Spicystart.com virus (Removal Instructions) - Free Guide

Spicystart.com virus Removal Guide

What is Spicystart.com virus?

Spicystart.com – a search engine that delivers altered results

Example of Spicystart searchOnce a browser hijacker is installed on your device, it immediately changes your default search engine, new tab, and homepage preferences.

Spicystart.com is a questionable search engine that is promoted in software bundles and might be installed on the device without the user’s permission. Once inside, this browser hijacker might set its domain as a default search engine, homepage, and new tab address. Additionally, it might control your browsing sessions and collect browsing-related information.

The appearance of the website itself might seem legit at first sight. It has a convenient design and offers to look up for information in four standard categories: Web, Images, Videos, and News. However, the main problems might occur on the search results page.

The SpicyStart does not redirect to Yahoo, Google, or other legit search engines like many similar browser hijackers do. It uses its own results database, meaning that authors of this potentially unwanted program (PUP)[1] might alter results and hide sponsored links among organic search results.

name Spicystart.com
Type Redirect virus, browser hijacker, PUP
Infection symptoms Default browser settings are modified without your direct permission; search results are displayed from a different provider and contain misleading ads; deteriorated browsing speed
Risks Privacy issues, monetary losses
Distribution Fake Flash Player updates, software bundling, deceptive ads
Elimination Remove the intruder by scanning your infected device with at least one of our recommended security tools
System health Repair corrupted system files and delete all tracking cookies with the all-in-one ReimageIntego PC optimization tool

The major goal of the Spicystart.com virus is to control user’s browser habits and trick them into visiting third-party commercial websites. Developers seem to generate revenue from driving traffic to affiliate sites and pay-per-click advertising strategies.

Despite the fact, this activity is not fair and prevents users from finding necessary information; the biggest problems are related to the browser hijacker's redirect issues. The PUP might trigger redirects to harmful websites. Users might be forced to visit scam,[2] phishing, or other sites created by cybercriminals and suffer from crime.

Following this concerning issue, the browser hijacker might:

  • Prevent users from replacing Spicystart.com with their preferred homepage and search engine;
  • Install unknown add-ons, extensions, or plugins to Chrome, Firefox, Mozilla, or other web browsers;
  • Collect non-personally identifiable information to serve targeted ads;
  • Share, rent or sell aggregated information with business partners and third parties.

Developers claim that this search tool protects user’s privacy; however, if you read the Privacy Policy carefully, you might find some disagreements. Nevertheless, it does not collect personally identifiable information; further statements reveal that other details might be still tracked, used for marketing purposes, and even sold to unknown partners. The program collects:

  • User IP address;
  • Search terms;
  • Clicked ads;
  • Clicked organic and sponsored search results;
  • User Agent.

The problem is that if you decide to look up information about yourself, you can easily show your identity to cybercriminals. If a suspicious program tracks information about you, there’s always a risk to deal with some privacy-related issues. If you don’t want them, take our advice and remove Spicystart.com right now.

You can uninstall this program either manually or automatically. A manual removal guide is given down below. Meanwhile, the automatic removal requires scanning the system with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, or another updated malware removal program. Such apps will prevent such threats from being installed on your device in the future.

Once the potentially unwanted program is eliminated, it's highly recommended to take care of the overall system condition. the easiest way to properly do that is by using the ReimageIntego PC repair software as it will delete all tracking cookies and resolve all system-related inconsistencies automatically.

The image of Spicystart.com virusThe article's culprit is a bogus search engine that might provide altered search results.

Browser hijackers travel alongside freeware

Users rarely decide to set this unknown search tool as their default one. Usually, it spreads in the form of a browser extension in freeware or shareware packages as an optional component. The Spicystart.com hijack might occur when users want to install some freeware quickly and relies on a Quick/Standard installation setup. Security researchers from zondervirus.nl[3] note that these settings are very popular among the majority of computer users.

Keep in mind that the above-mentioned settings do not reveal additional downloads and install them by default. To avoid browser hijack and other PUPs, you should install free programs using Advanced/Custom settings only because it allows rejecting third-party app download offers.

Simple instructions to remove Spicystart virus

If the hijacker was installed with freeware or shareware, it’s better to remove Spicystart.com using an anti-malware/anti-spyware tool. Then you can be sure that all hijacker-related entries are wiped out entirely and that the infection won't renew itself.

However, if you feel capable of manually removing the potentially unwanted program, you should look at the instructions presented down below. You will need to find all apps, files, and other components that are related to the PUP and protects it from elimination.

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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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
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.

Getting rid of Spicystart.com virus. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

Browser hijackers are often capable of installing numerous components to the system to strengthen their presence and trigger other unwanted activities. Thus, you have to find them by following these steps:

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  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

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.

Delete from macOS

Remove items from Applications folder:

  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

Remove from Microsoft Edge

After the hijack, it's important to terminate all suspicious entries from the browser. Follow this guide:

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 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 Delete Advanced 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” -Verbose Advanced 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

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall suspicious extensions from Firefox and reset the browser to delete tracking cookies.

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 unwanted plugin 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

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, 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. Reset Firefox 2

Remove from Google Chrome

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 the unwanted program 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 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 unwanted 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. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension 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 Spicystart.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: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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