The Matrixstar.net Pop Up
The Matrixstar.net pop up is a new program that many security experts classify as a browser hijacker. Since you are on this page, you’ve probably already noticed a stream of different Matrixstar.net pop up ads all over your main browser, be it Chrome, Firefox, Explorer or any other browser type.
If you have never heard about this term before, you should know that a browser hijacker is basically a program that displays various advertisements (ads, pop-ups, banners, etc.) on your screen and tends to redirect you to different sponsored pages while you browse. You may also have noticed some changes in the homepage, or in the main search engine, which you may want to remove. But don’t worry – this is not a virus even though many web users may make the mistake of calling programs like Matrixstar.net a “virus” due to their aggressive ad-generating behavior. Moreover, another confusing thing is that the above-mentioned changes oftentimes can take place without any approval from your side.
The Matrixstar.net Malware
The Matrixstar.net malware has the potential to cause some rather irritating issues, which we are going to talk about in the next lines. Therefore, it is important that you remove the Matrixstar.net malware, and remove its ads with the help of the instructions in the removal guide below.
However, the distinction between browser hijackers and viruses (e.g. Trojans, Ransomware, etc.) is that the latter are called malware (short for “malicious software”). Malware is dangerous to you, and your machine, and is typically used for the completion of Internet crimes. On the other hand, a browser hijacker like Matrixstar.net usually has no malicious tasks, and does not infect your computer in order to damage it. This, of course, does not mean that letting such software stick around is totally fine.
The Matrixstar.net Virus
The Matrixstar.net virus is a malicious browser hijacker that can establish control over the user’s browsers and use them as advertising platforms. The Matrixstar.net virus will likely not damage your PC but, through its ads, it may expose it to Trojans, Ransomware, Spyware, etc.
As we mentioned above, Matrixstar.net is not a piece of software that can pose a direct threat to your computer. Yet, in order to understand why it is advisable to uninstall Matrixstar.net, you first need to know how it works.
Typically, such software does something that remains hidden from your eyes. Apart from the obvious changes in the browser’s homepage, or the main search engine, and the constant redirects to sites full of intrusive ads, pop-up box notifications, and banners, a browser hijacker may collect valuable browsing information. This info could be related to your search queries, your browsing history, your favorite and bookmarked websites, and other “traffic data”.
What is Matrixstar.net?
Matrixstar.net is a rogue webpage that shows notification requests disguised as error messages or malware warnings to trick users into allowing automatic notifications from this page. It’s strongly recommended to avoid interacting with Matrix.net any pop-ups or else your browser may get compromised.
What’s wrong with this practice is that the creators of browser hijackers Hdvideosnet, Digital captcha (and possibly Matrixstar.net) are known for selling this useful information to third parties for profits, or for using it to produce ad content that is relevant to you. In this way, they can make money from of pay-per-click ads, and sponsored page-redirects. There is nothing illegal in such practices but, of course, there’s always a risk that this data may eventually end up in the wrong hands.
Besides, clicking on the advertisements that a program like Matrixstar.net may display may redirect you to unknown web locations. The easiest way to avoid interaction with sketchy content, and the accidental exposure to security hazards (including Ransomware or Trojans) is to remove the browser hijacker. You can do that manually or automatically, depending on which method you prefer. In the removal guide below, we cover both methods, but if you are not that tech-savvy, we do recommend that you use the suggested reliable security software to scan your system, and remove the unwanted program with its help.
Some threats reinstall themselves if you don't delete their core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to remove harmful programs for you. This may save you hours and ensure you don't harm your system by deleting the wrong files.
How to Remove Matrixstar.net
To remove Matrixstar.net, the easiest way is to check the browser (or browsers) for rogue extensions and delete said extensions.
- To start, open the system’s main browser, click on the menu icon, and then on Extensions.
- If there is a hijacker-related extension, it will probably be one that wasn’t installed by you so look for items that you don’t remember installing.
- If you think one or more of the extensions are not supposed to be there, click on their Disable and then on their Remove buttons to delete them.
- Check your other browsers (if there are any) and clean them as well to remove Matrixstar.net.
After you think you have deleted all unwanted extensions from every browser, restart the computer, and check your browsers again. If you don’t notice hijacker symptoms, there’s no need to complete the other steps. If the hijacker still seems to be there, then you should complete the rest of the guide.
As a first step, we suggest you bookmark this page to find it easier later, as you will have to exit the browser and restart the computer during the completion of the guide. Alternatively, you can use your smartphone to look at the guide while in the process of completing it.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Many hijackers get “transported” with the help of seemingly harmless and even useful programs by being added to them as an optional bonus feature that is enabled by default. It is highly likely that this is how you got Matrixstar.net and that’s why you should check what programs are installed on the computer and remove any suspicious ones to help get rid of the hijacker.
Go to the Control Panel from the Start menu and in it click on the Uninstall a Program button. In the following window, look through the listed programs installed on your PC and try to find anything added just before you first started noticing Matrixstar.net symptoms. If you notice a program that may have something to do with the hijacker, click it, click Uninstall (the button from the top), and follow the steps shown in the uninstaller. If you get asked if you’d prefer to keep any custom settings or other temporary data, decline the offer to make sure everything gets deleted during the uninstallation.
