The PUP.Optional.Ask is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) that has been installed on many systems around the world, so you are one of many. Most likely, you don’t even know how and where the PUP.Optional.Ask has got into your computer. In the few simple steps below, we will explain all the general features of the potentially unwanted program and its typical behavior on the computer, as well as effective ways for manually removing PUP.Optional.Ask from your personal computer.
Technically, the PUP.Optional.Ask is not a virus, but it does bad things. It can generate lots of popup advertisements, download and install on to your computer other harmful and undesired applications without your permission, force you to visit misleading or malicious web pages. Moreover, the PUP.Optional.Ask can install a browser hijacker. Once installed, it’ll replace your web-browser setting such as search provider, new tab page and start page with an undesired web-site.
It’s not a good idea to have an unwanted program like the PUP.Optional.Ask . The reason for this is simple, it doing things you do not know about. Even worse, the PUP has the ability to collect confidential information about you which can be later used for marketing purposes. You don’t know if your home address, account names and passwords are safe. And of course you completely do not know what will happen when you click on any links and advertisements within your web browser.
We recommend you to remove potentially unwanted program and clean your computer from PUP.Optional.Ask pop ups as quickly as possible, until the presence of the PUP has not led to even worse consequences. You need to follow the step by step guide below that will help you to completely remove PUP.Optional.Ask, using only the built-in Windows features and several free malicious software removal tools of well-known antivirus software companies.
How to remove PUP.Optional.Ask
When the potentially unwanted program gets installed on your computer without your knowledge, it’s not easy to delete. In most cases, there is no Uninstall program that simply remove the PUP.Optional.Ask potentially unwanted program from your system. So, we suggest using several well-proven free specialized utilities such as Zemana, MalwareBytes Free or AdwCleaner. But the best method to get rid of PUP.Optional.Ask will be to perform several manual steps, after that additionally use antimalware tools.
To remove PUP.Optional.Ask, execute the following steps:
- Remove PUP.Optional.Ask without any utilities
- PUP.Optional.Ask automatic removal
- Block unwanted ads and other annoying web-sites
- Don’t know how your web browser has been hijacked by PUP.Optional.Ask?
- To sum up
Remove PUP.Optional.Ask without any utilities
These steps to delete PUP.Optional.Ask without any apps are presented below. Be sure to carry out the step-by-step tutorial completely to fully remove PUP.Optional.Ask from Windows 10 (8, 7, XP).
Delete dubious applications using MS Windows Control Panel
First, you should try to identify and uninstall the program that causes the appearance of intrusive advertisements or web browser redirect, using the ‘Uninstall a program’ which is located in the ‘Control panel’.
Windows 8, 8.1, 10
First, click the Windows button , then click Search . Type “Control panel”and press Enter.
Windows XP, Vista, 7
First, click “Start” and select “Control Panel”.
It will open the Windows Control Panel as displayed in the figure below.
Next, click “Uninstall a program”
It will open a list of all apps installed on your PC. Scroll through the all list, and delete any dubious and unknown applications. To quickly find the latest installed applications, we recommend sort applications by date in the Control panel.
Remove PUP.Optional.Ask potentially unwanted program from IE
The Internet Explorer reset is great if your browser is hijacked or you have unwanted addo-ons or toolbars on your browser, which installed by an malicious software.
First, launch the Microsoft Internet Explorer, click ) button. Next, click “Internet Options” as displayed on the screen below.
In the “Internet Options” screen select the Advanced tab. Next, click Reset button. The Internet Explorer will show the Reset Internet Explorer settings prompt. Select the “Delete personal settings” check box and press Reset button.
You will now need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. It will remove PUP.Optional.Ask changes, disable malicious and ad-supported web-browser’s extensions and restore the Internet Explorer’s settings such as search engine, home page and newtab page to default state.
Remove PUP.Optional.Ask from Firefox by resetting web-browser settings
The FF reset will keep your personal information such as bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill data, restore preferences and security settings, remove PUP.Optional.Ask changes.
First, open the Firefox. Next, click the button in the form of three horizontal stripes (). It will show the drop-down menu. Next, click the Help button ().
