What is Startsearcher.com and how do I remove it from my computer?

Don’t let your browser’s homepage become hijacked!

We have had requests from our customers looking for help with a type of malware that takes over the default search engine of your web browser and forces you to use their search engine. We conducted a little investigation of our own into this matter…

Remember the saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”? This applies to the internet as well. There are many “free” offers online, but there is usually some type of price to be paid. We discovered attractive “Free” Facebook themes being offered online. At first glance they appear to be exactly what they claim to be, but we discovered that during installation of a theme that an additional piece of software is being downloaded. This piece of software is called StartSearcher.com.

You know right off if you are a victim of this if when you click on the ‘Home’ icon or first start your browser and are taken to StartSearcher.com instead of a homepage you’ve previously set (ie default browser). There appears to be no way to change this setting and can be extremely frustrating and time consuming to attempt to remove.

The StartSearcher.com program that causes this behaviour actually changes your browser configuration settings at the code level, so that even when you attempt to change your home page back to one you want, it keeps reverting to StartSearcher.com.

Given that we couldn’t find any uninstall option for it, we thought we’d put together a quick how-to (for Firefox) for anyone who wants to cleanse this from their browser manually.

  1. Open Firefox

     

     

  2. In the address bar type about:config and hit enter. A warning page will pop up indicating that you may void your warranty, you are entering the advanced settings area and to only continue if you are sure of what you are doing. If you’re comfortable proceeding, click “I’ll be careful, I promise!”

     

    startsearcher uninstall

     

  3. Find the filter box and search for: startsearcher

     

    Remove startsearcher.com

     

  4. You will likely have a bunch of entries come up. (In our example, we had 3). Each of these basic Firefox settings has had its value overwritten by startsearcher, so you’ll want to reset them.

     

    Steps to remove startsearcher.com

     

  5. To reset, right click on each of the rows and select ‘Reset’ from the list of options. You should see startsearcher disappear from the value field and default Firefox values return.

     

    Delete startsearcher

     

That’s it. The next time you start Firefox, StartSearcher.com should be gone and you should once again be able to set your home page as you wish.

 

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