What kind of website is star-search.xyz?
Star-search.xyz is a fake search engine that shows results generated by Bing. It does not generate any unique search results. Typically, fake search engines are promoted through browser hijackers. Most apps of this type are promoted/distributed using questionable methods. We have discovered star-search.xyz while inspecting shady websites.
More about star-search.xyz
We have tested star-search.xyz and learned that it redirects to bing.com (it shows results generated by Bing). Bing is a legitimate search engine. However, fake search engines can also show results generated by untrustworthy search engines and (or) redirect show results containing links to shady pages.
Typically, browser-hijacking applications promote fake search engines by changing the web browser's settings (such as the default search engine, homepage, and new tab page). They change them to an address of a fake search engine. Moreover, apps of this type can be designed to keep their settings unchangeable as long as they are present.
|Name||star-search.xyz browser hijacker|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Accurate web search results|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Detection Names||Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the 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 browser 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.
More about fake search engines
Fake search engines (and browser hijackers) can be designed to collect entered search queries, IP addresses, and other browsing-related data. In some cases, they can access sensitive information. Thus, it is advisable not to trust fake search engines and use only legitimate ones.
How did a browser hijacker promoting install on my computer?
One of the most popular ways to distribute browser hijackers is to bundle them with other programs. Browsers get hijacked when those programs are installed without changing "Advanced", "Custom", or other settings (without deselecting optional installations). In other cases, apps of this type are promoted/distributed using deceptive websites, advertisements, etc.
How to avoid installation of unwanted applications?
Avoid downloading software (and files) from or through unofficial pages, file hosting pages, third-party downloaders, and similar sources. It is highly advisable to use only official pages and direct links. Also, do not click on ads appearing on shady websites.
Deselect unwanted applications (e.g., browser hijackers) before downloading and installing programs. It can be achieved by using the settings provided in downloaders and installers. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate it.
Star-search.xyz redirects to bing.com (GIF):
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 star-search.xyz?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove star-search.xyz browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove star-search.xyz homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove star-search.xyz redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
star-search.xyz 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 the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the star-search.xyz website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
star-search.xyz redirect removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
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.star-search.xyz) 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:
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 "star-search.xyz" 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 star-search.xyz 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 plugins 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://star-search.xyz 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: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with star-search.xyz 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 star-search.xyz 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.
Post a comment:
If you have additional information on star-search.xyz browser hijacker or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users visit star-search.xyz website?
The creators of this fake search engine aim to make it more visitable to generate more revenue. Their revenue depends on the count of visitors/users.
Is visiting star-search.xyz a threat to my privacy?
This website can be a threat to privacy if designed to gather information about its visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Most browser hijackers are promoted/distributed using browser notifications, intrusive advertisements, and similar methods or through installers for other programs. Either way, most users install apps of this type unintentionally.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove a browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and remove all browser hijackers (even if more than one of them is present). It can be difficult to remove multiple browser hijackers manually since they can reinstall one another.