How to Remove (Detailed Steps)

Are you experiencing the browser hijacking problem caused by Have you tried fixing this problem using your antivirus program like Norton but it did not help? Have you found various solutions online but don’t know which one will be helpful? Why not try our guide right now? In this post, we offer the automatic removal method and the manual removal method which should help get rid of from your computer effectively.

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What Is

Most users may mistakenly consider as a useful site at the first sight, since it offers a search engine and various quick links that allow users to access various internet sources. However, it is a nasty browser hijacker designed by cyber hackers to boost website traffic and promote certain products or services. This browser hijacker has the ability to take control over users’ browsers by automatically changing their browser homepage, default homepage and other internet settings. In this way, it can decide what will be shown in their search results, display deceptive ads on their browsers and also redirect them to websites that they have no intention to visit.

How Users Describe about

Please help me! iStartSurf replaces Google as my homepage without my knowledge and permission. I have tried removing from the Homepage field several times but it still comes back. Is iStartSurf a virus? How can I completely remove it?

I accidently clicked on a link while browsing the web and then got something downloaded on my PC. Soon enough I suffered from redirects to This problem is rather annoying but I can’t find the way to fix it. Any help will be appreciated.

What is Why I am always redirected to this website every time I launch the browser? I have run Norton to scan my system but it did not detect any traces of it. How should I deal with this problem? Could anyone helps me?

How Does Look Like?

As the screenshot shown below, this browser hijacker has an interface which makes it look like a normal search site. It offers a search box on its page and also provides quick links to various sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo. Besides, it keeps displaying ads on its page. Those ads promote various products and can vary from time to time.


How Does Get into Your PC?

This browser hijacker is often bundled with certain free software which you have downloaded from the Internet. Cyber hackers inject installer of the browser hijacker into the freeware in advance. Once you download and install such software on your PC, you have a great oppurtunity to install this browser hijacker as well. Known software that bundles is listed as following for your attention:

Media Player Classic
100% Free Hearts
Google Chrome
Flash Player
Easy Mp3 Alarm Clock

TipTo avoid installing this browser hijacker, it is sincerely suggested that you monitor the whole installation process while installing any software on your PC. When prompted to select the installation mode, you should select the Custom mode. In this way, you have the choice to decline installation of any promoted websites, add-ons, plug-ins, or toolbars.

Why Need to Remove

Once installed on your computer, this browser hijacker can attack your installed browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. At the beginning of the infection, you may notice the change of your browser homepage. Every time launching your web browser, the website will be initiated by default instead of the website that you have been set as the default homepage. You may also find that your default search engine such as Google or Bing has been replaced by another one which is called “iStartSurf”. With the time goes on, more problems occur on your PC.

When you search the internet using the new search engine, you may be provided a lot of ads and sponsored links in the search results and somewhere else on the search page. If you click on those ads or sponsored links, there is a slight possibility that you will end up downloading malware onto your computer without any knowledge. This is because cyber hackers may hide malware download link in some ads and sponsored links waiting you to click on them. If you do that, your computer will get infected by malware and suffer from more problems.

Besides, this browser hijacker can collect and share your personal information via client-side cookies and server-side log files. The information collected by it may be shared with the third parties in order to provide tailored search results, ads and sponsored links for you. That is the reason why you always receive ads or sponsored links matching your browsing habits.

The following are some excerpt from the privacy policy of

Greensky uses information for the following general purposes: to customize the search results on selected search engines, to customize sponsored results (which are always clearly labeled as such) on Greensky’s search engine, to improve our services, and to provide anonymous, aggregate reporting for internal and external clients.


We store information that we collect through client-side cookies and server-side log files to create a “profile” of your preferences. We tie your personally identifiable information to information in the profile in order to provide tailored search results and sponsored results for you. We share your profile with other third parties in aggregate form only. We do NOT share your profile with any third parties.


We share aggregated demographic information about our user base with our partners. This information does not identify individual users. We do not link aggregate user data with personally identifiable information. No registration, login or cookies are required to use any of our services.

Want to remove immediately? Download a powerful malware removal tool to get rid of this threat from your PC right now!



Effective Removal Guide

To remove this browser hijacker, you not only need to clear it off your web browsers, but also stop its related process, remove its related program and also delete all its files, folders and registry entries. That is to say, removal of this threat contains four steps. The first three step are easy to accomplish; however, the last step is rather difficult and may not be handled manually. Therefore,you need to rely on a tool to accomplish the last step, namely deleteing files, folders and registry entries, when necessary. Now you can follow the steps below to get rid of the browser hijacker from your PC.

Step 1: Clear off your web browsers.


Internet Explorer

Run Internet Explorer, click on Tools and select Internet Options from the dropdown list.

click Internet Options

Under General, delete the unwanted website URL, enter the website URL you prefer, and click Apply.

reset homepage-ie_1

Then, click on Settings under Search.

search engine settings

In the open window, find if there is a search engine called iStartSurf. If there is, you should first make other search engine as the default, and then you can remove or disable it by right clicking it and selecting the corresponding option. Close the window.

remove search engine

Click the OK button in the Internet Option window. Close Internet Explorer.


Right clicking on the icon of the IE browser and click on Properties.


Under Shortcut, delete the part from the Target field and click OK.


