Getting Rid of Startwebsearch.com (Browser Hijacker)

Jul 19th 2017 - by Fix My PC FREE in: Blog Virus Removal | 0 Comment

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Malware may reinstall itself multiple times if you don't delete its core files. This may require tracking down dozens of files in different locations.

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What is Startwebsearch.com? And how does it work?

Startwebsearch.com is a browser hijacker that looks like a typical search engine that allows you to customize its appearance. It claims to make your browsing more convenient than ever before due to its “high quality” internet search engine that claims to generate improved search results. At first glance, Startwebsearch.com may seem similar to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other legitimate search engines that some users think that this is also a legitimate search engine when in fact it’s not.

If installed, Startwebsearch.com will alter your browsers settings like the default search provider and search engine without asking your permission. This is one of the reasons why it is considered as a browser hijacker. It can also sneak its way into your computer without you noticing.
On the About section of Startwebsearch.com, it states that it delivers “search results from trusted search providers, ensuring you reliably information you’re looking for in an instant”. As of this moment, Startwebsearch.com will only redirect you to Bing when you type in any search queries or keywords. Frankly, all it ever does is to deliver you with excessive amount of ads, constant redirects to suspicious websites, installation of other third party programs and of course, monitoring your browsing activity.

How is Startwebsearch.com distributed?

The main page of Startwebsearch.com does not provide any download link which could only mean that it does not have any official distribution page and that this might be distributed on a stealth manner. This browser hijacker might suddenly show up after you install a free software. Most of the free software are often offered by free sharing sites which are bundled with other programs. Some of these programs are suspicious and are bundled with legitimate ones to make sure that they are also downloaded. To prevent this, you have to make sure to always select the Custom or Advanced option when installing freeware.

Below are the removal instructions you need to get rid of Startwebsearch.com, follow them thoroughly for successful removal.

Step 1: Open Control Panel by pressing the Windows key + R, then type in appwiz.cpl and then click OK or press Enter.

Step 2: Look for any suspicious program responsible for Startwebsearch.com and then Uninstall it.

The next step below is not recommended for you if you don’t know how to navigate the Registry Editor. Making registry changes can highly impact your computer. So it is highly advised to use PC Cleaner Pro instead to get rid of the entries that Startwebsearch.com created. So if you are not familiar with the Windows Registry skip to the advanced steps onwards.

However, if you are well-versed in making registry adjustments, then you can proceed to step 3.

Step 3: Remove Startwebsearch.com from Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.

Internet Explorer

Press Win + R to open Run.
Type in regedit and click OK.
Locate the following path:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
Look for a value named Start Page.
Right-click on it and then click Modify.
Replace http:// Startwebsearch.com I with a trusted website.
Close the Registry Editor.

Google Chrome

Hold down Win + E to open File Explorer.
Look for this path in your system: C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default
Locate the following files:
Preferences
Secure Preferences
Web Data
Right-click on each of them and choose Delete.
Close the File Explorer.

Mozilla Firefox

Hold down Win + E to open File Explorer.
Look for this path:
C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{Unique Mozilla user ID}
Look for a file named prefs.js and open it as a Notepad document.
Look for the following line:
user_pref(“browser.startup.homepage”, “http:// Startwebsearch.com”)
Replace http:// Startwebsearch.com I with a trusted website.
Press Ctrl + S to save the changes made.
Close Notepad

Follow the continued advanced steps below to ensure the removal of Startwebsearch.com:
Perform a full system scan using SpyRemover Pro.
Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot it.

After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.

To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit Enter.

Windows will now load the Safe Mode with Networking.

Press and hold both R key and Windows key.

If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.

Type in explorer http://www.fixmypcfree.com/install/spyremoverpro
A single space must be in between explorer and http. Click OK.

A dialog box will be displayed by Internet Explorer. Click Run to begin downloading SpyRemover Pro. Installation will start automatically once download is done.

Click OK to launch SpyRemover Pro.

Run SpyRemover Pro and perform a full system scan.

After all the infections are identified, click REMOVE ALL.

Register SpyRemover Pro to protect your computer from future threats.

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