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HidenGate. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Adware

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

HidenGate image
HidenGate is an ad-supported program which should provide VPN services.

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 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. 

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. 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 can remove HidenGate automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete 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.
Press mentions on Reimage
Alternate Software
Malwarebytes
Alternate Software
Malwarebytes

To remove HidenGate, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate HidenGate from Windows systems

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

  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 HidenGate and related programs
    Here, look for HidenGate 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

Erase HidenGate 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 HidenGate 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 HidenGate from Internet Explorer (IE)

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

  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 HidenGate 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 HidenGate 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

Get rid of HidenGate 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, HidenGate should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall HidenGate from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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

  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 HidenGate 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 HidenGate removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete HidenGate 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 HidenGate 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 HidenGate removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate HidenGate 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 HidenGate 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 HidenGate removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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