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Remove HidenGate (Free Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Adware

HidenGate is an adware which should supposedly provide VPN services for secure networking

HidenGate image

HidenGate is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) which is advertised as a Virtual Private Network (VPN)[1] tool on its official website. Even though this program should ensure your network's anonymity, experts categorize it as an adware program which delivers intrusive ads rather than fulfills developers' promises. HidenGate can stealthily enter the system via bundled software and generate less than reliable pop-ups or banners which deteriorates your browsing experience.

Name HidenGate
Type Adware
Advertised as VPN service
Symptoms Pushes e-commerce content during regular browsing sessions
Distribution Comes as an additional component bundled with freeware or can be downloaded from the official website
Elimination You can get Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to get rid of HidenGate and other PUPs

At first, HidenGate adware might not start its annoying activity. Although, it is programmed to monitor users browsing activity and collect necessary information to customize controversial ads. Usually, the gathered data is non-personally identifiable and includes the following details:

  • Geolocation;
  • IP address;
  • ISP[2];
  • Browser history;
  • Etc.

However, experts note that people might include sensitive information about themselves when performing online searches (e.g., Email address). Likewise, once HidenGate program accesses browser history, it also might receive personally identifiable information along with other details and lead to privacy-related issues. 

The recorded data helps developers of HidenGate adware to understand its users' preferences and show ads corresponding to them. As a result, the user is more likely to click on HidenGate ads and generate pay-per-click revenue for the contrivers. Unfortunately, not all e-commerce content is malware-free. 

HidenGate illustrationHidenGate adware is a potentially unwanted program which is distributed via bundling technique.

Therefore, we suggest being vigilant and avoid clicking on any advertisements online. Some ads might include malicious scripts which are activated once clicked and start automatic malware installation. The best option would be to remove HidenGate from your computer for security purposes. 

Note that even though HidenGate virus is merely a non-accurate term used online, this potentially unwanted program performs browser modifications which allow the program to remain persistent and make HidenGate removal more complicated. 

If you want to get rid of the adware easily, you should install a professional antivirus to uninstall HidenGate automatically. For that, our top choice is Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. Although, any similar security tools are eligible for PUPs' eliminations as well. 

Ways to protect against ad-supported programs

Researchers warn that the most common way how adware programs sneak into the system is related to improper installation of third-party software. In other terms, PUPs are bundled with free software and come as optional components during the installation process. Note that the extra elements are pre-selected. Thus, users might unconsciously let adware inside their PCs.

Luckily, there is an easy step-by-step guide explaining how to protect against ad-supported programs and other PUPs:

  1. Download software only from verified websites;
  2. Do not skip EULA, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy documents;
  3. Reject Quick/Recommended mode and prefer Advanced/Custom settings;
  4. Identify optional components during the installation steps and opt them out;
  5. Run an entire system scan with a security tool for an extra layer of protection.

Experts suggest to uninstall HidenGate 

Even though adware-type programs are not malicious themselves, they can lead to serious dangers. Likewise, researchers[3] say that users should remove HidenGate and similar programs to protect their computers from further damage. Additionally, it would significantly improve your browsing experience as the never-ending ads would be eliminated as well. 

There are two ways to complete HidenGate removal successfully — manual and automatic termination of the adware. The fastest way to uninstall HidenGate is running a full system scan with a professional security software. The list of best ones is presented below. 

Although, if you have time and necessary IT knowledge you can try to get rid of HidenGate by following the manual elimination guidelines below. They will present step-by-step instructions on how to clean your system from PUPs and reset the affected browsers. 

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 HidenGate, follow these steps:

Eliminate HidenGate from Windows systems

If the adware attacks your Windows OS, you should first eliminate all suspicious programs as shown below.

To remove HidenGate 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 HidenGate (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.

Erase HidenGate from Mac OS X system

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

Remove HidenGate from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for HidenGate-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 HidenGate, 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 HidenGate and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the HidenGate-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove HidenGate from Internet Explorer (IE)

Adware programs might be eliminated from IE by deleting bogus plug-ins and extensions.

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 HidenGate 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 HidenGate removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of HidenGate 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 HidenGate-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

Uninstall HidenGate from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

All modifications performed on Mozilla can be reversed by getting rid of suspicious add-ons.

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 HidenGate 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 HidenGate 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 HidenGate removal.Reset Firefox 2

Delete HidenGate 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 HidenGate 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 HidenGate-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 HidenGate removal.Reset Chrome 2

Eliminate HidenGate 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 HidenGate 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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

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

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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