PUP.Optional.SearchProtect.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.SearchProtect.A often gets into the PC without user's knowledge. Thus, you may see unwanted program called Search Protect on the computer without a notice.
In usual situation, PUP.Optional.SearchProtect.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.SearchProtect.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.SearchProtect.A.
Once PUP.Optional.SearchProtect.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.SearchProtect.A also drops extension, add-on, and plug-in to achieve other malicious tasks.
To start instantly when browser is opened, PUP.Optional.SearchProtect.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.SearchProtect.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
Presence of the following files indicates that computer is infected with PUP.Optional.SearchProtect.A.
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\Main\bin\CltMngSvc.exe
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\Main\bin\SPTool.dll
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\Main\bin\uninstall.exe
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\SearchProtect\bin\cltmng.exe
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\SearchProtect\bin\SPTool64.exe
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\SearchProtect\bin\SPVC32.dll
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\SearchProtect\bin\SPVC32Loader.dll
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\SearchProtect\bin\SPVC64.dll
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\SearchProtect\bin\SPVC64Loader.dll
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\UI\bin\cltmngui.exe
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\UI\dialogs\bubble\bubble.js
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\UI\dialogs\bubble\defaults.js
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\UI\dialogs\libs\defaults.js
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\UI\dialogs\libs\dialogUtils.js
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\UI\dialogs\libs\jquery.1.7.1.min.js
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\UI\dialogs\libs\json2.min.js
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\UI\dialogs\libs\main.js
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\UI\dialogs\libs\SPDialogAPI.js
- C:\Program Files (x86)\SearchProtect\UI\dialogs\protection\defaults.js
How can you remove PUP.Optional.SearchProtect.A?
To totally remove PUP.Optional.SearchProtect.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.
First step: Scan the computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the link below. Save the file on your hard drive.
MBAM Download Link (this will open on a new window)
2. Once the download completes, double-click on the file MB3-SETUP.EXE to run the program.
3. Select desired installation language when it prompts you.Then, click OK.
4. On the welcome screen, click Next to proceed.
5. Next window is about License Agreement, you must accept this and click the Next button.
6. Proceed with the succeeding prompts until you reach the window Ready to Install. Click on Install button.
7. Installation process will take less than a minute. Click on Finish button to run the program.
8. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware interface appears, please select Scan on sidebar menu. Then, choose Threat Scan as shown in the image below. Click on Start Scan button to begin the process. The program will check for any available update before proceeding. Do not skip this step. Virus scan may take a while, please wait for the process to finish.
9. When scanning is done, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will display the list of identified threats. Remove all and restart the computer to finalized the scan process.
Second step: Run AdwCleaner to totally remove PUP.Optional.SearchProtect.A
1. Download the tool called AdwCleaner from the location stated below.
AdwCleaner Download Link (this will open a new window).
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.SearchProtect.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.
Third step: Cleanup the Browser using Avast Browser Cleanup
1. Download this free tool and save it to your desktop.
Avast Browser Cleanup Download Link (This will open in a new window).
2. You do not need to install the program. This portable scanner will run automatically once you double-click on the the executable file avast-browser-cleanup.exe. This is effective in deleting PUP.Optional.SearchProtect.A entries from the browser.
3. When run, Avast Browser Cleanup performs a test on the browser. If unwanted entries were found, it will display a button 'Remove all add-ons listed below and cleanup browser.' You may remove all or delete one entry at a time.
4. Avast Browser Cleanup will confirm before it permanently deletes the add-on. Please click Yes to proceed with the removal of PUP.Optional.SearchProtect.A on the affected browser.