Short bio

PUP.Optional.Mindspark is a large family of browser hijackers that affect major internet browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer/Edge.

Type and source of infection

PUP.Optional.Mindspark is a big part of IAC/InterActiveCorp, a media and internet company that creates revenue with advertising. Its EULA and Privacy Policy vary from software to software. They always clearly state their intentions however.

PUP.Optional.Mindspark is usually installed by the users themselves, who may be prompted by exaggerated promises of functionality. It provides toolbars and MyWay start pages claiming to offer sweepstakes, app emoticons, and helpful tools for user hobbies and interests.

mindspark installer

mindspark promotion


Malwarebytes protects users from PUP.Optional.Mindspark by using real-time protection.

block PUP.Optional.Mindspark

Malwarebytes blocks PUP.Optional.Mindspark


Malwarebytes can detect and remove PUP.Optional.Mindspark without further user interaction.

  1. Please download Malwarebytes to your desktop.
  2. Double-click MBSetup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  3. When your Malwarebytes for Windows installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen.
  4. Click on the Get started button.
  5. Click Scan to start a Threat Scan.
  6. Click Quarantine to remove the found threats.
  7. Reboot the system if prompted to complete the removal process.

We advise users who had their browsers hijacked to visit our Restore Browser page.

Add an exclusion

Should users wish to keep this program and exclude it from being detected in future scans, they can add the program to the exclusions list. Here’s how to do it.

  • Open Malwarebytes for Windows.
  • Click the Detection History
  • Click the Allow List
  • To add an item to the Allow List, click Add.
  • Select the exclusion type Allow a file or folder and use the Select a folder button to select the main folder for the software that you wish to keep.
  • Repeat this for any secondary files or folder(s) that belong to the software.

If you want to allow the program to connect to the Internet, for example to fetch updates, also add an exclusion of the type Allow an application to connect to the internet and use the Browse button to select the file you wish to grant access.

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