Google Chrome

Open Google Chrome, type chrome://settings into the address bar, and press Enter.

open settings page

Under On startup , click on Set pages.

set pages

Remove the unwanted website URL by clicking on the X button and click OK.

delete unwanted website

Locate Appearance, tick the box labeled Show Home button and click Change.

change homepage_1

Delete the unwanted website URL from the Open this page field, and click OK.

change homepage_2

Then, navigate to the Search section, click on Manage search engines…

remove search engine_

If you find any search engine called iStartSurf, you need to first set other search engine (such as Google) as default, and then remove it by clicking the X button. Close the Chrome browser.

unwanted search-engine-chrome

Right click on the icon of Chrome, and select Properties.


Under Shortcut, Delete the part from the Target field and click OK.

shortcut -chrome


Mozilla Firefox

Open Firefox browser, type about:config into the address bar and press Enter. In the open window, click the I’ll be careful, I promise button to continue.

reset homepage-firefox_1

Then, type istar into the search box. If any related strings are shown there, right click each string and click Reset. Close Firefox browser.

reset homepage-firefox

Right click on the icon of Firefox, and click Properties.


Under Shortcut, remove the part from the Target field and click OK.


Step 2: Stop process of the browser hijacker via Task Manager.


Right click the task bar and select Start Task Manager. This will open the Windows Task Manager.

open task manager

Under Processes, scroll down to look for any process related to the browser hijacker, right click it and select the End Process button to stop it from running in the system.

stop process

Step 3: Remove from Control Panel.


Press the Windows key and R key simultaneously to open the Run command box.

windows key + R key

Type appwiz.cpl into the Open field and click OK.

type appwiz.cpl

A window will open and you will see all your installed programs. Click iStartSurf related program and click on the Uninstall/Change button.

uninstall the related program

Then, follow the prompt to complete the removal.

Step 4: Remove related files, folders and registry entries.


This step is a very complicated and might cause unwanted system damage, if you make any mistake. Therefore, we recommend using a powerful malware removal tool to automatically detect and remove all components of the browser hijacker. There are two options for you: SpyHunter and Malwarebytes. Both of them have been tested to work effectively in removing related components as well as other threats.

spyhunter-productSpyHunter is powerful anti-malware program designed with several advanced features. It not only offers real time protection against malware attacks, but also helps detect and remove various types of malware from the infected computers.Recommendation reason: The registered version of this program offers the one-on-one custom tech support to help users to fix the problems that can’t be automatically solved by the tool.
MalwarebytesMalwarebytes is a users-friendly and professional anti-malware program designed with advanced technology to help users block, detect and remove malware like Trojans, browser hijackers, adware and spyware.Recommendation reason: This program does not occupy too much memory space and it can be compatible with other types of antivirus programs.

Option 1: Use SpyHunter to clear all files, folders and registry entries related to the browser hijacker


» Download SpyHunter install-exe on your PC.

» Locate and double click the downloaded file.


» Click Run when a dialog box appears to ask whether you want to run the file.


» Select your preferred language and click OK.


» Then, click CONTINUE to proceed.


» Accept the EULA and Privacy Policy and click the INSTALL button.


» When the setup is successful, click Exit and then launch SpyHunter.


» The program will start downloading its update.


» Once the update is finished, you can start doing a full system scan by clicking on Scan Computer Now.


» SpyHunter now will scan your system for threats. This process may last 20 or more minutes. Please be patient.

spyhunter scan process

» After the scan finishes, you can remove all detected threats by selecting them all and clicking on the Fix Threats button.
fix threats spyhunter


Option 2: Use Malwarebytes to remove all files, folders and registry entries related to the browser hijacker

» Download Malwarebytes on your PC.

» Install the program on your PC by following the setup wizard step by step.

Setup Malwarebytes

» Once the installation is completed, run Malwarebytes immediately.


» Then, perform a full system scan to detect any threat on your PC.


» When the scan is done, you will be shown the threat scan result. Make sure every item is selected, and then click the “Remove Selected” button to remove all detected threats.


Note: After you accomplish the steps above and restart your computer, should have been removed out of your PC. To check the removal result, it is highly recommended that you run SpyHunter or Malwarebytes again to make a thorough system scan. If there still are some residual components left on your computer, delete them and restart your PC once again.

Conclusion: is known as a nasty browser hijacker that has the ability to mess up you browser settings, causing the change of your browser homepage, default search engine, and start page. This browser hijacker is mainly designed to generating advertising revenue. By modifying your search engine, it can dicide what will be shown in your search results and on the search page. It also redirects you to some website that you don’t want to visit. Some websites you are redirected to may contain malicous codes of malware and visiting those sites may put your computer at risk of getting malware infection. Besides, this browser hijacker will track your movements around the site and collect your personal information such as your IP addresses, browser type, operating system, search terms, most-visited websites, etc. This information will be shared with the third parties for the marketing purpose. That can explain why you receive so many cusomize search results, ads and sponsored links on your search page. Anyway, is a annoying and harmful computer threat that should be removed from the infected computer as quickly as possible. Detailed removal steps have been given above, and you can follow them to accomplish removal of this threat.

Can’t wait removing from your PC? Download a powerful malware removal tool on your computer and prepare for the removal right now!




The following video offers a complete guide for redirect virus removal. You’d better watch it in full-screen mode!


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