What’s The Problem With NCH Software & How To Remove It?

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Hijacking file extensions, forcing itself into context menus and downloading additional data – no, it’s not a virus, but any app you can mention from NCH Software.

They’re known online for providing good software, useful niche converters and media editors that can do the job for you at the drop of a hat. But should you take the risk of installing a useful app if it is liable to hijack your computer in such a way?

NCH Software: Who Are They?

A slightly shadowy software publisher originating in Canberra, Australia and with a Denver Colorado, USA office supporting North American customers, NCH Software develops and releases a huge number of media and file conversion utilities.

muo-nch-software-homepage

Launched in 1993, NCH apps often appear on cover disks and can also be found across the web through popular legal app download sites.

NCH Software’s customer care is notoriously limited, and their shunning of social media makes them far less easy to contact than many of their competitors.

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Useful Software, For a Fair Price

For an appropriate price, NCH Software provides a variety of useful media and file converter applications, the majority of which work as advertised.

muo-nch-software-videoedit

A quick perusal of the NCH Software website may reveal a variety of “free” apps, but these are almost all trial versions with limited features. You’ll need to upgrade to the full version to unlock advanced features.

Whether you’re planning to edit photos, create DVD labels, edit audio files, digitize video or convert file formats, NCH Software has a tool that you can use.

The question is: should you?

Typical Problems Caused By NCH Software Applications

After installing an NCH Software app, you might find that it helps you deal with the urgent file conversion or media editing task that you had in mind.

It’s what you notice later on that will raise eyebrows.

The insidious creep of NCH Software will spread across your PC slowly at first. Perhaps you’ll launch an MP3, only to find it is playing in a completely different app: an NCH Software one, of course, and perhaps even one you weren’t aware of installing. File extension hijacking is pretty low, don’t you think? Certain malware scanners certainly do, highlighting some of NCH Software’s apps as malware.

Alternatively, you might notice the hijack of your context menus. Every time you right-click, something will happen, but the menu will take a while as the NCH Software entries are added.

Ultimately, you’ll realise that NCH Software has somehow taken over your PC. While McAfee and WOT don’t list these apps as malware, they’re certainly borderline and we wouldn’t advise installing any of them, free or otherwise.

NCH Toolbar Remove It

Also, NCH Software insists on bundling third party apps in its installer, taking you longer to install and run the app you were looking forward to use. The practice of adding bloatware to installers really should be banned. Sometimes they’re toolbars, other times, Google Chrome, which of course, you’re already using.

By now you may be thinking “surely NCH Software know about their software’s shortcomings and have provided support for users to deal with these issues?” It’s a reasonable point of view. Sadly, NCH has a pretty poor support system, with bug reports usually going unacknowledged.

This isn’t to say that bugs aren’t resolved – they are. However, to benefit from updates to the NCH Software that you have purchased over three months previously, you’ll need to pay for it again.

Yeah, just re-read that: pay for it again.

Problems Uninstalling NCH Software

One of the major complaints levelled at NCH Software is the difficulty users encounter when trying to uninstall the applications after discovering a bug or becoming fed-up with having other software installed.

For some reason, the standard method of uninstalling an app from NCH Software just doesn’t seem to work reliably. While their website includes steps that you should use, there are other methods that can be considered reliable. However, don’t put any money on these actually working – even if the software has been removed, the Windows Registry may remain tarnished, resulting in problems running other apps of a similar type.

You can use a slightly complicated method of uninstallation that involves browsing to c:\Program Files (86)\NCH SOFTWARE and renaming it to XXX.NCH SOFTWARE, using a familiar, easy to remember term for XXX.

muo-nch-software-regedit

From here, open the directory, and find the uninstaller program in the subfolder corresponding to the application you wish to remove. Once done, open the Windows Registry editor (WIN + R > enter regedit > OK - if this doesn’t work, press WIN + R > enter CMD and from the command prompt enter regedit) and with Computer selected open Edit > Find and run a search of the registry for NCH.

Once NCH has been found, right-click, select Rename and change this to XXXNCHXXX, where XXX is something memorable. Press F3 to repeat this action on all appropriate registry entries with that name. After you see the message “Finished searching through the registry” you can close all open windows and reboot your computer, hopefully safe in the knowledge that the NCH Software applications have been completely purged.

NCH Software? No Thanks!

Ultimately, the best thing you can do is avoid NCH Software. It might not be malware, but you’re unlikely to have a good experience. If you really must use it, perhaps install it in a virtual machine, so you won’t have to deal with it as part of your daily computer use.

