PUP.Optional.ASK.A

PUP.Optional.ASK.A is deemed as potentially unwanted program that performs malicious actions once installed on the computer. This detection by Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program is given to specific software that user may optionally install together with third-party application. However, due to lack of notification during the install process, PUP.Optional.ASK.A often gets into the PC without user’s knowledge. Thus, you may see unwanted program on the computer without a notice.

Threat behavior

Installation

In usual situation, PUP.Optional.ASK.A is bundled to freeware or shareware applications. In fact, there may be other unwanted programs that are packed to the main software that users preferred to obtain. Authors behind malicious programs are utilizing pay-per-install scheme to deploy their products over the Internet.

There are also instances that malware are being used to deploy PUP.Optional.ASK.A. In this case, the threat can be acquired when visiting malicious web pages, downloading compromised files, or using file-sharing apps. Links from spam emails and social media sites are also one medium consumed by attacker to spread PUP.Optional.ASK.A.

How does this malware operate?

Once PUP.Optional.ASK.A is run on the computer, it targets mostly known browsers like Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. This threat performs changes on browser settings that may result to home page hijacking and browser redirect problems. PUP.Optional.ASK.A also drops extension, add-on, and plug-in to achieve other malicious tasks.

To start instantly when browser is opened, PUP.Optional.ASK.A installs itself as browser helper object. This also gives the malware to have control on the browser and install its own search engine and toolbar object.

Symptoms

Presence of PUP.Optional.ASK.A affects your installed browser program. Here are some obvious signs that the malware has invaded the computer.

  • Modified start page, home page or search engine
  • Constant redirect to unwanted web sites
  • Excessive display of pop-up advertisements
  • Browser and new tabs opens on its own

How to remove PUP.Optional.ASK.A?

To totally remove PUP.Optional.ASK.A 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.

Step 1 : Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows

Combo Cleaner is a trusted computer security and optimization tool equipped with a powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of computer virus like PUP.Optional.ASK.A 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.

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

5. The tool will update the database file; please wait for this process to complete.

6. To begin checking for threats like PUP.Optional.ASK.A, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.

Screenshot of Combo Cleaner PC

7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete PUP.Optional.ASK.A malware, including all malicious objects from the computer.

To fully optimize the features of antivirus and privacy scanners, users may have to upgrade to the premium version.

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

Step 2 : 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 PUP.Optional.ASK.A. 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 Win 11 Search

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 Msconfig Win 11

4. Under the Boot Options area, please check Safe Boot so that it starts in Safe Mode after restarting.

5. Next, select Network. This will allow Windows to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

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

7. 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 3 : Run Sophos Home Virus Scanner

To remove PUP.Optional.ASK.A automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful virus and malware removal tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware; it is also effective in discovering harmful files associated to PUP.Optional.ASK.A.

1. Please click on the link below to download the program.

2. After downloading, locate the file SophosInstall.exe in the Downloads folder.

3. Install by double-clicking on the file.

4. If it prompts "Do you want to allow this app to make changes on your device?" please click Yes.

5. Next, it will display the Terms and Conditions page. Click the Install button to begin.

Screenshot of Terms by Sophos Home

6. Run the installation with the default settings. Please note that an internet connection is required in order to download important updates.

7. After finishing the installation, you must login to the dashboard. If you already have a Sophos account, please login. Otherwise, please enter your details and click on the Create Account button.

8. Once you are in the Sophos Home console, click the Scan button to start checking the computer for PUP.Optional.ASK.A components.

Screenshot of Sophos Home

9. Scanning may take a while; please wait for this process to finish.

10. After scanning the computer, Sophos Home will start cleaning or deleting files infected with PUP.Optional.ASK.A.

11. You may now close Sophos Home. The computer is now free from PUP.Optional.ASK.A, as well as associated malware and viruses.

After executing the above instructions, PUP.Optional.ASK.A 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 4 : 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 PUP.Optional.ASK.A. 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 PUP.Optional.ASK.A, 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 and search for Windows Security

2. Click Open to run the program.

Screenshot of Win 11 Search

3. On the Dashboard, click Virus and threat protection from the sidebar.

Screenshot of Win 11 Virus Protection

4. On the right panel, click on Scan Options to see different levels of checking the computer.

5. Next, please select Full Scan button.

Screenshot of Full Scan Win 11

6. Lastly, click on the Scan now button to start scanning for the presence of PUP.Optional.ASK.A. The process may take a while to complete.

7. After the scan, Delete/Quarantine identified threats, whether they were relevant to PUP.Optional.ASK.A or not. You may now restart Windows to complete the virus removal process.

For Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, 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.

About the author

2 thoughts on “PUP.Optional.ASK.A”

  1. Thank you for this very detailed procedure that has allowed me to remove a very annoying program from a friend’s computer that was making her think she had some kind of virus on her machine that was being passed on to her friends and relatives.

  2. Thank you, I already use Malwarebytes Premium, in fact I have used it for several years and it has been a great program for checking and quarantining unwanted programs. This helped a lot!

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