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DNS Unlocker Description and Removal Steps

This article aims to explain to you what is the unwanted program called DNS Unlocker, show you how to remove it from your computer and stop “Ads by DNS Unlocker” from appearing.


A questionable application called DNS Unlocker is reported to be installed bundled with other programs, such as free converters, image processing software, video players, etc. It is classified by others as adware and PUP since it may have been displaying various intrusive pop-up advertisements on key places during browsing. It is advisable not to mix it with a VPN service, because while the VPN service is suitable for browsing in different countries, this software could be potentially malicious. Furthermore, similar to another PUP, DNS Unblocker, DNS Unlocker may affect the system’s overall performance.

Threat Summary

Name DNS Unlocker
Type Adware, PUP
Short Description DNS Unlocker is promoted as an application that improves the user’s online experience.
Symptoms Runs suspicious background process – dnspalenville.exe. PC Slowdowns. Intrusive advertised content.
Distribution Method Via freeware packages (bundling), or from its official website and shareware pages. Possible via redirects to such pages.
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User Experience Join our forum to see discuss DNS Unlocker.

DNS Unlocker – Update August 2018

Active campaigns continue to spread the undesired program DNS Unlocker. Various programs such as system optimizers, torrent downloading software, media players and other helper software all of which are provided for free download by third-party websites are detected to distribute the PUP in their installation setups.


More: All News About DNS Unlocker

What Are DNS Unlocker Distribution Paths?

The most often case of installing DNS Unlocker on a system is not paying enough attention when following the steps of software setups. The undesired program could be incorporated in the steps of many free apps by being masked as a free extra. And if you rush through the installation process of such apps you may unintentionally “accept” the installation of DNS Unlocker. To prevent such side effect you should always look for and choose the Advanced or Custom configuration steps presented in the installers. Once you access the information presented there you should read it carefully and decide wisely how to proceed further. In case that you find some undesired elements that are set to install try to find a way to unmark them before you proceed with the installation of the desired software.

But this is not the only way for DNS Unlocker to enter your computer. The DNS Unlocker program may also be downloaded from its own website or additional websites that advertise it as a helpful tool. However, it is less likely that the PUP landed on your system after an initiated installation.

What Does DNS Unlocker Do?

Once already located on a system, it is reported that DNS Unlocker may target all of the supported browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer). Once it ‘hijacks’ your browser, it will begin to display a lot of advertisements with the text “Ads By DNS Unlocker”, reports say. It is highly recommended to take extreme caution with those “Ads”, since there is a chance that some of the content might be fraudulent and to some extent, may even pose dangers to the PC.

DNS Unlocker

More importantly, DNS Unlocker claims to utilize the user’s domain name service adding foreign DNS addresses. The effect of this is similar to proxies and VPN services. However, do not be fooled by the flashy ads on their website. By using DNS unlocker, you may not be able to access foreign services which apparently is quite the opposite of what it promises. Except the displaying of various types of advertised content, DNS Unlocker may collect anonymous information from the user, as mentioned in their privacy policy:

dns unlocker information

As seen, DNS Unlocker may closely cooperate with third-parties. Adware apps, like this one, usually do this to profit from the pay-per-click money making schemes via generating traffic or affiliate marketing. This is the main reason why DNS Unlocker may be a dangerous program. Not only does the app cause PC slowdowns and collects anonymous info, but it also displays third party advertisements. And we all know that third-party sites may be of any origin, including the malvertising kind. The malicious third-party site types may vary:

  • Conning the user out of his personal info by fake prize claiming forms and other registration forms.
  • Trick the user into giving out his financial information and lose funds by buying a product using a fraudulent online shopping website.
  • Convince the user to call non-existent customer support numbers belonging to ghost companies charging him a lot of funds for a simple call.
  • Subscribe him to expensive SMS services that generate income by automatically sending messages from his phone.
  • Infect the computer with all types of malware, including worms that scramble data, Trojans, viruses, keyloggers and ransomware Trojans that encrypt user data to extort him for money.

