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Remove Wowstart.online virus (Simple Removal Guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Is Wowstart.online virus dangerous?

If you are an active Internet user, you are always at risk of encountering various potentially unwanted programs, such as Wowstart.online virus while browsing the web. This virus, which poses as a legitimate search engine, is more specifically classified as a browser hijacker. Once it stealthily enters your system, it may change your browser’s settings by assigning your homepage and default search engine to Wowstart.online. The good news is that this virus is only known to affect Google Chrome, while the users of Mozilla FireFox, Internet Explorer are safe. On top of that, this malware may also mess with your search results, display intrusive ads or track data. Since you may be exposed to all the mentioned problems while having this program installed on your computer, it is highly advisable that you remove Wowstart.online from your system as soon as possible. You can do that either manually or use some reputable anti-malware tool, such as ReimageIntego. To find out more about this PUP, please keep reading this article.

Wowstart.online hijack issue is one of the signature characteristics of the browser hijackers. However, it will not take long for you to notice other suspicious features of this virus if you are attentive enough. Despite its trustworthy appearance, this website does not disclose any details about its developers. Privacy Policy or End User License Agreement and similar important documents are also non-existent. Because of this lack of information, you cannot be sure on what basis this program works, and what is this program’s attitude towards personal information gathering. Therefore, there is no guarantee Wowstart.online will not collect your personal and non-personal data, which may include such essential information as your email, name, address, phone number and even credit card information or PIN number. This data may be obtained from various affiliate third-party websites or collected with the help of various cookies. The collected information can afterward be misused to generate ads targeted at your specific interests or even to empty your bank account. The latter situation may occur if you buy something online using Wowstart.online browser hijacker, as it may record the information you type into the purchase form.

Questions about Wowstart.online virus

What you may also notice while using this search engine, is that the results of your search inquiries rarely give objective or subject-related information. What is more, surfing the web with an infected browser may also result in your work being interrupted by intrusive ads and deceptive software update offers. Typically, through the manipulated search results and fake ads, PUPs like Wowstart.online redirect their users to some untrusted third-party websites. Be aware that these websites may be infective and contaminate your computer with all sorts of viruses, worms, adware, ransomware and other potentially unwanted programs.

The example of Wowstart.online virus

How is this virus distributed?

Wowstart.online does not have an official website from which you could download it. This means that it should have entered your computer’s system through some other means. It is not difficult for viruses like these to infiltrate computers. Usually, the users unknowingly install these PUPs themselves along with some freeware downloaded from unreliable websites. Such aggressive marketing method, widely practiced by the PUP developers, is called “bundling”. The information about the installation of the malicious programs is hidden in the “Custom” or “Advanced” settings of the initially downloaded software. Sadly, but the majority of the user’s rush through the installation using “Quick” or “Recommended” option and install the PUPs themselves. Therefore, to avoid having to deal with a lengthy Wowstart.online removal process, you should pay more attention the programs you are downloading and closely monitor every step of the software installation.

How to remove Wowstart.online virus?

This article has highlighted the main reasons why you should remove Wowstart.online from your computer. When it comes to the removal process itself, it is recommended to remove from the Google Chrome browser first, before switching to some acknowledged search engine. All you will need to track the infected Google Chrome files and delete them. Even though the process of this virus elimination can be carried out manually, you should not forget to scan your system with some trustworthy antivirus software for additional threats. For a successful Wowstart.online removal follow the instructions provided below.

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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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove 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.

To remove Wowstart.online virus, follow these steps:

Uninstall Wowstart.online 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 Wowstart.online and related programs
    Here, look for Wowstart.online 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 Wowstart.online 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.

Get rid of Wowstart.online from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Wowstart.online virus from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Wowstart.online 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 Wowstart.online 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 Wowstart.online virus and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Wowstart.online virus-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Delete Wowstart.online 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 Wowstart.online 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 Wowstart.online virus removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate Wowstart.online 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 Wowstart.online 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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

Erase Wowstart.online 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 Wowstart.online 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 Wowstart.online removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove Wowstart.online 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 Wowstart.online 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 Wowstart.online removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

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

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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  1. Nettekboo says:
    March 4th, 2016 at 3:29 am

    So funny. It even says serach in the tab. Definitely not a real search engine!!!

  2. Camillle says:
    March 4th, 2016 at 3:32 am

    It really does! Thanks for pointing that out. Just proves that the Wowstart.online developers are not serious about their service….

  3. Flexoduc96 says:
    March 4th, 2016 at 3:36 am

    I always go for the recommended settings. Who has time for the installation??!!

  4. Relonxxxiter3 says:
    March 4th, 2016 at 3:39 am

    I just use antivirus. I dont like dealing with viruses myself

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