Are you using NCH Software? Have you had any problems with it, or has your experience been remarkably pleasant? We’d love to know what you think, and any solutions you’ve developed to dealing with this company’s applications.

Hit the comments!

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Comments (39)
  • Mandrake Rootworker

    They’re typical of what has become the prevailing American business ‘ethic’. As such, they have done to Capitalism precisely what the former Soviet Union did to the abstract theory of Socialism — turned it into a parody of what was originally intended. Obviously, their view of the customer is no more than a rube, to be swindled at will, so of course there is no support – why support your victims? Seems to me if there are ‘extremists’ out there who think they hate “America”, they should realize that what they hate are people like this who have turned America into the vile corporate bully it has become. Hey, Mustaffa! Stop wasting your valuable jihadists on random targets, and zero in on people and organizations like this, who really DESERVE your ire!

  • Maire Flannery

    I never had such an experience, malware, or spiteful I call it. I bought the Converter, and was urged to give the NCH audio editing a trial, which I used until the trial expired. I declined to buy and Hell broke loose on my audio files. The two folders I had been working with Disappeared. Gone. Not in the recycling, not hidden, just GONE.And all of my audio files lost the trademark mp3 musical note icon. I was annoyed but thank Heaven I had raw files to work with (on my smartphone) and I began all over again, like a spider whose web has been destroyed. Next – I wanted to convert my files to .cda, which was an option in Converter. However, I did not want to burn a CD there and then, and I wanted to use Windows CD maker. Impossible. I was prompted to launch the NCH disk burner, and there was NO other option! That or nothing! I chose Nothing. I left my files as mp3s. I uninstalled all NCH software on my pc that I could find, and now I'm going to take my computer to the doctor.

  • sonov aer

    I seem to always have conduit on my puter with NCH – I think it may have started in 2012 or 2013 versions maybe? Their progs are or were great though. I don't know about worse ad/malware or "reading your emails". Dvdvideosoft seems to have gone wrong in 2014. Some great progs before but even then their converter made bad mp4 that won't stream in a browser. "Any" is my other favourite(!). They've struggled along but Any video converter free seems pretty darn good currently. Look around on their site for the good download – one is faulty at the moment.

  • Allen

    PUP.Optional.SearchApp.A

    I looked at my quarantine file on Malwarebytes, (May 15, 2015), on my Dell Windoze 7 w/Chrome LT, I noticed the above file was quarantined and also noted that the above file first appeared on Feb 17, 2015, and that’s the date that I also installed the NCH converter. I removed that program promptly, I also cleared my cache and ran another scan to verify that the Dell PC was now clean, which it was. But then I noticed when signing onto Chrome, there was a notify that it was possibly corrupted, so I resolved that by Restoring Default Browser Settings in Google Chrome: Open “Settings” and scroll to the bottom and click “Show Advanced Settings” then scrolled to the bottom of the page again and click “Reset Browser Settings”. This removed it from Chrome.

    NCH was originally purchased/installed by me to convert my Windows WMA music files to MP3 format so that my music would be compatible for my N7 OTG Nexus Media Importer, [USB FD > N7]. BTW, the NMI works GREAT!

    NCH actually converted my files really well, only with one major (to me) flaw: After a CD/list of files to be converted completed, my Dell LT HD just screamed! Ouch! (9 out of 10 times). I had to do a hard stop each and every time to resolve this issue. Not pleasant. NCH got the job done though and and it did it very well, except for that *very* irritating flaw. But then add the PUP problem it apparently caused me. Boo-Hiss!

    I vaguely remember reading online somewhere previously, that someone was warning people that the NCH converter program put a virus on their PC. I ignored/or maybe I forgot(?) about it when I installed it. Hmmm, this ‘problem’ has been definitely identified , (yes I researched again, found it here — people complaining for several years now and NCH has apparently done absolutely NOTHING to resolve it! Shame on them! Until they do, (and they publicize the fact that this issue has been fixed!!!!!), PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE/INSTALL NCH PRODUCTS!!!!!!!!!!

    Rant over!

    Allen

  • Dee

    Just installed NCH’s screen motion capture freebie a few days ago and was dismayed to find the resulting avi file didn’t run. Had to use Windows Movie Maker to create a usable file. Bad fail considering Switch used to be a good little program. Now I’ve spotted NCH Express Zip has installed itself on my context menus. Sorry, NCH, the friendship is over.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.