PUA:Win32/CandyOpen is a potentially unwanted program that may install other threats when run into the computer. This is a name given by Microsoft Defender Antivirus to identify a computer threat that is linked to adware or PUP. Unwanted programs are software that intends to implicate changes on the computer or browser without asking for the user’s approval. In this case, PUA:Win32/CandyOpen may install other adware, toolbars, browser redirects, and hijacks of the home page of the affected browser.

Image of PUA:Win32/CandyOpen

How does it infect the computer?

PUA:Win32/CandyOpen operates within a computer by embedding itself in the system and initiating intrusive advertising activities. Typically, it accomplishes this by injecting unwanted advertisements into various aspects of the user’s online experience. These ads can range from pop-ups and banners to in-text ads, appearing during web browsing sessions. PUA:Win32/CandyOpen often alters browser settings, such as the default homepage or search engine, to redirect users to websites that generate revenue through ad impressions or clicks. This manipulation of browser configurations is a key aspect of how adware maximizes its exposure and impact.

Moreover, PUA:Win32/CandyOpen may employ tracking mechanisms to monitor the user’s online behavior and gather data on their preferences. This collected information is then utilized to deliver targeted advertisements. While adware’s primary purpose is to generate revenue for its creators through advertising, the constant display of unwanted ads can lead to a compromised user experience, causing slowdowns in system performance and potential privacy concerns due to the unauthorized collection of user data. To counteract PUA:Win32/CandyOpen, users often rely on reputable antivirus or anti-malware tools that can detect and remove these unwanted components from their systems.

How does this malware operate?

The payload of PUA:Win32/CandyOpen primarily involves the delivery and display of unwanted advertisements on the user’s computer. These ads can take the form of pop-ups, banners, or in-text ads and are often injected into websites or the user’s browsing experience. PUA:Win32/CandyOpen may also manipulate browser settings, altering the homepage or default search engine to redirect users to ad-laden websites. Additionally, some adware variants include tracking mechanisms to monitor user behavior, collecting data on their preferences and online activities for targeted advertising. The overall impact of the adware payload is a disruptive and potentially privacy-compromising online experience for the user.


The PUA:Win32/CandyOpen infections typically manifest through symptoms such as an incessant display of unwanted advertisements, including pop-ups and banners, during online activities. Users may observe unauthorized changes to their browser settings, such as modifications to the homepage or default search engine. Adware can also contribute to a decrease in system performance by consuming bandwidth and causing a disruptive and frustrating user experience.

PUA:Win32/CandyOpen is also detected as:
DrWeb Adware.Downware.365
Emsisoft Application.AdLoad (A)
ESET-NOD32 Win32/Toolbar.Conduit.AE Potentially Unwanted
Fortinet Riskware/Conduit
Ikarus PUA.Toolbar.Conduit
Kaspersky Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Win32.Conduit.ge
Malwarebytes PUP.Optional.Conduit
Sophos Generic ML PUA
TrendMicro PUA.Win32.OpenCandy.PBJ
VBA32 Adware.Conduit

For more help

PUA:Win32/CandyOpen falls within the category of unwanted programs. To explore more threats belonging to this group, refer to the PUA list of malware.

How to remove PUA:Win32/CandyOpen?

To totally remove PUA:Win32/CandyOpen from the computer and get rid of relevant viruses and trojans, please execute the procedures as stated on this page. Make sure that you have completely scanned the system with the suggested malware removal tools and virus scanners.

Quick Fix - Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows

Combo Cleaner is a trusted PC security and optimization tool equipped with a powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of hazardous viruses like PUA:Win32/CandyOpen through this procedure.

1. Download the application from the following page:

2. Save the file to your preferred location.

3. Double-click the downloaded file CCSetup.exe and install with the default settings.

CC for Windows Installation

4. At the end of the setup process, click Finish to run Combo Cleaner.

5. The tool will update the signature file, please wait for this process to complete.

6. To begin checking for threats like PUA:Win32/CandyOpen, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.

CC for Windows Start Scan

7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete the PUA:Win32/CandyOpen virus, including all malicious objects from the computer.

Free features of Combo Cleaner for Windows include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus, privacy scanner, and to delete identified threats, users have to upgrade to a premium version.

Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if you are comfortable manually getting rid of the virus and malicious items linked to it.

