Search.StartNow.com is a browser hijacker, which is promoted via other free downloads, and once installed it will change your browser homepage http://search.startnow.com to and default search engine to http://search.yahoo.com.
Search.StartNow.com will display advertisements and sponsored links in your search results, and may collect search terms from your search queries. The Search.StartNow.com hijack is used to boost advertising revenue, as in the use of blackhat SEO, to inflate a site’s page ranking in search results.
Search.StartNow.com it’s technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a “PUP,” or potentially unwanted program.
Search.StartNow.com is an ad-supported (users may see additional banner, search, pop-up, pop-under, interstitial and in-text link advertisements) cross web browser plugin for Internet Explorer (BHO) and Firefox/Chrome (plugin) and distributed through various monetization platforms during installation. The browser extension includes various features that will modify the default or custom settings of the browser including the home page, search settings and in some cases will modify Internet Explorer’s load time threshold, place a lock file within Firefox to prevent competing software from changing its settings as well as disable the browser’s Content Security Policy in order to allow for cross site scripting of the plugin.
Search.StartNow.com got on your computer after you have installed a freeware software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this browser hijacker. Very often users have no idea where did it come from, so it’s not surprising at all that most of them assume that Search.StartNow.com is a virus.
For example, when you install the “Fast Free Convertor” program, you will also agree to change your browser homepage and default search engine to http://Search.StartNow.com/.
However when you uninstall the “Fast Free Convertor” program from your computer, your web browser’s default settings will not be restored. This means that you’ll have to remove Search.StartNow.com from your favorite web browser manually.
You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Search.StartNow.com 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 Search.StartNow.com browser hijacker (Virus Removal Guide)
This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove Search.StartNow.com from your Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.
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: Uninstall Search.StartNow.com program from your computer
STEP 2: Remove Search.StartNow.com browser hijacker from your computer with AdwCleaner
STEP 3: Remove Search.StartNow.com from Internet Explore, Firefox and Google Chrome with Junkware Removal Tool
STEP 4: Remove Search.StartNow.com malicious files with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
STEP 5: Double-check for the Search.StartNow.com infection with HitmanPro
(OPTIONAL) STEP 6: Reset your browser settings to remove Search.StartNow.com from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome
STEP 1: Uninstall Better-search Updater Service program from your computer
In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.
- To uninstall the Search.StartNow.com program from Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, click the Start button, then click on the Control Panel menu option.
If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for “control panel” .Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control Panel from there.
- When the Control Panel window opens click on the Uninstall a program option under Programs category. This option is shown by the arrow in the image below. If you are using the Classic View of the Control Panel, then you would double-click on the Programs and Features icon instead.
- When the Programs and Features or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall StartNow Toolbar and any other recently installed or unknown programs from your computer.
Depending on what program has installed the Search.StartNow.com infection, the above program may have a different name or not be installed on your computer. If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.
If you are having issues while trying to uninstall the Search.StartNow.com program, you can use Revo Uninstaller to completely remove this unwanted program from your machine.
STEP 2: Remove Search.StartNow.com browser hijacker with AdwCleaner
The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer for Search.StartNow.com malicious files that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.
- You can download AdwCleaner utility from the below link.
ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
- Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
- When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the Scan button as shown below.
AdwCleaner will now start to search for Search.StartNow.com malicious files that may be installed on your computer.
- To remove the Search.StartNow.com malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Clean button.
AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.
STEP 3: Remove Search.StartNow.com from Internet Explore, Firefox and Google Chrome with Junkware Removal Tool
Junkware Removal Tool is a powerful utility, which will remove Search.StartNow.com extensions from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.
- You can download the Junkware Removal Tool utility from the below link:
JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download the Junkware Removal Tool utility on your computer)
- Once Junkware Removal Tool has finished downloading, please double-click on the JRT.exe icon as seen below.
If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Junkware Removal Tool, please allow it to run.
- Junkware Removal Tool will now start, and at the Command Prompt, you’ll need to press any key to perform a scan for the Search.StartNow.com virus.
Please be patient as this can take a while to complete (up to 10 minutes) depending on your system’s specifications.
- When the scan Junkware Removal Tool will be completed, this utility will display a log with the malicious files and registry keys that were removed from your computer.
STEP 4: Remove Search.StartNow.com malicious files from your computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free utilizes Malwarebytes powerful technology to detect and remove all traces of malware including worms, trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware and more.
- You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link,then double click on it to install this program.
MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
- When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the setup process.
Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, click on the Finish button.
- On the Scanner tab, select Perform quick scan and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer.
- Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer as shown below.
- When the Malwarebytes scan will be completed,click on Show Result.
- You will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has detected.Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked) and click on the Remove Selected button.
STEP 5: Double check for the Search.StartNow.com 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.).
- You can download HitmanPro from the below link, then double click on it to start this program.
HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
- HitmanPro will start and you’ll need to follow the prompts (by clicking on the Next button) to start a system scan with this program.
- HitmanPro will start scanning your computer for malware, as seen in the image below.
- Once the scan is complete,you’ll see a screen which will display all the infected files that this utility has detected, and you’ll need to click on Next to remove these malicious files.
- Click Activate free licenseto start the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
(OPTIONAL)STEP 6: Reset your browser settings to remove Search.StartNow.com from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome
If you are still experiencing issues with the Search.StartNow.com redirect 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.
Remove Search.StartNow.comfrom Internet Explorer
- Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon (Tools for Windows XP users) at the top (far right), then click again on Internet Options.
- In the Internet Options dialog box, click on the Advanced tab, then click on the Reset button.
- In the Reset Internet Explorer settings section, check the Delete personal settings box, then click on Reset.
- When Internet Explorer finishes resetting, click Close in the confirmation dialogue box and then click OK.
- Close and open Internet Explorer.
Remove Search.StartNow.com from Mozilla Firefox
- At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button, go over to the Help sub-menu (on Windows XP, click the Help menu at the top of the Firefox window), and select Troubleshooting Information.
- Click the Reset Firefox button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Information page.
- To continue, click Reset Firefox in the confirmation window that opens.
- Firefox will close and be reset. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click Finish
Remove Search.StartNow.com from Google Chrome
- Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines () .When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled Settings.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
Your computer should now be free of the Search.StartNow.com infection. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Search.StartNow.com hijacker from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.