In the Help menu click the “Troubleshooting Information”. In the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page press on “Refresh Firefox” button as on the image below.
Confirm your action, click the “Refresh Firefox”.
Remove PUP.Optional.Ask from Chrome
Use the Reset browser tool of the Chrome to reset all its settings like new tab, homepage and default search provider to original defaults. This is a very useful tool to use, in the case of browser redirects to undesired ad web sites.
- First start the Google Chrome and click Menu button (small button in the form of three dots).
- It will open the Chrome main menu. Select More Tools, then press Extensions.
- You will see the list of installed extensions. If the list has the addon labeled with “Installed by enterprise policy” or “Installed by your administrator”, then complete the following instructions: Remove Chrome extensions installed by enterprise policy.
- Now open the Google Chrome menu once again, press the “Settings” menu.
- You will see the Google Chrome’s settings page. Scroll down and click “Advanced” link.
- Scroll down again and click the “Reset” button.
- The Chrome will display the reset profile settings page as on the image above.
- Next press the “Reset” button.
- Once this process is done, your web-browser’s homepage, newtab page and search provider by default will be restored to their original defaults.
- To learn more, read the blog post How to reset Chrome settings to default.
Get rid of unwanted Scheduled Tasks created by PUP.Optional.Ask
Once installed, the PUP.Optional.Ask potentially unwanted program can add a task in to the Windows Task Scheduler Library. Due to this, every time when you start your PC, it will open an annoying web site. So, you need to check the Task Scheduler Library and get rid of all harmful tasks which have been created by adware.
Press Windows and R keys on the keyboard at the same time. This shows a dialog box that titled as Run. In the text field, type “taskschd.msc” (without the quotes) and click OK. Task Scheduler window opens. In the left-hand side, click “Task Scheduler Library”, as on the image below.
In the middle part you will see a list of installed tasks. Please select the first task, its properties will be display just below automatically. Next, press the Actions tab. Pay attention to that it launches on your PC system.If you are not sure that executes the task, check it through a search engine. If it is a component of the malicious application, then this task also should be removed.
Having defined the task that you want to remove, then click on it with the right mouse button and select Delete like below.
Repeat this step, if you have found a few tasks which have been created by the PUP.Optional.Ask. Once is done, close the Task Scheduler window.
PUP.Optional.Ask automatic removal
Manual removal guidance does not always help to completely remove the PUP, as it’s not easy to identify and remove components of PUP and all malicious files from hard disk. Therefore, it’s recommended that you use malware removal utility to completely delete PUP.Optional.Ask off your internet browser and Windows OS. Several free malware removal utilities are currently available that can be used against the PUP. The optimum solution would be to use Zemana Anti-malware, Malwarebytes Free and AdwCleaner.
Scan and clean your web browser of PUP.Optional.Ask with Zemana Anti-malware
Zemana Anti-malware highly recommended, because it can find out security threats such ad supported software and potentially unwanted programs which most ‘classic’ antivirus programs fail to pick up on. Moreover, if you have any PUP.Optional.Ask removal problems which cannot be fixed by this utility automatically, then Zemana Anti-malware provides 24X7 online assistance from the highly experienced support staff.
Installing the Zemana is simple. First you will need to download Zemana on your personal computer from the link below.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
After the downloading process is done, close all apps and windows on your computer. Double-click the install file called Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup. If the “User Account Control” dialog box pops up as shown on the screen below, click the “Yes” button.
It will open the “Setup wizard” which will help you install Zemana Anti Malware on your personal computer. Follow the prompts and don’t make any changes to default settings.
Once setup is done successfully, Zemana Anti Malware (ZAM) will automatically start and you can see its main screen like below.
Now click the “Scan” button to look for PUP.Optional.Ask potentially unwanted program. A system scan can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your computer. While the tool is scanning, you can see how many objects and files has already scanned.
Once Zemana Free completes the scan, the results are displayed in the scan report. Make sure all items have ‘checkmark’ and click “Next” button. The Zemana Free will delete ad-supported software that causes multiple unwanted advertisements and popups and other unwanted software like PUP.Optional.Ask. Once finished, you may be prompted to reboot the system.
