Startwebsearch.com Redirect

Also Known As: startwebsearch.com browser hijacker
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Startwebsearch.com redirect removal instructions

What is startwebsearch.com?

According to the developers, startwebsearch.com is a "high-quality" Internet search engine that generates improved results and, therefore, enhances the browsing experience. On initial inspection, startwebsearch.com may seem similar to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other legitimate search engines. Therefore, many users believe that startwebsearch.com is also legitimate. In fact, it is promoted via rogue download/installation set-ups that modify browser options without consent. In addition, startwebsearch.com continually gathers various information relating to users' Internet browsing activity.

startwebsearch.com browser hijacker

Rogue set-ups hijack Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, stealthily modifying the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage settings by assigning them to startwebsearch.com. Therefore, users continually encounter unwanted redirects to startwebsearch.com, significantly diminishing the web browsing experience. In addition, users are unable to revert the aforementioned changes, since set-ups install a number of third party applications and/or browser plug-ins (so-called "helper objects"). These apps and add-ons are used to reassign browser options when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, returning browser settings to their previous states becomes impossible. In addition, helper objects and startwebsearch.com continually monitor browsing activity by gathering various data that might contain personal details (for example, IP addresses, URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc.) This data is shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse personal details to generate revenue. This behavior can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you encounter unwanted redirects to startwebsearch.com, uninstall all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins immediately. Never return to this site.

There are hundreds of fake Internet search engines that have similar characteristics to startwebsearch.com (for example, tracepackagesearch.com, yokelead.com, and softsearches.com).  All of these sites claim to enhance the browsing experience by generating improved results and providing various other 'useful features' (shortcuts to popular websites, weather forecasts, currency exchange rates, etc.) By offering useful features, fake search engines attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, they are designed only to generate revenue for the developers, whilst regular users receive no value. Fake search engines cause unwanted redirects and continually record various user-system information (which is later sold to third parties).

How did startwebsearch.com install on my computer?

To promote startwebsearch.com, developers employ rogue downloaders/installers. This marketing method is called "bundling". Developers hide all details of browser modifications within the "Custom" or "Advanced" options of the download/installation processes. By rushing and skipping this section, users inadvertently grant set-ups permission to modify various options. In addition, they expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

There are two simple steps you should take to prevent this situation. Firstly, closely analyze each download/installation step using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings. Secondly, decline offers to download/install additional applications and cancel of those already included. The key to computer safety is caution.

Quick menu:

startwebsearch.com browser hijacker removal:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

startwebsearch.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently-installed suspicious applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs that cause browser redirects to the startwebsearch.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.


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startwebsearch.com browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing startwebsearch.com related Internet Explorer extensions

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Change your homepage:

Removing startwebsearch.com from Internet Explorer homepage

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://startwebsearch.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.

Change your default search engine:

Removing startwebsearch.com from Internet Explorer default search engine

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "startwebsearch".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the startwebsearch.com browser hijacker, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing startwebsearch.com related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Change your homepage:

Removing startwebsearch.com from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.startwebsearch.com) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present click on the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.

Change your default search engine:

Removing startwebsearch.com from Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list look for "startwebsearch" when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the startwebsearch.com browser hijacker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing startwebsearch.com related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove all recently-installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing startwebsearch.com from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://startwebsearch.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing startwebsearch.com from Mozilla Firefox default search engine

In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "startwebsearch.com"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with startwebsearch.com browser hijacker removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click the Open Help Menu icon, firefox help menu

Resettings Mozilla Firefox settings to default - accessing settings window

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - accessing

In the opened window, click the Reset Firefox button.

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - clicking the

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - confirming settings reset

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA browser hijacker is a type of adware that alters user's Internet browser settings by changing one's homepage and default Internet search engine to some unwanted website. Most commonly this type of adware infiltrates user's operating system through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client be sure to opt out of installing advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove startwebsearch.com browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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