Malwarebytes announced last week that they have discontinued development for Junkware Removal Tool. For those who have never heard of Junkware Removal Tool, or JRT, it is a popular adware and junkware cleanup utility that is commonly used in support forums and tech shops.
JRT was developed in 2012 by one of BleepingComputer's malware removal helpers named Thisisu and was used extensively in the site's virus removal guides and in our support forums. As one of the first, if not THE first, site to host the tool, it quickly became one of our most downloaded utilities with over 8 million downloads.
In June of 2015, Malwarebytes acquired JRT and hired its developer, Filipos Mouliatis, to continue supporting it and to integrate it into existing Malwarebytes technologies. Then in October 2016, Malwarebytes purchased another well-known anti-adware tool called AdwCleaner. This tool is also hosted at BleepingComputer and has been downloaded over 50,000,000 times!
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and Malwarebytes has decided to retire JRT and roll further development into AdwCleaner instead. From Malwarebytes' side this does make sense as there is no need to continue development on two completely different tools that are designed to battle the same type of threat.
While JRT will still be available, as of October 26th, JRT it will no longer being maintained and new features will not be added. Malwarebytes, though, will continue to support JRT through April 26th 2018. During this time, Malwarebytes recommends that users of JRT transition to AdwCleaner, which will continue being developed and supported.
BleepingComputer will also continue hosting the executable for those who wish to continue using it. Ultimately, this announcement is a death knell for JRT and I expect to see more and more people stop using it and switch to an alternative like AdwCleaner.
RIP Junkware Removal Tool and a big thanks to Filipos for making such a great tool!