An Unwanted Program Running on a Computer is Called a

An Unwanted Program Running on a Computer is Called a

What is a PUP?

A PUP (potentially unwanted program) is software that’s bundled into download packages and offers no benefits for users. PUPs are usually viewed as unwanted programs, considering they offer few or no benefits and can serve equally adware or spyware. They’re also sometimes called PUAs, or
potentially unwanted applications.

PUPs are commonly found in download packages on free, third-party download sites  — even otherwise reputable sites that you may frequently visit. Many third-party download sites
package legitimate downloads with PUPs, which is legal every bit long as yous agree with the end-user license understanding.

Almost people don’t thoroughly read these notices and immediately ringlet down to agree — and
just like that, they’ve installed a PUP.

Are PUPs malware? Or viruses?

No, PUPs are non malware. Considering users have officially agreed to download the full software package — legitimate download and PUPs — the unwanted bloatware programs aren’t labeled as malicious.

When a programme is downloaded to your figurer without your consent, it’s malware, non a PUP. It’s adept practice to larn how to become rid of malware and keep your computer rubber. Viruses are a type of malware, and they’re quite unlike from PUPs. For these reasons, PUPs are neither malware nor viruses.

What practice PUPs do, exactly?

A lot of PUP software (though not all)
targets and exploits the user. Afterwards a PUP has been successfully downloaded, it tin:

  • Wearisome down your figurer.

  • Display aggressive ads.

  • Open pop-upwardly and popular-under windows.

  • Hijack your browser.

  • Track your online activity.

  • Add unnecessary browser toolbars.

  • Alter search results.

  • Steal your individual data.

PUPs can harm your device in a variety of means.

While these activities are undesirable, PUPs are however referred to only every bit “potentially
unwanted programs” because users have formally consented to downloading them. This consent is used to cast legal dubiousness over whether PUPs are actually unwanted and oft discourages cybersecurity companies from defining them equally malware.

Although PUPs are usually downloaded without the user’s noesis, they can — occasionally — exist useful. For case, if you lot’re downloading a free version of a company’s software, they might bundle legitimate extensions or actress tools into the download.

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What is an case of a PUP?

Some common examples of PUPs include Savepath Deals, Superfish, 5 Play, JollyWallet, PDFProof, Clickware, and Easy Speedtest. Companies making free open-source programs ordinarily don’t have the resource to fight legal battles or contact each download site to ask them to unbundle their software, which is why their apps are regularly targeted by PUP makers.

VLC media player by VideoLAN is a frequent
target of PUP bundling
. Because VLC is and then pop, and its logo so recognizable, you might not hesitate to download it from a tertiary-party site, especially if all the visual cues check out.

A Google search for a VLC download likely returns a top upshot leading directly to the official VLC site, but subsequent results often pb to tertiary-political party download sites. And links farther downward the search results page may bring you to sites notorious for bundling legitimate downloads with PUPs and other bloatware.

Search results showing third-party download sites, which may bundle software with PUPs.
Search results can include an app’s official site along with tertiary-party sites that may packet software.

If you’re unfamiliar with VLC and its developers, y’all may not recognize their official website at the top of the page, and you might feel safer downloading the app from a site that has reviews and comments.

When you move to the download stage, expect carefully for any PUPs trying to sneak in. You might notice that several components of the download are optional, and
you should uncheck them. To familiarize yourself with their names in advance, look online for lists of common potentially unwanted programs.

A VLC download window showing optional PUPs
Finding optional PUPs in a VLC download bundle.

Why should I delete PUP files?

Although PUP files cannot legally be called malware, that doesn’t hateful that they aren’t potentially dangerous. PUP files could be
threats to your browsing experience
and risk compromising your
personal data.

PUPs often aggressively
popular-up windows
that intentionally block content, install
unnecessary toolbars
in your browser, and slow downward your computer.

Browser hijacker PUPs store all your browser searches,
alter your search results, and redirect you to third-party paid websites. Your information can be sold to advertisers who want to show you lot targeted ads, or even potentially used by hackers or other nefarious parties. A browser cleaning tool can help proceed your personal data out of the wrong easily.

