This page aims to help you remove the StartFenster Virus. These StartFenster removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.
You are interested in our article because the program we are discussing here – StartFenster, has apparently caused some changes in your browser. You have probably found out your computer had been infected when you experienced the main symptoms which include the appearance of plenty of online pop-up, banner or tab ads, the replacement of your default search engine and browser homepage or unusual redirection to certain online locations, every time you try to use your browser, no matter whether it is Chrome, Firefox or another popular one.
In terms of its nature, experts classify StartFenster as a browser hijacker. Hijackers are exactly the type of software that could be responsible for the different behavior of all of your browsers, as they affect them in the aforementioned way.
Browser hijackers are not particularly harmful to your computer, though. They can only alter the usual settings of your browsers. They might annoy you with the number and the intensity of the displayed various advertisements, and such a production could result in a noticeable slowdown of your machine. However, no virus threats can be found in StartFenster’s typical behavior. Nor can this hijacker produce copies of itself, destroy any data on your PC or steal any account or banking details. It is also not able to lock up your files, as typical viruses like the Ransomware-based ones do. StartFenster could simply advertise newly-developed homepages or send you to places that are new and need to be promoted, but no hazardous effect usually come from this.
The StartFenster Virus
StartFenster is a browser add-on that hijacks the settings of commonly used browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge and installs some ad-generating components in them. Thr StartFenster Virus optimizes the browser for online advertising by replacing the main search engine and the homepage URL with commercial-filled ones.
Still, some users may be concerned about the legal point of StartFenster’s nature. Actually, displaying pop-ups, boxes and other ads is NOT forbidden by any national or international law. The pay-per-click marketing applies to almost all hijackers, as this method ensures that the developers who distribute StartFenster and other ad-generating software will be paid for doing so on the basis of the number of ads you see and the ones you open. In fact, this is an excellent money-making strategy. For such money-earning purposes, many programmers include browser hijackers and Adware in the software mixtures they create. These program packages are known as bundles and contain many diverse programs. Most importantly, you can download them for free, which helps for spreading StartFenster, as users could be very much tempted to check what kind of programs such bundles contain and some might even find it necessary to use a program from such a mixture. Of course, this is not the only efficient distribution method that browser hijackers use. Other ones could be torrents and shareware, as well as movie or video-streaming web pages; spam letters and their corresponding attachments or even documents and visiting contagious websites. However, when it comes to the infection process, downloading a bundle is not the only condition. The following paragraph focuses on the actual contamination process.
Why does the installation process always matter?
The actual infection process, in case you have caught StartFenster from a bundle, occurs only after you have allowed the program to proceed. However, you may have done that unknowingly as it usually happens. Everything depends on the feature you choose from the installer. Many people just prefer to go with the flow and select the easiest existing method by using the Default option. This is the most serious mistake you can make when it comes to cyber security, by doing that you will almost always end up catching something, either ad-displaying programs or serious threats like Trojans and Ransomware. The only sensible choice you can make while installing any program on your PC is to choose the Custom feature of the wizard and to carefully read all the agreements and licenses. Doing that will almost certainly ensure your cyber safety.
Additional advice on prevention
Of course, we can list some useful prevention tips here, which include maintaining your anti-virus program in good overall condition by updating it and renewing your license. Also, it is very important that you learn to be particularly picky when it comes to browsing the web. All kinds of suspicious software, webpages and letters in your email should be avoided. Read and educate yourself about the possible threats and you will know what to do. As for removing this hijacker, we have created a set of removal instructions below. They are very useful and not difficult to follow, so you should be hijacker-free in no time.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||All your browsers are affected: pop-up ads start appearing, the homepage changes, certain redirections may occur.|
|Distribution Method||Program bundles are considered to be the most common source of browser hijackers.|
Some threats of this type reinstall themselves repeatedly if you don't delete their core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to scan for malicious programs. This may save you hours and cut down your time to about 15 minutes.
Remove StartFenster Virus
If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.
If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.
If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.
If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide
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).
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
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.
Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:
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/
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.
Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.
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:
Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.
Hold the Start Key and R – copy + paste the following and click OK:
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:
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.
- Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click Properties.
- The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
- Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.
- 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).
Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.
Remove StartFenster from Internet Explorer:
Open IE, click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find the threat —> Disable. Go to —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.
Remove StartFenster from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove StartFenster from Chrome:
Close Chrome. Navigate to:
C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:
Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.
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—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!