Given the vague nature of the phrase “potentially unwanted programs” (PUPs) there is no one definition for what those three words said together precisely means.

Some sites include programs as serious as adware on the PUPs list while others do not. We happen to agree more with the latter.

To us, a potentially unwanted program is software that you might not want on your computers—whether it be because you didn’t know you were installing it and had no use for it or it just doesn’t do what it says it does—but never crosses the broader of becoming harmful to your experience of using the PC. PUPs are most often found bundled into freeware software and give you an option not to install them if you don’t want them, even if the installation buttons are at times purposefully positioned to get you to click through and install them like nothing was happening outside of you accepting the terms and conditions.

Malicious programs such as adware take away from your web browser experience by putting a bunch of additional ads all over your computer’s display so that when you browse websites, you’re getting advertisements served directly from the adware in addition to any other advertisements that you may have already encountered by visiting a website. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, no high-quality ad serving program is going to have anything to do with serving ads to adware willingly, so it’s guaranteed that the ads you get from the adware are of very low quality and run heavy, meaning that it’s going to force your hardware to work harder and perhaps even cause your computers fan to fire up just because of the adware.

Some would argue that there are few things as harmful to the Web today as we know it than adware. It’s virtually impossible to enjoy your web browsing experience if you’ve got it, and most people who do have ae none the wiser about it, which leads them to believe that the web is just naturally that jampacked with intrusive advertisements all over the place. This, in turn, results in them wanting to install programs such as ad blockers more often than they otherwise would, and then it has a snowball effect where websites are struggling to stay afloat due to lost revenue.

If you thought that everyone who knows computer programming was friendly, you would be wrong. The malicious intent behind the people who create such programs could only be conjured up by some of the evilest minds of our time. And it’s essential that we do what we can to educate people how to identify adware and how to remove it so they can get a real Web browsing experience rather than one drowned banner advertisements that follow you everywhere you go because you’ve been hit with adware.

How to Remove Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) From Windows

1. Visit the Malwarebytes official website and download the tool for your computer by clicking on the “Free Download” link.

(Unlike many other tools out there today that say it’s a free download and then list a bunch of things your PC doesn’t need to be fixed before asking you to pay a hefty fee with your credit card to fix them, Malwarebytes does allow you to download, install, and use the tool free for 14 days. All you need to do is run the tool once to fix the problem you have, and if you want to continue using the tool long term, so it’s scanning your computer periodically, then you can sign up to the premium version.)

2. If you get a web browser warning about files such as these potentially harming your device, click on the “Keep” button to proceed with the download.

(Malwarebytes is a tool trusted by millions of people around the world and will not harm your device. Windows just can’t distinguish all files yet and so you sometimes see a warning such as this one even though the file is trustworthy.)

3. Click on the Malwarebytes executable file once the downloads completes. (If you need to, you can also access it by heading to the Dtart menu > File Explorer > This PC and then opening up the “Downloads” folder.

4. If prompted by User Account Control (UAC) click on the “Yes” button.

5. From the Select Setup Language dialog, click on the drop-down menu to select your language such as “English” and then click on the “OK” button.

6. When it asks where are you installing Malwarebytes, click on either “Personal computer” or “Work computer, depending on which one makes sense for you, and then click on the “Continue” button.

7. Click on the “Agree and Install” button when you get to the license agreement and privacy policy.

8. Wait a few moments for Malwarebytes to install on the computer.

9. Click on the “Finish” button when you get to the screen where it lets you know that the Malwarebytes installation is complete.

10. A few moments later the Malwarebytes interface will automatically open on the computer for you. Make sure you’ve selected “Dashboard” from the left pane and then click on the “Scan Now” button.

11. Malwarebytes lets you know how the progress of the scan is going while it goes to work. Wait for the scan to complete.

12. From the scan results, make sure all the threats that you want to be removed are checked by clicking on each of the associated checkboxes and then click on the “Quarantine Selected” button.

13. The threats are now held in “quarantine” and are no longer on the computer.

You can now close the Malwarebytes program if you like.

If you ever want to delete Malwarebytes from the computer, you can do that by finding the list of applications and uninstalling it as you would any other app. Should you choose to uninstall Malwarebytes in the future, it will not mean that the computer is infected with the malware again. The malware remains off the computer (unless you were to install it again accidentally).