PUP.Optional.MindSpark is a heuristic detection designed to generically detect a Potentially Unwanted Program. A potentially unwanted application is a program that contains adware, installs toolbars or has other unclear objectives.
PUP.Optional.MindSpark is bundled with other free software that you download off of the Internet. Unfortunately, some free downloads do not adequately disclose that other software will also be installed and you may find that you have installed adware without your knowledge.
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.
How to remove PUP.Optional.MindSpark (Removal Guide)
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.
To remove PUP.Optional.MindSpark, follow these steps:
- STEP 1: Scan your computer with Malwarebytes AdwCleaner
- STEP 2: Scan your computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
- STEP 3: Scan your computer with HitmanPro
- (OPTIONAL) STEP 4: Scan your computer with Zemana AntiMalware
- (OPTIONAL) STEP 5: Reset your browser to default settings
STEP 1: Scan your computer with Malwarebytes AdwCleaner
Malwarebytes AdwCleaner is a free utility that will scan your computer for adware programs that may have been installed without your knowledge.
- You can download Malwarebytes AdwCleaner from the below link.
MALWAREBYTES ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will start the download of “Malwarebytes AdwCleaner” on your computer)
- Before starting Malwarebytes AdwCleaner, close your web browser, then double-click on the Malwarebytes AdwCleaner icon.
If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Malwarebytes AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
- When the Malwarebytes AdwCleaner program will open, click on the “Scan” button as shown below.
Malwarebytes AdwCleaner will now start to search for the PUP.Optional.MindSpark adware and other malicious programs.
- To remove the malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the “Clean” button.
- Malwarebytes AdwCleaner will prompt you to save any open files or documents, as the program will need to reboot the computer to complete the cleaning process. Please do so, and then click on the “OK” button.
When your computer reboots and you are logged in, Malwarebytes AdwCleaner will automatically open a log file that contains the files, registry keys, and programs that were removed from your computer. Please review this log file and then close the notepad window.
STEP 2: Scan your computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a powerful on-demand scanner which will remove the PUP.Optional.MindSpark malware from your machine. It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.
- You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.
MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware”)
- Once downloaded, close all programs, then double-click on the icon on your desktop named “mbam-setup” to start the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
- When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
- Once installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically start and will update the antivirus database. To start a system scan you can click on the “Scan Now” button.
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for the PUP.Optional.MindSpark browser hijacker. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is scanning it will look like the image below.
- When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has found, click on the “Remove Selected” button.
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. When removing the files, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot your computer, please allow it to do so.
STEP 3: Scan your computer with HitmanPro
HitmanPro finds and removes malware, adware, bots and other threats that even the best antivirus suite can oftentimes miss. It’s designed to run alongside your antivirus suite, firewall and other security tools.
- You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “HitmanPro”)
- Double-click on the file named “HitmanPro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “HitmanPro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows).
Click on the “Next” button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
- HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malware.
- When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the “Next” button, to remove malware.
- Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
(OPTIONAL) STEP 4: Scan your computer with Zemana AntiMalware
Zemana AntiMalware Free is a second opinion malware scanner which can detect malicious programs that your antivirus has failed to find.
- You can download Zemana AntiMalware Free from the below link:
ZEMANA ANTIMALWARE FREE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will start the download of “Zemana AntiMalware Free”)
- Double-click on the file named “Zemana.AntiMalware.Portable” to perform a system scan with Zemana AntiMalware Free.
You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this program. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to allow Zemana AntiMalware to run.
- When Zemana AntiMalware will start, click on the “Scan” button to perform a system scan.
- Zemana AntiMalware will now scan your computer for malicious programs. This process can take up to 10 minutes.
- When Zemana has finished finished scanning it will show a screen that displays any malware that has been detected. To remove all the malicious files, click on the “Next” button.
Zemana AntiMalware will now start to remove all the malicious programs from your computer. When the process is complete, you can close Zemana AntiMalware and continue with the rest of the instructions.
(OPTIONAL) STEP 5: Reset your browser to default settings
This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.
- Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled Settings.
- Chrome’s Settings should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Show advanced settings link (as seen in the below example).
- Chrome’s advanced Settings should now be displayed. Scroll down until the Reset browser settings section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the Reset browser settings button.
- A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the Reset button.
- Open Internet Explorer, click on the “gear icon” in the upper right part of your browser, then click again on Internet Options.
- In the “Internet Options” dialog box, click on the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.
- In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click on “Reset” button.
- When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box. You will now need to close your browser and then you can open Internet Explorer again.
- In the upper-right corner of the Firefox window, click the Firefox menu button (), then click on the “Help” () button.
- From the Help menu, choose Troubleshooting Information.
If you’re unable to access the Help menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page.
- Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
- To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
- Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.
Your computer should now be free of the PUP.Optional.MindSpark browser hijacker. You can remove AdwCleaner from your machine, however we recommend that you keep Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro installed and perform regular computer scans.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove PUP.Optional.MindSpark malware, please ask for help in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.