What is 12startpage.com?
12startpage.com is presented as a "high-quality" Internet search engine that significantly enhances users' Internet browsing experience by generating improved search results and providing other 'useful features' (e.g., weather forecasts, quick access to popular sites, etc.).
These claims often trick users into believing that 12startpage.com is legitimate, however, this site is promoted using rogue downloaders/installers that modify web browser options without permission. Furthermore, 12startpage.com continually tracks various information relating to Internet browsing activity.
Rogue set-ups hijack Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, stealthily modifying the new tab URL, homepage, and default search engine options by assigning them to 12startpage.com.
In addition, set-ups install a number of "helper objects" (potentially unwanted programs [PUPs] and/or browser plug-ins) used to prevent users from reverting the aforementioned changes. They reassign browser options when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, returning browsers to their previous states becomes impossible.
Essentially users are forced to visit 12startpage.com when they open a new browser tab URL or simply search via the URL bar. These redirects significantly diminish users' Internet browsing experience. Another downside is information tracking. Be aware that this website (and "helper objects") gather various information.
There is a high probability that collected data will include personal details that developers to sell to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) and, thus, information tracking can result in serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you encounter redirects to 12startpage.com, uninstall all suspicious applications/browser extensions and never return to this website.
|Name||12startpage.com browser hijacker|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser(s) settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). User's are forced to visit hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
12startpage.com is virtually identical to ewoss.com, combo-search.com, hdmoviesearch.com, and dozens of other fake search engines. All claim to enhance the web browsing experience, however, these promises are merely attempts to trick users into believing that these sites are legitimate and useful.
In fact, websites such as 12startpage.com are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. They typically deliver no real value for regular users. Fake search engines cause unwanted redirects and gather various information.
Furthermore, they might generate fake search results and/or intrusive advertisements. In most cases, the ads and results lead to dubious websites, and the ads can run scripts that download/install malware. Therefore, using a fake Internet search engine is very risky.
How did 12startpage.com install on my computer?
As mentioned above, criminals promote 12startpage.com using browser-hijacking download/installation set-ups. This deceptive marketing method is called "bundling". Developers hide all details of browser modifications within various sections (typically "Custom/Advanced" settings) of the download/installation processes.
Many users rush these procedures and skip steps. In doing so, they grant set-ups permission to modify various options, expose their systems to risk of infection, and compromise their privacy.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Potentially unwanted programs (e.g., "helper objects") are also distributed using the "bundling" method, and the aforementioned intrusive ads. Therefore, be cautious when browsing the Internet, and downloading/installing software. Criminals invest many resources when designing intrusive ads.
Therefore, most look legitimate, however, these ads are notable for their redirects - most lead to gambling, survey, pornography, and other dubious/rogue websites.
If you experience such redirects, eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins (ads are commonly delivered by adware-type programs). Furthermore, select "Custom/Advanced" options, analyze each download/installation step, and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. The key to computer safety is caution.
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is 12startpage.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall 12startpage.com application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove 12startpage.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove 12startpage.com browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 12startpage.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove 12startpage.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
12startpage.com browser hijacker removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
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.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
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.
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 12startpage.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
12startpage.com browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" 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:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://12startpage.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:
Click the "gear" 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 "12startpage.com".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the 12startpage.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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the 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 (for example, "Your Personal StartPage - 12StartPage.com"), select these entries and click the trash can icon.
Change your homepage:
Click the 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.12startpage.com) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the 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 "12startpage.com", and when located, click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the 12startpage.com browser hijacker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the 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.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions" and remove all recently-installed browser plug-ins.
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://12startpage.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your 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: "12startpage.com"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with 12startpage.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, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
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.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the 12startpage.com browser hijacker, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
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