The DNS Unlocker Process DNSPalenville.exe


This process is closely associated with DNS Unlocker, and experts recommend its immediate ending from the task manager. The suspicious process is detected as WS.Reputation1 when analyzed by VirusTotal.com and it is believed to be around 536 kilobytes in size. There is a possibility that this type of detection may be associated with other executable files in other adware applications. DNSPallenville.exe may collect different browsing information directly from Chrome, Firefox, Mozilla, Safari, Edge and other widely used web browsers. It also may slow down your computer and is also believed by security experts to administer advertised content in an interruptive manner and sometimes cause applications to turn into a ‘Not Responding’ state.

Some security researchers believe that the process may modify various computer settings such as change the some elements of the desktop appearance or make any associated apps such as DNS Unlocker to be difficult to uninstall. (For example, this error message: ‘You cannot uninstall this program while it is running’)

Should DNS Unlocker Be Removed?

In case this software has been installed on your PC without you realizing it, you may want to remove DNS Unlocker from your PC. If you don’t have sufficient experience in identifying such adware or just don’t have the time to deal with that, seek professional software that will automate the process. Installing advanced anti-malware program will also protect you with its active shields thus prevent any future threats from affecting your machine.

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 Stop Push Pop-ups

How to Remove DNS Unlocker from Windows.

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


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.

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.


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


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.


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 Stop Push Pop-ups

Get rid of DNS Unlocker from Mac OS X.

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

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

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

Step 2: Scan for and remove DNS Unlocker files from your Mac

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

Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for DNS Unlocker:


SpyHunter for Mac

Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups

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 Stop Push Pop-ups

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 Stop Push Pop-ups

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 Stop Push Pop-ups

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.


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 Stop Push Pop-ups

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.

Remove Push Notifications caused by DNS Unlocker from Your Browsers.

Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome

To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.


Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:

advanced settings

Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:

Content Settings

Step 4: Open “Notifications”:


Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:

Block, Edit or Remove

Remove Push Notifications on Firefox

Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.


Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":


Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”

remove push notifications firefox

Stop Push Notifications on Opera

Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings


Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.

content settings

Step 3: Open Notifications:


Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):

three dots

Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari

Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.


Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".

  1. lorenzo

    Hi, when I delete DNS Unlocker my start page is strange. Can you help me to see google when I start my Chrome? thanks

  2. BertaB

    Hi, Lorenzo,

    It seems that the problem has been caused by either DNS Unlocker or another PUP (Potentially Unwanter Program) on your computer. In order to fix it for Google Chrome, please do the following:
    1)Open Chome
    2)On the top right corner, below the X button, click on the drop-down Customize and Control menu.
    3)From there, drag your mouse over ‘More Tools’ sub menu.
    4)From it, choose Extensions
    5)Locate any suspicious extension on your computer then remove it.
    6)Now type in the address bar chrome://settings and scroll down to the bottom of the page to find a button that says ‘Reset Settings’. It should restore chrome to its initial state.

    IMPORTANT: Make sure before resetting Chrome to save your bookmarks and passwords.
    1)To save you passwords type chrome://settings.
    2)Click on ‘Manage Passwords’. Its a blue highlighted text/button under the ‘Passwords and forms’ section.
    3)You should see a list with all the passwords. Simply click on the ones you would like to copy and click on show. Copy them either on your machine or on a piece of paper.

    If you have any further questions, do not hesitate.
    Best regards,

  3. Yosef

    I have internet now, thanks.. :)

  4. Andrew

    Sorry mate, but this article does not work.

    1. BertaB (Post author)

      Dear Andrew,

      Please follow the instructions in this video:
      youtube. com/watch?v=PKYQxxyooXU

      If this does not help you, make sure you write about it in our forum and this time please be thorough as to what exactly the problem is so you can be provided proper assistance.



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