Type Task Manager in the Start Menu and open the Task Manager utility that shows up as a first result. Select Processes from the top of the window and explore the entries (processes). Look for ones that are consuming a lot of CPU and/or memory yet aren’t familiar to you and don’t seem to be related to programs that are currently open on the computer.
If you find any such suspicious processes, use Google, Bing, or another reliable search engine to find more information about the process or processes. In most cases, if the suspected process is indeed unwanted, that should come up in the search results.
If, after looking up the process, you still think that it may be linked to Matrixstar.net, right-click on it in the Task Manager and select the first option from the menu (Open File Location). When the folder opens, scan its files with the free anti-malware scanner that you will find right below – you can use the tool directly from this page!
If scanning the files revealed that one or more of them may be infected, you should go back to the process and quit it by clicking it and then clicking on End Process in the bottom-right. After that delete the folder where its files are located. If you can’t do that, delete the files that are in it (at least the ones that you are allowed to delete) and go to the next steps. Once everything else from this guide has been completed, try to delete the process location folder once more.
- Important!: If you have high levels of certainty that the suspected process is linked to Matrixstar.net, quit it even if the scanner didn’t find any malware in its files.
You must now access/enable Safe Mode on your computer. This will prevent Matrixstar.net from running any of its processes so that even if you didn’t manage to quit them in the last step, this shouldn’t affect your ability to delete the hijacker.
Copy the next line of text, open the Start Menu, and paste it in its search field:
- notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts
Click on the file that shows as the first result and look at the end of the text. If this file has been hijacked by Matrixstar.net, there will be strange IPs at the bottom (right below Localhost). However, not all IPs you may see there are necessarily from the hijacker – other programs that are legitimate may add their own rules to the Hosts file as well. Therefore, we must first see what IPs are there in your Hosts file, and then we will tell you if anything must be done about them. Send any strange IP addresses you find in the Hosts file down in the comments, and after we have a look at them, we will tell you what to do next.
Once more go to the Start Menu, type in it system configuration, and select Startup. Look at the items, searching for unfamiliar and suspicious ones and/or ones with an unknown manufacturer. Disable (uncheck) anything that looks unwanted and click on OK.
Open Start Menu, go to Control Panel > Network and Internet, and click on the Network and Sharing Center option. Next, select the name of your network (the one that’s currently being used by the computer) and then select Properties.
Look through the items listed there, find the one named Internet Protocol Version 4, select it, and go to Properties again. In the next window, click the Obtain IP address automatically option, go to Advanced > DNS and delete whatever IP addresses may be listed in there. Click OK on everything after you are done.
Type regedit in the Start Menu, select regedit.exe from the results and click Yes.
Go to Edit from the menu bar, click on Find, and type the hijacker’s name in the box. Select the Find Next button to start the search and if an item is found – delete it. You must keep searching for related items and deleting them in this way until there are none left. However, be warned that deleting a Registry item that you are not supposed to could have severe consequences for the system. Therefore, we strongly advise our readers to request our aid through the comments section if they are in doubt about a certain item from the Registry, instead of directly deleting it.
Once you take care of all found items, expand the folders from the left sidebar to find the following three directories:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Random Directory.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main
Here, look for folders/items with very long names that seem to be made out of random letters or numbers (or both). Such items usually stand out from the rest, so they should be easy to notice. Still, if you are unsure, remember our warning and tell us about your doubts in the comments down below.
Finally, to wrap this up you should once more check on your browsers (all of them, not only the main one!).
Start by right-clicking the browser icon, going to Properties > Shortcut, and taking a look at what’s written in the Target box. If the last thing you see written there is “.exe“, there’s no need to do anything here. However, if there’s anything written after that, delete it and then click on OK.
Now start that browser, open the menu (most browser’s menu icons are in the top-right corner, for opera it’s a red “O” in the top-left). From the browser menu, select Extensions (or Add-ons) and, like at the start of the guide, delete any unwanted items that you find there. To go to Extensions on Chrome, you must first select More Tools in the menu and there you will see the Extensions option in the submenu.
Next, go to the browser’s Settings/Options from the menu.
On the Settings page, look for Privacy and Security or another option with a similar name and click on it. Next, find and select the Clear browsing data button. If you are currently in the Microsoft Edge browser, the option you should be looking for is labelled Choose what to clear.
When a window with a list of selectable options shows up, put ticks on everything and only leave the box for the Passwords option unchecked. Start the data deletion by selecting Clear Data/Clear Now and wait patiently for the process to be over (do not quit the browser before it is over).
What to do if Matrixstar.net is still on the PC
If Matrixstar.net is still bothering you even after doing everything we’ve shown you in this guide, we highly recommend that you use a specialized anti-malware tool because there could be other unwanted and/or malicious software on your computer that may be allowing the hijacker to stay despite your attempts to delete it. On the current page, you will find a powerful malware-deletion tool that can help you take care of Matrixstar.net and also protect you from other unwanted software and malware in the future.