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Remove (Removal Instructions) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser Hijackers is a news site that tries to push a VPN app Freegate to Chinese-speaking users is a site that pushes a potentially unwanted program - Freegate VPN - to Chinese users is a Chinese website that specializes in various news stories and promotes the Freegate VPN service app. Due to heavy censoring policies practiced by the Chinese government, people cannot access the world wide web as most of the others. Instead, they are presented with a Chinese version of social networks, Google, and other services most are used to in the West.

For that reason, many Chinese citizens resort to using a VPN service that modifies DNS[1] settings in order to bypass restrictions set in China. is one of the websites that offers a solution and prompts users to download Freegate VPN by Dynamic Internet Technology, Inc. However, the service is simply not as trustworthy, as it is known to hijack Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, Safari, or another browser, redirect users to and other websites, as well as make users visit phishing, scam or otherwise-dangerous sites.

Those who try to access directly will be simply presented with an automatic download “phome.gz,” which is an archive file of unknown contents – do not open the file as it might install malware like rootkit or ransomware on your device.

Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program (the offered Freegate VPN is more of an adware app)
Associated download  Upon entering the site, users might encounter an automatic download prompt “phome.gz” – do not open it as it might be infected with malware
Other files,, Freegate.exe, FreegateX.exe, DynaPass.exe
Installation  Users might install browser hijackers willingly or unintentionally when installing freeware from third-party sites. Additionally, they might get tricked by fake updates
Associated risks  Installation of other potentially unwanted programs or malware, sensitive data leak to unknown parties or cybercriminals, monetary loss due to exposure to scam sites, etc. 
Termination To uninstall the browser hijacker, follow our manual removal guide below. Alternatively, you can also scan your computer with anti-malware software
Recovery After you get rid of the hijacker, various system settings might still be altered or certain system files damaged. To fix any issues that might arise after a computer infection, scan it with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

If you installed the app offered by, you might start experiencing intrusive web browser behavior, and your web browsing sessions will be traced by the implanted cookies and other tracking technologies. The following data is typically traced by browser hijackers:

  • Websites visited;
  • Links clicked;
  • Bookmarks added;
  • IP address;
  • ISP;
  • Technical data of the device (OS version, installed browsers and apps, etc.).

This information is usually collected by the virus in order to present you with targeted advertisements.[2] The served ads are then more likely to lure you into clicking on commercial content, and each click provides the developer's profits. However, keep in mind that these links and ads might not be secure and bring you to scam sites where you might be tricked into installing malicious software or entering your personal information that might be stolen by cybercriminals.

To remove redirects, ads, pop-ups, deals, banners, offers, and other unwanted activity, you will have to uninstall Freegate VPN application from your computer. Besides, it is also worth noting that you should reset all the installed browsers and scan your machine with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego for best results, as it can fix virus damage done and restore normal computer functions without you having to reinstall your operating system after the infection. hijacker is a browser hijacker that might deliver intrusive advertisements and change web browser settings without permission

Freedom of speech and the ability to view various websites online should be a right. Unfortunately, Chinese people are not provided these rights, and there is no wonder that many turns to services like VPN that change the proxy and DNS settings to bypass the restrictions set by the government. However, application is not the right choice, as it might be used to track users instead of helping them. Besides, the annoying commercial content, as well as intrusive ads, will not let users perform regular web browsing activities. removal should also be performed because it is known that the site might be offering a corrupted version of the VPN, which can bring Tearspear and Rapidstealer Trojans on your device. These malware apps can steal personal and sensitive information from your machine and expose it to cybercriminals.

Stay away from unsafe applications by being attentive when browsing the internet

In some cases, users are offered applications that might seem useful: video converters, system optimizers, file converters, video players, etc. While some of these programs might be great additions to users' computers and help them perform tasks they want to achieve easier, others might not only fail to provide what was promised but also expose users to intrusive commercial content, change web browser settings without permission, and even install other unwanted apps without permission. What makes matters worse is that there are millions of apps offered on various sites. So, how do you determine is the app is good or bad?

There are many factors that users should be paying attention to. Security experts[3] provide the following guidelines:

  • If possible, download programs from official websites (Chrome store, Amazon, etc.);
  • Before downloading an app from an external source, read up on it online (forums, blog posts, etc.);
  • During the installation, always opt for Advanced/Custom settings instead of Recommended/Quick ones;
  • Make sure the app provides vital documents like Terms of Service and Privacy Policy;
  • Beware of software bundling tricks: pre-ticked boxes, fine print text, misleading button placements, deceptive deals/offers, etc.;
  • Install reputable anti-malware that will most likely stop most of the potentially dangerous apps before they manage to get in. Freegate VPN advertises the VPN as a tool that can help fight Chinese government censorship. However, the app is unsafe, as it is used to show users intrusive ads and the installer might be infected with a Trojan

Get rid of ads by uninstalling Freegate VPN from your computer

You can either remove hijack either manually or automatically. Manual elimination should usually not be too complicated – all you have to do is access the list of the installed programs and uninstall the Freegate VPN app. However, as we previously mentioned, might promote a malicious version of the program. Therefore, the machine might also be infected with Trojans that secretly record sensitive information and send it to remote servers controlled by malicious actors.

For that reason, automatic removal is recommended – simply download and install a reputable anti-malware program and run a full system scan. This way, you will be able to eliminate not only browser hijackers/potentially unwanted programs but also more sinister infections like Trojans. Finally, a full browser reset is recommended – you can also find all the details about the process below.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Reimage Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove, follow these steps:

Uninstall from Windows systems

To eliminate the unwanted application on Windows, 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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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'
  5. Remove from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete '' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Delete 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 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'

Remove from Internet Explorer (IE)

  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 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 removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Eliminate 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, should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Get rid of from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Do not forget to reset Mozilla Firefox after you remove virus from your machine

  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 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. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. 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'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase from Google Chrome

  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 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. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. 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
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall 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 or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. 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...'
  6. 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 removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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