Short bio

PUP.Optional.PCVARK is Malwarebytes’ detection name for a large family of installers for potentially unwanted programs targeting both Windows and Mac systems.


The Windows installers for PUP.Optional.PCVARK usually start with a screen similar to this one:

installer PUP.Optional.PCVARK

installer PUP.Optional.PCVARK

Type and source of infection

PUP.Optional.PCVARK comes in many forms, but the majority are so-called system optimizers that try to convince users that their system has problems which their software can solve. But only if you buy the software. The programs often prominently display a helpdesk phone number. We have had reports of people that felt they had been scammed after calling these numbers.


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

block PUP.Optional.PCVARK

Malwarebytes blocks PUP.Optional.PCVARK


Malwarebytes can detect and remove PUP.Optional.PCVARK 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.

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.

The Exclusions tab includes a list of items to be excluded from scans. The items may include files, folders, websites, or applications that connect to the Internet, as well as previously detected exploits.

To access the exclusions in Malwarebytes:

  • Click on the Settings tab in the left pane.
  • Click on the Exclusions tab.
  • Click the Add Exclusion button.
  • Select the exclusion type Exclude a File or Folder and use the Browse button to select the main folder for the software that you wish to keep.
  • Repeat this for any secondary folder(s) that belong to the software.
  • If you want to allow the program to connect to the Internet, for example to fetch updates, add an exclusion of the type Exclude an application that Connects to the Internet and use the Browse button to select the file you wish to grant access.

Associated threats

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