the computer.
Let’s see the steps to follow this method.
Step 1: Open the RUN dialogue box. This can also be done using the shortcut WIN+R.
Step 2: To open the Software Reporter tool, type “%localappdata%\Google\Chrome\User Data\SwReporter”
Step 3: This will take us to a version number folder that has the software reporter tool.exe file.
Step 4: Select the .exe file and click on the Delete key.
This method is a stop-gap arrangement. The reporter tool will reappear as soon as Google Chrome updates to a newer version.
This method helps to disable the Chrome cleanup tool permanently. This can be done by deleting the permissions for the Software Reporter Tool. As soon as the permissions are removed, the .exe file will not run. Let’s follow the below steps.
Step 1: Open the RUN dialogue box. This can also be done by using the shortcut WIN+R.
Step 2: Type “ %localappdata%\Google\Chrome\User Data\SwReporter” and click ENTER.
Step 3: Open the Software Reporter Tool folder and right-click to select Properties.
Step 4: Click on the Security tab and then click on the Advanced button.
Step 5: After clicking on Advanced, click on the Disable inheritance button. This will lead to another dialogue box, thereby asking the user to make a choice between making the inherited permissions explicit or removing all inherited permissions.
Select the option, “Remove all inherited permissions from this object”. This is shown in the below screenshot. The user needs to click OK on all dialogue boxes to confirm and apply the changes.
By following this method, the Chrome cleanup tool will not run on the computer.
This method involves replacing the Software Reporter Tool. Exe executable file.
In order to stop the tool from scanning and sharing reports, we can replace the Software Reporter EXE file with some other EXE file.
Step1: Click on the folder where the Software Reporter tool EXE file is located.
Step 2: Copy any other EXE file. Example: notepad.exe.
Step 3: Delete the Software Reporter tool EXE file.
Step 4: Copy the other .exe file and rename it as Software Reporter tool.exe.
This method involves making changes with the Registry Editor to disable the Chrome cleanup tool. This method can also have a few variations and let’s talk about a few of them. This method uses the official Google Chrome policies to stop the Software Reporter tool.
Let’s look at the steps in this method.
Step 1: Open the RUN dialogue box. This can also be done by using the shortcut WIN+R and type “regedit”.
Step 2: This will take us to the following key.
Step 3: Right-click to create a new key under key – Policies and name this key as Google.
Step 4: Under the newly created Google key, create a new key and name this key as Chrome.
Step 5: Now, the final path to the key will read as:
Step 6: On the right-hand side of the panel, select the “Chrome” key and then right click to select “New”->DWORD (32-bit value). This new DWORD needs to be renamed as Chrome Cleanup Reporting Enabled. It is important to remember to set the value of both DWORD as 0.
This method of using the Registry Editor can also have some variations. Let’s look at the variations now. Some steps remain common as in the previous method.
Step 1: Open the RUN dialogue box. This can also be done by using the shortcut WIN+R and type “regedit”.
Step 2: Once Registry Editor is open, we go to the key – HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
Step 3: Create a new key under Policies and rename it as Explorer.
Step 4: Create a new key under the key named Explorer, and rename it as Disallow Run.
The path to the final key will read as:
Step 5: Select key – Disallow Run. This will appear on the right side of the screen. Right-click and select New -> String Value. Rename this string as 1.
Step 6: Open string 1 by double-clicking on it and its value now needs to be set to Software Reporter_Tool.exe.
Another variation to the Registry method involves using “Image File Execution Options”.
Step 1: Open the RUN dialogue box. This can also be done by using the shortcut WIN+R and type “regedit”
Step 2: Once the Registry Editor is open, we go to key.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Image File Execution Options
Step 3: Create a new key with the name Software Reporter_Tool.exe under the Image File Execution Option.
Step 4: A new string with the name Debugger needs to be created under the Software Reporter_Tool.exe key.
Step 5: The value of the Debugger string can be set as a path of any other EXE file that can be run in the place of the Software Reporter Tool.
We have looked at some methods to disable or block the Chrome cleanup tool. Let’s now look at some of the frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q #1) Is Software Reporter Tool required?
Answer: The Software Reporter tool is now an integrated feature of Google Chrome. It is recommended for users who usually find themselves dealing with third-party software that can sometimes be problematic. This tool also has a high consumption of the resources of the computer and therefore some users prefer to block it or disable it.
Q #2) How can one make Chrome use less CPU?
Answer: Chrome is known for the high consumption of computer resources like memory and CPU, but the good news is that this can be controlled by updating Chrome and working with fewer tabs. Users can keep a check on usage from Task Manager and remove the apps & extensions that are not required.
Q #3) Can the user delete the Software Reporter tool EXE?
Answer: Yes. Software Reporter Tool EXE can be deleted from the computer either by using Registry Editor (as explained above) or the user can manually select the folder where the EXE file for this tool is located and click the delete key.
Q #4) How can the users upgrade Chrome?
Answer: Chrome can be upgraded by following these simple steps.
- Open Chrome browser.
- Click on the More option on the top right of the browser.
- Select Update Google Chrome. It is possible that the user may not see this option at all. There is nothing to panic as it simply means that the user is already using the latest version.
Q #5) Does Windows 10 Software Reporter Tool also face high CPU usage issues?
Answer: Yes. Nowadays, most of us have shifted from Windows 7 and XP to Windows10. However, Windows 10 Software Reporter Tool also faces high CPU usage related issues. It consumes a huge amount of CPU memory, thereby making the computer very slow.
Q #6) Is a chrome cleanup tool available for Mac?
Answer: No. For Mac users, there is no separate tool called Chrome cleanup tool Mac. Although, Mac users have an option to use the anti-malware tools available on Mac and make alterations to Chrome settings. Mac has integrated tools that can help to detect and delete the software that the user wants to uninstall.
Q #7) How can I use the Chrome cleanup tool for Android?
Answer: Chrome cleanup tool on Android is not available as a separate tool. The process of removal of applications and extensions is manual and can be done through alteration of settings.
In this tutorial, we have talked about the Software Reporter tool and its benefits. It is certainly an important tool for the users who frequently use third party software as this tool can detect any malware or problematic software and report it to and that can be removed using the Software Removal tool or Google Cleanup tool.
We also discussed the various methods by which the Chrome Cleanup Tool can be removed or blocked. We hope this tutorial answers most of the reader’s questions about this tool.