PUP.Optional.MindSpark.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.MindSpark.A often gets into the PC without user’s knowledge. Thus, you may see unwanted program on the computer without a notice.

Threat behavior


In usual situation, PUP.Optional.MindSpark.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.MindSpark.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.MindSpark.A.


Once PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A is run on the computer, it targets mostly known browsers like Internet Explorer, 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.MindSpark.A also drops extension, add-on, and plug-in to achieve other malicious tasks.

To start instantly when browser is opened, PUP.Optional.MindSpark.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.


Presence of PUP.Optional.MindSpark.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 can you remove PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A?

To totally remove PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A from the computer and get rid of relevant adware, please execute the procedures as stated on this page. Make sure that you have completely scan the system with suggested malware removal tools and virus scanners.

Step 1 : Scan the computer with Sophos Antivirus

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.

Screnshot of Sophos Installer

3. On first windows 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. 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 adware like PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A.

6. Click the  button to  carry out the Scan. This will check the system for presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

Step 2 : Run AdwCleaner to totally remove PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A

1. Download the tool called AdwCleaner from the location stated below.

2. Once you have completed the download, please close all running programs on the computer.

3. Locate the file and double-click on adwcleaner.exe to start running the tool.


4. It searches for presence of harmful programs, plug-ins, add-ons, or any data that were found malicious and linked to PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A. You may have to delete each detected item.

5. Once scan is done, the tool may need to reboot your computer to finalize the cleaning process.

6. After reboot, open AdwCleaner once more. Click on Uninstall to remove this program from your computer.

How to protect the computer?

The initial defense that comes to the mind of any computer users 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 PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A attack. Hence, keep in mind that having a security software do not give full guarantee of protection. The most part of the prevention still lies on 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 was made for the primary purpose of spreading PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A. Normally, these sites are involved in integrating malicious pop-up and browser hijacker, that will eventually cause further virus infection. Avoid such kind of websites.

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 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 PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A infection.

Be Careful When Downloading Files

Cracked software, serial key generators, and several freeware are seen as another method that spreads the PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A virus. Avoid acquiring these types of application and if there is a need to download a freeware or shareware, be sure to obtain it from the official website or trusted providers.

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11 thoughts on “PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A”

  1. I really like malware, but this PUP.Optional.mindspark.A is a real pain. Though your product finds it, and I can delete it with your product. It doesn’t quarantine it to prevent it from coming back. So the very next time I use Chrome. And scan again. there all 310 pieces of pup are back again, and again. I would like it to prevent from re-installing. How does your product do that for me. I am just as unhappy with Norton, AVS.

  2. I performed step one “Scan the computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware” step. It showed that there were detected items, as listed below.
    100 Qty – PUP.Optional.JustCloud.A
    5 Qty – PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A
    1 Qty – PUP.Optional.Squeaky.A

    Then went on to perform step two with Adwcleaner and two items showed, as listed below.
    1 Qty – Computer Backup (Just Cloud) / Service Name: BackupStack
    1 Qty – Oknfd / Service Name: Oqknfd
    I unchecked the Computer Backup (Just Cloud) and left the Oknfd checked to be cleaned.

    Last step performed was the Avast Browser Cleanup and it showed nothing was there, however, the report showed that folders were deleted. Ex: : C:\Program Files (x86)\JustCloud. What happened? Why was this folder and others deleted?

    There were also files and registry keys deleted.
    I am extremely concerned that I did something wrong. What do I do now?

  3. Diane, those folders belong to unwanted software that you may have accidentally installed alongside another program (usually from just clicking Next without reading when you install a program). No need for concern, the anti-virus programs you ran seem to have done their jobs. I would scan again with Malwarebytes just to be safe.

  4. Have just run Malwarebytes which detected 34 PUP.Optional.Mindspark.A and deleted all these files. Is it now necessary to download and run the above programs?

  5. Thank you for posting this! My Malwarebytes detected this and I wondered what it did. Weirdly non of the symptoms happened. It also only detected two items called Mindspark. Both were files. Anyways at least I’m safe!

  6. Would you please confirm – step 1 – YOU SHOULD DELETE, not just quarantine the infected files? Please confirm if you delete – does this mean you will have to reinstall any programs that may be affected?
    When you say to disable antivirus programs before running Malwarebytes, does this include windows firewall?

  7. Mindspark, has been linked to blue and white screens of death, Screen Lockups, HDD bricking, and many other types of damage

  8. I completed the First Step and ran the malware bytes anti malware ..it found the Pup.optional.mindspark as a threat and removed it. Do I need to also complete Step 2 and 3 as well or is the first step sufficient to remove this threat?

  9. One of these came in through an email that said: Paul (last name deleted) just sent you a file. It left 1943 viruses on my computer (I am writing with another computer). We were able to remove a trojan with Webroot and the 1943 viruses with the free version of Malware bytes. Still wondering if we should try one more software program. We also changed all passwords.

  10. Sean Harrington

    I ran a scan and it came back with 322 threats all of which were the PUP Optional MIndspark. Tried to quarantine and delete but computer locked up with the cursor spinning. This happened once before and I eventually had to restart the computer. When the computer rebooted I ran another scan but it didn’t find any PUP threats until now. Not sure what to do now.

  11. Chrome has something gong on – I get 325 Mind spark results when I scan with Malwarebytes , I quarantined and deleted them

    If I open Chrome again, they return

    Only happens with Chrome (not Mozilla, I.E.) – I have tried changing to different start pages – same result

    Done virus scans – nothing there

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