Severity scale:  
  (15/100)

Remove FreeCodecPack (Removal Guide) - updated Oct 2020

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Adware

FreeCodecPack is a questionable application that brings intrusive ads to your browser

FreeCodecPack virus

FreeCodecPack is advertised as an important and useful computer component that allows users to view various file formats for free. After closely looking into the suspicious program's functionality, security experts could quickly determine that this rogue software is adware[1] that gets delivered via software bundling. Thus, users typically do not install it willingly.

SUMMARY
Name FreeCodecPack
Type Adware
Disguised as Codec pack
Risk Medium. However, might lead to malware infiltration and data leak
Infected systems All versions of Windows OS
Distribution Bundling, unsafe websites
Elimination For quick deletion, download Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 

Soon after infiltration, the dubious application attaches itself to the browser as an add-on and creates a FreeCodecPack folder, where all the primary files are executed. This helps the app to strengthen its position in the system, modify Windows registry and deliver sponsored content via ads, pop-ups, deals, banners, coupons, redirects, etc.

This way, adware creators can boost the traffic to unknown internet sites. By doing so, both parties benefit – adware authors get pay-per-click revenue, while less-known retailers increase their sales.

However, the user, who is left in between, does not benefit at all. The victim has to deal with ads whether he/she wants it or not. Therefore, we urge users not to tolerate such behavior from adware creators and remove FreeCodecPack virus immediately. Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego can help with a swift elimination (although you can pick any other security software of your choice).

As soon as your PC gets infected with a FreeCodecPack virus, adverts are delivered directly into your Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or other browsers and typically display the following text at the corner of the ad:

  • “Powered by FreeCodecPack”
  • “Ads by FreeCodecPack”
  • “Waiting for FreeCodecPack”
  • “Connected to FreeCodecPack”, etc.

However, by far the most dangerous trait of FreeCodecPack is its redirecting tendencies. Security experts[2] warn that FreeCodecPack redirects can lead to both reliable and really suspicious third-party websites, so the best that you can do to prevent exposure to unsafe websites is to ignore each of the ads and never click on the content you got redirected to. Otherwise, you can get infected with malware or get your personal information stolen.

FreeCodecPack adware

Finally, a noteworthy fact is that FreeCodecPack installs tracking software and can monitor your browsing activities on a daily basis. Recent malware research has shown that it may engage DOM storage data,[3] web beacons, Flash cookies, HTTP cookies and other means for collecting and storing personally non-identifiable information, such as IP address, PC's location, email address, search terms, websites visited and so on.

If the developers would use such data only for improving the service that would be OK. However, it seems that developers have found a way to earn more money which is to share/sell gathered data with other third-party advertisers. All in all, we highly recommend FreeCodecPack removal if you noticed its suspicious activity.

Codec packs are not needed for playing video files

Users often download codec packs because their system cannot run certain video files correctly. Thus, they often look for solutions in third-party websites. Others might never encounter such problems and merely acquire the unwanted application with bundled software. Nevertheless, FreeCodecPack removal should be a priority of both groups of people.

If you run into problems while playing specific video files, we suggest downloading a video player that has pre-installed codecs and will handle any media file without external help. One of such players is VLC – a well-respected video player amongst many users. Once you download such player, you will never have to worry about codecs again.

FreeCodecPack unwanted programFreeCodecPack is advertised as a tool that can help to play video and audio files. However, it is an adware program in disguise.

Adware is distributed in software bundles

Users are typically careless when it comes to internet safety. After all, they never think that something unpleasant can happen to them. It can, and it will unless you take some extra precautions and protect yourself from unwanted software.

The most prominent adware and other PUP distribution method is via software bundling. These unwanted programs are included as additional components inside (mostly) third-party installers. However, even the most popular programs and its updates (like Adobe Flash) may hide optional installs.

Thus, to avoid unnecessary troubles, follow these simple tips:

  • do not rush the installation process and read the instructions carefully;
  • read through EULA and Privacy Policy;
  • when prompted, always opt for Advanced/Custom installation mode and avoid Recommended/Quick setup;
  • when you see the additional programs in Advanced settings, remove all the tick marks with add-ons, toolbars, codec packs, system optimizers and similar;

FreeCodecPack adverts

Easy ways to remove FreeCodecPack from the system

FreeCodecPack removal can be performed both manually and automatically. We have both methods covered, so pick the one that suits you best.

Automatic FreeCodecPack virus elimination is recommended for all users who are not that familiar with computer processes, and/or would like an easy and quick solution to the problem. Simply download one of the respected security programs and bring it up to date. The last step is to scan the system and let security software handle the rest.

For those who dislike additional software on their PCs, are familiar with computers and would like to remove FreeCodecPack manually, we advise checking our step-by-step guide below. Be attentive while executing this method as incorrect procedure might lead to reinfection of the virus. We must remind you that this method will also not protect you from future infections. 

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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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 FreeCodecPack, follow these steps:

Eliminate FreeCodecPack from Windows systems

If you want to uninstall FreeCodecPack form Windows OS, follow these steps:

To remove FreeCodecPack from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find entries related to FreeCodecPack (or any other recently installed suspicious program).
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Get rid of FreeCodecPack from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove FreeCodecPack from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for FreeCodecPack-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove FreeCodecPack, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to FreeCodecPack and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the FreeCodecPack-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Uninstall FreeCodecPack from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for FreeCodecPack and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete FreeCodecPack removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase FreeCodecPack from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the FreeCodecPack-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Delete FreeCodecPack from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Reset your Mozilla Firefox settings after complete PUP elimination:

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select plugins that are related to FreeCodecPack and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

In case FreeCodecPack did not get removed after following the instructions above, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox – this should complete FreeCodecPack removal.Reset Firefox 2

Remove FreeCodecPack from Google Chrome

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to FreeCodecPack by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the FreeCodecPack-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings to complete FreeCodecPack removal.Reset Chrome 2

Eliminate FreeCodecPack from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to FreeCodecPack and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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