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Type of site
Download website
Available in Dutch, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Polish, arabic, English, Japanese, Bulgarian, Swedish and others
Owner Privately Held
Created by Tomás Diago
CEO Scott Arpajian
Alexa rank Increase 209 (January 2017)[1]
Commercial Yes
Registration Required
Launched 1997; 20 years ago (1997)
Current status Online is a software and app discovery portal based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, and founded in 1997 and owned by Softonic International.[2] It reaches over 100 million users[3] per month and at its height of popularity, delivered more than 6 million downloads per day.[4]


Softonic started in 1997 as a file-oriented download service called Shareware Intercom,[5] at Intercom Online (Grupo Intercom), a provider of Internet services in Cerdanyola del Vallès, near Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). Originally files for the website came from the "Files Library Intercom BBS" at Intercom Online, using a "5-step semi-automated process", which was later greatly simplified.[6] The company also offered monthly CDs of its software library for users tired of "having to wait for downloads to complete or pay exorbitant phone bills."[7] In 1999, the service was described as having a "generosity of games, antivirus, education and the long, seductive etcetera."[8] In 2000, the company became independent under the name Softonic.[9] In 2004, Softonic was made available in German, and in 2005, English.[10] Initially the service was oriented only to downloads of DOS and Windows software,[11] but it evolved to offer software downloads for Mac and mobile platforms. Softonic was listed as the "Best place to work in Spain (100-250 employees)" in an annual study by the Great Place to Work Institute, in 2009-2011, and as second-best in 2008.[12][13] In 2009 and 2011, the site was listed as having the most unique visitor traffic in Spain by audit bureau OJD Interactiva.[14][15]

At the end of 2014, Softonic announced that a headcount reduction procedure would be carried out as a cost-cutting measure, allegedly due to financial, productional and organizational reasons. In December, the company formalized the dismissal of 156 employees, against the initial estimation of 207.[16]

In February, 2015, Softonic announced that industry veteran and co-founder Scott Arpajian had been appointed as CEO of Softonic, replacing Tomás Diago.[17]

In July 2016, Softonic announced a partnership with business software platform Crozdesk.[18]

AdInstaller in Downloads[edit] experimented with a number of distribution techniques between 2009 and 2015,[citation needed] including development of the "Softonic Toolbar", a Windows-only 4MB web browser add-on for Firefox and Internet Explorer which provided company-specific content, online services, and streamed music.[19][not in citation given] Downloads hosted by were accompanied by a customized "Softonic Downloader" which showed commercial offers, including the Softonic Toolbar.[20] During this time, the site was severely criticised for its downloads installing adware even if the user opted out of its installation.[21][22][23][24][25]

Following the announcement of Scott Arpajian as the new CEO in February 2015, Softonic announced that it would immediately cease utilizing the Softonic Downloader[26] as part of its "Clean and Safe" software initiative,[27] and downloads no longer include the Softonic Toolbar.[citation needed]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  2. ^ - About Softonic - CrunchBase)
  3. ^ "Softonic surpasses the figure of 100 million unique users a month". .
  4. ^ "Our story - Softonic Corporate". Softonic Corporate. 
  5. ^ "Shareware".
  6. ^ "Backstage" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on February 21, 1999.  (English tr.).
  7. ^ "CDROMs Softonic".  |archive-url= is malformed: timestamp (help)
  8. ^ "Enredados (Tangled)" (in Spanish). Spain: El Tiempo. December 19, 1999. (English tr.)
  9. ^ "About Softonic". Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  10. ^ "About Softonic". Archived from the original on December 15, 2005. 
  11. ^ "Shareware.intercom" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on December 24, 1997. 
  12. ^ "Best Workplaces in Spain 2011". Great Place to Work. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Vodafone, Louis Vuitton y Softonic, entre las mejores empresas para trabajar en España". El Mundo (in Spanish). April 22, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Auditoría Online - Certificación Audiencia - Difusión Medios Online". Archived from the original on 2009-06-15. 
  16. ^ "Softonic acuerda con la plantilla 156 despidos, frente a los 207 planteados". 18 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "Softonic Names Scott Arpajian New CEO"
  18. ^ "Crozdesk announces partnership with Softonic to help millions of businesses find the right software"
  19. ^ "Softonic Toolbar". March 24, 2010.
  20. ^ "Softonic Toolbar" download page.
  21. ^ "Community reviews of - Norton Safe Web". 
  22. ^ djævlen selv. "Softonic Reviews - Customer Service Reviews of Softonic -". Trustpilot. 
  23. ^ "Another problematic Softonioc installer brings Adware". 
  24. ^ "Softonic delivers adware". 
  25. ^ "Softonic Download Site Briefly Delivers Trojan Adware Installer". The Mac Security Blog. 
  26. ^ "Q&A with Softonic's CEO Scott Arpajian: from desktop software juggernaut to 'mobile first' restart". Novobrief. 
  27. ^ "Softonic Clean & Safe - Softonic Corporate". Softonic Corporate. 

External links[edit]