Softonicstart.com virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser hijacker
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The characteristics of Softonicstart.com virus

Softonicstart.com virus is a potentially unwanted program (PUP)[1] that might hijack the most popular web browsers. Due to its features, this PUP is classified as a browser hijacker. Thus, on the affected computer it aims at browsers and alters their settings. As a result, users might find Softonicstart.com as their default homepage and search engine. According to the developers, this tool allows searching the web, images, video, news, maps, and even torrents.[2] The main page also includes shortcuts to the popular social media websites, email services, and other well-known Internet sites. Developed by the Zugo Ltd, this search engine uses the database of Yahoo search. However, Softonicstart.com browser hijacker might be capable of modifying search results. Sadly, the majority of this applications might replace organic search results with sponsored links. In this way, the search engine helps to boost traffic to various websites, and developers generate revenue from this activity. Meanwhile, users might be browsing thru irrelevant and even dangerous sites.[3] Thus, if you want to avoid unpleasant and damaging Softonicstart.com redirect issues, you should consider getting rid of this search engine.

This program might get inside the computer bundled with StartNow or Yahoo StartNow toolbar. However, so-called Softonicstart.com virus might sneak inside with other free applications too. As we already mentioned, this tool is capable of altering browsers’ settings and replacing default start page with its domain. To prevent users from setting their preferred search engine, it might modify Windows shortcuts or even Registry. However, Softonicstart.com removal will help to fix these problems. If this pest has sneaked inside your device, scan computer with Reimage or other reputable anti-malware/anti-spyware program. It’s the best option for a quick and effective solution to deal with potentially unwanted programs. If you still want to delay hijacker’s elimination, the fact that this program might collect information about you should motivate you to remove Softonicstart.com immediately. In the Privacy Policy developers note that they collect non-personally identifiable information and might share it with third-parties.[4] Thus, if you value your privacy, this app should not be installed on your PC.

How does this search engine hijack web browsers?

We have already mentioned that Softonicstart.com browser hijacker mostly spreads with a help of StartNow toolbar. However, the most common way for the search engine to spread and hijack web browsers is called “bundling.”[5] This method allows adding this app as an extra component in the software package. Thus, when you install new programs downloaded from various online sources you need to make sure that you are installing a single program, not a package. In order to do that you have to install programs under “Advanced” or “Custom” settings. They allow “unpacking” the program and seeing the list of third-party applications that are offered for you to install. Additionally, you might find a statement saying that you agree to make Softonicstart.com your default search engine. However, if you rush to click “Next” button, you may overlook this important step. What is more, if you choose Quick or Standard installation settings, chances to encounter Softonicstart.com hijack increase. It might have happened because these settings do not disclose about extra applications. Thus, using this setup, you give indirect permission PUPs to enter the system.

How to eliminate Softonicstart.com search engine from the browser entirely?

Just like any other browser hijacker, this one can also be terminated in two ways. The first method suggests to detect and remove Softonicstart.com from the computer manually. You will find a step-by-step guide at the end of the article. Following these instructions, you should locate not only this hijacker but also look up for other questionable apps or add-ons that might have also been installed on the same day. Obviously, you need to delete all these shady entries from the device. However, if you wish that someone would do this job for you, you should opt for the second option. Automatic Softonicstart.com removal requires scanning the system with anti-malware program. Thus, your chosen program will do this unpleasant task for you.

You can remove Softonicstart.com automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Softonicstart.com virus you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Softonicstart.com virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual Softonicstart.com virus Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Softonicstart.com from Windows systems

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
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Open the programs’ list located in the Control Panel. Here look for the Softonicstart.com virus and other questionable programs that might have been installed without your knowledge. Also, check all web browsers and delete suspicious extensions.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Softonicstart.com and related programs
    Here, look for Softonicstart.com or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove Softonicstart.com from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Softonicstart.com from Mac OS X system

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  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Softonicstart.com or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash.Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Softonicstart.com from Internet Explorer (IE)

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Follow the instructions to recover Internet Explorer after Softonicstart.com hijack.

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Softonicstart.com and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Softonicstart.com removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Softonicstart.com virus from Microsoft Edge

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Softonicstart.com browser hijacker might have installed third-party tools to Microsoft Edge. Thus, you need to remove them and reset browser’s settings.

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Softonicstart.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Softonicstart.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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In the list of Mozilla’s extensions look for Softonicstart.com, StartNow or Yahoo StartNow. If you find these or other suspicious entries remove them.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Softonicstart.com and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Softonicstart.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Softonicstart.com from Google Chrome

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Softonicstart.com hijacker might have installed various extensions, toolbars, and add-ons without your knowledge. Thus, you should go to the list of extensions and remove all questionable entries. Then, reset Chrome’s settings as shown below.

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Softonicstart.com and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Softonicstart.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Softonicstart.com from Safari

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Softonicstart.com or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Softonicstart.com, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Softonicstart.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button
After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Softonicstart.com registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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  • Reed

    It think softonicstart.com search engine came along with movie player I have recently downloaded. But I removed it and followed your instructions. Everything came back to normal.

  • Taina

    another fake search engine.,..

  • Jacob

    You instructions worked for me! I deleted this hijacker within 15 minutes from my girlfriends computer!