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Monday, March 9, 2015

How to Remove PUA/DownloadSponsor.Gen (Uninstall Guide)

Tell your friends:
Even if you don't know a great deal about Potentially Unwanted Applications, or PUAs, to give them their abbreviation, you might possibly know that they're not something you really want to have installed on your computer. But just what is PUA/DownloadSponsor.Gen and how do you stop one from installing itself on your machine?

How is PUA/DownloadSponsor.Gen installed?

For the most part, PUA/DownloadSponsor.Gen is usually installed as a bundle. This means that it is (sneakily) packaged with another program or application. You genuinely want to download program or app A but what you probably don't realize is that there is a high probability of that installation being piggy backed upon by program B – i.e. the potentially unwanted one. And it really doesn't matter if you're downloading something completely unnecessary, or even something of a dubious nature, or you're installing something totally reputable – anything can come bundled with a PUA.

Using a sandbox to avoid PUAs

We hear you – right now you're thinking "What on earth are you talking about?" But in Internet terminology sandboxes and puas are something quite different to their real life namesakes. Let's say you want to install some software – there's no two ways about it, you really need this tool in order to work better, or play harder - BUT you don't want to risk installing the PUA/DownloadSponsor.Gen in conjunction with it. And that's where our friend the sandbox comes in. A sandbox is something that lets you open the program in it first before you make the commitment and install it on your PC. The sandbox prevents the opened program from performing any actions on your computer and once you've opened it, the sandbox will also let you know what the program wants to do. You can then use this information to discern whether the program is trying to perform any unnecessary or potentially harmful actions. And you can then make an informed decision as to whether or not you move the program from the sandbox to your computer proper - or deny it and hit the delete button.

How else can I prevent a PUA installation?

Obviously you should have a good antivirus program installed – that goes without saying. But you also need to make sure it is fully up to date to give it the best chance of catching anything new that is untoward. Similarly, ensuring your PC has all of Microsoft's latest security patches installed is important as this will provide heightened protection against anything that tries to install itself in a 'drive by' installation. And while we're on the subject, you also need to make sure that any other programs you have installed on your computer are the most current versions too. Something that is currently Version 5.5 is going to provide you with a more effective level of security than if you have Version 3.3 on your machine.

Finally, because Potentially Unwanted Applications often come as a package you need to read download license agreements carefully and make certain what it is you are actually installing on your computer.

If your anti-virus program keeps displaying warnings about PUA/DownloadSponsor.Gen then it probably can't properly remove this infection from the system. Very often, it leaves backdoor and re-installs adware and other malware that anti-virus has removed. After a restart you may get the same warnings again. That's why it's very important to remove core files of this malware. Anti-virus programs may not always be the best choice when it comes to removing PUA/DownloadSponsor.Gen and similar malware. To remove it from your computer, please follow the steps in the removal guide below.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment down below. Good luck and be safe online!

Written by Michael Kaur,

PUA/DownloadSponsor.Gen Removal Guide:

1. First of all, download anti-malware software and run a full system scan. It will detect and remove this infection from your computer. You may then follow the manual removal instructions below to remove the leftover traces of this malware. Hopefully you won't have to do that.

2. Remove PUA/DownloadSponsor.Gen related programs from your computer using the Add/Remove Programs control panel (Windows XP) or Uninstall a program control panel (Windows 7 and Windows 8).

Go to the Start Menu. Select Control PanelAdd/Remove Programs.
If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, select Control PanelUninstall a Program.

If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for "control panel".

Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control panel from there.

3. When the Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and remove the following:
  • SaveMass
  • GoSave
  • deals4me
  • Youtubeadblocker
  • and any other recently installed application

Simply select each application and click Remove. If you are using Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, click Uninstall up near the top of that window. When you're done, please close the Control Panel screen.

Remove PUA/DownloadSponsor.Gen related extensions from Google Chrome:

1. Click on Chrome menu button. Go to ToolsExtensions.

2. Click on the trashcan icon to remove SaveMass, Youtubeadblocker, Gosave, HD-Plus 3.5, BlockkTheAds and other extensions that you do not recognize.

If the removal option is grayed out then read how to remove extensions installed by enterprise policy.

Remove PUA/DownloadSponsor.Gen related extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

1. Open Mozilla Firefox. Go to ToolsAdd-ons.

2. Select Extensions. Click Remove button to remove SaveMass, Youtubeadblocker, Gosave, HD-Plus 3.5 and other extensions that you do not recognize.

Remove PUA/DownloadSponsor.Gen related add-ons from Internet Explorer:

1. Open Internet Explorer. Go to ToolsManage Add-ons. If you have the latest version, simply click on the Settings button.

2. Select Toolbars and Extensions. Click Remove/Disable button to remove the browser add-ons listed above.