Love Start Tabs browser hijacker (virus) - Free Instructions

Love Start Tabs browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is Love Start Tabs browser hijacker?

Love Start Tabs changes the main settings of the browser to force you to use only selected channels

Love Start TabsLove Start Tabs takes over the browser by changing the settings

Love Start Tabs is an unwanted browser extension. It completely alters the user experience by changing the main settings like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. These kinds of applications are created for one purpose only – to monetize user activity.[1] They do not provide any special benefits like block ads, dangerous websites, or automatically apply the best discounts while shopping online.

While many PUP (potentially unwanted program)[2] developers claim that their apps provide something valuable, most of the time those claims are false. Many of them even mentioned well-known tech companies like Google or Apple in the descriptions and claim that the extension is a product of collaboration. This makes the plugins look legitimate and trustworthy.

It is a shame, but many users get fooled by these kinds of social engineering techniques and fail to do their individual research. Although we always tell our readers to download applications only from official web stores, they are not completely safe too. The problem is that the owners of web stores do not exactly know when an app is unwanted because many people's opinions can differ.

That is why we see the amount of PUAs rise every year and it seems unstoppable. Another reason why there are so many of them is that they are very easy to recreate. All the fraudsters need to do is copy the same code, change the name and get a different domain. Now we see extensions that apply the same looking homepages and same search engines even though they are apparently different.

NAME Love Start Tabs
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS The main settings of the browser get changed like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine
DISTRIBUTION Shady websites, deceptive ads, freeware installations
DANGERS The extension can monitor your browsing activity, display inaccurate search results and lead to shady pages
ELIMINATION Remove an unwanted extension via browser settings
FURTHER STEPS Use ReimageIntego to clear your browsers and fix any remaining damage

It is hard to comprehend why would someone want to install Love Start Tabs willingly. Once users add the extension, if they did not realize their action, they may think that they have been infected with a virus. The background is changed to two hearts, the design looks amateur and unprofessional. There is a big clock, a message “Good Evening!” and a few social media platform shortcuts.

So we make the assumption that most users added it accidentally. Now, how would that happen? Although many people think that they care a lot about their security and privacy, only a few actually take steps to preserve it. Mostly, people rush, click on random links and prompts without reading. Considering that, there should be no surprise how these extensions end up on peoples' browsers.

The most important thing is not to be hard on yourself and keep your mind open for learning. One of the ways that this could have happened is if you were browsing through shady pages. This includes sites that engage in illegal activities because they are rarely regulated. They are full of deceptive ads and redirects, so it is easy to click on the wrong thing.

Love Start Tabs browser hijackerLove Start Tabs is an extension that you added by accident or willingly

But these are not the only things you should worry about. Browsing through pages you should not, and having shady plugins installed in your browser monitoring your activity should worry you. Websites and extensions can use cookies[3] to collect various data about your browsing-related activities. Even though this is a completely normal thing and helps web pages personalize the user experience, untrustworthy sources can sell that information to advertising networks that will target you with more ads.

We strongly recommend using a maintenance tool like ReimageIntego to clear your browsers automatically and delete those cookies. You will not have to worry about it yourself. Besides this powerful software can fix various system errors, registry issues, corrupted files which is especially helpful after virus infections.

Remove the unwanted extension

You can remove browser add-ons by going to your settings. Find the list of extensions installed in your browser and remove Love Start Tabs. We show how to do that in the guide below:

Google Chrome

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

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 extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

MS Edge (Chromium)

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

Mozilla Firefox

  • Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  • Select Add-ons.
  • In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Safari

  • Click Safari > Preferences…
  • In the new window, pick Extensions.
  • Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Internet Explorer:

  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 suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

PUP elimination process

Sometimes removing only the extension is not effective and users still continue to experience unwanted symptoms. You might experience an increased amount of commercial content like pop-ups, banners, surveys, and redirects. In this situation, we recommend scanning your machine for adware. Simply removing the add-on will not be enough if it is hiding in your system and the settings will keep changing until you completely eliminate it.

One of the most common ways that PUAs are spread is through freeware installation platforms. The creators have learned that they can include additional programs in the installers and earn money by monetizing user activity. This method is known as software bundling[4] and is very effective as most people rush through the installation process and skip all the steps.

If you want to avoid that in the future, always choose “Custom” or “Advanced” installation methods, read the privacy policy and terms of use to find out what information will be collected and what the application will be allowed to do in your system. The most important part is to check the file list and untick the boxes next to any items that you think are suspicious or unrelated.

The program that is causing the settings to change could have any name or icon, so if you are not sure what to do and you do not want to risk deleting the wrong files, we suggest using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes anti-malware tools that will scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning if a program you want to install seems suspicious. If manual removal is what you still prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:

Windows 10/8:

  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 the entry of the 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

Windows 7/XP:

  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.

Mac:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all 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 an unwanted app, 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 and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.Uninstall from Mac 2
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

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

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