How to Remove Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)

Everyone on the internet must have heard of Potentially Unwanted Programs also known as PUPs. If not, there is big change you might get infected with those pesky malware. Potentially Unwanted Programs are designed for revenue, it’s their only purpose. “PUP” was made up by McAfee, and the acronym is now used by many other vendors.

Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) are disguised as useful software but might do harm to your computer or personal privacy. PUPs are known to monitor your browsing behavior and to collect personally identifiable information from your computer, such as cookies, you ip address, your current location and visited websites. You do not want to share this information for revenue. 

Still, it is installed on many computers, how does it work when people do not want PUPs on their computer, but still end up with it ? PUPs are spread by different methods, the first method is social engineering.

Social engineering is used to make the computer user install software they do not need or want. Malicious websites provide a update for the Flash Player and bundle their Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) with the installation software. You end up installing Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) on your computer if you do not uncheck the pre-defined add-ons with the installer. Always read every windows before clicking Next or Quick install during installation.

The next method to install Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) on computers is named Drive by Downloads. Website’s spreading Drive by Downloads are often hacked and use old non-updated software to exploit bugs and install software such as Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs).

How to Remove Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)

Basically to remove PUPs their are several ways to remove them from your computer. The most easy way is to remove them using the Windows – Control Panel. Either some PUPs are preventing this in some way and hide themselves under other names. Some even change the installation date, or do not uninstall everything, for example the browser extensions remain installed into your browser.

It is therefor advised to scan your computer using free software to get rid of Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) from your computer.
Use all our free tools as advised in this instruction.

adwcleanerRemove Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) with AdwCleaner

AdwCleaner will scan for PUPs in your computer and browser.
The AdwCleaner tool will scan for malicious Services, Folders, Files, Shortcuts, Registry keys and Browser Extensions for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox. After the scan you can remove the found malicious items using AdwCleaner and clean your computer and browser(s).
download Download AdwCleaner

warningNotice: if you have problems downloading AdwCleaner, because of popups that keep opening when clicking a link because of adware
Goto this url:

  • Before running AdwCleaner, close all open programs and browsers.
  • Select the executable for AdwCleaner you just downloaded from the link above.
  • Accept their terms by clicking the “I Agree” button

adwcleaner terms

  • Select the Scan button to start scanning your computer and browser for malicious files.

adwcleaner scan

  • to remove the malicious items found by AdwCleaner using the detection Scan, select the Cleaning button.

adwcleaner cleaning

  • Make sure to close all open programs and browser(s) to continue removing the detected items from your computer.
  • Click OK to continue.

adwcleaner close programs - save work

  • Your computer is rebooted after the removal process.

malwarebytesRemove Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

downloadDownload MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free’s industry-leading scanner detects and removes malware like worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, spyware, and more. All you have to do is launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free and run a scan. It’s that simple.
Or if you want even better protection, consider Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium and its instant real-time scanner that automatically prevents malware and websites from infecting your PC.
Either way you’re crushing malware and foiling hackers.
MalwareBytes Anti-Malware works great alongside Antivirus software, both MalwareBytes Anti-Malware and Antivirus software go along and provide the best protection for your computer.

informationInstall MalwareBytes Anti-Malware using it’s installation wizard.

MalwareBytes Anti-Malware needs no configs or specific settings, just install and you are ready to scan your computer for malware and free removal.

  • Select Scan Now to perform an anti-malware scan.

malwarebytes - scan now

  • Malwarebytes computer is scanning for malicious items, this might take a while, please wait for MalwareBytes Anti-Malware to finish.

malwarebytes - scanning process

  • When the detection scan is finished, a window appears with the malware found by MalwareBytes.
    To remove the found malware from your computer, select the Remove Selected button.

malwarebytes - remove selected

  • All found items will be put in quarantine, if MalwareBytes Anti-Malware requires to a reboot to do so, please allow MalwareBytes Anti-Malware to reboot Windows.

malwarebytes - finished

avast_logoRemove Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) with AVAST Browser Cleanup

PUPs are known to display advertisement in your installed browser(s). They often use a Browser Extension for this unwanted ads. AVAST Browser Cleanup will remove this Browser Extension for free.
download Download AVAST Browser Cleanup

  • Open Avast Browser Cleanup
  • Review the browser extensions with a poor reputation, found by Avast Browser Cleanup. You can remove them separately or select the Remove all add-ons button in the top right corner (recommended).

avast browser cleanup - remove all extensions

  • Select your default Search Provider, either Yahoo or Bing, choose one.

avast browser cleanup - select search provider

  • All extensions are now successfully removed from your browser(s). If you would like to reset or remove other extensions from your browser, use the Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome button on the left menu in Avast Browser Cleanup.

avast browser cleanup - all extensions removed

  • To Reset your browser, select Reset Settings
  • Select Exclude add-ons with a good rating to review possible other extensions that might cause ads.
  • Select Remove to remove an extension
  • Repeat this step for either Firefox and Google Chrome using the left menu.

avast browser cleanup - remove individual extensions


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