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A Potentially Unwanted Program, or PUP, is software that you have agreed to install on your computer but doesn't provide any useful service. These types of programs are typically bundled with free software that you download from the Internet. In some cases, PUPs can be more damaging than traditional malware by causing application freezes, crashes and other instability issues.
The most effective way to keep your PC safe is with the help of special software that scans your PC and provides you with a list of PUPs running on your computer – download here
Ways to clean unwanted software from your Windows operating system
Remove the software via the Windows Control Panel
Note: This option is only available for some toolbars, if the PUP is a toolbar.
Follow the correct steps for your Operating System.
Windows XP: Click Start, then click Run. In the Run window, type "appwiz.cpl" (without quotes), then press Enter on your keyboard.
Windows Vista/Windows 7: Click Start, or the Windows icon. In the Search field, type "appwiz.cpl" (without quotes), then press Enter on your keyboard.
Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 Move your cursor to the bottom left of the screen to the search bar, click on it and type "appwiz.cpl" (without quotes), then press Enter on your keyboard.
This will open your Control Panel to the list of all programs currently installed on your computer.
Scroll down in the programs list until you see the software you want to remove.
Note: You should uninstall any programs that have been installed recently (you can check this with the Install Date column) that you do not recall installing or that you do not need.
Click the software entry once to select it, then click Uninstall/Remove.
Confirm any messages to uninstall the program.
After removing any programs, there may be additional steps to take to remove any changes made by a PUP.
Ways to clean unwanted software from your internet browsers
These steps should be used for certain PUPs that affect your browsing experience. We recommend removing any add-ons or toolbars you don't currently use.
Choose the correct steps for your Internet browser.
For Internet Explorer:
Open Internet Explorer. Navigate to Tools > Manage Add-ons. Select “Toolbars and Extensions” from the left column. Uninstall everything related to the unwanted software from the list on the right. Click “Search Providers” from the left column. Right-click the search engine you want and click “Set as Default”. Now select the unwanted software and click the Remove button to uninstall it (lower right corner of the window). Once you have gone through this list, you can close the Manage Add-ons window. In Internet Explorer, navigate to Tools > Internet Options > General. Under Home page, click "Use Default" or enter your desired homepage, e.g. www.google.com Click OK to save the changes.
For Mozilla Firefox:
Open Mozilla Firefox. Navigate to Tools > Add-ons. Click “Extensions”. Uninstall/remove the extension(s) relating to the software. Navigate to Tools > Options > General. Under Home page, click "Restore to Default" or enter your desired homepage, e.g. www.google.com Click OK to save the changes. Note: If the software's search engine persists in Firefox, locate the Search Bar in the top right corner of the browser window. In the Search Bar, the icon for the active search engine appears. Click the icon to open a drop-down menu of the available search engines. Click "Manage Search Engines". Remove any entries related to the unwanted software from this list, then click OK.
For Google Chrome:
- Click the Menu button (the three lines in the upper right), then click “Settings”.
- Under Search, click "Manage search engines…"
- Remove any listings for the unwanted software, then click OK to save the changes.
- Under “On Startup,” click "Set pages".
- Remove any listings for the software, then click OK to save the changes.