Download.com does not allow malicious software on the site. We test all submitted software products according to comprehensive criteria.

Viruses, spyware, and malicious software

We do not list software that contains viruses, Trojan horses, malicious adware, spyware, or other potentially harmful components. We do not list products known to contain such items in instances outside Download.com, and we may disallow products from publishers that we feel violate the spirit of this policy.

We do not accept the following types of software:

  • Software that installs viruses, Trojan horses, malicious adware, spyware, or other malicious software at any point during or after installation.
    • Software that installs the above items via links to other software or Web sites.
    • Links on publishers' Web sites that may enable the installation of the above items.
  • Software that installs without notice and without the user's consent.
  • Software that includes or uses surreptitious data collection.
  • Software that collects and transmits information about end users or end users' computer usage without adequate prior notification.
  • Software that diverts or modifies end users' default browsers, search-engine home pages, providers, security, or privacy-protection settings without the users' permission.
  • Software that interferes with users' control and privacy.

EULA and installation prompts

All products in our library must present users with a clear and easy-to-read end-user license agreement (EULA) and must give users an opportunity to cancel the installation if they do not agree to the terms. EULAs are a contract with the user, and in keeping with that spirit, they must be truthful, accurate, comprehensive, and easy to read and understand.

We do not accept the following types of software:

  • Software that installs in a concealed manner or denies users an opportunity to read the license agreement and/or to knowingly consent to the installation.
  • Software that induces installation by making false or misleading claims about the software or the software publisher.
  • Software with license agreements that do not clearly or adequately disclose critical information about the software or additional items included with the installation.

Software bundling

Any additional programs or third-party items included with the downloadable file must be clearly disclosed in the Download.com product description and during the installation process. Users must be given a way to opt out of all additional items during installation, or they must be given an opportunity to cancel the installation completely.

We do not accept software that exhibits any of the following:

  • Additional programs or third-party items that are not clearly disclosed in the Download.com product description, end-user license agreement, or installation screens.
  • The inability for users to opt out of or cancel the installation of additional items included with the installation.
  • Icons or shortcuts placed on a user's desktop without adequate prior disclosure or permission.

Advertising-supported software

We allow certain types of advertising-supported software, including a small number of adware components that we evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

Removal and uninstallation

We respect the user's right to control software that is installed on their computers, and we require that all software in our library provide users with a clear and simple method for removal. We may disallow products that we feel are unnecessarily difficult to uninstall, are obscured, or are resistant to removal.

We do not accept the following types of software:

  • Software that prevents its own uninstallation or disablement.
  • Software that requires users to give up personal information to uninstall.
  • Software that cannot be properly or safely removed due to errors or other programming issues.

Reporting problem software

If you find a product on our site that you think is faulty, malicious, or otherwise in violation of Download.com software policies, please click the "Report a problem" link on the product page. This link is on the left side of every product page, below the Quick Specs. Select "The software contains malware" and enter as much information as you can provide in the description field to help us evaluate the program's safety.