This is the list of bad behaviors that we use to identify PUPs. This list evolves with the emergence of new PUPs, and may be subject to change. Some applications are classified as a PUP for having multiple violations, others for having just one, though more serious, violation. Each PUP is evaluated on a per case basis, prior to classification.PUP Reconsideration request form
Does your advertising obstruct the content? Is the "x" (close option) too close to the advert, in a non-standard location, or tiny, or pale gray on a white background, or black on a black background? Is the close option only available once the content has been displayed?
Is your application displaying adverts that aren't relevant to the user, about unrelated products, or interfering with web browsing?
Does your application generate pop-ups?
Does your application generate pop-unders?
Does your application insert adverts in webpages you do not own or explicitly control, such as the top or bottom of a browser window?
Does your application paste adverts on top of the legitimate adverts present on a webpage?
Does your application replace the native adverts present on a webpage with one you have partnered with?
Are your adverts not displaying where they are originating from?
Are your adverts not clearly labeled as advertisements?
Does your application redirect traffic from the desired webpage to a competitor's website?
Does your application alter the search results that a user receives?
Does your application alter the search result with insertions?
Is your application a toolbar where the value proposition is skewed in favor of the maker of the toolbar vs. its user?
Does your application change the default search engine in the browser?
Does your application change the default home page of the browser or all browsers?
Does your application insert unsolicited bookmarks in the bookmark manager of the browser?
Does your application create more than two shortcuts on the desktop?
Is your application only available as part of a bundler, with other, less desirable applications?
Is your application in a bundle where some of the accompanying applications are malicious or already classified as a PUP?
Are all the options in your application pre-populated, effectively requiring the user to manually opt-out of options?
Do you use "Recommended" next to radio buttons, or checkboxes?
Does your application require a non-standard method to uninstall?
Does your application not have an uninstall procedure?
Does your application install itself in a non-standard location (not in the Programs folder)?
Does your application not have a standard uninstaller? Do you have to contact your website and download a separate application to remove it? Is this application only made available by emailing your support staff?
Is your application a browser add-on and, once installed, does not provide a standard uninstall procedure?
Is your application a browser add-on, and once installed, the uninstall option is disabled or grayed out?
Is your browser add-on clearly named, and easily identifiable in the browser configuration where it can be uninstalled?
Does your application install across all the browsers present on the machine, where there is low value to the user, except for advertising?
Does your application have a watchdog process, or registry entry, or any mechanism designed to make uninstallation more difficult by reinstating the main application if it is removed?
Has a critical mass of users referred to your program as malicious, as evidenced by numerous complaints, general dissatisfaction, and removal guides?
Microsoft has officially stated that they do not support the use of registry cleaners as shown here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2563254 Many of these are installed as part of “bundlers” or “wrappers” and the end user is left with a program that performs a scan at startup and presents a report in an alarmist fashion, stating that a large number of errors are present in the registry. Our testing has shown that these programs will always find errors in the registry, even on a freshly installed operating system. As such this behaviour qualifies for a PUP classification.
Similar in scope to the registry cleaners, driver optimizers promise to update the drivers needed for the PC’s peripherals to properly function, such as the sound card, chipset, and USB devices. Many of these are installed as part of “bundlers” or “wrappers” and the end user is left with a program that performs a scan at startup and presents a report in an alarmist fashion, stating that a driver needs to be updated. More recent versions of Windows, such as Windows 7 and up now update drivers through the windows update process, and while newer drivers may be available for your devices they may not yield any noticeable performance improvement. These types of programs ask for payment prior to performing a driver update that is ultimately unnecessary.
If you want to submit your application for reconsideration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org