How To Remove Browser Virus (“startsearch”) is a browser hijacker virus. It infiltrates the system, changes your browser settings and starts displaying unwanted homepage whenever you launch your browser. When trying to delete it or change the start page, it comes back after a while since it has its files hidden deeply in Windows.

This homepage does not provide any additional value. Instead, it is just a parasite which is designed to deceive users and earn from traffic generated by infected browsers. It imitates other search engines and new tab “speed dial” pages, however, in reality it does not have any functions. All searches are simply redirected to custom Google search page. This means that it can also collect personal data about your browsing activity. earns from displaying advertisements, affiliate links and possibly from blackhat methods like cookie stuffing and unauthorized redirects. Having a browser hijacker on your system often leads to more infections since they actively advertise other malicious browser addons, software and websites.

You should remove this unwanted adware program as soon as possible in order to prevent your machine from future infections as well as to restore a normal browsing experience and speed up your browser. We have an automatic removal tool which easily removes the threat and also protects your PC from viruses. We have also prepared a manual removal guide for experienced Windows users.

Recommended Method: Download Hijacker Removal Tool

Version:   All Updated:   2 days ago Compatible OS:   All
This is the most suitable program for automatically removing the threat and repairing your PC.
Works with: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP. Read instructions here
File name Size
mb3-setup.exe 56.5 MB

Click here to download alternative tool

What is browser hijacker?

This hijacker is very similar to other such adware. It uses the same distribution methods, the design has minimal changes when compared to others and the contact email points to address which suggests that it has been developed by the same creators based in Russia (or copies them) who have a large network of such sites.

The main purpose of this parasite program is to generate as much traffic as possible. Therefore, it infiltrates the system and hides its files in order to come back if a user tries to remove the website from his browsers. Also, a less experienced user might not notice that this website is malicious at all since it tries to imitate a legitimate search engine. However, constant advertisements and redirects to other search engines should suggest that this is not a regular browser component and should be removed.

Website statistics tools estimate that could receive close to 200 000 daily pageviews on average. This is a common number for such parasites since usually they reach similar pageviews number and then move on to creating another version of a browser hijacker in order to diversify and stay undetected. installs itself silently in the background. It uses a common software bundling technique: it is attached to another legitimate freeware and is hidden deeply in the installation wizard. When a user quickly skips through the setup steps it infiltrates the system. Though in many cases this is a legal way to distribute such software (users install it “willingly” since they accept the terms and conditions) it is definitely unethical since in most cases it ends up on the system unbeknowst to the owner.

Browser hijackers might look harmless at first sight. However, they usually lead to further infections since they aggressively advertise other malicious software. Various deceiving “recommended” addons and extensions might result in receiving other adware, scareware or even ransomware. also slows down your computer as well as the browsing process overall. Therefore, it should be removed as soon as possible.

We have an automatic removal tool listed at  the beginning of this page. We recommend using it for easier and more reliable removal results. It will also protect your PC from other viruses in the future. We have also prepared a manual guide. However, removing the threat manually only removes the symptoms and does not guarantee safety afterwards. hijacker screenshots:


 Manual Removal Instructions:

Remember to bookmark this page, print it out or simply open on another device in order to access it after a browser or computer restart which will be required during the removal process.

Some unclear removal instructions can also be found on the website (“Uninstall” link at the bottom of the page), however, this removal guide will guarantee that you completely remove any remains of the virus.

Step 1:

Remove any suspicious programs that might contain the adware.

Start by opening the Programs and Features window using the following method:

Hold Windows () key and click R key while holding.

Enter the following in the field:


Click OK.

You might have to wait a bit before the list of all programs is loaded as it displays a list of all programs installed on your PC.

We recommend sorting the programs by “Installed On” column (simply click on the column name in order to sort by this value).

Look for any recently installed suspicious programs that might contain the adware as a bundle or could be the adware itself. If you have never seen or used an app chances are that it is an unwanted software.

Here are some unwanted programs, but you might see different ones:

Search Protect
Browser Protect

Uninstall all suspicious programs by right-clicking on them and choosing Uninstall…

Repeat this process until no more suspicious programs are left.

