PUP.Optional.StartPage is detection by Malwarebytes Anti-malware and other security software to identify an adware that modifies Internet browser’s home page. This detection covers various adware that has a tendency to override the home page with search engine or any kind of page that is not set by the user.
PUP.Optional.StartPage may present itself as valid program to trick computer users. In some instances, this adware are bundled with freeware that are offered on popular web sites. Installing the program also loads PUP.Optional.StartPage in a form of add-on or extension. Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox are the main target of this threat.
When the adware is run on the computer, it changes the home page to what was configured by PUP.Optional.StartPage. Normally home page is replaced with a custom search engine that shows mix results and ads. Authors intend to gain profit via displayed ads from its affiliate partners. Pay-per-click campaign (PPC) is employed in most home page hijacker such as PUP.Optional.StartPage.
Do not hesitate to remove this threat once spotted on the computer. It is as risky as other viruses and malware though it has different payload. For complete removal guide, please see the section on this page. It contains procedures as well as free tools that you may use to scan the computer and get rid of this pest in no time.
How to Remove PUP.Optional.StartPage
Systematic procedures to get rid of the threat are presented on this section. Make sure to scan the computer with suggested tools and scanners.
Step 1 : Download Microsoft Safety Scanner and Run a Scan
NOTE: We suggest that you PRINT or BOOKMARK this guide. There are steps that we may have to restart the computer in order to successfully remove the threat.
If you have previous version of Microsoft Safety Scanner that is more than 10 days old, please disregard it. Download a new copy from the official web site. Every 10 days, Microsoft will release the latest edition of this tool with updated anti-virus definitions to ensure that it will detect even most recent malware threats.
1. Download Microsoft Safety Scanner by clicking the button below and save it on your desktop. This is a free tool from Microsoft that offers on-demand scanning. It helps remove computer infection such as malware, virus, and Trojan.
2. Restart Windows in Safe Mode.
Boot in Safe Mode on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 system
a) Before Windows begins to load, press F8 on your keyboard.
b) It will display the Advanced Boot Options menu. Select Safe Mode.
Start computer in Safe Mode using Windows 8 and Windows 10
a) Close any running programs on your computer.
b) Get ready to Start Windows. On your keyboard, Press and Hold Shift key and then, click on Restart button.
c) It will prompt you with options, please click on Troubleshoot icon.
d) Under Troubleshoot window, select Advanced Options.
e) On next window, click on Startup Settings icon.
f) Lastly, click on Restart button on subsequent window.
g) When Windows restarts, present startup options with numbers 1 - 9. Select "Enable Safe Mode with Networking" or number 5.
h) Windows will now boot on Safe Mode with Networking. Proceed with virus scan as the next step.
3. Once Windows starts in Safe Mode, locate the file of Microsoft Safety Scanner (msert.exe) that you have downloaded earlier. Double-click to run the file.
4. When it shows End user license agreement, please accept and click Next to continue.
5. On Scan Type window, please select Full scan. The tool will scan the entire system. This is ideal to detect and remove all threats that are present on the computer.
6. Click Next to begin the scan. This process will take a while to finish. Please be patient and let MSS complete the scan procedure.
7. Once the scan operation ends, it will provide a report for identified threats. Please remove all the threats.
8. Reboot the computer and run another scan after Windows boots normally to make sure that PUP.Optional.StartPage is gone. You may now restart Windows normally.
Step 2 : Double-check for Remnants of PUP.Optional.StartPage using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
This guide requires a tool called Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. It is a free tool designed to eradicate various computer infections including PUP.Optional.StartPage. MBAM scanner and malware removal tool is distributed for free.
1. In order to completely remove PUP.Optional.StartPage, it is best to download and run the recommended tool. Please click the button below to begin download.
2. After downloading, double-click on the file to install the application. If you are using Windows Vista or higher version, right-click on the file and select 'Run as administrator' from the list.
3. When User Account Control prompts, please click Yes to proceed with the installation.
4. Follow the prompts and install as 'default' only. There are no changes needed during the installation process.
5. Before the installation procedure ends, MalwareBytes Anti-Malware will prompt if you want to launch the application. Please leave the check mark on Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
6. Lastly, click the Finish button.
7. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will launch for the first time. It is necessary to proceed with database update.
8. After downloading updates, the tool will start with the main window.
9. Choose Threat Scan on scanner's console to ensure that it thoroughly check the PC for any presence of PUP.Optional.StartPage and other forms of threats. Click the Start Scan button to begin.
10. Once the scan has completed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will issue a list of identified threats. Mark all threats and click on Remove Selected.
11. If it prompts to restart the computer, please reboot Windows.
Alternative Removal Procedure for PUP.Optional.StartPage
Use Windows System Restore to return Windows to previous state
During an infection, PUP.Optional.StartPage drops various files and registry entries. The threat intentionally hides system files by setting options in the registry. With these rigid changes, the best solution is to return Windows to previous working state is through System Restore.
To verify if System Restore is active on your computer, please follow the instructions below to access this feature.
How to Access System Restore on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7
a) Go to Start Menu, then under 'Run' or 'Search Program and Files' field, type rstrui.
b) Then, press Enter on the keyboard to open System Restore Settings.
How to Open System Restore on Windows 8
a) Hover your mouse cursor to the lower left corner of the screen and wait for the Start icon to appear.
b) Right-click on the icon and select Run from the list. This will open a Run dialog box.
c) Type rstrui on the 'Open' field and click on OK to initiate the command.
If previous restore point is saved, you may proceed with Windows System Restore. Click here to see the full procedure.
Ways to Prevent PUP.Optional.StartPage Infection
Take the following steps to protect the computer from threats. Suggested tools and security setup within installed software helps prevent the same attack on your PC.
Install an effective anti-malware program
Your first line of defense would be an effective security program that provides real-time protection. We have a list of anti-malware program that are tried and tested. It does not only scan files but also monitors your Internet traffic and is extremely active on blocking malicious communication. Click on the button below to download our recommended anti-malware program.
Always update your installed software
Software vendors constantly releases updates for programs whenever a flaw is discovered. Getting the updates makes the computer more secured and help prevents Trojan, virus, malware, and PUP.Optional.StartPage similar attacks. If in case your program is not set for instant update, it usually offered from vendor's web site, which you can download anytime.
Maximize the security potential of your Internet browser
Each browser has their own feature where in you can adjust the security settings that fit your browsing habit. We highly encourage you to maximize the setup to tighten the security of your browser.
Apply full caution when using the Internet
Internet is full of fraud, malware, and many forms of computer threats including PUP.Optional.StartPage. Implement full caution with links that you may receive from emails, social networking sites, and instant messaging programs. It might lead you to malicious sites that can cause harm to your computer. Avoid strange web sites that offers free services and software downloads.