Virus is a browser hijacking application that users may download and install on their computer along with some other free and attractive software. Typically,, and similar ad-generating components may attach to the main Internet browser (be that Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or another one) and start an aggressive ad-generation and page-redirection campaign without asking for approval. 1024x594

As soon as you have this type of software in your browser, it may totally change the settings that you have had before and may set a new default homepage and search engine that are related with some sponsored third-party sites that you have never seen before. Due to this, such types of software components are often regarded as potentially unwanted.

If you are reading this article, there is a good chance that you already have a Browser Hijacker installed on your computer, more specifically, one that was recently installed and has probably altered the homepage to This hijacker may also show a steady stream of advertisements, pop-ups, banners, and other promotional materials that have nothing to do with the page you are now viewing, as well as automatically reroute your online searches to certain third-party websites. Due to this, some online users have been referring to as a source of browsing irritation, with some even going so far as to label it a virus.

The hijacker, according to our specialists, is neither a virus nor malware and has nothing in common with real computer threats such as ransomware or Trojan horses. In its most basic form, a browser hijackers like and iStart Search Bar are marketing tools that adjusts the settings of your browsers with the objective of promoting certain goods, services, and sites on the screen while you are surfing the web. Nonetheless, despite the fact that such software is not harmful, there are a variety of reasons why it is strongly recommended that you remove it and uninstall its changes as soon as possible.


Type Browser Hijacker
Detection Tool

Please follow all the steps below in order to remove!

How to remove

  1. First, click the Start Menu on your Windows PC.
  2. Type Programs and Settings in the Start Menu, click the first item, and find in the programs list that would show up.
  3. Select from the list and click on Uninstall.
  4. Follow the steps in the removal wizard.

What we suggest you do first is, check the list of programs that are presently installed on the infected device and uninstall any rogue software that you find there:

  • From the Start Menu, navigate to Control Panel ->>> Programs and Features ->>> Uninstall a Program.
  • Next, carefully search for unfamiliar programs or programs that have been installed recently and could be related to
  • If you find any of the programs suspicious then uninstall them if they turn out to be linked to
  • If a notification appears on your screen when you try to uninstall a specific questionable program prompting you to just alter it or repair it, make sure you choose NO and complete the steps from the removal wizard.

Remove from Chrome

  1. Click on the three dots in the right upper corner
  2. Go to more tools
  3. Now select extensions
  4. Remove the extension
  • Once you open Chrome, click on the three-dots icon to open the browser’s menu, go to More Tools/ More Options, and then to Extensions.
  • Again, find the items on that page that could be linked to and/or that might be causing problems in the browser and delete them.
  • Afterwards, go to this folder: Computer > C: > Users > *Your User Account* > App Data > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data. In there, you will find a folder named Default – you should change its name to Backup Default and restart the PC.
  • Note that the App Data folder is normally hidden so you’d have to first make the hidden files and folders on your PC visible before you can access it.

How to get rid of on FF/Edge/etc.

  1. Open the browser and select the menu icon.
  2. From the menu, click on the Add-ons button.
  3. Look for the extension
  4. Get rid of by removing it from extensions

If using Firefox:

  • Open Firefox
  • Select the three parallel lines menu and go to Add-ons.
  • Find the unwanted add-on and delete it from the browser – if there is more than one unwanted extension, remove all of them.
  • Go to the browser menu again, select Options, and then click on Home from the sidebar to the left.
  • Check the current addresses for the browser’s homepage and new-tab page and change them if they are currently set to address(es) you don’t know or trust.

If using MS Edge/IE:

  • Start Edge
  • Select the browser menu and go to Extensions.
  • Find and uninstall any Edge extensions that look undesirable and unwanted.
  • Select Settings from the browser menu and click on Appearance.
  • Check the new-tab page address of the browser and if it has been modified by “” or another unwanted app, change it to an address that you’d want to be the browser’s new-tab page.

How to Delete

  1. Open task manager
  2. Look for the process
  3. Select it and click on End task
  4. Open the file location to delete
  • Access the Task Manager by pressing together the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys and then selecting Task Manager.
  • Open Processes and there try to find a process with the name of the unwanted software. If you find it, select it with the right button of the mouse and click on the Open File Location option.
  • If you don’t see a “” process in the Task Manager, look for another suspicious process with an unusual name. It is likely that the unwanted process would be using lots of RAM and CPU so pay attention to the number of resources each process is using.
  • Tip: If you think you have singled out the unwanted process but are not sure, it’s always a good idea to search for information about it on the Internet – this should give you a general idea if the process is a legitimate one from a regular program or from your OS or if it is indeed likely linked to the adware.
  • If you find another suspicious process, open its File Location too.
  • Once in the File Location folder for the suspicious process, start testing all of the files that are stored there by dragging them to our free online scanner available below.
  • Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
    This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users.
    This file is not matched with any known malware in the database. You can either do a full real-time scan of the file or skip it to upload a new file. Doing a full scan with 64 antivirus programs can take up to 3-4 minutes per file.
    Drag and Drop File Here To Scan
    Drag and Drop File Here To Scan
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    Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
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    • If the scanner finds malware in any of the files, return to the Processes tab in the Task Manager, select the suspected process, and then select the End Process option to quit it.
    • Go back to the folder where the files of that process are located and delete all of the files that you are allowed to delete. If all files get deleted normally, exit the folder and delete that folder too. If one or more of the files showed an error message when you tried to delete them, leave them for now and return to try to delete them again once you’ve completed the rest of the guide.

    How to Uninstall

    1. Click on the home button
    2. Search for Startup Apps
    3. Look for in there
    4. Uninstall from Startup Apps by turning it off
    • Now you need to carefully search for and uninstall any entries from the Registry. The easiest way to do this is to open the Registry Editor app (type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter) and then open a Find dialog (CTRL+F key combination) where you have to type the name of the threat. 
    • Perform a search by clicking on the Find Next button and delete any detected results. Do this as many times as needed until no more results are found. 
    • After that, to ensure that there are no remaining entries lined to in the Registry, go manually to the following directories and delete them:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Random Directory. 
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run/Random
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main/Random

    Is a virus?

    For instance, even tough the intention of this Browser Hijacker may not be to steal sensitive personal data, it may lead you to sites that do. For example, the hijacker may force you to click on advertisements that may redirect you to questionable and/or fraudulent websites. It is possible that the site may display different offers of items, services and software, that may be of questionable quality. Furthermore, it is not ruled out that some of the promoted sites may be hacked and may include security risks or may be carriers of computer infections (including Trojans, Ransomware, and Spyware), in addition to being very obtrusive. Unfortunately, checking the reliability and safety of every paid ad or sponsored link is not among the objectives of apps like Their ultimate goal is to increase the amount of people who click on the displayed advertisements, leaving the potential security risks on the users. Therefore, adopting some security measures, or even better, uninstalling the ad-generating and page-redirecting software, may prevent you from coming into contact with potentially harmful web content by mistake.

    Is dangerous?

    The challenging part is that most Browser Hijackers, including, are difficult to remove completely, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process of doing so. What is more, due to their ability to edit the Windows registry, these obnoxious browser components are likely to be returned to their default configuration each time the machine is restarted, even if you have just recently restored your previous sеttings. That’s why, to deal with such software successfully, you may need to use the services of a specialized software or follow the instructions of an online removal guide. Fortunately, you will find precisely what you are looking for further down in this post. Simply follow the on-screen instructions or start a scan with the professional removal tool, and you will be able to easily uninstall the unwanted browser alterations and restore the settings of your favorite browser to their original state.

    About the author


    Lidia Howler

    Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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