How to remove internet-start.net from the settings of a web browser
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is internet-start.net?
internet-start.net is an untrustworthy fake search engine and very similar to ciantel.com, initdex.com, defendsearch.com, and a number of others. Although it is supposedly capable of providing an enhanced browsing experience, improved search results, faster searches, and other advantages, it also collects user-system information.
Furthermore, developers promote this site through rogue apps (browser hijackers) that modify browser settings.
More about browser-hijacking apps
Rogue apps (browser hijackers) usually affect browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer. As mentioned, they modify browser settings. In this case, they assign the default search engine, new tab URL address, and homepage options to internet-start.net.
Users are thus forced to visit this website when they open a browser, new tab, or search via the URL bar. Note that rogue downloaders/installers also install unwanted browser apps called "helper objects". These reassign settings when attempts are made to change/undo them.
Therefore, the only way to avoid having to visit internet-start.net is to uninstall "helper objects". These apps and the internet-start.net fake search engine gather browsing-related information such as entered search queries, geo-locations, IP addresses, URLs of visited websites, and so on.
Unfortunately, many apps and search engines of this type often gather other, personal details. Furthermore, developers continually share all collected data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue.
|Name||internet-start.net 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). Users 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), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Shady search engines in general
Most fake search engines (even if promoted as legitimate and useful) are usually designed only to generate revenue for their developers. They provide none of the functionality promised (features, tools, enhanced browsing experience, and so on).
Avoid using fake search engines and having dubious apps installed on your system, since they might lead to problems with browsing safety, privacy, or even identity theft.
How did internet-start.net install on my computer?
internet-start.net is promoted using set-ups that hijack browsers, which change browser settings. Therefore, developers are likely to have used the "bundling" method - they hide all information about modification of browser settings in "Custom", "Advanced", and sections of the download/installation set-ups.
Furthermore, many users do not handle these procedure carefully and allow rogue installers or downloaders to change browser settings and install various unwanted applications. This careless behaviour often leads to unwanted downloads/installations and exposes systems to viruses and results in problems with privacy and so on.
How to avoid installation of unwanted applications?
Be patient when performing downloads and installations. Do not skip steps without checking all available settings and options (such as "Custom", "Advanced", and other parts). Opt-out of additionally-included software and dismiss offers to change browser settings. Only then proceed to the next step or finish the download or installation process.
Download software from official and trustworthy websites and using direct links. Avoid using third party software downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), dubious, unofficial websites, and so on. Third party downloaders are often monetized by promoting unwanted apps.
Bear in mind that most intrusive ads seem legitimate, however, they can redirect people to untrustworthy websites (such as gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.). If you experience these unwanted ads and redirects, check the list of installed plug-ins, extensions, and add-ons on the browser, and programs on the computer.
Remove any suspicious, unwanted entries immediately. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate it.
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 internet-start.net?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove internet-start.net redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove internet-start.net browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove internet-start.net homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove internet-start.net redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
internet-start.net redirect 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 unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the internet-start.net website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
internet-start.net redirect 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://internet-start.net 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 "internet-start.net".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the internet-start.net 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 and remove them.
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.internet-start.net) 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 "internet-start.net", 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 internet-start.net 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 on "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://internet-start.net 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: "internet-start.net"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with internet-start.net 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 internet-start.net 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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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users visit internet-start.net website?
Shady search engines are more profitable to their creators when the number of users/visitors is higher.
Is visiting internet-start.net a threat to my privacy?
Fake search engines can track users. They can be designed to collect browsing-related and possibly other information.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Most users download browser-hijacking apps via notifications from shady websites, deceptive advertisements, etc. Freeware installers are also used to distribute browser hijackers. Browsers get hijacked when users finish installations without changing "Custom", "Advanced", or similar settings.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove a browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will remove all browser hijackers. It is recommended to remove apps of this type with specialized software. Especially when more than one browser hijacker is added to a web browser. It can be difficult to remove multiple browser hijackers manually since they can be designed to reinstall one another.
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