DNS Unlocker Description and Removal Steps (Update August 2018)

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

NameDNS Unlocker
TypeAdware, PUP
Short DescriptionDNS Unlocker is promoted as an application that improves the user’s online experience.
SymptomsRuns suspicious background process – dnspalenville.exe. PC Slowdowns. Intrusive advertised content.
Distribution MethodVia freeware packages (bundling), or from its official website and shareware pages. Possible via redirects to such pages.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by DNS Unlocker


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User ExperienceJoin 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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  1. Avatarlorenzo

    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. AvatarBertaB

    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. AvatarYosef

    I have internet now, thanks.. :)

  4. AvatarAndrew

    Sorry mate, but this article does not work.

    1. AvatarBertaB (Post author)

      Dear Andrew,

      Please follow the instructions in this video:

      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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