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How to Remove Start.me Hijacker (Chrome/Firefox/EDGE/IE)

Can’t Remove Start.me hijacker virus? This page includes detailed Start.me Removal instructions!

If you constantly get redirected to the Start.me website, or if you see ads signed by start.me, we have bad news for you. You have a browser hijacker on board. This infection is quite common nowadays. The start.me website promotes a browser plugin which is supposed to help you categorize your bookmarks. In theory, it will help you organize your online activities. In practice, however, this app causes only issues. It is an ad-supported platform. Once on board, it will expose the user to numerous advertisements. The furtive app creates an ad-layer which injects commercials on all opened web pages. It can also block its competitors’ content. Thus, it limits your information sources. Sooner or later, you will lose track of the current prices and become an easy target. With the hijacker on board, you will be exposed to an endless stream of “great offers.” Unfortunately, these offers are great for the seller, not for you. The hijacker does not distinguish between fake and legit web pages. Dodgy websites pay hefty sums for their ads to be displayed. Don’t trust anything you see on your screen while this parasite remains active on your computer. Remove this intruder immediately. If you act promptly, you can delete it completely. Yet, if you ignore the problem, hell will rise. It is not just the annoyance this app causes. The start.me hijacker is a backdoor to your system. Criminals can use it to penetrate your PC’s security. It is not worth the risk. Act against the infection!

remove Start.me

How did I get infected with?

The start.me website appeared out of the blue. You have never heard about this page. Yet, it was you the one who installed the hijacker. Just like all computer programs, the start.me utility needs the user’s permission to operate. It has modified your browser’s settings, so, it has your approval. But do you remember giving it? It won’t be a surprise if you don’t. The furtive app, after all, never asked you openly. It used stealthy techniques to get your permission. It might have arrived as an extra program to some freeware or shareware you downloaded off the web. Or, it might have been attached to a spam message. There are more malware techniques that are commonly used nowadays. Yet, all these methods rely on one same thing – your negligence. If you were vigilant, you could have prevented the infection. Learn your lesson. Choose caution over carelessness. From now on, whenever you are installing a program, opt for advanced setup option. Developers often attach malicious tools to the installation files of many free programs. If you select the standard installation, these extras will be installed without your explicit approval. Yet, under the advanced method, you will be presented with a list of all additional applications that are about to be installed. Be careful. Make sure you understand what you are giving your approval to. Read the terms and conditions. If you spot anything out of the ordinary, abort the installation immediately. Also, don’t open emails from strangers. Check the sender’s contacts first. If you suspect that something is wrong, delete the spam email. This is your PC. You are responsible for its security. Always do your due diligence.

Why is this dangerous?

The start.me hijacker is a menace. This malicious tool drowns you in a sea of advertisements. It slows your computer and causes your browser to crash frequently. Yet, these issues are minor compared to what the hijacker does behind your back. This app is never idle. It has turned your browser into a spying device and is now using it to monitor your online activities. It collects data about you and your online habits. Everything you do online is recorded. Which pages you visit, what search inquiries you make, even your pre-infection browsing history. Everything! The hijacker uses the data to target ads to you. Unfortunately, the collected data is not used for marketing purposes only. Anyone willing to spend some money can buy the collected information. Can you imagine what may happen if your email addresses, passwords, and usernames get in possession of a cyber criminal? The consequences will be devastating! This is not even the tip of the iceberg. This hijacker uses a pay-per-click marketing platform to generate revenue. However, it doesn’t check you the advertiser is or what is being advertised. Hackers often get an advantage of such programs. They use hijackers to spread malicious content and redirect users to infected websites. One click on a corrupted ad is all it takes for a virus to be downloaded on your computer. Don’t put up with this madness. Act now! Remove the start.me hijacker for good!

How to Remove Start.me virus

The Start.me infection is specifically designed to make money to its creators one way or another. The specialists from various antivirus companies like Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Norton, Avast, ESET, etc. advise that there is no harmless virus.

If you perform exactly the steps below you should be able to remove the Start.me infection. Please, follow the procedures in the exact order. Please, consider to print this guide or have another computer at your disposal. You will NOT need any USB sticks or CDs.

