How to Remove a PUP from Mac (Instructions)
THREAT REMOVAL

How to Remove a PUP from Mac

What is a PUP detection? How do PUPs work? What types of dangers can PUPs hide for your Mac? How to remove PUP completely from your Mac?

PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) also known as PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application) is the type of software that pretends to be a legitimate program, but in reality does nothing more than flood your computer with pesky pop-ups urging you to buy the program’s full version or download more adware. Some PUPs may also pretend to be legitimate browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari or other browsers, whereas they may do significantly more harm than good by showing all types of ads on your browser and taking over your search engines.

Threat Summary

NamePUP
TypePUP for Mac OS
Short DescriptionAims to slither ads or get users to pay for it’s licensed version.
SymptomsPUPs are those pesky programs that you do not remember installing. They are always accompanied by adware and other side pop-ups and notifications.
Distribution MethodVia software bundling or via a website advertising them.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by PUP

Download

Combo Cleaner

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss PUP.

PUP – How Did I Get It and What Does It Do?

The primary method via which such software tends to be distributed is bundling. This means that you could encounter these programs in the installers of other free programs, where they could be advertised in one of the installation steps as “free extra” or “optional offer”. These programs often aim to be spread through websites where they are advertised as an antivirus or some other Mac optimizing tool. An example for a PUP is Mac Auto Fixer – an extremely annoying fake optimizer that may show hoax detection with the main purpose to get you to buy its licensed version to fix all the “errors” detected by it.

Such programs may also come as other forms of software on your Mac, like browser extension, toolbars. They often tend to pretend to be useful, when in fact they may change your browser home page to a third-party one, which only aims to slither you third-party ads and collect information from your Mac via cookies. Such cookies and tracking technologies may obtain the following data from your system:

  • Your browsing history.
  • Bookmarked sites.
  • Sites you have mostly visited.
  • Online search history.
  • Online clicks.

This data may be used to slither to you all forms of ads. If adware or a browser hijacker, this PUP may show the following advertised content on your Mac:

  • Pop-ups.
  • Browser redirects.
  • Push notifications.
  • Banners.
  • Highlighted text ads.
  • Ad-supported search results.

Since some of those ads could eventually lead you to potentially unwanted or virus websites, this makes this software indirectly harmful for your computer and its removal is strongly advisable.

Remove a PUP from Your Mac

In order to remove a PUP from your Mac, we strongly recommend that you follow the removal steps underneath this article. They have been created with the main idea to help you detect and delete it either by yourself or via the recommended way by security professionals – by scanning your computer for malware. This can happen if you download and run a scan with a professional anti-malware software. Such program also has the capability of protecting your computer against future infections as well.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of PUP from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall PUP and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to PUP:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to PUP. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to PUP. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove PUP via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as PUP. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove PUP files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as PUP, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove PUP from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase PUP from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall PUP from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Delete PUP from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the PUP will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate PUP from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


PUP FAQ

What is PUP?

Be advised, that PUP is classified as a virus-like, potentially unwanted app for Mac. It appears like a normal app, but it may cause unpleasant pop-ups and redirects on your Mac.

Be aware, that PUP may be able to affect the browsers Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge and Opera. It may they perform unwanted activities on your Mac.

Such can turn out to be showing advertisements of all types, slowing down your Mac's performance and even infecting your Mac with other viruses by showing you dangerous ads.

Is PUP a Virus?

The PUP object is not entirely a virus but it is still as dangerous as a virus for your Mac and your information. The main reason for that is because PUP can use cookies and other tracking Technologies that may obtain personal information from your Mac while you are browsing.

It may also cause dangers and may lead to risky websites, such as:

Phishing sites.
Web pages that are scam.
Sites that may contain viruses.

These are the main reasons why threatening is considered by experts to be indirectly dangerous to your Mac.

Can my Mac get virus?

The answer to this question is "yes". Unfortunately it opened happens that Mac devices become infected with different types of malware, adware and other threats. This causes a lot of problems for both companies and users.

How did I get PUP?

PUP could be spread to Mac computers via several methods. One of those methods is via the installers of third party apps. This technique is called software bundling.

Also, PUP could be included in the installer steps of an app you may have downloaded for your Mac from a third party website. Search app could be a media player or some other free software you may have tried to recently install.

You may have missed PUP, because it could be hiding in one of the install steps or could be offered as a "free extra" or an "optional offer".

How to remove PUP from my Mac?

To get rid of PUP from your Mac, security experts strongly advise to scan it with a professional anti-malware app for Mac.

An anti-malware security app has the capability of scanning all of the areas in your Mac were PUP could be residing. It will also make sure that PUP is permanently gone from your Mac and that your Mac is safe in the future.

How to protect my Mac from viruses?

To protect your Mac from all sorts of virus threats, you can can minimize the risk of getting a virus in the first place. This is why we strongly recommend that you take the following steps for protection on your Mac below:

1. Register for a VPN service of your choice.
2. Clear the cookies that are on your web browsers and uninstall any browser extensions from them that you believe are suspicious.
3. Download and install reputable malware removal and protection software.
4. Always check if the website you're visiting has HTTPS instead of just HTTP in its address. This indicates that a site is secure.
5. Do not type any personal info on websites which are with low reputation or you can't trust.
6. Always check if the site you're visiting is the real web page at not a fake one by looking at the address bar. Many fishing websites that contain viruses change one or two letters in the main domain name of the site they're trying to mimic.
7. Always link your cell phone phone to your Bank Accounts, PayPal, Facebook, Gmail, Instagram and other accounts. This will allow you to see notification if somebody else logged in from your account and makes account hijacking nearly impossible.
8. Always find a way to backup all your important files regularly. You can save them on a USB stick or use Cloud backup services, like Google Drive. iDrive, Onedrive and others.

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