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CastVPN virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Adware

CastVPN virus – is a potentially unwanted program that tracks your personal data

CastVPN virus
CastVPN virus is a potentially unwanted program that gets into users' PCs via software bundling

CastVPN virus is a potentially unwanted program[1] that typically gets into users' machines via software bundling, as it is not available to download from the official website. Developers of the app promise a “Fast & secure web browsing with our community free VPN” which would also allow users to enter geo-restricted content and stay anonymous while doing so. Truth to be told many users might be tempted by such functionality, as recent data breaches like Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal[2] prompted users to pay more attention to their online anonymity. Unfortunately, CastVPN software is actually an adware program which delivers a countless amount of advertisement and heavily tracks its users.

Summary
Name CastVPN
Type Adware
Distribution Software bundling
Symptoms Increased amount of ads
Affected browsers Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc.
Main dangers Excessive information tracking can lead to its leakage to unsafe parties
Elimination For quick solution use Reimage; alternatively you can check our manual instructions below

CastVPN sets up scheduled tasks and modifies Windows Registry in order to perform its activity. This is done to make the dubious app to be launched with every Windows boot. Only CastVPN removal can revert these changes, and make the computer act as normal again.

The first sign that users can notice after their PCs get infected with CastVPN virus are intrusive banners, in-text links, pop-ups, offers, deals, flashing windows and similar commercial content. Additionally, the dubious app hijacks Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari or any other browser and sets its homepage and search engine by default.

For that reason, users are forced to use CastVPN's search engine, which brings search results that are not entirely genuine. Every search query will be littered with sponsored links that appear at the top of the page, increasing the traffic to sponsored domains and artificially bloating its rankings. In the meantime, CastVPN authors gain money for every click, as pay-per-click revenue is used. Thus, the app can redirect you to potentially dangerous places on the internet, including malware-ridden sites.

Pop-up ads can spawn at random times, as well as on all websites that are visited by users. For example, domains that usually do not display advertisements might start showing ads with the following text (although most of the adverts will have no markings):

  • Ads by CastVPN;
  • Sponsored by CastVPN;
  • Powered by CastVPN
  • Brought to you by CastVPN, etc.

Intrusive ads and pop-ups might be annoying to deal with, but the most alarming feature of CastVPN virus is information tracking. Not only the adware collects anonymous data (it is quite typical behavior for a potentially unwanted program, although still might not be safe), but also focuses on personal details. The Privacy Policy states the following:

The Personal Information we collect and retain include your IP address, your name and email address, identifying documents (driver license/ID/passport), office/home address, screen name, payment and billing information or other information we may ask from time to time as will be required for the on-boarding process and services provisioning.

Furthermore, this personal data can be transferred to unknown parties in case the company undergoes a merger or goes bankrupt. Additionally, if the latter occurs, CastVPN authors have “no control over the use and transfer of your personal information.” However, by using their services, users agree to these terms automatically.

There are several ways to remove CastVPN virus from your computer. We recommend using Reimage for quick elimination and restoration of Windows Registry keys. Alternatively, you can also try our manual instructions below and get rid of CastVPN manually.

While VPN[3] is an excellent tool for secure browsing and a way to stay anonymous online, security experts recommend picking trusted VPN providers that do not track an excessive amount of data about you. 

Pay attention while installing freeware and shareware

Unfortunately, not many users know about the software bundling technique. That's why they are baffled when they see new browser extensions, toolbars, media players, PDF converters and similar programs on their computers. In reality, users give their consent to install these unwanted apps, and it happens during freeware or shareware installation.

Thus, to avoid PUPs that could potentially cause harm to your PC, you need to pay close attention to the installation procedure. First of all, make sure you do not download anything from file-sharing or torrent sites, as these sites can contain not only adware but also malware. Instead, select a trusted download source.

When installation wizard pops up, make sure you never click “Next” several times without looking. Carefully read through all instructions and, when prompted, select Advanced/Custom installation settings. Only this way you will be able to deselect all the optional installs, which would be automatically installed if you would have picked Recommended/Quick mode.

Delete CastVPN virus from your computer either manually or automatically

To stop CastVPN virus, you will have to pick the elimination method that suits you the most. There are two options available – manual and automatic. Both of them will result in CastVPN removal, although the latter will save a lot of time and can be beneficial in other ways.

If you decide to go for a quick option, you should download and install security software (some excellent choices are presented below). Anti-virus programs are an efficient way to get rid of pests that clutter your computer. Additionally, it can also restore Windows Registry automatically, so no traces of CastVPN virus are present.

If, however, you are keen to remove CastVPN manually, you should check our step-by-step guide below. While this method does not require you to install additional programs, it will not protect you from any malware or PUPs in the future. Furthermore, please do not attempt this procedure if you are confident with your computer skills.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

If you decided to select another anti-spyware, uninstall Reimage from your computer.
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Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove CastVPN virus, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase CastVPN from Windows systems

To eliminate CastVPN virus from Windows OS, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall CastVPN and related programs
    Here, look for CastVPN or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate CastVPN from Mac OS X system

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for CastVPN or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove CastVPN from Internet Explorer (IE)

Internet Explorer should be reset after PUP is deleted:

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for CastVPN and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete CastVPN removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete CastVPN virus from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, CastVPN should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall CastVPN from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select CastVPN and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete CastVPN removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of CastVPN from Google Chrome

Give Google Chrome a fresh start by resetting it the following way:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select CastVPN and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete CastVPN removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase CastVPN from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for CastVPN or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete CastVPN removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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