How to remove Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield by AnchorFree is program claiming that it helps you to secure your connection while surfing Wi-Fi hotspots and to access sites not normally available outside of the USA, to install on your PC without your consent.

However, it also hides in the installation package other free software to infiltrate your computer. Once it gets inside your PC, it will change your homepage to and search engine to Hotspot Shield Customized Web Search. 

Moreover, it may install associated extensions such as Hotspot Shield toolbar and Hotspot Shield API Server to your browsers without your knowledge. Hotspot Shield Search may display advertisements and sponsored links in your search results, and may record browsing data and collect personal information. The Hotspot Shield Toolbar is used to enhance advertising revenue and to increase a site’s page position in search results.

Hotspot Shield can be downloaded from its official website. However, in most cases, such kind of applications distributed using a misleading software marketing method called 'bundling'. This means that you may download them in a bundle with other freeware. That's why they are classified as  potentially unwanted program. To avoid unwanted installation of Hotspot Shield, you should be very attentive when downloading freeware and always choose custom installation. If you feel that Hotspot Shield is not in any way helpful, we suggest removing it from the computer.


Removing Hostspot Shield (Manual Removal*)

1.    Terminate malicious process(es) (How to End a Process With the Task Manager):

2.    Delete the original file.

•    Go to 'Start' and select 'Control Panel.
•    Click 'Uninstall a Program' under 'Programs'.
•    Choose Hotspot Shield/Hotspot Shield Toolbar and select the 'Uninstall/Change' option.
•    Click 'Yes' and 'OK' to save the changes.

Make sure you don’t have any leftovers of the program on your PC (If you only use Windows Add/Remove programs and the build-in uninstall utilities, you will find that lots of folders of Hotspot Shield still remain on your computer):

%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\HssSafeSearchWelcomePage.js (3 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\SearchProtect.js (90 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\MSPoweredByAsk.png (2 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\RRHeader_bonus.png (10 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\MSOfferPage_bonus.html (5 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\styles\HssSafeSearchWelcomePage.css (790 bytes)
%Temp%\nsf2.tmp\nsDialogs.dll (9 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\BingDSMSNHPOffer.html (7 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\BingDSMSNHPOffer.js (2 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\MSInstallBtn.png (1 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\CheckAskPage.html (1 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\UnCloseBrowsers.js (1 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\slider\img\s.png (3 bytes)
%Temp%orary Internet Files\Content.IE5\desktop.ini (67 bytes)
%Temp%\HssInstaller.exe (14336 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\ask_toolbar.bmp (1568 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\UnUninstallFiles.js (2 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\RRSubheader_bonus_FF.png (16 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\lang\Japanese.js (20 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\slider\img\s4.png (1568 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\lang\English.js (22 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\MSOfferPage.js (3 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\HssFinishPage.html (2 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\slider\img\s_icons.png (1 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\styles\HssFinishPage.css (90 bytes)
%Temp%\nsf2.tmp\psdll.dll (2712 bytes)
%Documents and Settings%\%current user%\Application Data\Hotspot Shield\report\zlib1.dll (2104 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\HssSafeSearchWelcomePage.html (6 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\MSInstallOnIE.png (3 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\bingHeaderOption1.png (4232 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\HSSSlideShowStep4.html (384 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\HssFinishPage.js (1 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\MSGradBckg.png (275 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\bingNextButtonBckg.png (1 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\styles\styles.css (2 bytes)
%Temp%\nsf2.tmp\UserInfo.dll (4 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\HSSSlideShowStep1.html (460 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\HSSSlideShowStep2.html (460 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\conduit_toolbar.bmp (31 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\slider\img\s3.png (1568 bytes)
%Temp%\nsf2.tmp\modern-header.bmp (9 bytes)
%Temp%\nsf2.tmp\ExecDos.dll (9 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\HssWelcomePage.js (5 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\styles\AskToolbar.css (482 bytes)
%Temp%orary Internet Files\Content.IE5\WOSLWBI0\desktop.ini (67 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\HSSLogo.png (2712 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\styles\HssWelcomePage.css (984 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\slider\img\s1.png (2104 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\AskToolbar.html (4 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\styles\SearchProtect.css (1 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\MSInstallOnFF.png (4 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\logo_grey.bmp (13 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\SearchProtect.html (4 bytes)
%Temp%\hssinst32.dll (11 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\styles\MS.css (2 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\RRSubheader_bonus_IE.png (16 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\RRHeader.png (11 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\bingNextButton_jpn.png (2 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\lang\Internationalization.js (8 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\RRDesc.png (20 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\bingNextButton.png (1 bytes)
%Temp%\nsf2.tmp\AfnsWBC.dll (4232 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\RRSubheader.png (11 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\slider\img\bg.jpg (13 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\styles\bing.css (2 bytes)
%Temp%\tapinstall.exe (2104 bytes)
%Documents and Settings%\%current user%\Application Data\Hotspot Shield\report\af_proxy_cmd_rep.exe (6720 bytes)
%Temp%orary Internet Files\Content.IE5\HONPCTWV\desktop.ini (67 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\HssWelcomePage.html (6 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\common.js (7 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\Toolbars.js (4 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\slider\index.html (16 bytes)
%Temp%orary Internet Files\Content.IE5\RXP0V5TV\desktop.ini (67 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\CheckAskPage.js (2 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\HSSSlideShowStep3.html (877 bytes)
%Temp%orary Internet Files\Content.IE5\5EJ4ZEZ6\desktop.ini (67 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\img\safesearch_toolbar.bmp (27 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\HSSSlideShow.html (3 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\slider\img\s2.png (25 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\MSOfferPage_bonus.js (2 bytes)
%Documents and Settings%\%current user%\Application Data\Hotspot Shield\report\af_proxy.dll (16304 bytes)
%Temp%\nsf2.tmp\System.dll (11 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\MSOfferPage.html (5 bytes)
%Temp%\nsf2.tmp\nsProcess.dll (6 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\AskToolbar.js (192 bytes)
%Temp%\nsf2.tmp\nsisos.dll (5 bytes)
%Temp%\Hotspot Shield\html\scripts\nsidefs.js (4 bytes)
%Temp%\HssInstaller.txt (51 bytes)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Search Assistant\ACMru\5603
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Wordpad\Recent File List

