Remove StartNow Toolbar (Uninstall Guide)

StartNow is a program that offers a toolbar which are being promoted via other free programs, and once installed on your computer, they will hijack your browser homepage and replace your default search engine.
[Image: StartNow Toolbar]
StartNow Toolbar got on your computer after you have installed another free software or add-on that had bundled into their installer this browser hijacker. For example, when you install VPlay, you’ll also install the StartNow Toolbar, set your browser homepage to http://startnow.com/m and change your default search engine to yahoo.com.However, when you uninstall VPlay from your computer, your web browser’s default settings will not be restored. This means that you’ll have to remove StartNow Toolbar from your favorite web browser manually.
[Image: StartNow Toolbar installation process]
You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this browser hijacker. Be very careful what you agree to install. Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

How to remove StartNow Toolbar hijack (Virus Removal Guide)

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove “StartNow Toolbar” virus from your computer and any other adware program that may have been installed during the setup process.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.

STEP 1: Remove StartNow Toolbar redirect with AdwCleaner
STEP 2: Remove StartNow Toolbar virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
STEP 3: Double-check for the “StartNow Toolbar” malware with HitmanPro
(Optional) STEP 4: Remove StartNow Toolbar from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome

If you are using an Apple Mac OS X operating system, please follow this Remove virus from Apple Mac OS X (Pop-up Ads and Adware) guide to remove StartNow Toolbar.

STEP 1: Remove StartNow Toolbar redirect with AdwCleaner

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and web browser for the StartNow Toolbar malicious files, browser extensions and registry keys, that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.

  1. You can download AdwCleaner from the below link.
    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will download “AdwCleaner” on your computer)
  2. Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
    Start AdwCleaner
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
  3. When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the “Scan” button as shown below.
    AdwCleaner Scan button
    AdwCleaner will now start to search for the “StartNow Toolbar” malicious files that may be installed on your computer.
  4. To remove the “StartNow Toolbar” malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the “Clean” button.
    Remove StartNow Toolbar with AdwCleaner
  5. AdwCleaner will prompt you to save any open files or documents, as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.
    AdwCleaner removing adware

STEP 2: Remove StartNow Toolbar virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free uses industry-leading technology to detect and remove all traces of malware, including worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware, and more.
It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free”)
  2. Once downloaded, close all programs, then double-click on the icon on your desktop named “mbam-setup” to start the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    Start Malwarebytes Anti-Malware setup
    Picture of User Account Control You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
  3. When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Installer
    To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware final screen
  4. Once installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program, and that a scan has never been run on your system. To start a system scan you can click on the “Scan Now” button.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Scan Now
  5. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for the StartNow Toolbar virus. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is scanning it will look like the image below.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Scanning for Malware
  6. When the scan has completed, you will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has found, click on the “Remove Seletected” button.
    Remove the malware that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected
    Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.
  7. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. When removing the files, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot your computer, please allow it to do so.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware asking to restart PC
    After your computer will restart, you should open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform another “Threat Scan” scan to verify that there are no remaining threats

STEP 3: Double-check for the “StartNow Toolbar” malware infection with HitmanPro

HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner, designed to rescue your computer from malware (viruses, trojans, rootkits, etc.) that have infected your computer despite all the security measures you have taken (such as anti-virus software, firewalls, etc.). HitmanPro is designed to work alongside existing security programs without any conflicts. It scans the computer quickly (less than 5 minutes) and does not slow down the computer.

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “HitmanPro”)
  2. Double-click on the file named “HitmanPro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “HitmanPro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
    HitmanPro Installer
    Click on the “Next” button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
    itmanPro while installing on PC
  3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for StartNow Toolbar malicious files.
    HitmanPro scanning
  4. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the “Next” button, to remove StartNow Toolbar virus.
    HitmanPro detected malware
  5. Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    Remove malware with HitmanPro

(Optional) STEP 4: Remove StartNow Toolbar from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome

If you are still experiencing issues with the StartNow Toolbar browser hijacker in Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome, we will need to reset your browser to its default settings. This step needs to be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.

Reset Internet Explorer


You can reset Internet Explorer settings to return them to the state they were in when Internet Explorer was first installed on your PC.

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the “gear iconIE Icon Gear in the upper right part of your browser, then click again on Internet Options.
    [Image: Internet Options in Internet Explorer]
  2. In the “Internet Options” dialog box, click on the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.
    [Image: Reset Internet Explorer]
  3. In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click on “Reset” button.
    [Image: Reset Internet Explorer to its default settings]
  4. When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box. You will now  need to close your browser, and then you can open Internet Explorer again.
    [Image Reset Internet Explorer settings]

Reset Mozilla Firefox


If you’re having problems with Firefox, resetting it can help. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history and open tabs.

  1. In the upper-right corner of the Firefox window, click the Firefox menu button ([Image: Firefox Menu button]), then click on the “Help” ([Image: Firefox Help button]) button.
    [Image: Click on the Menu button then Help]
  2. From the Help menu, choose Troubleshooting Information.
    If you’re unable to access the Help menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page.
    [Image: Troubleshooting Information in Firefox]
  3. Click the “Reset Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
    [Image: Reset Firefox to its default settings]
  4. To continue, click on the “Reset Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
    [Image: Click on the Reset Firefox button]
  5. Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.

Note: Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.

Reset Google Chrome

  1. Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines ([Image: Chrome's main menu button]) .When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled Settings.
    [Image: Click on Settings button]
  2. Chrome’s Settings should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Show advanced settings link (as seen in the below example).
    [Image: Click on Show advanced settings link]
  3. Chrome’s advanced Settings should now be displayed. Scroll down until the Reset browser settings section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the Reset browser settings button.
    [Image: Click on Reset browser button]
  4. A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the Reset button.
    [Image: Click on Reset button to restore Chrome to default settings]
Your computer should now be free of the StartNow Toolbar browser hijacker.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove StartNow Toolbar redirect from your machine, please do one of the following:

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ABOUT STELIAN PILICI

I am the creator and owner of MalwareTips. I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 9 years working as a security researcher.

My area of expertise includes Malware Analysis and Computer Forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.

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  • Jim

    Thanks for the help. No other help site I found did the trick, but this did.

  • Sam

    thank you for this.

  • Konrad

    Thanks for the help. I had no idea what “StartNow” was or why it was hijacking my Google Chrome page. Yikes. It was pissing me off but I thought it was harmless.

    Your instructions were great. Fantastic even. As I had not heard of the downloads before, I had to check on the downloads you suggested. All of them checked out. Whew. I’m not overly techy and worry when I’m not sure what I’m doing. But, you walked me though fine.

    Thanks very much.

    PS: I bought a FC Barcelona scarf when I was in Barcelona for a souvenir. They didn’t care for it when I showed it to people from Madrid. Had to get one there too. Still have both.