Short bio

PUP.Optional.APNToolbar is Malwarebytes’ generic detection name for toolbars of the Ask Partner Network (APN).

Type and source of infection

Users will notice a browser toolbar, which is typically identified by the red Ask icon. PUP.Optional.APNToolbar is a well-known browser hijacker that, over time, was replaced by the newer Mindspark toolbar. Its EULA and Privacy Policy vary from software to software; however, they always clearly state their intentions.

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


Malwarebytes protected users from PUP.Optional.APNToolbar by using real-time protection.

block PUP.Optional.APNToolbar

Malwarebytes blocks PUP.Optional.APNToolbar


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

  1. Please download Malwarebytes to your desktop.
  2. Double-click mb3-setup-consumer-{version}.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  3. Then click Finish.
  4. Once the program has fully updated, select Scan Now on the Dashboard. Or select the Threat Scan from the Scan menu.
  5. If another update of the definitions is available, it will be implemented before the rest of the scanning procedure.
  6. When the scan is complete, make sure that all Threats are selected, and click Remove Selected.
  7. Restart your computer when prompted to do so.


Associated folders:





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