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How to remove MindSpark (Virus Removal Guide)

MindSpark is a marketing company behind many adware type programs and browser attachments, including TelevisionFanatic. MindSpark toolbars are detected by reputable Antivirus and Anti-Malware programs, such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Malwarebytes will detect programs, browser extensions, and files as PUP.Optional.MindSpark. MindSpark are known to cause many problems for computer and internet users and it is recommended to remove MindSpark programs and attachments if you have located them on your computer.


MindSpark is known to change existing internet browser settings. The programs and attachments associated with MindSpark change your homepage, default search engine, and new tab settings, which will cause your affected internet browser to start-up on and redirect to untrustworthy websites. MindSpark toolbars may also generate pop-up, pop-under, and in-text style advertisements while you browse the web. Furthermore, MindSpark can cause your computer to become slow and sluggish and it can negatively affect your internet speed and connectivity.

mindspark toolbars

There are a lot of different MindSpark toolbars. They are mostly contracted without direct user consent or by use of very deceptive marketing tactics. MindSpark toolbars can bundle with other unwanted programs and malware if they have infected your computer. MindSpark toolbars can also be manually downloaded around the web. MindSpark toolbars are often fraudulently promoted to be something that they aren’t. For example, the TelevisionFanatic toolbar is frequently promoted by deceptive advertisements as a necessary media player, media player update, or codec. The ads can appear on media related websites, such as torrent websites and online streaming video websites. These websites often claim that TelevisionFanatic and other MindSpark toolbars are necessary to download files or view streaming video. This is simply a trick designed to get unsuspecting internet users to install the program(s).

When MindSpark toolbars are installed they will install browser add-ons, extensions, and browser helper objects (BHOs) across multiple internet browsers; even if you manually want to install the extension for only Google Chrome. MindSpark toolbars are compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and other internet browsers.

MindSpark toolbars might negatively affect your computer more if you download the add-on(s) for Internet Explorer. Pieter Arntz, a Microsoft MVP and Malwarebytes malware researcher is quoted saying:

If I would have used Internet Explorer most of these would also have installed a browser helper object (BHO) and a service (or two) . And BHOs also have their influence on explorer.exe which, I fear, in combination with all the services, would have slowed the computer down to a crawl.

Other issues with MindSpark is that the browser add-ons and extensions can track you, read, collect, and modify your browsing data (such as all the data on the websites you visit, your browser history and bookmarks, apps, themes, and more), and create RUN keys in Windows registry. Tracking you isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not a good thing. Most of the time these types of applications track you in order to show you sponsored search results and relevant advertisements it feels you are most likely to click on. In other scenarios, your information might be shared with third-parties and you can end up receiving unwanted email spam, junk mail at home, and even telephone calls from robocallers and telemarketers.

MindSpark Removal Guide

MindSpark can be uninstalled manually from your computer and browser, but the programs and extensions are known to bundle with unwanted programs, adware, and malware that will remain on your computer. We have provided several steps below the article to show you how remove MindSpark and other threats. To make sure your PC is completely clean and your information is protected from cyber criminals, we recommend that you follow all the steps below.

Step 1: Uninstall unwanted programs from Windows

Follow the instructions to uninstall unwanted programs that may bundle with MindSpark from your Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 computer. If you do not find an unwanted program installed on your computer but still notice unwanted symptoms such as pop-up ads while you browse the web it is recommended to use Malwarebytes and HitmanPro to eradicate troublesome files.

1. Open Windows Start or Task menu and go to the Control Panel (or directly to Programs and Features).

2. In the “Programs” section click Uninstall a program (or Add and remove programs).

3. Search for unwanted and suspicious programs in the list of installed programs (like MixVideoPlayer) and double click the program you want to remove to uninstall it. You can also select the program with your mouse and click the Uninstall button once it appears. A general tip is to click “Installed On” to locate any programs that installed around the same time.

Step 2: Remove unwanted browser attachments

Follow the instructions to remove unwanted add-ons and extensions, as well as other attachments that may bundle with MindSpark from Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer & Edge, and Apple Safari. If you do not find unwnated attachments installed on your internet browser but still notice unwanted symptoms such as pop-up ads while you browse the web it is recommended to use Malwarebytes and HitmanPro to eradicate troublesome files.

Google Chrome

1. Click the Customize and control Google Chrome icon and go to More tools > Extensions.

2. Search for the unwanted extension in the list and click the trashcan icon.

Mozilla Firefox

1. Open the Menu and click Add-ons.

2. Search for the unwanted add-on and click Remove.

Apple Safari

1. Go to Safari > Preferences > Extensions.

2.  Search for the unwanted extension in the list and click the Uninstall button.

Step 3: Remove MindSpark with Malwarebytes

Follow the instructions to remove MindSpark (detected as: PUP.Optional.MindSpark) with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.

1. Download and install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.

2. Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software once it has finished installing.

3. Make sure that Malwarebytes has been updated. To ensure it is updated click Update Now on the Dashboard.

Malwarebytes scan for BLoCkTheAdApp

4. Click the large Scan Now button on the dashboard to perform a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.

5. When the scan is complete click the Remove Selected button and then click the Finish button or restart your computer if Malwarebytes suggests that you do so.

Step 4: Remove MindSpark with HitmanPro

Follow the instructions to remove MindSpark with HitmanPro second-opinion software.

1. Download and install HitmanPro second opinion scanner and removal tool.
hitmanpro scan

3. Once Hitman Pro is installed, open the program and click Next to start scanning your computer. *If you are using the free version you may chose to create a copy or perform a one-time scan.

hitmanpro scan results

4. When the scan is complete, click the Next button again to delete any threats or traces on your system.

hitmanpro activeate free license

5. If you are initially using the free version, to activate it, enter your email address twice and click the Activate button.

hitman pro reboot computer

6. Restart your computer by selecting Reboot.

Step 5: Clean and repair your computer with CCleaner

Follow the instructions to clean your computer and repair your computer’s settings.

1. Download and install CCleaner by Piriform.

Antivirus PRO 2015 virus

2. Once installed, open the program and go to the main Cleaner screen and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.

Antivirus PRO 2015 malware

3. Next, navigate to Tools > Startup and search through each tab starting from windows, internet explorer, etc., all the way to Content Menu, for additional suspicious entries. If you find any thing suspicious click it and click the Delete button to remove it.

4. Finally, go to the Registry window and click the Scan for Issues button. When the scan is complete click the Fix selected issues… button and click Fix All Selected Issues.

Lead Editor

Sean is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. He is featured in several publications.

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