OpenCandy from SweetLabs, a company based in San Diego, is an advertising software module consisting of a Microsoft Windows library that can be incorporated in a Windows Installer. When a user installs an application that has the OpenCandy library, there is an option to install additional software that it recommends (based on a scan of the user's system and geolocation).
The software was originally developed for the DivX installation, by CEO Darrius Thompson. When installing DivX, the user was prompted to optionally install the Yahoo! Toolbar. DivX received $15.7 million during the first nine months of 2008 from Yahoo and other software developers, after 250 million downloads.
OpenCandy has attracted criticism because of privacy concerns. Past versions of OpenCandy were considered adware by Microsoft Security Essentials as they "may send user-specific information ... without obtaining adequate user consent". OpenCandy has claimed that this is because another company used OpenCandy without the formal warning in their EULA.
How to avoid OpenCandy
A user can simply turn off any internet connection while installing software bundled with OpenCandy if the user wants to be sure not to get any OpenCandy "recommendations" during the install. Alternatively one can load the installer (typed from a command line prompt) with the /NOCANDY switch. This will typically prevent the additional library from loading (or for additional security, use both methods).
Applications known to use or have used OpenCandy
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2013)|
- Any Video Converter
- AOL Instant Messenger
- Auslogics Disk Defrag
- BatteryCare (from version 0.9.21)
- CDBurnerXP (depending on version)
- Cheat Engine (depending on version)
- CrystalDiskInfo (except in Portable Edition)
- Daemon Tools
- DVDStyler (188.8.131.52 verified)
- EaseUS Partition Master Free 10.1
- Foxit Reader (6.1.4 – 6.2.1)
- FL Studio
- Freemake Audio Converter (184.108.40.206)
- Freemake Video Converter
- Freemake Video Downloader
- Free Video Dub
- GOM Player
- ImgBurn (from version 220.127.116.11)
- Launchy (when not downloaded from SourceForge)
- Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder
- MP3 Rocket
- My Lockbox (OpenCandy-free installer also available)
- Nero Burning ROM
- Orbit Downloader
- RIOT (Radical Image Optimization Tool)
- SMPlayer (win32 version)
- Veoh Web Player
- Sigil (dropped with version 0.5.0 and later)
- Trillian (dropped 5 May 2011)
- uTorrent (version 3.x.x and above)
- Winamp (version 5 and newer, but not version 2.x)
- WinSCP (through August 2012)
- Needleman, Rafe (11 November 2008), OpenCandy brings ad market to software installs. What?, CNET news, retrieved 2009-08-18
- Marshall, Matt (10 November 2008), OpenCandy inserts recommendations when you install software, retrieved 2009-08-18
- Needleman, Rafe (11 November 2008), OpenCandy brings ad market to software installs. What?, CNET news, retrieved 2011-08-06. Particularly see the user comments
- Win32/OpenCandy, Microsoft Corporation, 16 Feb 2011, retrieved 2011-02-23
- "The Story Behind the OpenCandy and Microsoft Adware Debacle". Retrieved 2011-06-02.[dead link]
- "Dr. Apps" (2009-05-13). "Comment on article 'OpenCandy: A New Kind of Adware/Spyware'". Cranial Soup. Retrieved 2014-12-26.
You can simply not allow internet communication during a software install and you will never see an OpenCandy recommendation.
- End User License Agreement, retrieved September 2014
- Foxit Forum
- "Change log". ImgBurn. LIGHTNING UK!. 2013-06-16. Archived from the original on 2014-08-08. Retrieved 2014-08-30.
Changed: No longer bundling/offering the Ask.com toolbar in the setup program, OpenCandy now handles product offerings during installation.
- gizmo, richards (2014-02-08). "Controversial Advertising Program Now Being Embedded in More Software". Gizmo's Freeware. Archived from the original on 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-30.
OpenCandy (OC) is a relatively new advertising product that more and more software developers are bundling with their programs. It can now be found in the installers of dozens of popular programs including IZArc, mirC, PrimoPDF, Trillian Astra and more.
- "Softpedia - RIOT". Retrieved 2014-10-06.
- Schember, John (21 January 2012). "Sigil 0.5.0 Released". Retrieved 2012-03-17.
- "WinSCP - OpenCandy". Retrieved 2014-04-03.