Corel and Their Aggressive Desktop Ads

As I write this, I acknowledge I have several Corel products on my computer. Look through most of my astrophotography articles and you will see mention that I used PaintPro Shop and/or AfterShot Pro. I have been a PaintShop Pro fan since it was owned by JASC. I started using WordPerfect over 30 years ago and recently bought the latest version in an attempt to have a viable alternative to Microsoft Word. Video Studio and even the archaic Quattro Pro are installed.

All or most of these Corel products share in common their annoying popup advertisements. Instead of being known for great software, Corel is infamous for their borderline malware that is not easily turned off. If there were simple options in their programs’ Options section to turn the ads off, it would be no-harm-no-foul. But Corel likes to sink its claws into Windows (an ad and marketing engine of its own) by installing the popups as background tasks. You should not have to disable Windows startup processes via administration tools to stop the ads.

This morning when I launched WinZip, also from Corel, I was greeted with a popup to “upgrade” to Pro. I thought, ok, cool, at 50% off and less then $25, why not? But then in the cart was the fine print, that WinZip Pro is a yearly subscription and I would be charged $55 annually afterward. Very deceptive! The subscription was not mentioned until I had the product in my Corel cart.

So I won’t upgrade to WinZip Pro. But I cannot turn the popup off! It is in WinZip Options but the radial to say turn off “Updates” (i.e. show the popup ad) is literally broke. Selecting “do not check for updates” does not disable the radial to regularly check for updates.

Corel makes (or bought companies that did make) excellent software, which is the only reason why I do this dance with their shady advertisement practices. If someone asked me my opinion on recommending Corel’s programs for new users, I would say “no” on the basis of their ad popups alone.



I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have nearly 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

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