What is DNS Unlocker?
The DNS Unlocker application supposedly allows users to access blocked websites, however, it is categorized as adware and a potentially unwanted program (PUP).
The developers employ a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' to distribute DNS Unlocker, and therefore, this type of app is often bundled with free software downloadable on freeware download websites.
Many users do not pay close enough attention when downloading and installing programs - cyber criminals use this oversight to their benefit and to generate revenue. DNS Unlocker infiltrates popular Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) and generates intrusive online advertisements.
Adware-type applications (including DNS Unlocker) deliver adverts using a virtual layer, which displays third party content on any websites visited.
Furthermore, some advertisements are opened in new Internet browser tabs/windows. Ads displayed by DNS Unlocker (banner, pop-up, targeted video, coupon, offers to install other software, etc.) can cause high-risk computer infections, and therefore, you should never click unrecognised/suspicious advertisements.
As with regular adware, DNS Unlocker collects various information relating to users' Internet browsing activity. Although the Privacy Policies of most adware-type applications claim to track non-personal information, your identity will not remain anonymous with this software installed.
Collected information may include Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, geographic location, browsing information (visited sites, viewed pages, search queries, browsing history, cache, web beacons, saved passwords, etc.), mouse/keyboard inputs (to record, for instance, credit card details), and so on.
This gathered information is sent to the developers' servers and then shared with third parties. There is a high probability that this collected data will be shared with cyber criminals, thereby causing serious privacy issues or even identity theft. For these reasons, adware-type applications such DNS Unlocker should be uninstalled from your system immediately.
|Name||Ads by DNS-Unlocker|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Symptoms||Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.|
|Damage||Decreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
DNS Unlocker is identical to CloudScout adware. Moreover, there are hundreds of other PUPs that share similarities with this deceptive application including PriceFountain, BaselineTV Media Manager, thirteen degrees, and Application Nation.
These PUPs offer useful features, however, they are developed simply to generate revenue by displaying ads and sharing collected data - they provide no real value to the user.
Freeware download websites (such as downloads.com, softonic.com, soft32.com, etc.) encourage users to use small download programs (called 'installers', 'download managers', 'download tools', 'download clients', and so on) to download the chosen software.
Download apps supposedly ease the download process, however, they offer installation of third party applications with the chosen software. Furthermore, these promoted applications are described as 'legitimate and virus-free', and yet, most are categorized as adware or malware.
Therefore, decline all offers to install additional apps. If you have installed DNS Unlocker, read the following guide and eliminate this threat from your system.
How did DNS Unlocker install on my computer?
DNS Unlocker is distributed using the bundling method - stealth installation of third party applications with regular software. Research shows that users often skip steps of software download and installation process, making this method highly effective.
Installation of additional applications is usually hidden under the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' options, thus, skipping this step prevents users from seeing bundled software listed for installation from which they could otherwise decline.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Pay close attention and closely observe the download process of free software. Opt-out of download/installation of any unrecognised applications. In addition, after downloading software, install it using the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' options - this will reveal any concealed applications listed for installation and allow you to decline them.
Do not rush the installation process and express caution, otherwise you may inadvertently install potentially unwanted programs.
Deceptive free software installers used in DNS Unlocker adware distribution:
Screenshot of DNS Unlocker application:
DNS Unlocker adware generating intrusive online ads ('Ads by DNSUnlocker' or 'Ads by DNS-Unlocker'):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is DNS Unlocker?
- STEP 1. Uninstall DNS Unlocker application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove DNS Unlocker adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove DNS Unlocker ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 'Ads by DNS Unlocker' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove DNS Unlocker ads from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
DNS Unlocker adware removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window, look for "DNS Unlocker version 1.3", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes DNS Unlocker ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove DNS Unlocker adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, DNS Unlocker did not install its browser plug-ins on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, however, it was bundled with other adware. Therefore, you are advised to remove all potentially unwanted browser add-ons from your Internet browsers.
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by dns-unlocker, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by dns-unlocker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with ads by dns-unlocker removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by dns-unlocker, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
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