How To Delete Startgo123.com (Search.mpc.am) Browser Hijacker And MPC Cleaner

Startgo123.com or Search.mpc.am is a popular browser hijacker which managed to infect many computers and put itself as a default homepage. This adware is related to a deceptive software called More Powerful Cleaner (MPC). It turns out to be quite hard to remove since it reappears after a while if you simply change browser settings. This is because the adware has its files hidden in the system and makes sure to revert any changes made by the user.

The website used to look almost identical to some of the popular browsers’ (e.g. Google Chrome) new tab default pages. However, it has been updated since the launch and now has a more distinctive look including self-changing image backgrounds and more links below the search field.

The website is designed to generate traffic from as many infected browsers as possible and earn money for its creators from advertisements. It has Google Adsense banners and redirects to custom Google search when a user tries to use the search field. The page also has hidden affiliate links. All this means that Startgo123 does not have any additional value and only acts as a parasite.

Remove this virus and its related components by using the automatic tool provided below or follow our manual guide. Please have in mind that even if you successfully remove the threat manually you should still secure your PC to prevent infections in the future. The automatic tool will help you to do so by acting as an antivirus protection program as well.


Recommended Method: Download Browser 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 Startgo123.com / Search.mpc.am?

These websites are directly related to a deceptive application called Most Powerful Cleaner (MPC Cleaner) which can be found at mpc.am. The program uses scare tactics and always displays scan results which say that your computer needs to be repaired. It then asks to buy a paid version. In reality it is designed to deceive users and should not be trusted. Instead, there are numerous proven alternatives like CCleaner and similar ones which would never display false results in order to make sales.

This “cleanup” program usually ends up on your computer by being bundled with another legitimate freeware. If you install other programs without carefully reading the setup information you might accidentally agree to install MPC as well. After gaining the access to your computer this unwanted program will also change your browser settings and this is how Startgo123.com and Search.mpc.am end up as your default homepages.

The fake search websites used to look like Google Chrome startup page. However, they have been updated and now have background wallpapers, more links and advertisements. The search field does not have any actual value as it simply redirects your queries to Custom Google Search (which also earns the creators additional revenue).

Startgo123.com and Search.mpc.am combined are estimated to receive more than 200 000 pageviews per day. Since the adware tries to avoid deletion by employing various tactics it manages to stay on many infected computers and generate such high traffic.

You should remove this unwanted program as soon as possible. First of all, it has taken over the control of your browser settings and this might lead to losing your personal data or even banking details. The fake search sites might also track your browsing activity. They also display unwanted advertisements and might lead to further infections by redirecting to other adware and malware sites. Never install any “suggested” addons or software and never trust MPC scan results in order to avoid infecting your system even more.

We have an automatic removal and protection tool that should eliminate the threat and protect your machine from similar problems in the future. We also have a manual removal guide for more experienced users. Please remember that installing an antivirus is still strongly recommended even if you successfully remove the symptoms.

Here are some screenshots of the unwanted program and its websites:

     


 Manual Removal Instructions:

NB: 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.

Step 1:

Remove any suspicious programs that 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:

appwiz.cpl

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.

usually the  following program is used to install the unwanted homepages together:

MPC Cleaner

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:

regedit.exe

Click OK.

 

Search for virus entries by pressing keyboard buttons CTRL + F and entering the virus domain. Here is an example:

startgo123

Click Find Next.

Delete any registry entries associated with the virus.

Repeat the search with the following query until all entries are cleaned:

mpc.am

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:

%Temp%

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:

%AppData%

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 virustotal.com. 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:

%LocalAppData%
%ProgramData%
%WinDir%

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:

msconfig.exe

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 virustotal.com if it looks suspicious but you are not sure.

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

Step 6:

Clean up your DNS.

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

Enter the following in the field:

ncpa.cpl

Click OK.

It will open your current network adapters list.

Right-click on the one you currently use (unused usually have a red X near them while the active one is usually green).

Choose Properties.

Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) (make sure the checkbox is checked near it).

Click Properties.

First, select Obtain DNS server automatically.

Then click Advanced… and go to DNS tab in the newly opened window.

Remove everything from the DNS server addresses, in order of use.

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 (usually a link to http://startgo123.com) made to the Target field by the virus.

Step 8:

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:

rstrui.exe

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 9:

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:

about:support

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):

C:\Users\%username\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe

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:

cmd

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 “MPC Cleaner” 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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