Recovering from adware and PUA side-effects

Removing adware and PUAs may have some side-effects that cannot be eliminated during cleanup.

Operating system has been modified

Some items of adware and PUAs modify the Windows operating system, for example, change your internet connection settings. Sophos Anti-Virus cannot always restore all settings to the values they had before installation of the adware or PUA. If, for example, an item of adware or PUA changed the browser home page, then Sophos Anti-Virus cannot know what the previous home page setting was.

Utilities not cleaned

Some items of adware and PUAs can install utilities, such as .dll or .ocx files, on your computer. If a utility is harmless (that is, it does not possess the qualities of adware and PUAs), for example, a language library, and is not integral to the adware or PUA, Sophos Anti-Virus may not detect it as part of the adware or PUA. In this case, the file is not removed from your computer even after the adware or PUA that installed the file has been cleaned from the computer.

Adware or PUA is part of a program you need

Sometimes an item of adware or PUA is part of a program that you intentionally installed, and needs to be there for the program to run. If you remove the adware or PUA, the program may stop running on your computer.

What to do

It is very important that you read the threat analysis on the Sophos website. Refer to Get cleanup information to find out how to view details on the Sophos website of the adware or PUA’s side-effects.

To be able to recover your system and its settings to their previous state, you should maintain regular backups of your system. You should also make backup copies of the original executable files of the programs you want to use.

For more information or advice on recovering from adware and PUA side-effects, contact Sophos technical support.