The “Cleaner Update is Recommended” Android Scam

The “Cleaner Update is Recommended” page is a browser-based scam that displays fake error messages to trick you into installing malicious apps.

Image: Cleaner Update is Recommended Ads
Image: Cleaner Update is Recommended Ads

What is “Cleaner Update is Recommended”?

The “Cleaner Update is Recommended” page is a social engineering attack that tries to trick you into installing apps that will change your browser settings or display unwanted ads.

When the “Cleaner Update is Recommended” scam is displayed in your browser it will show this message:

WARNING! Your Cleaner Update is Recommended!

We have detected that your Chrome is (62%) DAMAGED by Tor.Jack Malware. Malicious and Aggressive Ads have injected this into your device.
Immediate Action is required to Remove and Prevent it from spreading that will leak sensitive data from your device. It includes your Social Media Accounts, Messages, Images, Passwords, and Important Data.

Here is how you can solve this easily in just a few seconds.

Step 1: Click the button below, “Allow error alerts,” then subscribe to recommended spam protection app on the next page.

Step 2: Run the powerful Google Play-approved application to clear your phone from SPAM ads and block potential Malware with a few taps.

As you can imagine, the above alert is not real and its only purpose is to scare you into installing malware on your device. If your browser has been redirected to malicious sites that show this error, we recommend that you close the page and do not download or install anything.

Why am I seeing the “Cleaner Update is Recommended” pop-up ads?

You are seeing the “Cleaner Update is Recommended” pop-ups because your phone is infected with a malicious app or a site that you have visited has redirected you to this page.

Less than reputable sites can display malicious ads that redirect your browser to the “Cleaner Update is Recommended” pop-up scam to generate advertising revenue. If this happens, you can close the page and install an adblocker like AdGuard to block the malicious ads. However, if you are continuously seeing pop-ups like the “Cleaner Update is Recommended” pop-up scam, then your phone might be infected with a malicious app and you need to scan your device for adware and remove it.

Here are a few typical signs that you have a malicious program installed on your computer:

  • Advertisements appear in places they shouldn’t be.
  • Your web browser’s homepage has mysteriously changed without your permission.
  • Web pages that you typically visit are not displaying properly.
  • Website links redirect to sites different from what you expected.
  • Browser popups appear which recommend fake updates or other software.
  • Other unwanted programs might get installed without your knowledge.

To check your phone for malware and remove it for free, please use the guide below.

Removal Instructions for “Cleaner Update is Recommended”

This malware removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the number of steps and numerous programs that are being used. We have only written it this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy-to-understand instructions that anyone can use to remove malware for free.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubts at any point, stop and ask for our assistance.
To remove “Cleaner Update is Recommended” ads from Android, follow these steps:

STEP 1: Uninstall the malicious apps from your Android phone

In this first step, we will check if any malicious apps are installed on your phone. Sometimes browser hijackers or adware can have usable Uninstall entries that can be used to remove these apps.

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    Tap on the “Settings” app from your phone menu or home screen.
    Settings app in Android

  2. Tap on “Apps”.

    When the “Settings” menu opens, tap on “Apps” (or “App Manager”) to see all the installed applications on your phone.
    Tap on Apps

  3. Find the malicious app.

    The “Apps” screen will be displayed with a list of all the applications that are installed on your phone. Scroll through the list until you find the unknown or malicious app. Look out for any suspicious app that could be behind all the drama – anything you don’t remember downloading or that doesn’t sound like a genuine program.
    Most often, cybercriminals hide malware inside the video or photo editing apps, weather apps, and camera apps.

    Here are some known malicious apps: ES File Explorer, Xender, Amber Weather Widget, GO Weather Forecast & Widgets, Kitty Play, Touchpal, Z Camera. If you cannot find the malicious app, we advise you to uninstall all the recently installed applications.

    Search trough the Apps list for the malicious app

  4. Uninstall the malicious app

    When you find a suspicious or malicious app, tap on it to uninstall it. This won’t start the app but will open up the app details screen. If the app is currently running press the “Force stop” button, then tap on “Uninstall”.
    Uninstall malicious app from Android

    A confirmation dialog should be displayed to confirm you want to uninstall the app, tap on “OK” to remove the malicious app from your phone.

    Confirm uninstall app from Android phone


STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes for Android to remove “Cleaner Update is Recommended” ads

In this next step, we will install Malwarebytes for Android to scan and remove malicious apps from your phone.