WARNING! Stopping the wrong file or deleting the wrong registry key may damage your system irreversibly.
If you are feeling not technical enough just use Spyhunter Professional Malware Removal Tool to deal with the problem!
>>Download SpyHunter – a Professional Remover.

Please, keep in mind that SpyHunter’s scanner tool is free. To remove the Start.me infection, you need to purchase its full version.

STEP 1: Track down Start.me related processes in the computer memory

STEP 2: Locate Start.me startup location

STEP 3: Delete Start.me traces from Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer

STEP 4: Undo the damage done by the virus

STEP 1: Track down Start.me related processes in the computer memory

  • Open your Task Manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keys simultaneously
  • Carefully review all processes and stop the suspicious ones.

end-malicious-process

  • Write down the file location for later reference.

Step 2: Locate Start.me startup location

Reveal Hidden Files

  • Open any folder
  • Click on “Organize” button
  • Choose “Folder and Search Options”
  • Select the “View” tab
  • Select “Show hidden files and folders” option
  • Uncheck “Hide protected operating system files”
  • Click “Apply” and “OK” button

Clean Start.me virus from the windows registry

  • Once the operating system loads press simultaneously the Windows Logo Button and the R key.

win-plus-r

  • A dialog box should open. Type “Regedit”

regedit

Depending on your OS (x86 or x64) navigate to:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run] or
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run] or
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]

  • and delete the display Name: [RANDOM]

delete backgroundcontainer

  • Then open your explorer and navigate to: %appdata% folder and delete the malicious executable.

Clean your HOSTS file to avoid unwanted browser redirection

Navigate to %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/host

If you are hacked, there will be foreign IPs addresses connected to you at the bottom. Take a look below:

hosts-redirect-virus

STEP 3 : Clean Start.me traces from Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer

  • Open Google Chrome

  • In the Main Menu, select Tools then Extensions
  • Remove the Start.me by clicking on the little recycle bin
  • Reset Google Chrome by Deleting the current user to make sure nothing is left behind

disable Start.me from chrome

  • Open Mozilla Firefox

  • Press simultaneously Ctrl+Shift+A
  • Disable the unwanted Extension
  • Go to Help
  • Then Troubleshoot information
  • Click on Reset Firefox

remove Start.me from firefox

  • Open Internet Explorer

  • On the Upper Right Corner Click on the Gear Icon
  • Click on Internet options
  • go to Toolbars and Extensions and disable the unknown extensions
  • Select the Advanced tab and click on Reset

remove Start.me from ie

  • Restart Internet Explorer

Step 4: Undo the damage done by Start.me

This particular Virus may alter your DNS settings.

Attention! this can break your internet connection. Before you change your DNS settings to use Google Public DNS for Start.me, be sure to write down the current server addresses on a piece of paper.

To fix the damage done by the virus you need to do the following.

  • Click the Windows Start button to open the Start Menu, type control panel in the search box and select Control Panel in the results displayed above.
  • go to Network and Internet
  • then Network and Sharing Center
  • then Change Adapter Settings
  • Right-click on your active internet connection and click properties. Under the Networking tab, find Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Left click on it and then click on properties. Both options should be automatic! By default it should be set to “Obtain an IP address automatically” and the second one to “Obtain DNS server address automatically!” If they are not just change them, however if you are part of a domain network you should contact your Domain Administrator to set these settings, otherwise the internet connection will break!!!

You must clean all your browser shortcuts as well. To do that you need to

  • Right click on the shortcut of your favorite browser and then select properties.

safebrowsing-biz-shortcut-removal

  • in the target field remove Start.me argument and then apply the changes.
  • Repeat that with the shortcuts of your other browsers.
  • Check your scheduled tasks to make sure the virus will not download itself again.

How to Permanently Remove Start.me Virus (automatic) Removal Guide

Please, have in mind that once you are infected with a single virus, it compromises your whole system or network and let all doors wide open for many other infections. To make sure manual removal is successful, we recommend to use a free scanner of any professional antimalware program to identify possible registry leftovers or temporary files.

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