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Removal instructions for the Baseball Start browser-hijacking extension

Also Known As: nstart.online redirect
Damage level: Medium

What is Baseball Start?

While inspecting dubious software-promoting webpages, our research team discovered the Baseball Start browser extension. It promises easy access to baseball news and other related content. Our analysis of this piece of software revealed that it operates as a browser hijacker. Baseball Start modifies browsers to promote the nstart.online fake search engine.

nstart.online browser hijacker

Baseball Start browser hijacker overview

Browser hijackers reassign browsers' default search engine, homepage, and new tab/window URLs to the addresses of promoted websites. Baseball Start changes these settings to the nstart.online site. Hence, new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar - result in redirects to the nstart.online page.

Fake search engines usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to legitimate ones. During our inspection of Baseball Start, we observed nstart.online redirecting (via onlinesear.ch) to Bing (bing.com) and to nearbyme.io. However, nstart.online might land elsewhere since that can depend on various factors (e.g., geolocation, etc.).

It is noteworthy that while nearbyme.io is an illegitimate search engine, it can provide search results, but they are inaccurate and may promote untrustworthy/malicious content.

Browser-hijacking software typically uses persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent browser recovery, and Baseball Start is not an exception.

Furthermore, Baseball Start spies on users' browsing activity. Information of interest may include visited URLs, viewed webpages, searched queries, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, credit card numbers, etc. The collected data can then be shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

To summarize, the presence of software like Baseball Start on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Baseball Start
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) Baseball Start
Supposed Functionality Quick access to baseball-related content
Promoted URL nstart.online
Detection Names (nstart.online) N/A (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (nstart.online) 34.216.134.119
Affected Browser Settings Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine
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.
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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Browser hijacker examples

We have analyzed thousands of browser hijackers; Weekly HitsExtension SettingsBaro box, and Internet Download Manager are just some examples. This software typically looks legitimate and offers "useful" functionalities. However, these features seldom work as promised, and in most cases - they do not work at all.

How did Baseball Start install on my computer?

We acquired Baseball Start from a dubious download webpage. In addition to such sites, browser hijackers are promoted on scam sites. Most users enter such websites via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, webpages using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware.

Browser-hijacking software is also proliferated through intrusive advertisements. Once clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permissions

Browser hijackers are proliferated using the "bundling" marketing tactic as well. In other words, this software can be packed together with regular programs. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.

How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?

We highly recommend researching software and downloading only from official/verified channels. When installing, it is essential to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out of all additions.

We advise exercising caution when browsing since deceptive and malicious material usually appears legitimate. For example, intrusive adverts look harmless yet redirect to unreliable/questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).

In case of encounters with such ads/redirects, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Baseball Start, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Permissions asked by Baseball Start browser hijacker:

Baseball Start browser hijacker asking for permissions

Website promoting Baseball Start browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Baseball Start browser hijacker

Appearance of nstart.online redirecting to the nearbyme.io fake search engine (GIF):

Baseball Start browser hijacker redirecting to nearbyme.io (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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

Baseball Start browser hijacker removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

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:

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.

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.

macOS (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.

nstart.online browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the nstart.online website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Baseball Start browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing nstart.online 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 "Baseball Start" and other recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Change your homepage:

Removing nstart.online 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, disable "Baseball Start", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.nstart.online) 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 nstart.online 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 "nstart.online", when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Delete".

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the nstart.online redirect, 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 extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing nstart.online related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate "Baseball Start", as well as all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".

Change your homepage:

Removing nstart.online 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 "Settings", in the opened window disable "Baseball Start", remove hxxp://nstart.online and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing nstart.online from Mozilla Firefox default search engine

In the URL address bar, type "about:config" and press Enter. Click "Accept the Risk and Continue".

In the search filter at the top, type: "extensionControlled". Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the Mozilla Firefox switch about:config entry button button.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with nstart.online redirect 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 Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

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

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

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

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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 Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the nstart.online redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA 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 to visit nstart.online website?

Redirects to websites like nstart.online are caused because cyber criminals (i.e., developers of browser hijackers and fake search engines) profit through them.

Is visiting nstart.online a threat to my privacy?

Most likely, yes. Since sites like nstart.online usually collect information about their visitors.

How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?

Browser hijackers are mainly spread via deceptive promotional webpages, software bundling, online scams, untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.), spam browser notifications, fake updates, and intrusive ads.

Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Baseball Start browser hijacker?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate installed browser-hijacking applications. It must be mentioned that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be ideal, especially in cases when multiple browser hijackers are present. Since after one is removed - the others might simply re-install it. Furthermore, this software may prevent access to removal-related settings. Therefore, it is paramount to eliminate browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
nstart.online redirect QR code
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