Run Malwarebytes to remove PUP.Optional.Ask potentially unwanted program
You can remove PUP.Optional.Ask automatically with a help of Malwarebytes Free. We recommend this free malware removal tool because it may easily remove hijacker infections, ad supported software, potentially unwanted programs and toolbars with all their components such as files, folders and registry entries.
- Installing the MalwareBytes AntiMalware (MBAM) is simple. First you will need to download MalwareBytes Free on your MS Windows Desktop by clicking on the following link.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
- After the downloading process is complete, close all apps and windows on your machine. Open a folder in which you saved it. Double-click on the icon that’s named mb3-setup.
- Further, click Next button and follow the prompts.
- Once installation is finished, click the “Scan Now” button to find out potentially unwanted programs including PUP.Optional.Ask. This process can take quite a while, so please be patient. When a threat is detected, the number of the security threats will change accordingly. Wait until the the checking is complete.
- Once the scan get finished, MalwareBytes Anti Malware will open a list of all items found by the scan. Make sure all threats have ‘checkmark’ and click “Quarantine Selected”. After that process is done, you can be prompted to reboot your system.
The following video offers a steps on how to get rid of hijackers, ‘ad supported’ software and other malicious software with MalwareBytes Free.
Double-check for potentially unwanted software with AdwCleaner
AdwCleaner frees your computer from browser hijackers, potentially unwanted software, unwanted toolbars, web-browser extensions and other unwanted applications such as PUP.Optional.Ask. The free removal tool will help you enjoy your system to its fullest. AdwCleaner uses the (c) Malwarebytes technology to search for if there are undesired software in your PC system. You can review the scan results, and select the threats you want to erase.
- Download AdwCleaner on your MS Windows Desktop from the link below.
Author: Xplode, MalwareBytes
Category: Security tools
Update: March 22, 2021
- When the downloading process is finished, double click the AdwCleaner icon. Once this tool is started, click “Scan” button to detect PUP.Optional.Ask and other unwanted apps. A system scan may take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your system. When a malicious software, ‘ad supported’ software or PUPs are found, the number of the security threats will change accordingly.
- Once AdwCleaner completes the scan, AdwCleaner will prepare a list of unwanted and adware software. When you are ready, press “Clean” button. It will display a prompt, press “OK”.
These few simple steps are shown in detail in the following video guide.
Block unwanted ads and other annoying web-sites
If you surf the Web, you cannot avoid malvertising. But you can protect your web browser against it. Download and use an ad blocker program. AdGuard is an adblocker that can filter out lots of of the malvertising, stoping dynamic scripts from loading malicious content.
Please go to the following link to download AdGuard. Save it directly to your MS Windows Desktop.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
Once downloading is finished, run the downloaded file. You will see the “Setup Wizard” screen as displayed below.
Follow the prompts. When the install is complete, you will see a window as shown below.
You can click “Skip” to close the installation program and use the default settings, or press “Get Started” button to see an quick tutorial which will allow you get to know AdGuard better.
In most cases, the default settings are enough and you don’t need to change anything. Each time, when you start your computer, AdGuard will run automatically and block pop ups, as well as other malicious or misleading sites. For an overview of all the features of the application, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the AdGuard icon, that can be found on your desktop.
Don’t know how your web browser has been hijacked by PUP.Optional.Ask PUP?
It’s very important to pay attention to additional checkboxes during the installation of freeware to avoid installing of PUPs, ad-supported software, hijackers or other unwanted programs. Never install any bundled apps that the application wants to set up with it. Inattentive free software download can result in installation of undesired program such as the PUP.Optional.Ask.
To sum up
Now your PC system should be clean of the PUP.Optional.Ask and other unwanted software. Remove AdwCleaner. We suggest that you keep AdGuard (to help you stop unwanted advertisements and unwanted harmful web sites) and Zemana Anti-Malware (to periodically scan your computer for new PUPs and other malicious software). Probably you are running an older version of Java or Adobe Flash Player. This can be a security risk, so download and install the latest version right now.
If you are still having problems while trying to get rid of PUP.Optional.Ask PUP from the Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer on Windows 10 (8, 7, XP), then ask for help in our Spyware/Malware removal forum.