Step 2:

Delete registry values created by this adware.

Press and hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:


Click OK.


Search for virus entries by pressing keyboard buttons CTRL + F and entering the virus domain. You need to enter the virus name depending on the version you got installed. Here is an example:

Click Find Next.

Delete any registry entries associated with the virus.

Repeat the search until all entries are cleaned.

Step 3:

Clean up Windows temporary files.

You can safely remove all temporary files without posing any risk to your computer.

Hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:


Click OK.

All temporary files will be listed in the directory.

Select all temporary files by simultaneously pressing CTRL + A and delete them.

Step 4:

Check for any recent changes in all the other important system files.

Hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:


Click OK.

Do not delete anything here! Search for any recent changes (by “Date Modified”) in the files first. Only if you see that a file has just been changed scan it with Remove only files marked as dangerous. Otherwise you might remove critical system files and Windows might stop working.

Repeat this step with the following three directories while being very careful:


Remember that these directories contain many important system files! Be very careful!

Step 5:

Remove suspicious programs from your startup config so they would not launch as soon as you boot your computer.

Hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:


Click OK.

Go to the Startup tab and uncheck all suspicious entries.

The infected or fake startup items usually have “Unknown” listed as Manufacturer. However, sometimes they might pretend to be legitimate programs.

Check process location by hovering your mouse over the “Command” column. Navigate to the location and scan the file using if it looks suspicious but you are not sure.

Click OK when you are finished unselecting all potentially dangerous processes.

Step 6:

Restore your system settings to the ones before the infection happened.

Sometimes you might not have restore points or they might be too old so this step might be unsuccessful.

Press and hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:


Click OK.

A System Restore wizard will open.

Click Next.

Check Show more restore points.

If you see any restore points, restore the system. Make sure you select a point that has been created before the hijacker infiltrated your system.

Step 7:

Delete the shortcuts for all browsers on your computer as they might have been changed by the virus.

Remember that there are shortcuts not only on your Desktop but also in other places (for example, Start Menu).

Then create them again in order to have clean browser start.

Alternatively, you can click Properties on each of the shortcuts and remove any additions made to the Target field by the virus.

Step 8:

IMPORTANT: Now you will have to reset browser settings for each browser individually that you have installed on your computer. Alternativelly, you could simply reinstall them.

 Google Chrome:

Launch the browser and select More Tools, then click Extensions.

Check for any suspicious extensions.

Click Remove From Chrome for each unwanted or suspicious toolbar or extension (the trashcan icon on the right).

Go to Settings.

Scroll to the very bottom of the settings page and click Show advanced settings…

Scroll to the very bottom again and click Reset settings.

Click Reset.

 Mozilla Firefox:

Launch the browser and go to Add-ons.

Search for any suspicious toolbars and add-ons and Remove them.

We recommend going to Options (input about:preferences in your address field and press Enter) and clicking Restore to Default near the Home Page field.

You can also completely refresh the browser settings by entering the following in the address (URL) field:


Press Enter.

Click Refresh Firefox… and then click Refresh Firefox again.

 Microsoft Edge:

Since Microsoft Edge is not a separate program and is a core component of Windows 10 you should backup your computer or at least create a Restore Point before continuing.

Navigate to the following folder (where %username is your computer user name):


Clear all contents of the folder. Click CTRL + A to select everything and delete the contents.

Click Start (Windows logo).

Search for Windows PowerShell.

Right-click on the result.

Choose Run as administrator.

Paste the following command:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}

Press Enter.

The settings should now be reset to default.

 Internet Explorer:

Press and hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:


Click OK.

Enter the following command in the appeared window:

RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ResetIEtoDefaults

Press Enter.

Check Delete personal settings.

Click Reset.

Alternatively you can run this command to delete all caches and settings:

RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 4351

After removing the virus

When you have finished removing the adware and reverting your browser settings make sure to protect your computer by installing a good antivirus suite that would identify the threats online and in programs you have downloaded. Also, never install suspicious programs. If you are installing a new software, make sure it has nothing bundled in it by following the install wizard as well as searching for user reviews online.

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