THREAT REMOVAL

DNS Unlocker Ads 2016 Removal Update

STF-dns-unlocker-2016-adware-ads-main-site-page

DNS Unlocker is a very intrusive and aggressive adware program. It continues to spread and generate advertisements to this day. One of the main distribution methods is with bundled applications. The unwanted program claims to unlock geographically restricted websites while providing a faster and better experience for you. That is not true.

Your computer may experience slow-downs. Your DNS settings will be changed among others. When surfing the Internet, you will see lots of advertising content, which may be targeted. To remove DNS Unlocker and all advertising from your browsers, you should read the article to its end.

Threat Summary

NameDNS Unlocker
TypeAdware, PUP
Short DescriptionDNS Unlocker states to help users unlock geo-restricted sites and provide a better and faster experience. However, it is filled with advertisements and considered an adware and unwanted application.
SymptomsYour DNS settings get mixed up. You might see your search engine changed or in a different language. Lots of advertisements associated with DNS Unlocker can show up when browsing.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundle Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss DNS Unlocker.

DNS Unlocker – Chronological Background

In the autumn of 2014, the DNS Unlocker software made its first appearance. When it emerged and gained some popularity, people were questioning if the aggressive adverts spammed by the program are dangerous. They called it “Netflix DNS Unlocker”. Maybe they thought it was associated with Netflix or they just saw the logo on the dnsunlocker(.)com website. As Netflix and other services had their websites region locked, the DNS Unlocker tool seemed tempting for many people.

STF-dns-unlocker-2016-adware-ads-main-site-page

Soon afterward the realization of how bad the program was, arrived. Advertisements and spam were being generated like crazy, and people could not remove the software with a simple uninstallation. Forums were filled with discussions on how to remove the unwanted app and restore a computer’s settings back to normal. In 2015, the direct download button on the dnsunlocker(.)com site was removed, and later in the year, its Privacy Policy was amended. Geographically restricted sites opened up and became available in more countries.

DNS Unlocker – Distribution Methods

DNS Unlocker can be distributed alongside third-party installational setups. This adware is very intrusive and can penetrate your computer’s defenses in different ways. A bundled package or some freeware installer might be the cause for the presence of the adware on your computer system. Installations like that can add extra components for installation, by default, and you to be unaware of it. Preventing that from occurring can be done if you find some Advanced or Custom settings inside the setup, to be able to deselect components.

DNS Unlocker can be distributed with the help of websites websites of unknown origin, especially if they host redirect links. Clicking on various advertisements like banners, pop-ups or in-text ads is another way for the unwanted application to enter your computer. Other methods for the distribution of the adware may exist as well. The most common browsers that could be affected are: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Edge, Internet Explorer and Safari.

DNS Unlocker – Detailed Description

DNS Unlocker is an old, but still active platform. The software is no longer offered directly through its official domain. However, it keeps finding new users to compromise their computer devices. Being as intrusive and aggressive as before this adware program continues to thrive. In the picture below you can see one of the associated executable processes, which can hog system resources:

STF-dns-unlocker-2016-adware-ads-file-executable-task-manager

DNS Unlocker had many iterations as the last DNS Unlocker version was 1.4.

Process executables related to DNS Unlocker have versions and the names of American towns and municipalities associated with them:

On the picture below you see the the DNS Unlocker services page on its site:

STF-dns-unlocker-2016-adware-ads-services

The services displayed on the above page are now accessible from most countries, where CBS and the BBC iPlayer are ones which are definitely region restricted. So, even when the appeal of the unwanted software is diminishing, its files continue to spread in the Web space. Be wary about what you click on and download, because you might get yourself a nightmare of adware.

Ads from the unwanted program can be recognized immediately if they have one of these texts:

  • Ads by DNS Unlocker
  • Advert from DNS Unlocker
  • Powered by DNS Unlocker
  • Advertisement by DNS Unlocker
  • Ad by DNS Unlocker
  • Brought to you by DNS Unlocker

You can land on many different web pages from redirects connected to the notorious DNS Unlocker. The advertising content related to DNS Unlocker can be viewed anywhere on the Internet in the form of pop-ups, in-text links, pop-unders, banners, interstitial, transitional ads or others.

DNS Unlocker – Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy of DNS Unlocker has not been updated since May, 2015. A little ambiguous in the way it is written, the policy makes it clear that the website, services, and applications tied to DNS Unlocker collect information. Furthermore, the information is shared with third parties in some circumstances.

A screenshot of the Privacy Policy can be seen right here:

STF-dns-unlocker-2016-adware-ads-privacy-policy

Advertisements can show up in your browsers at any time.

Read the excerpt from the Policy where it explicitly says that adverts will be delivered to you:

Anonymous information may be shared with other third parties (including retailers, ad networks, advertising companies, service providers, media and other interested parties) in any of the above circumstances, as well as for the purpose of developing or delivering advertising (whether via our Services, or services of other third parties).

Information which is gathered by DNS Unlocker, according to its Privacy Policy:

  • Your geographical location
  • Your software and hardware specifications
  • Your browser type
  • Your browser version
  • Your operating system
  • Version of the operating system
  • Your language preferences

In the Policy, it is written, that any information is kept indefinitely unless a user contacts the DNS support team at their email and requests for that information to be removed.

DNS Unlocker claims that only anonymous information is collected, but that is not true, due to it has access to DNS settings. From there, your IP address can be sent to its servers and identify you. Not to mention that your physical address is also collected and knowing your location might be enough to track you. All of that information is provided to various third parties, which are not stated in the Policy and remain unknown. If you do not want your privacy being intruded and used in such a way, you should consider removing DNS Unlocker.

Remove DNS Unlocker Completely from Your PC

DNS Unlocker is very aggressive and simply deleting some of its files may not work to remove it for good. If you want to try, you can remove it from your computer manually by following the step-by-step removal guide provided below. In case the manual removal method does not get rid of DNS Unlocker and all of its files completely, then you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. A tool like that can also keep your computer more secure in the future.

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Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove DNS Unlocker from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove DNS Unlocker

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall DNS Unlocker and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by DNS Unlocker on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by DNS Unlocker there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for DNS Unlocker with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of DNS Unlocker from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall DNS Unlocker and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to DNS Unlocker:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to DNS Unlocker. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to DNS Unlocker. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove DNS Unlocker via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as DNS Unlocker. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove DNS Unlocker from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase DNS Unlocker from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall DNS Unlocker from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove DNS Unlocker from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the DNS Unlocker will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate DNS Unlocker from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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