Severity scale:  
  (10/100) How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - -   Also known as redirect | Type: Browser hijacker

What is is a search site, which can easily replace your start page or default search engine on each of your web browsers. After doing that, it may start displaying annoying ads, altered search results and other content. Unfortunately, many people have already been convinced that seeks to improve their browsing. In reality, this search engine seeks only to make them to look at predetermined search results and trick them into visiting predetermined websites. This technique is typically used for increasing their pager rank or sales. If you have been suffering from redirects to, you should think about a full system scan with updated anti-spyware.

Just like tons of other browser hijackers, this program may travel alongside with freeware and shareware as an optional component. That’s why you may discover it on your web browser (IE, Mozilla or Chrome) even without downloading it. In addition, it may come to your PC in a bundle with tracking software (cookies), so there is no surprise why security experts have warned people that browser hijacker may start collecting various information about them. Mostly, this program is interested in people’s search sessions, time that they spend on each of their favorite sites or data that they enter there. Officially, this is done for advertising reasons but there is no guarantee that suspicious parties are not capable of reaching such data. If you want to avoid istartsurf redirects to suspicious websites and other questionable activities, you have to rely only on such well-known websites as Google, Bing and Yahoo. In addition, we also recommend eliminating from each of web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. You can do that with a help of Reimage or the manual removal guide that is given below.

UPDATE: Search Page was renewed in the beginning of 2015. After this procedure, this search engine is capable of infiltrating PC systems in a bundle with download managers, PDF creators, video streaming software and similar programs that are spread for free. After that, it may change the start page and default search engine, and may start causing annoying and very suspicious activities. There are hundreds of people who claim that they can’t get rid of this search engine. That’s because it spreads around in one pack with with applications that are called ‘helper objects’. They can easily prevent removal of That’s why we highly recommend using automatic removal tools, such as Reimage, that can easily detect every component, which is related to such PUPs, and prevent reappearance of this questionable application.


How can hijack my computer?

Istartsurf virus has been spread around using various techniques. Some of them are legitimate, some of them are quite suspicious. That’s why there is no surprise that there are hundreds of people who report about unexpected appearance of this search engine on their computers. In order to prevent infiltration of this program or other hijackers (,,, etc.), you should remember that it is mostly spread using third party programs that can be easily set to trick people into installation of various toolbars, add-ons and plugins. For avoiding that, you should remember that this can be done just by choosing Custom or Advanced installation of the freeware. Of course, after that you should follow each installation step and try to find the check mark that allows istartsurf installation on the system.

How to remove Istartsurf virus?

If you think that you have missed the check mark that says ‘Make my start page’ or ‘Make my default search engine’, you should follow a guide below and get rid of this questionable search engine.


Question. My computer was affected by virus and I don’t know how to remove it. It seems that it recovers itself right after rebooting my computer!

Questions about

Answer. While Istartsurf search site is not a virus, it has been added to browser hijacker category. We believe that you should avoid it because it can show you altered search results that are filled with sponsored content. In addition, it can be used for tracking users and their browsing on the Internet. So, you are right for trying to remove browser hijacker from your computer. However, you should opt for automatic removal option because this program has been spread in a bundle with special components that sometimes are preventing its elimination from the system.

Question. Help me! Could you please tell me whether IStartSurf search is legitimate or not? I have this page instead of my start page and the default search engine but I feel that I should stop using it because IStartSurf redirects are interrupting my searches…

Answer. Please, stop using Istartsurf browser hijacker because it is not a legitimate search engine! It can easily trick you into visiting a corrupted website that is used only for spreading other potentially unwanted programs, like adwares and browser hijackers! In addition, it can try recording information about your browsing habits and may even share it with unknown parties. That’s why we want to offer you to go back to Google, Yahoo or Bing search engine. For that you should follow a guide below and remove

Question. Please, help! I clicked on some ad on the Internet and now I’m suffering from redirects to I want to throw my PC out the window..

Answer. Please, don’t do that. You can easily repair your computer and get rid of istartsurf hijacker with a help of a step-by-step guide, which is given down below.

Question. After downloading a needed program (video streaming software) I discovered that my start page and the default search engine was changed to search site Should I ignore these changes or should I go back to using Google?

Answer. No matter how good it looks, Istartsurf is nothing but a misleading search engine, which is used for promoting affiliate parties. If you don’t want to be tricked into visiting a questionable site that is used for spreading questionable programs, you should get rid of this browser hijacker. It may seem like a complicated task, so our security researchers prepared a detailed removal guide. Please, check it down below.

Question. No matter how hard I try, virus finds a way to my computer. Could you give me some tips so I could get rid of this aggressive search engine for good?

Answer: If you have been trying to remove browser hijacker by eliminating it thru Add/remove programs, there is no surprise why it has been showing up on your computer again and again. In order to get rid of it for good, you need to remove each of programs that could be related to it. In addition, you should reset every web browser and then scan your computer with updated anti-spyware, such as Reimage. A detailed guide for removing from the system can be found below.

You can remove 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 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.
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More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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To remove, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove from Windows systems

  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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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 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 '' 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

Uninstall from Mac OS X system

  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 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

Erase from Internet Explorer (IE)

  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 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 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

Get rid of from Microsoft Edge

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, should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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 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 removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete from Google Chrome

  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 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 removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove from Safari

  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 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, 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 removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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