This article helps with the DNS Unlocker “Virus” removal from Chrome, Firefox, IE and Android phones. If a DNS Unlocker removal tool is what you are looking for, we can help you with that as well.
DNS Unlocker removal tool is a program known to belong to the well-known adware class. It is marketed as supposedly being able to grant you access to blocked websites and digital media, free of charge. Unfortunately it does not deliver. As you can tell from its name, that’s not quite the point of adware programs, merely the pretense of their legality. This type of software is designed for all of the most popular Internet browsers (Chrome, Mozilla, Internet Explorer) and has been well documented to induce numerous advertisements in the form of pop-up windows, layers of banners and random in-text links on pages, where they normally aren’t present. We strongly advise you against clicking on any of these ads, because it is very common for them to sometimes be fake or just pose a clever ruse for the user to be tricked into clicking on the specific pop-up or link. Once this happens you will in many cases be redirected to shady websites and prompted to install different types of software under the pretense of missing “codecs”, different program updates, anti-virus programs or tools to deal with a “detected” threat. These are exactly the types of things that would have you end up in a situation where a DNS Unlocker removal is unavoidable. You can see another prime example of this type of software in our how to remove Yoursites123 instructions.
All that being said, however, please note that adware is not to be confused with a virus or other type of malware (‘malicious’ + ‘software’ = malware). It is an annoying piece of programming, but it will not directly harm your computer or the data stored on it. Specialists like to refer to these types of things as potentially unwanted programs or PUP. One of the reasons why DNS Unlocker would be potentially unwanted was described above, but there’s also another, no less important reason for you to consider ridding yourself of this parasite as quickly as you can. Adware is notorious for collecting you browsing related information, since it needs to optimize the content of the ads and make it more appealing to you. This information, which might include your geolocation, IP address, favorite sites, search queries and even personal details you’ve entered somewhere, is stored, analyzed and quite likely sold to third parties. We assume you can extrapolate the dangers of there being cyber criminals among these third parties and what that could result in, should your data land in their hands. So even though DNS unlocker is not a virus you should strive to have it removed from your machine – the sooner, the better.
In addition to these more serious ways in which the DNS Unlocker “virus”can affect you, you could also expect to experience one or more of the following symptoms related to being infected by adware:
- General slowdown of your PC;
- Various system errors;
- Possible gathering and installation of other adware.
When it comes to dealing with nuisances like the DNS Unlocker “virus”, understanding how it came to be on your PC in the first place is paramount. There are several ways this could have happened: Spam email is the first and most widely used method, but probably the least effective one. The second and by far the most lucrative one are freely distributed programs bundled with adware. These packages contain unwanted “extra content” that is firmly seated on the thin grey line between legal and illegal. You will typically find these on open-source download platforms or torrent websites. Once downloaded, a common mistake many people make (apart from not reading the EULA) is choosing the default setup settings. This is what enable the developers to stealthily include the bundled in adware, because you have technically already given your permission for that. So they end up having to deal with some DNS Unlocker removal problem. For this reason, we highly recommend choosing the advanced/custom settings for any such installation, because it will allow you to view what ‘complimentary’ programs have been included and give you the option of permitting or not permitting them to be installed as well.
An additional piece of information:
You may (or may not) encounter this Adware with a varying degree of other names, like powered by DNS, powered by DNSUnlocker, brought by DNS Unlocker, etc. The name doesn’t really matter. It’s all basically the same thing, so don’t be confused even if there are small differences. The DNS Unlocker “Virus” refers to the practice of advertisement platforms labeling their ads to increase their own renown. In reality it doesn’t mean anything. We’ve already had several people in the comments confused by this, so we wrote it down here to make matters clear.
|Type|| Adware/Browser Hijacker hybrid
|Danger Level||Medium (DNS Unlocker can lead to additional programs, potentially even malicious ones, being installed on your computer)|
|Symptoms||Small icons appearing in the ash-tray. Advertisements imposed on any browser pages. Sudden redirects to random websites.|
|Distribution Method||Bundled with various types of free software, spam email and from online adverts|
|Detection Tool||parasite may be difficult to track down. Use SpyHunter - a professional parasite scanner - to make sure you find all files related to the infection.|
DNS Unlocker Removal
Readers are interested in:
NOTE! If you are an android mobile user, follow this guide: Android Malware Removal
Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).
This was the first preparation.
UPDATE! If you are coming back in search of new information, make sure to check the updated sections below (Steps 3 and 6)
To remove parasite, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. Making a mistake and deleting the wrong thing may damage your system.
Avoid this by using SpyHunter - a professional Parasite removal tool.
- Do not skip this – DNS Unlocker may have hidden some of its files.
Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.
You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.
Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:
Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.
Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.
- Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click Properties.
- The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
- Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.
Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.
NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).
Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.
Remove DNS Unlocker from Internet Explorer:
Open IE, click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find the threat —> Disable. Go to —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.
Remove DNS Unlocker from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove DNS Unlocker from Chrome:
Close Chrome. Navigate to:
C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:
Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.
- At this point the threat is gone from Chrome, but complete the entire guide or it may reappear on a system reboot.
Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC simultaneously. Go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which ones are dangerous. Google them or ask us in the comments.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
This is the most important and difficult part. If you delete the wrong file, it may damage your system irreversibly. If you can not do this,
>> Download SpyHunter - a professional parasite scanner and remover.
Right click on each of the problematic processes separately and select Open File Location. End the process after you open the folder, then delete the directories you were sent to.
Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.
Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random
In my case I found presence of the Adware in:
I found a bunch of CinemaPluses and CrossBrowse(r) in there.
In here I found something called Iminent Toolbar and Linkey. These are both something you need to remove.
There may be others. My recommendation for practically anything in this step is to carefully review all the strings I originally mentioned one by one, and these two new ones. Anything at all that seems it may be related to DNS Unlocker – google it. See where that leads you. At least for now it has worked for me.
We received some new information for the DNS Unlocker removal procedures – a big thank you to Ricardo Lira for this. We (foolishly) did not take into account something that should have been obvious: DNS Unlocker tampers with your DNS settings. To remove it completely you have to restore these settings. We will show you how to do this here (again, taken from Ricardo Lira‘s comment, and edited):
Type Control Panel in the Windows Search field, hit enter. From then on navigate to Network and Internet —> Network and Sharing Center —-> Change Adapter Settings.
Right-click your active internet connection and click properties. Under the Networking tab, scroll down to Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Highlight (left click) that then click on properties. Both options in this window should be automatic! The first option should be set to “Obtain an IP address automatically” and the second should be set to “Obtain DNS server address automatically!”
I have DNS Unlocker on one of my PCs as well – and I spent the last few days trying to crack this thing. I found some of its files on my PCs temp files. You can easily access them by doing the following:
First, open your Control Panel, and click on Folder Options —> View, click Show hidden files and folder and unclick Hidden extensions for known files types. After that, click Apply.
Next, hold the Windows Key and R at the same time. Then type in the new field %temp% and hit Enter. Delete all the files in the directory you were sent to – even if they are not part of DNS Unlocker, they are only temporary files that will be deleted anyways, so better safe than sorry.
Also go in your Program Files and Program Data Folders (on both the C: and D: drives) and look around for anything resembling an Adware entry – sort the folders by date and look for ones created when the Adware first appeared.
If you believe the adware is still lurking somewhere in your browsers, as a last resort, you can navigate to your Appdata folder and delete your profile for that browser. All your settings will be gone, together with anything related to the DNS Unlocker. Also delete any other folders in Appdata that you believe were created by it.
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