MyStartSearch is an unwelcome online service which is usually imposed on unwary users so that their custom browser settings get replaced by a different web page.
Gone are the days when computer viruses would primarily spread through physical media such as floppies. In today’s ubiquitously connected world, the Internet is where cybercrime lives, and that’s the environment used for distributing malware. Web browsers have been consistently prone to attacks – maybe because the bad guys are working hard to find loopholes and get around the defenses, or perhaps because browser vendors aren’t trying hard enough to implement security measures that would actually work. But there is one more very likely reason: human factor. Adware applications like MyStartSearch are heavily exploiting social engineering tactics so that people end up installing them without even realizing the fact.
This potentially unwanted program ought to be analyzed inseparably from its landing page, MyStartSearch.com. The causation between these two is as follows: the adware changes the basic custom settings of web browsers running on the infected computer and makes them default to the above domain name. The values undergoing such an effect include the homepage, search engine and new tab preferences, therefore the victim will be bound to experience a recurring traffic hijack, where the undesired site is visited during the customary web surfing events. The bug tends to also alter the URL string in the Target settings of the shortcuts for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer, thus turning the compromise into a yet more persistent encounter.
MyStartSearch.com isn’t malicious itself; it’s just a page with built-in search feature and icons linking to online resources grouped by Popular Sites, Shopping, and Games categories. The inoffensive essence of this service doesn’t make the underlying infection any safer. The adware uses the infamous Search Protect tool to persist on the system, so its bad effect isn’t possible to override with the standard manual action. This threat is dropped on PCs in a hardly noticeable fashion while bundling with harmless open source solutions such as the Flash Player, FastPlayerPro, and Maxiget. Note that the freeware shouldn’t be blamed for the contamination, because it’s the installation clients that make the setup potentially unsafe and stealthy. The following steps will explain how to get rid of MyStartSearch problem and get the browsers returning the correct default pages.
Run security software to remove MyStartSearch virus
Antimalware industry has got an efficient response to threats like MyStartSearch. A combination of signature-based detection and heuristics built into the recommended security tool can accurately identify the plague so that removal becomes a simple, one-click experience.
Download and install MyStartSearch remover. Once the tool is running, click Start Computer Scan.
- Upon completion of the scan, the program will display a list of harmful items that were detected. Select the Fix Threats feature in order to have the adware automatically removed.
Manually uninstall the malware using Programs and Features
- Access the Control Panel. Click on Programs and select Uninstall a program
- Click the Installed On column title to sort the list of programs by date, which makes it easier to spot the recent ones. Look for suspicious entries. If MyStartSearch is listed (which isn’t always the case), select the program and hit the Uninstall button at the top, or select the corresponding option from the right-click context menu
Remove MyStartSearch.com from the web browser
The technique covered below is intended to restore original settings of the browsers targeted by this adware. Please be advised that all benign add-ons as well as cached information and website data will be lost along with the malicious components.
Troubleshoot Google Chrome malfunctioning
- Go to the Chrome menu icon as shown below and pick Settings on the list
- Select Show advanced settings at the very bottom of the screen
- Click the Reset settings button
- Read the notification carefully to learn what types of data will be erased and click Reset
- Restart the Chrome browser.
Fix the problem in Mozilla Firefox
- Type about:support in address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page
- Click Refresh Firefox button in the right-hand grayish box
- Peruse the alert. If you agree to the changes, click Refresh Firefox
- Restart Firefox.
Restore Internet Explorer defaults
- Click Tools or Gear icon in IE and pick Internet Options from the suggested entries
- Go to Advanced tab and click Reset button
- Enable the Delete personal settings feature and click Reset to complete
- It takes a PC reboot for the changes to be applied, so go ahead and follow the prompts.
Put the finishing touches to MyStartSearch removal
Adware activity isn’t restricted to adding malicious browser extensions and program files. These sorts of infections are known to also meddle with Registry information and system startup settings, consequently a thoroughgoing fix may involve more action than manual troubleshooting. So consider rescanning your PC to make sure the threat is no longer there.