Step 1 : Start Windows in Safe Mode With Networking

The method of running Windows in Safe Mode before running a virus scan is effective in getting rid of PUA:Win32/CandyOpen. This process can prevent most viruses and malware from loading, making it easier to detect and remove them.

1. On the Windows Search bar, please type msconfig.

Screenshot of MSConfig Command

2. Select and open System Configutation on the list of found results.

3. Once you are in the System Configuration window, go to the Boot tab.

Screenshot of SafeBoot

4. Under the Boot Options area, please check Safe Boot and select Network. This will allow Windows to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

5. Lastly, click on Apply and OK to save the changes.

6. Please restart Windows.

Do not forget to restore the normal boot process of Windows after running the virus scan. Simply repeat the method above, and this time, uncheck the Safe Boot option to run Windows normally.

Step 2 : Run a virus scanner

To remove PUA:Win32/CandyOpen, we suggest that you scan the infected computer with this powerful virus removal tool. It can detect and get rid of Trojans, viruses, malware, and adware from the infected computer. To fully protect the computer against PUA:Win32/CandyOpen or similar attacks, you can activate Sophos to have real-time scanning and complete defense against all forms of threats.

1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.

2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process.

3. On the first window of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.

Screenshot of Sophos EULA Page

4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.

5. An internet connection is required when running this scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove viruses like PUA:Win32/CandyOpen.

6. Click the Start Scanning button to  carry out the Scan. This will check the system for the presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to PUA:Win32/CandyOpen and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

After executing the above instructions, PUA:Win32/CandyOpen should have been completely removed from the computer. If there are still signs of infection or the computer is displaying unusual behaviors, please continue with the remaining procedures.

Another alternative for Windows 10/11 users is to scan the computer with Microsoft Defender Offline. This will run a virus scan in the recovery environment.

Step 3 : Double Check with Windows Security Apps

Microsoft Windows has a built-in security application that you can use to double-check if your computer is still infected with PUA:Win32/CandyOpen. For Windows 10/11 users, please run Windows Security.

Windows 10 / 11 Instructions:

Windows Security is a free tool that was built to help you remove PUA:Win32/CandyOpen, viruses, and other malicious items from Windows 10/11 systems. Follow these procedures to scan your computer with the tool:

1. Tap or click the Search charm, search for Windows Security, and then open the application.

Image of Windows Security Search

2. On the Home tab, click Virus and threat protection from the sidebar.

3. On the main window, click on Scan Options. Then, click on Full Scan button.

Image of Scan Options

4. Lastly, click on the Scan now button to start scanning for the presence of PUA:Win32/CandyOpen. The process may take a while to complete.

5. After the scan, Delete/Quarantine identified threats, whether they were relevant to PUA:Win32/CandyOpen or not. You may now restart Windows to complete the virus removal process.

For older versions of Windows, you can scan the computer for free with the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT 64-Bit). It is a stand-alone virus scanner tool that targets prevalent malware groups.

How to protect the computer from PUA:Win32/CandyOpen?

The initial defense that comes to mind for any computer user is to install an anti-virus or anti-malware program. This move is sensible and probably the most practical way to protect the computer against a PUA:Win32/CandyOpen attack. Hence, keep in mind that having security software does not guarantee full protection. The majority of the prevention still lies in being cautious of users, and therefore, we are providing the following information as guidelines to protect the computer from virus infection.

Avoid Malicious Websites

There are enormous numbers of websites that were made for the primary purpose of spreading PUA:Win32/CandyOpen. Normally, these sites are involved in integrating malicious pop-up and browser hijacker, that will eventually cause further virus infections. Avoid such websites.

Ignore and Delete Phishing Emails

The mass-mailing of computer viruses gives the attackers the luxury of spreading their malicious code in just one send-off. This will arrive in the inbox as an email that appears to be from a legitimate organization. So, if you receive an unexpected email with a link or an attached file, better delete it immediately.

Do Not Click a Suspicious Link

Links from social media, forums, and blog sites are sometimes being utilized by attackers to drive web users to a malicious page that contains malicious code. Therefore, do not just click on any link, especially if it looks suspicious. Accidental access to the destination site may lead to a PUA:Win32/CandyOpen infection.

Be Careful When Downloading Files

Cracked software, serial key generators, and several freeware are seen as another method that spreads the PUA:Win32/CandyOpen virus. Avoid acquiring these types of applications, and if there is a need to download freeware or shareware, be sure to obtain it from the official website or trusted providers.

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