*Manual removal may cause unexpected system behavior and should be performed at your own risk. Before you remove any registry keys, it is highly recommended to make a backup for the whole registry list in order to avoid any potential problems. 

It is important to take note that the registry is a very important part of your PC. There is no way to restore data from here once you delete something. And if you delete an incorrect component by mistake, it may damage your OS and make it inoperative.

3.    Remove Hotspot Shield Toolbar from your browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer):

Internet Explorer:

•    Open Internet Explorer, go ‘Tools‘->”Manage Add-ons’ -> ‘Toolbars and Extensions’.
•    Here, look for Hotspot Shield Toolbar, Hotspot Shield Class, Hotspot Shield API Server and similar entries, and click 'Disable'.
•    After that, change the start page.

Mozilla Firefox:

•    Open Mozilla Firefox, go ‘Tools’ -> ‘Add-ons’ -> ‘Extensions’. 
•    Find Hotspot Shield Toolbar, Hotspot Shield Class, Hotspot Shield API Server and similar entries, and click ‘Remove’ or 'Disable'.
•    Once you do that, don't forget to change the start page. 

Google Chrome:

•    Click the Chrome menu button on the Google Chrome browser, select Tools -> Extensions.
•    Here, look for Hotspot Shield Toolbar, Hotspot Shield Class, Hotspot Shield API Server and similar unknown extensions and get rid of them by clicking on the Recycle Bin.
•    After that, change the settings of your start page.

4.    Install adaware antivirus to make sure you do not have any infections: 

•    Click here and follow the installation instructions from adaware antivirus User Guide  (‘Installation and Uninstallation’ -> ‘adaware antivirus Install’ section).
•    Perform a full scan of your PC with adaware antivirus (following adaware antivirus User guide: ‘Scanning System’ -> ‘Running a scan’ section).