Malwarebytes for Android Free is an on-demand scanner that searches all files and apps quickly and effectively for malware or potentially unwanted programs such as screen lockers or browser hijackers, freeing your phone from bloatware.

  1. Download Malwarebytes for Android.

    You can download Malwarebytes for Android by clicking the link below.

    MALWAREBYTES FOR ANDROID DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Android)
  2. Install Malwarebytes for Android on your phone.

    In the Google Play Store, tap “Install” to install Malwarebytes for Android on your device.

    Tap Install to install Malwarebytes for Android

    When the installation process has finished, tap “Open” to begin using Malwarebytes for Android. You can also open Malwarebytes by tapping on its icon in your phone menu or home screen.
    Malwarebytes for Android - Open App

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the setup process

    When the Malwarebytes will open, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through a series of permissions and other setup options.
    This is the first of two screens which explain the difference between the Premium and Free version. Swipe this screen to continue.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 1
    Tap on “Got it” to proceed to the next step.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 2
    Malwarebytes for Android will now ask for a set of permissions that are required to scan your device and protect it from malware. Tap on “Give permission” to continue.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 3
    Tap on “Allow” to give permission to Malwarebytes to access the files on your phone.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 4

  4. Update database and run a scan with Malwarebytes for Android

    You will now be prompted to update the Malwarebytes for Android database and run a full system scan.

    Malwarebytes fix issue

    Click on “Update database” to update the Malwarebytes for Android definitions to the latest version, then click on “Run full scan” to perform a system scan.

    Update database and run Malwarebytes scan on phone

  5. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will now start scanning your phone for browser hijacker and other malicious apps. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Malwarebytes scanning Android for Cleaner Update is Recommended malware

  6. Click on “Remove Selected”.

    When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes for Android has detected. To remove the malicious apps that Malwarebytes has found, tap on the “Remove Selected” button.
    Remove Cleaner Update is Recommended fron Android with Malwarebytes

  7. Restart your phone.

    Malwarebytes for Android will now remove all the malicious apps that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your device.


STEP 3: Reset your browser settings to remove “Cleaner Update is Recommended” ads

In this final step, if your phone is still redirected to Cleaner Update is Recommended, we will reset your web browser settings to their original defaults.

Resetting the browser settings to their default it’s an easy task on Windows or Mac computers; however, when it comes to Android, this can’t be done directly because it’s not an option built-in into the browser settings. Restoring the browser settings on Android can be done by clearing the application data. This will remove all the cookies, cache, and other site settings that may have been saved. So let’s see how we can restore your browser to its factory settings.

Chrome for AndroidFirefoxOperaSamsung Internet BrowserMicrosoft Edge
Remove Cleaner Update is Recommended from Chrome for Android

To reset Chrome for Android to its default settings, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    Tap on the “Settings” app from your phone menu or home screen.
    Settings app in Android

  2. Tap on “Apps”.

    When the “Settings” menu opens, tap on “Apps” (or “App Manager”) to see all the installed applications on your phone.
    Tap on Apps

  3. Find and tap on Chrome.

    The “Apps” screen will be displayed with a list of all the apps installed on your phone. Scroll through the list until you find the Chrome app, then tap ot it to open the apps details.
    Tap on Chrome

  4. Tap “Storage”.

    When the Chrome’s app info menu is displayed, tap on “Storage“.
    Tap on Storage

  5. Tap “Manage Space”.

    Under the storage settings, you will get two options — Manage Space and Clear Cache. Tap on “Manage Space“.
    Tap on Manage Storage

  6. Tap “Clear all data”.

    Tap “Clear all data” to delete all Chrome’s data including accounts, bookmarks and your settings in order to reset the default settings.
    Tap on Clear All Data

  7. Confirm by tapping “Ok”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, tap “Ok“.
    Tap Ok to restore default settings

Remove Cleaner Update is Recommended from Firefox fro Android

To reset Firefox fro Android to its default settings, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    Tap on the “Settings” app from your phone menu or home screen.
    Settings app in Android

  2. Tap on “Apps”.

    When the “Settings” menu opens, tap on “Apps” (or “App Manager”) to see all the installed applications on your phone.
    Tap on Apps

  3. Find and tap on Firefox.

    The “Apps” screen will be displayed with a list of all the apps installed on your phone. Scroll through the list until you find the Firefox app, then tap ot it to open the apps details.
    Search trough the Apps list for the malicious app

