If you think that you might have the PUP Optional on your PC, then this is most likely due to a warning from your antivirus/anti-malware tool, which has detected some unrecognized and potentially hazardous piece of software on your PC and has therefore warned you about its presence in the system.
Though the name of this “threat” might sound scary, the problematic software that we are going to be focusing in throughout the next pages isn’t really some major malware infection caused by some malware the likes of Ransomware, Trojans or Spyware. But what does all of this mean? Is there actually virus inside the computer and should any precautions be taken in order to have it removed? We are about to give you an answer to these questions within the next lines…
If your antivirus/anti-malware tool warns you about the presence of such software on your computer by showing you the PUP Optional detected message, then this usually means that there is some undesirable but likely not all that dangerous piece of software on your computer that you are advised to find and remove
First and foremost, we need to make clear what PUP stands for. A PUP is an abbreviation for a Potentially Unwanted Program. As you can see, the very name leaves a quite different feeling when compared to terms such as “virus” or “malware”. PUP’s are generally not too dangerous – oftentimes they are actually legitimate or semi-legitimate programs that might even have some useful functions but due to some annoying and unpleasant traits such as aggressive ads generation and unauthorized tinkering with the system and Internet/browsers settings are seen as unwanted.
Potential dangers – what to expect?
It is oftentimes difficult, especially nowadays, to tell where the line between a virus and a PUP or the line between a PUP and a legitimate piece of software is. There are many different opinions on the matter and it is not impossible that a program which one user would say is some nasty virus will be a highly-valued and praised piece of software for someone else. However, though it is oftentimes a matter of perspective, you should still know the general dangers that could come with the presence of a potentially unwanted program such as the PUP Optional on your PC. If you have this software, then you are likely to get exposed to different ads and page-redirects in your browser because most PUPs are known for causing that. This advertising activity, aside from being highly irritating, could also potentially land you on some shady sites and pages and thus expose your machine to actual serious malware threats – Rootkits, Spyware, Ransomware, Worms and many others. That’s why it is preferable if you locate and remove the PUP Optional from your machine and then make sure you don’t ever again get any such software installed on your computer by avoiding obscure download sources for new software and by not interacting with sketchy online content.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Invasive ads in your browser and even when the browser is not active, changes to your Internet and browser settings and generally any other intrusive and unusual activity on your PC could also be attributed to this software.|
|Distribution Method||Mainly through software bundles and through the use of spam e-mail campaigns and different social engineering techniques.|
Some threats of this type reinstall themselves repeatedly if you don't delete their core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to scan for malicious programs. This may save you hours and cut down your time to about 15 minutes.
Remove PUP Optional Virus
If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.
If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.
If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.
If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide
Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.
Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous.
Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/
Virus Scanner Result ClamAV AVG AV Maldet
After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders.
Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections.
Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.
You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.
Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:
Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.
Hold the Start Key and R – copy + paste the following and click OK:
A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:
If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.
Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.
- Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click Properties.
- The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
- Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.
- After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.
Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.
NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).
Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.
Remove PUP Optional from Internet Explorer:
Open IE, click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find the threat —> Disable. Go to —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.
Remove PUP Optional from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove PUP Optional from Chrome:
Close Chrome. Navigate to:
C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:
Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.
Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.
Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random
If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!