How to Remove Start.me (What is Start.me?) August 2017 Update

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.


This page aims to help you remove Start.me. Our removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.

When a program like Start.me gets installed on your system, your default browser (be it Chrome, Firefox, Explorer or other) usually starts to behave strangely. Sudden page redirects, modifications in its homepage or search engine may take place without your approval and as a result, a flow of aggressively popping ads, banners and promotional messages may cover up your entire screen. This is a typical browser hijacking activity and in the next lines, we are going to tell you how exactly to deal with it. For that, we have prepared a special removal guide with exact instructions on how to uninstall Start.me and remove its changes. First, however, we would advise you to read the information that follows below, because it will give you a good idea about the typical behavioral traits of the software that you are facing and the potential issues it may cause you if you keep it on your system.

What is Start.me?

Start.me is often mistaken for a virus or some other type of a nasty online infection, similar to Trojans and Ransomware. However, we have some good news. This program has no malicious capabilities and is not among the cyber infections that can cause many problems for their victims. Judging by its behavior, this is a typical browser hijacker, which can easily hijack your Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Explorer or some other web browser. But apart from that, this software cannot cause you any major system harm, corrupt your files, steal your passwords or involve you some type of a cyber crime. These harmful activities are specialties of the real viruses and a threat from the Trojan or the Ransomware type will definitely not spare you from them.

The browser hijacker, on the other hand, is only seen as a potentially unwanted program, which is related to common browsing disturbance and some indirect risks. It is not fatal if you have software like Start.me on your system, but there are also a number of reasons why you may want to uninstall it. The most obvious could be the constant redirect to unwanted web pages. In most of the cases, such a technique is used to help these pages increase their rank or sales, so it is not surprising that they are full of commercial ads, links, banners, and similar content. It is not advisable to open them because you can never be sure how safe they are and some ads may eventually mislead you or trick you into installing some other potentially unwanted programs or even dangerous viruses on your computer. After the hijacker becomes part of the system, it may change some of the browser settings such as a cover page, a default search engine, and so on. After changing the browser configuration, this threat may begin to track the victim’s browsing habits and may collect information about the most frequently visited web pages and the data that is entered when visiting these pages. Although this activity is not considered dangerous, it could still be seen as a privacy violation and a good reason for this software to be uninstalled. 

Start.me Browser Redirect

How to Remove Start.me

If you are a Windows user, continue with the guide below.

If you are a Mac user, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you are an Android user, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.


Step1

Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

Step2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

We get asked this a lot, so we are putting it here: Removing parasite manually may take hours and damage your system in the process. If you want a fast safe solution, we recommend SpyHunter. 

>> Click to Download Spyhunter. If you don't want this software, continue with the guide below.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 

malware-start-taskbar

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/




Scan Results


Virus Scanner Result
ClamAV
AVG AV
Maldet

After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. 

Step3

Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.

appwiz

You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.

Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:

msconfig_opt

Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.

Step4

Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

hosts_opt (1)

If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.

  1. Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click  Properties.
  2. The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
  3. Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.

DNS

Step5

  • After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.

Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.

NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).

browser-hijacker-taskbar-properties

Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

ie9-10_512x512  Remove Start.me from Internet Explorer:

Open IE, click  IE GEAR —–> Manage Add-ons.

pic 3

Find the threat —> Disable. Go to IE GEAR —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

firefox-512 Remove Start.me from Firefox:

Open Firefoxclick  mozilla menu  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Start.me from Chrome:

Close Chrome. Navigate to:

 C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

Rename the Folder to Backup Default

Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.

Step6

WARNING!
To remove parasite, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. Making a mistake and deleting the wrong thing may damage your system.
Avoid this by using SpyHunter - a professional Parasite removal tool.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!

How did Start.me manage to hijack my computer?

A browser hijacker may appear in your browser after downloading free software. In most of the cases, the programs used to distribute such software are free installers, download managers, torrents, spam email attachments, PDF creation programs, and other similar applications that are available for free. Keep in mind that you should monitor the installation process of each of these programs because they may contain different components. Usually, the presence of additionally bundled applications like Start.me is indicated somewhere in the installer with a small print, so you must always choose Custom or Advanced settings to install free software and uncheck the pre-loaded bookmarks. You should know that the browser creators usually have nothing to do with this issue. In fact, the browser hijacker is hiding on your computer. To remove it, use the instructions below.

How do I remove Start.me?

First of all, you should know that removing a browser hijacker requires certain knowledge about computers and their systems. That’s why, if you are not really confident in detecting and deleting Start.me manually, it’s better to think about automatically removing the unwanted program with the help of a specialized removal tool like the one suggested below. Still, if you think you can handle manual removal of the program, here’s the guide to follow.

SUMMARY:

Name Start.me
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  Sudden page redirects, new toolbar or search engine in your browser. 
Distribution Method Spam, email attachments, ads, pop-ups, torrents, free installers and bundles. 
Detection Tool We generally recommend SpyHunter or a similar anti-malware program that is updated daily.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware detection tool is free. To remove the infection, you’ll need to purchase the full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.