  4. Tap “Storage”.

    When the Firefox’s app info menu is displayed, tap on “Storage“.
    Firefox - Tap on Storage

  5. Tap “Manage Space”.

    Under the storage settings, you will get two options — Manage Space and Clear Cache. Tap on “Manage Space“.
    Firefox - Tap on Manage Storage

  6. Tap “Clear all data”.

    Tap “Clear all data” to delete all Firefox’s data including accounts, bookmarks and your settings in order to reset the default settings.
    Firefox - Tap on Clear All Data

  7. Confirm by tapping “Ok”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, tap “Ok“.

Remove Cleaner Update is Recommended from Opera browser

To reset the Opera browser to its default settings, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    Tap on the “Settings” app from your phone menu or home screen.
    Settings app in Android

  2. Tap on “Apps”.

    When the “Settings” menu opens, tap on “Apps” (or “App Manager”) to see all the installed applications on your phone.
    Tap on Apps

  3. Find and tap on Opera.

    The “Apps” screen will be displayed with a list of all the apps installed on your phone. Scroll through the list until you find the Opera app, then tap ot it to open the apps details.
    Search trough the Apps list for the malicious app

  4. Tap “Storage”.

    When the Opera’s app info menu is displayed, tap on “Storage“.
    Opera - Tap on Storage

  5. Tap “Manage Space”.

    Under the storage settings, you will get two options — Manage Space and Clear Cache. Tap on “Manage Space“.
    Opera - Tap on Manage Storage

  6. Tap “Clear all data”.

    Tap “Clear all data” to delete all Opera’s data including accounts, bookmarks and your settings in order to reset the default settings.
    Opera - Tap on Clear All Data

  7. Confirm by tapping “Ok”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, tap “Ok“.

Remove Cleaner Update is Recommended from Samsung Internet Browser

To reset the Samsung Internet Browser to its default settings, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    Tap on the “Settings” app from your phone menu or home screen.
    Settings app in Android

  2. Tap on “Apps”.

    When the “Settings” menu opens, tap on “Apps” (or “App Manager”) to see all the installed applications on your phone.
    Tap on Apps

  3. Find and tap on Samsung Internet Browser.

    The “Apps” screen will be displayed with a list of all the apps installed on your phone. Scroll through the list until you find the Samsung Internet Browser app, then tap ot it to open the app’s details.
    Search trough the Apps list for the malicious app

  4. Tap “Storage”.

    When the Samsung Internet Browser’s app info menu is displayed, tap on “Storage“.
    Samsung Internet Browser - Tap on Storage

  5. Tap “Manage Space”.

    Under the storage settings, you will get two options — Manage Space and Clear Cache. Tap on “Manage Space“.
    Samsung Internet Browser - Tap on Manage Storage

  6. Tap “Clear all data”.

    Tap “Clear all data” to delete all Samsung Internet Browser’s data including accounts, bookmarks, and your settings in order to reset the default settings.
    Samsung Internet Browser - Tap on Clear All Data

  7. Confirm by tapping “Ok”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, tap “Ok“.

Remove Cleaner Update is Recommended from Microsoft Edge for Android

To reset the Microsoft Edge for Android to its default settings, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    Tap on the “Settings” app from your phone menu or home screen.
    Settings app in Android

  2. Tap on “Apps”.

    When the “Settings” menu opens, tap on “Apps” (or “App Manager”) to see all the installed applications on your phone.
    Tap on Apps

  3. Find and tap on Microsoft Edge.

    The “Apps” screen will be displayed with a list of all the apps installed on your phone. Scroll through the list until you find the Microsoft Edge app, then tap ot it to open the apps details.
    Search trough the Apps list for the malicious app

  4. Tap “Storage”.

    When the Microsoft Edge’s app info menu is displayed, tap on “Storage“.
    Microsoft Edge - Tap on Storage

  5. Tap “Manage Space”.

    Under the storage settings, you will get two options — Manage Space and Clear Cache. Tap on “Manage Space“.
    Microsoft Edge - Tap on Manage Storage

  6. Tap “Clear all data”.

    Tap “Clear all data” to delete all Microsoft Edge’s data including accounts, bookmarks, and your settings in order to reset the default settings.
    Microsoft Edge - Tap on Clear All Data

  7. Confirm by tapping “Ok”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, tap “Ok“.

Your phone should now be free of the Cleaner Update is Recommended browser hijacker. If your current antivirus allowed a malicious app on your phone, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your phone after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:

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