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What is a PUP file?

Answer: PUP stands for "Potentially Unwanted Program." It is an acronym used by some antivirus programs that defines unknown executable programs. A PUP may be a virus or other type of malware, such as a spyware or adware program. They are most commonly found on Windows computers, but can appear on Macintosh systems as well.

If your antivirus software finds a PUP, it may provide a brief description of the file, which will help you determine whether you should delete it or not. If the file is an unknown program, you might want to search the Web for the filename to see what information is available about the file. If you don't know what a program is or where it came from, you should not open it since it may contain malicious code.

Published: February 12, 2009 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center