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Hotstartsearch virus

How To Remove The HotStartSearch Virus – Hotstartsearch.com Redirect Removal Instructions (Fast Free Search)

What is HotStartSearch (HotStart Search)?

HotStartSearch (HotStartSearch.com/Free Fast Search), also referred to as the HotStartSearch virus or HotStartSearch redirect, is reported as potentially unwanted malware, categorized as a browser hijacker. HotStartSearch malware changes internet browser settings, including the home page and default (provided, managed) search engine, in order to cause infected internet browsers to start up on and redirect to HotStartSearch.com and other websites. It has also been reported that the HotStartSearch search engine home page may contain malicious links that can initiate the installment of adware, spyware, and trojan horses.

Hotstartsearch virus

HotStartSearch.com attempts to appear like a legitimate search engine that uses Yahoo developer tools, though HotStartSearch does not actually perform like a realistic search engine. Furthermore, attempting to search using the HotStartSearch.com website has been reported to have a connection to the spread of dangerous third-party malware.

How does HotStartSearch.com infect a computer?

if your internet browser is redirecting and starting up on HotStartSearch.com without your consent, you may have contracted the HotStartSearch virus via third-party downloads, including freeware, shareware, and torrents. HotStartSearch redirections may also be relative to Facebook scams and compromised Facebook accounts.

It has also been noted by our visitors that Fast Free Converter may be the culprit of unwanted hotstartseach.com redirects. Removing the third-party malware if located is recommended.

Green Arrow Bullet   How to remove the HotStartSearch virus

  1. Automatic Removal Instructions – Automatically detect and remove malware
  2. Manual Removal Instructions – Manually remove HotStartSearch and third-party malware

1. How to automatically remove Conduit and third-party malware

Use the instructions below to automatically remove the HotStartSearch virus and third-party malware, as well as repair internet browser settings.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

1. Install the free or paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.

Purchase   Download

2. Once Malwarebytes is installed, open it! If you are using the free version of Malwarebytes you will be prompted to update the database, do so.

3. Open the first tab labeled “Scanner” and select the Perform full scan option. Click the Scan button to perform a full system scan. Malwarebytes will automatically detect and remove malware affecting your computer system.

Malwarebytes Perform Full Scan

4. Once the full system scan is complete, Malwarebytes may prompt a message stating malicious objects were detected. Select the malicious objects and click the Remove Selected button to completely remove the malicious files from your computer (the image below shows a file that is NOT selected).

Malwarebytes Gadgetbox


CCleaner can be used to repair internet browser settings. CCleaner can automatically stop your browser from redirecting to http://www.hotstartsearch.com and other websites.

1. Install the free or paid version of CCleaner by Piriform.

CCleaner Analyze Cleaner

2. Navigate to Cleaner > Windows/Applications and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.

CCleaner Startup

3. Next, navigate to Tools > Startup and search through each tab starting from windows, internet explorer, etc., all the way to Content Menu, for additional suspicious entries and click Disable and Delete once anything is found.

2. How to manually remove HotStartSearch

The instructions below can be used to manually remove HotStartSearch and third-party software and browser attachments.

Windows Uninstaller – Control Panel

1. Access Windows Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel.

Uninstall a program

2. Click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program (depending on your version of Windows).

3. In the list of installed programs, search for HotStart Search and other suspicious software, including third party programs and uninstall them by double clicking the icon.

Remove HotStartSearch & Third-Party Attachments

It is suggested to Uninstall any unwanted programs and browser helper objects using Window’s Uninstaller or CCleaner prior to removing the browser attachment.

Mozilla Firefox

1. Type Ctrl+Shift+A.

2. On the Extensions and Plugin search for HotStartSearch and any suspicious add-ons and remove them if located.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

1. Click Tools and select Manage add-ons.

2. On the Toolbars and Extensions tab search for HotStartSearch and any suspicious add-ons and remove them if located.

Google Chrome

1. Click on the Customize icon (wrench or 3 bar icon) next to the address bar and navigate to Tools > Extensions (or type chrome://chrome/extensions/ into the address bar).

2. Search for the HotStartSearch extension suspicious extensions and remove them by clicking the trashcan icon next to them.

How to remove Hotstartsearch.com from your home page (Stop start up)

  • In Mozilla Firefox navigate to Tools > Options or click Firefox in the top left corner and click Options > Options. Under the General tab remove Hotstartsearch.com from the “Home Page:” field and replace it with your preferred home page URL.
  • In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools >Internet Options. Remove Hotstartsearch.com from the Home Page field and replace it with your preferred URL.
  • In Google Chrome click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings.Click “Set pages” under the On startup option. Remove Hotstartsearch.com and replace it with your preferred URL.

How to remove the Hotstartsearch.com search engine (Stop redirect)

  • In Mozilla Firefox, click the small search magnify glass near the search box (not url/search field) and click “Manage Search Engines…”. Remove the http://hotstartsearch.com search engine from the list of search providers by highlighting the selections and clicking remove.
  • In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools > Manage Add Ons > Search Providers and remove the http://hotstartsearch.com search engine from the list.
  • In Google Chrome, click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings > Manage search engines… click the X next to http://hotstartsearch.com to remove it as your search engine. If http://hotstartsearch.com is set as Google Chrome’s default search engine, add (or select) a new search engine (such as Google.com) and select the new search engine as the default search engine, then remove http://hotstartsearch.com by clicking the X next to it.

Lead Editor

Sean is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. He is featured in several publications.

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  • I removed everything manually, yet still had problems with it. Sometimes during a google search, when I clicked on the search bar to do a different search, a new tab with hotstartsearch opened.
    There was an Add-on in Firefox called “Fast Free Converter”. Because of the “innocent” name I missed it the first several times (I’ve got a whole bunch of add-ons…).

    • Thank you, Kevin! I have tried the instructions on this page and have tried over 6 different virus removal programs/spyware/malware etc without success. After uninstalling Fast Free Converter no more annoying browser redirect!

      • We’re glad you were able to remove it with help of a comment.

        Please note, the instructions on this page detail that suspicious and third-party programs, add-ons, and extensions should be removed (the amount of software and browser attachments is too large to list). Also note, CCleaner will absolutely disable and remove any startup setting if manually instructed to do so (Instruction: 1 > CCleaner > 3).

        Furthermore, Fast Free Converter will be edited into this article in the future given their relationship.

        Thank you to you both for your comments.

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