DNS Unlocker Ads “Virus” – How to Remove It (Update 2018)

DNS Unlocker Ads “Virus” – How to Remove It (Update 2018)

This article has been created in order to help explain what is the DNS Unlocker adware and how to remove DNS Unlocker pop-ups, banners and redirects from your computer.

It seems as the nasty software, called DNS Unlocker which came out back during the autumn of 2014 has come back to haunt us. The program claims to enable the users who installed it to access the Netflix movie-watching service online so that they can watch their favorite TV shows and other series online from areas from which they cannot typically access the service. Once installed, the DNS Unlocker “virus” is granted as an administrator to modify the DNS (domain name service) settings on your computer under the pretext that it will enable you to access geo-restricted websites, whereas in reality, the software connects to remote hosts and begins advertising an array of third-party websites. Since those advertisements may slow down your computer and lead you to potentially unsafe websites, it is strongly recommended to remove this nasty ad-supported software immediately from your PC, information for which you can find if you read the following article.

Threat Summary

NameDNS Unlocker
Short DescriptionPretends to be a legitimate program, providing access to restricted sites, but advertises unwanted websites instead..
SymptomsYou may be redirected to web pages with online surveys or other third-party sites, which may slow down your PC or infect it with malware.
Distribution MethodBundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by DNS Unlocker


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss DNS Unlocker.

DNS Unlocker – How Did I Get It

The main method which DNS Unlocker uses is to “hitchhike” the software setups of third-party programs that are offered for free. These programs may be older versions of often used apps, like media players, screen recorders, converters, drivers and many other types of free programs you download for your daily needs. Some software-providing sites aim to spread those programs via installers which they modify in order to advertise other third-party programs “as free extras”. This is not against the law and it is called bundling. However, these sites also bundled programs that may be unwanted on your computer because they are generally unsafe and may lead to more problems, just like the case of DNS Unlocker.

And it is not easy to find DNS Unlocker’s installation prompt either. The program’s install step may often reside in the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation mode of the setup pretending to be one of those free extras, similar to what the image below shows:

Since DNS Unlocker can be found very difficult on your computer, in order to protect yourself in the future against bundled programs, like itself it is often recommended to check the software license agreements for shady prompts to install third-party software, using free programs, like EULAlyzer, or carefully go through the installation steps.

DNS Unlocker – Complete Analysis

Once DNS Unlocker has been added to your computer, the adware may act as a legitimate program, thus preventing conventional antivirus programs from blocking the files it drops on your PC. The files which are initially dropped are located in the %Program Files% directory, in a folder, called DNS Unlocker. Their names are often changed, but the main support files are named as the following:

Once it has been recognized by your computer as a legitimate program, DNS Unlocker begins to modify your PC, by creating different registry entries, reported by Symantec(http://symantec.com/) to be the following:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ {alpha-numerical-value-here}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\Dhcp\Parameters\”{alpha-numerical-value-here}” = {Hexidecimal Value}

After it has dropped it’s files on your computer, the program alters your DNS address in the network configuration settings of your active network adapter with it’s own IP addresses, reported by researchers at Bleeping Computer to be the following:


Once DNS Unlocker has done this, it becomes very difficult for users to remove the program, because even after you make sure to get rid of the program, your DNS settings may still remain changed and the virus uses them to connect to those remote hosts and display the following types of ads directly on your desktop:

  • Pop-ups.
  • Browser Redirections.
  • Ad-supported search results.
  • Banners on the websites you visit.

The advertisements often appear with the brand “Ad by DNS Unlocker” or “Ads by DNS Unlocker” or simply “DNS Unlocker Ad”. They often advertise retailers with low reputation:

These advertisements often tend to lead victims to third-party websites, the main risk associated with which may not be that they may offer higher prices than your average online retailer. Some of those sites tend to be completely fake and may make you conduct a payment or simply may use cookies and other tracking technologies to gather financial information from your computer system. Such are often:

  • Cookies.
  • Pixels.
  • Tags.
  • Geo-Locators.
  • LSOs.

These can be used to collect different type of information from your computer, like the following:

  • Your web browsing history.
  • Online clicks.
  • What you have searched for online.

This data may be used by DNS Unlocker’s creators for different purposes and as their website claims, it can be shared with third-parties:

Since the websites to which the advertisements shown by DNS Unlocker can lead you to may be unsafe, it is strongly recommended to remove this indirect threat from your computer immediately.

How Do I Remove the DNS Unlocker Adware Fully

A conventional deletion of this program may not work for you and may not be able to delete DNS Unlocker or change your DNS setttings. This is why, what we urge you is to take more advanced steps towards a permanent solution of this problem. Such is to follow the manual or the automatic removal instructions underneath this article. If you lack the experience in manually removing unwanted programs and the objects related to them, like DNS Unlocker, we recommend you to automatically scan for and delete all of the objects changed by this program, preferably by using an advanced anti-malware software. Such tool has the capability to fully eradicate DNS Unocker from your PC and make sure that your computer stays safe in the future as well.

In addition to the instructions underneath you will need to revert your DNS settings after removing DNS Unlocker. This can happen if you follow the after mentioned steps:

Step 1: Open Control Panel.
Step 2: Go to Network and Internet.
Step 3: Under Network Sharing, click on “View Network Status and Tasks”.
Step 4: Click on the “Change Adapter Settings” in the top left of your screen.
Step 5: Right-click on your Wi-Fi network and then click Properties.
Step 6: Go to Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or if you have IPV6 to the version 6 one. Mark it with your mouse and then click on Properties underneath it.
Step 7: On DNS Address, click on “Obtain DNS server address automatically”.

Step 8: Follow the removal instructions below or the instructions in this video to fully delete DNS Unlocker and make sure it doesn’t come back.


Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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