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If you don’t want to be bombarded by annoying ads and have your personal data tracked online, make sure y’all find and delete whatever PUP files on your computer. Using a bloatware removal tool or a junkware removal tool tin assistance with this process.

Meanwhile, learning how to clean upwards your Mac or speed upward your PC helps you uncover what’south going on behind the scenes of your device.

For a flake of assistance cleaning up your computer, use a tool like AVG TuneUp that will automatically eliminate unnecessary files, continue electric current programs updated, and ensure everything is running smoothly and apace.

How to remove PUPs from Windows

  1. Click the
    Start button, so click the
    gear icon.

    Windows menu opened by clicking on windows icon, settings icon is selected from the open windows menu

  2. Cull
    from the Windows Setting card.

    Windows settings menu with "apps" selected from the menu

  3. The
    Apps & Features
    department includes a listing of all apps installed on your computer. Search this list for anything you lot haven’t knowingly installed. Look out for the common PUP examples listed above.

    List of Apps & features from the apps section of the settings menu. All application on the computer are shown in a list here.

  4. Select the identified PUP and click
    Uninstall. (The app in the screenshot below is shown simply as an case.)

    An example application is highlighted from the list of apps and the button that is next to the app that reads "uninstall" is highlighted

  5. Follow the prompts to ostend.

    A confirmation window to uninstall an app appears over an app name in a list of applications.

How to remove PUPs from Mac

Y’all can manually perform a PUP removal to get rid of unwanted programs on your Mac computer in a few simple steps:

  1. Open a Finder window, click
    from the peak menu bar, then click
    from the drop-downward menu.

    Mac homescreen with "Go" selected from the top menu bar and "Utilities" selected from the drop down menuIf you already know the proper name of the PUP you’d like to remove, skip alee to
    Step four.

  2. Double-click to open the app
    Activeness Monitor.

    Utilities menu shown with "Activity monitor" app selected.

  3. Look through the list of actively running programs for anything suspicious. If you’re not sure nigh a program, run a google search or cheque a list of known PUPs.

    Activity Monitor app open displaying a list of all programs that are currently running on the computer.

  4. To remove the PUP files from your reckoner, click on
    from the top card bar and and then
    Go to folder
    from the driblet-down menu.

     Mac homescreen with "Go" selected from the top menu bar and "Go to Folder" selected from the drop down menu

  5. Type
    into the search bar and click

    Go to folder dialogue box open with /Library/LaunchAgents/ typed into the search field

  6. Wait through the list of programs and delete any binder and related files that belong to the PUP you’re looking for.
    Use caution here: accidentally deleting not-PUP files could cause other problems for your Mac.

  7. Repeat pace 5 with the directory
    to search further library folders to find and delete other PUP files.

  8. Empty your

How to avoid PUP files

The beginning pace to avoiding PUP files is to
download software directly from the software maker’due south official site. For example, the official VLC site volition never offer downloads bundled with PUPs. Research the publisher of the software you want to download and detect the official site for a guaranteed clean download.

If you end up downloading from a tertiary-party site, in that location are all the same
you can take to avert downloading PUPs.

During the installation process,
carefully read
through all the installation instructions and information to meet if anything extra is being included. Sometimes the extra, arranged software is listed in the fine print, with cheque boxes adjacent to each additional program. Usually, it’s possible to uncheck the cheque box next to the PUP to avoid installing it.

(stop-user license agreements) are too a key place for checking for PUPs. The creators of PUPs count on you skimming the long list of things you’re agreeing to, and so it’s important to read these agreements carefully before clicking “I concord.” If yous see anything suspicious listed here, don’t install the program.

Automatically uninstall unwanted programs with AVG TuneUp

It’s dandy to know how to manually investigate PUPs on your computer, only if you lot’re unsure how to continue or whether you’ve constitute all the PUP files, utilise a software tool that does the job automatically.

AVG TuneUp has a keen feature chosen
Software Uninstaller
that will search your computer and remove PUPs, bloatware, and other unnecessary, pre-installed software.

An Unwanted Program Running on a Computer is Called a


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