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Remove StartFenster virus (Free Guide) - Removal Instructions

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

StartFenster virus is a questionable search engine that changes existing browser settings to cause unwanted redirects to ad-supported pages

StartFenster virusStartFenster virus is the potentially unwanted program that targets people online with advertising campaigns and tries to expose them to affiliated pages where data is tracked and advertisers can collect views for the later monetization. This is the domain that targets German-speaking users for the most part because even the StartFenster.com automatically goes to the StartFenster.de page and displays the same online search engine posing as a legitimate one. However, when you try to search for something, at least the first results list advertising pages, in most cases, related to the publisher of the browser hijacker itself. 

This is a potentially unwanted program that categorizes as a browser hijacker because once you encounter StartFenster.com virus your web browsing experience changes immediately. Homepage, new tab, new window, and default search engine preferences get changed to this page or any similar/associated domain, so every in-browser search shows result through this useless engine and Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer runs slower than usual due to additional toolbars, extensions, add-ons added behind your back.

Name StartFenster virus
Type Browser hijacker
Symptoms All browser search results get filled with commercial material like banners, in-text links, pop-ups, blinking boxes, and hyperlinks redirecting straight to advertising pages or PUP-distributing sites. Various in-browser content gets installed, and settings changed without any permission or users' knowledge
Distribution Freeware installations including PUPs are not disclosed fully, so the user allows extra downloads without even noticing, and the machine gets a cyber infection. Other PUPs can easily install hijackers, adware or rogue tools too
Main danger Ad-supported sites can access, track, and collect various information about the user and page visitors with the purpose of using that information in later malvertising campaigns.[1] Such data collecting issue can also lead to problems with your privacy and identity
Affects Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome, or any other web browsers
Elimination You need to remove StartFenster virus from the machine fully by using the anti-malware program and fully scanning the system for all the malicious files
Tip for the system cleaning You should also run through the machine with a system optimization tool or a cleaner application that could indicate affected, damaged, or corrupted system files. Try Reimage Reimage Cleaner and make sure to fix the virus damage after the PUP elimination

StartFenster virus is the search platform that contains a few features and provides a few fields, categories of searches for the visitor. The main search box and all the additional functions may resemble a legitimate search engine, so people continue using the shady domain as their online searching tool. However, that is not a good idea because the more shady pages you click on and visit the more exposed to possibly malicious content you get. 

All those redirects, pop-ups, banners, and other content reroute the user to advertising pages and sites with questionable material, possibly involving malicious scripts and direct malware downloads. StartFenster virus developers are not responsible for the content you end up visiting because once a redirect is triggered the website that appears on your web browser is not associated with the PUP developers – Aller media. The company has not so great of a reputation because many users blame the marketing agency for distributing PUPs and obtaining control over browsers with those shady tools.

Unfortunately, there are tons of malicious pages you may end up visiting, and this is how your machine can get more affected by the serious infection. StartFenster hijack itself is not dangerous, but the more time you give this PUP on your machine the more malicious content you get exposed to and can infect your machine further without even noticing.

This is why we highly recommend focusing on StartFenster virus removal as soon as you notice the first PUP symptoms, so you can avoid further damage and infiltration of more dangerous cyber threats. Potentially unwanted programs have intrusive functions, frustrating features, but cannot damage the machine in a permanent way or leave the system corrupted and infected as more dangerous silent malware can.  StartFenster browser hijacker
StartFenster virus is a potentially unwanted program that focuses on creating redirects because views and help collect data and make revenue.
The content showed on the screen triggers redirects to shady sites and services, online pages. However, the StartFenster virus shows fake promotions for updates, downloads of tools or applications, can automatically start some of those downloads, so your machine gets more affected when such malicious executable or the program itself lands on the machine.

StartFenster virus is one of many PUPs that can end up on your device when you browse insecure sites online or rely on services like torrent networks. The browser hijacker itself can directly install shady applications like:

  • toolbars;
  • browser extensions;
  • addons or plugins;
  • bookmarks;
  • system tools.

In most cases, StartFenster virus itself is not easily detectable, so additional infiltrations and silent intruders can be found as malicious and potentially harmless to indicate that PUP is luring on your computer. Unfortunately, browser hijackers' symptoms don't end with browser interference. PUP appends files in Cookies, settings folders and can create new folders for the downloaded software like fake VLC player or FlashPlayer updates.

Another issue that should encourage you to remove StartFenster virus is the interference with essential files on the system. Some registry entries can get modified to make sure this hijacker is persistent and runs in more than one browser, gets launched after every reboot. You should run the system optimizer on the machine to repair those files without affecting anything else. You might achieve that with Reimage Reimage Cleaner .

As for the initial StartFenster.de removal, you need to rely on professional anti-malware tools, AV engines based on file-based detection and run a full check on the system. This way you can see all the potential threats and remove them automatically. Also, go to the end of this article to find a manual guide for PUP[2] removal and browser resetting.  StartFenster PUP
StartFenster.de is the Germany-based domain that is posing as a search engine. This is a PUP related to advertisers and commercial content creators.

Pre-bundled shady applications spread on devices quick

Such infections that are based on affecting the web browsing tools are spreading around with the help of shady techniques involving other freeware installations. Third-party applications get bundled with freeware and when the user skips through installations steps shady program enters the system automatically because you agree to all the packed programs on the installation setup by choosing Recommended or Quick.

Browser hijackers sometimes also get installed by other PUPs automatically and start affecting the browsing activities as an additional function, so you need to check the machine fully to find all the shady programs. The best way to avoid such infections would be staying away from deceptive pages, torrent sites and choosing Advanced or Custom options every time you download anything from the web.

StartFenster virus needs to be removed using anti-malware tools to end the frustration completely

We cannot offer one solution for the StartFenster virus removal because each browser hijacker, adware or general PUP has particular features that affect each virus elimination and determines the required technique. Since this is a browser hijacker it affects your web browsing tools, so you should reset them to default to change all the settings back to normal.

If you try to get rid of StartFenster.de left changes yourself it may not give the best results because interfering with some settings may affect the performance but PUP remains running in the background still. Also, you need to eliminate all extensions, plugins, and toolbars to end all processes related to browser hijacking.

Also, as we mentioned and many experts[3] note you need to remove StartFenster virus as soon as possible due to data-tracking that ad-supported sites are known for. The more time you give the more affected your time online gets and the more personalized advertising content you receive.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner . 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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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Reimage Cleaner, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Reimage Cleaner has a free limited scanner. Reimage Reimage Cleaner 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 Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove StartFenster virus, follow these steps:

Delete StartFenster from Windows systems

Clean the system from any traces of the shady PUPs and StartFenster virus hijack

  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 StartFenster and related programs
    Here, look for StartFenster 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 StartFenster 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.

Remove StartFenster 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 StartFenster 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'

Eliminate StartFenster 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 StartFenster 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 StartFenster removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Erase StartFenster virus 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, StartFenster should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Get rid of StartFenster from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

You should go through your browsers and change those settings to default, eliminate any suspicious extensions or add-ons

  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 StartFenster 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 StartFenster removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall StartFenster from Google Chrome

Set the browser to default, so StartFenster virus is terminated completely

  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 StartFenster 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 StartFenster removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

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

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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