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Remove iStart123 virus (Removal Guide) - updated Jan 2021

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - -   Also known as iStart123 redirect, iStart123 hijack | Type: Browser hijacker

iStart123 – a browser hijacker set to place its own engine on your browser app

iStart123 PUPiStart123 is considered to be a potentially unwanted program that can appear on the system with the help of bundling

iStart123 is a browser hijacker, which is capable of taking over all web browsers that can be found on the system. It is compatible with Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and other web browsers, so don't be surprised after discovering that you can't avoid this search engine. Also, you may start noticing continuous redirects to istart123.com and other unknown web sites, annoying pop-up ads,[1] slowdowns, changes of your homepage and default search engine to http://www.istart123.com, etc. No matter that such activities look harmless, you should always keep in mind that iStart123 redirects may end up on a suspicious website that may be filled with questionable content.

Name iStart123
Type Browser hijacker
Sub-type Potentially unwanted program
Search engine http://www.istart123.com
Activities Modifying the default engine and homepage, placing advertising content on your desktop, redirecting you to promoted sources
Compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and other browsers
Distribution process Bundled programs are the most popular locations of browser hijackers and other potentially unwanted content
Removal tip Before you opt for the removal of this app, scan your system with ReimageIntego to find all possibly infectious content on your computer system

iStart123 browser hijack is a process that you will possibly experience while dealing with this potentially unwanted program. Of course, the changes will not be satisfying. Every time you launch your hijacked browser app, you will be forced to use the modified engine and perform search requests via the new search zone.

It is known that iStart123 virus takes the user straightly to Google-provided search results when making a request via the http://www.istart123.com engine so it looks like the described usefulness of this app does not make any sense. Developers might promote it as a way to browse the Internet sphere in a faster and easier way.

Furthermore, you might find content related to iStart123 all over your computer and browsers. The app might add registry keys, files, and shortcuts on your system and include suspicious extensions, add-ons in your browser settings. Note that if you are keen on removing the browser hijacker, you will need to clean ALL affected locations.

iStart123 browser hijackeriStart123 - a browser hijacker that can provoke the appearance of third-party ads

Another activity of iStart123 is redirecting the user to affiliate websites. However, these redirects might appear dangerous as you might easily end up on a malware-laden source. Besides, the developers themselves claim that their services might include third-party links injected as they are found useful:

Our Services make use of links to other sites on the Internet that are owned and operated by online merchants and other third parties. You acknowledge that we are not responsible for the availability of,or the content located on or through,any third-party site.

Additionally, iStart123 can end up promoting rogue products and services via advertising notifications. These ads might start covering the entire screen of your computer and annoying you while browsing the Internet sphere. This activity can also relate to the increasing CPU or GPU usage on your machine. The power can rise up even over 90%!

For this not to happen, you need to remove iStart123 virus from both your operating system and infected web browser applications. This can easily be done by detecting all affected directories with ReimageIntego or by using manual guidelines that are placed at the end of this article. The sooner you get rid of the PUP, the better it will be for your computer.

Another reason to carry out iStart123 removal on time is the fact that this browser hijacker might use cookies and similar tracking technologies for collecting information about your browsing experience and activities. This data often refers to places you have visited, saved bookmarks and is shared with other parties.

Another way how iStart123 might use the collected information is for creating beneficial-looking adverts. Developers identify what type of offers are searched the most by spying on users' browsing activities and are capable of providing ads regarding the collected data. This way a bigger number of users are convinced to click on provided notifications.

iStart123 virusiStart123 is a browser-hijacking application that changes the default search engine, homepage, and new tab URL of the hijacked browser

Browser hijackers reach the system in mysterious ways

According to experts from Virusai.lt,[2] browser hijacker and similar PUPs may show up on your web browser out of nowhere. That's because they are actively spread in a bundle with freeware and shareware. If you are interested in PCs and their security, you must have heard about bundling, which is actively used for spreading adware and browser hijackers.

In order to prevent infiltration of such suspicious programs, you should start spending more time when selecting free programs that you want to download on your computer. Please, look for other people's reviews, comments, and similar opinions. If everything looks fine, then select Custom or Advanced installation of the freeware.

This will give you the ability to see what “optional” downloads are trying to get inside your PC system. Of course, you should opt-out of them by unchecking all checkboxes saying that you agree to change your start page or default search engine. Continuously, always have an antivirus working on your machine which will warn you when something odd is trying to reach the system.

Get rid of iStart123 virus and all related files

iStart123 removal process should be a necessity for you if you want to ensure full optimization of your web browser and computer system. Gladly, this potentially unwanted program can be eliminated within a few clicks by using anti-malware software or you can use the below-provided instructions for manual termination purposes.

If you are a less-experienced user, you should better remove iStart123 virus with the help of automatical software in order not to make harmful mistakes or miss suspicious components. However, if you are self-confident enough, you can continue by cleaning hijacked web browsers[3] and your operating system by yourself.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove iStart123 virus, follow these steps:

Eliminate iStart123 from Windows systems

Get rid of suspicious processes and files from your Windows computer system. You can use the help of these instructing steps:

To remove iStart123 virus from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find entries related to iStart123 virus (or any other recently installed suspicious program).
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Uninstall iStart123 from Mac OS X system

Remove iStart123 virus from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for iStart123 virus-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove iStart123 virus, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to iStart123 virus and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the iStart123 virus-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Delete iStart123 from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for iStart123 virus and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete iStart123 virus removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase iStart123 virus from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the iStart123 virus-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Get rid of iStart123 from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select plugins that are related to iStart123 virus and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

In case iStart123 virus did not get removed after following the instructions above, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox – this should complete iStart123 virus removal.Reset Firefox 2

Remove iStart123 from Google Chrome

Cleaning Google Chrome is a possibility for

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to iStart123 virus by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site like iStart123 virus in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the iStart123 virus-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings to complete iStart123 virus removal.Reset Chrome 2

Eliminate iStart123 from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to iStart123 virus and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

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 iStart123 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: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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