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istartsurf.com virus

How to remove iStartSurf.com (Virus Removal Guide)

The iStartSurf.com virus (also found as the iStartSurf virus) is a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) and malware found in the browser hijacker category of computer threats that corrupts existing internet browser settings.

istartsurf.com virus

iStartSurf.com software and additional add-ons and extensions that it may bundle with, such as third-party item Protected Search by Conduit change existing internet browser settings, including the homepage, browser shortcut, and default browser search engine. In turn this causes Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer to redirect to http://www.istartsurf.com/, search.conduit.com, and start-up on the iStartSurf search engine when users open a new browser window or browser tab, or use the address bar or omni bar to search the internet.

Once software used to promote the iStartSurf.com redirect is installed the application will begin to replace existing internet browser settings, install additional software, and collect sensitive user information, including data manually submitted online.

Potential iStartSurf.com malware may also use additional techniques to collect customer information in order to serve targeted advertisements or persuade victims to purchase sponsored and/or non-beneficial software. This is why many vendors may consider such websites as spyware.

istartsurf virus

The iStartSurf virus may redirect users to additional websites such as Google.com and is not considered a legitimate standalone search engine. Search results displayed by the search engine contain suspicious sponsored links and website results.

How does the iStartSurf.com hijacker get onto a computer?

Items used to promote the iStartSurf.com redirect virus can be manually and voluntarily installed from a variety of questionable websites including download.com; however, iStartSurf primarily bundles with freeware and shareware, including aggressive installers that do not allow the user to cancel download.

Some users are given the opportunity to accept or decline an offer to install unwanted software and change their home page and search engine to the iStartSurf.com search engine, but the request to decline the offer is often ignored or represented in a confusing manner by the developer or distributor.

   Green Arrow Bullet   How to remove iStartSurf.com virus

  1. Automatically remove iStartSurf.com – Scan for and automatically remove iStartSurf.com and third-party malware
  2. Manually remove iStartSurf.com – Remove/Uninstall iStartSurf.com supported software and third-party malware (if necessary)
  3. For Tech Support – Call 1-888-879-0084 and they will kindly assist you with removing this infection

1. Automatic iStartSurf.com virus removal

Use the instructions below to automatically remove iStartSurf.com and third-party malware, as well as automatically remove unwanted search engines from your installed internet browsers.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

1. We highly recommend writing down the toll free number below in case you run into any issues or problems while following the instructions. Our techs will kindly assist you with any problems.

if you need help give us a call

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

Purchase   Download

3. Once Malwarebytes is installed, run the program. If you are using the free version of Malwarebytes you will be prompted to update the database, make sure to do so.

4. On the first tab labeled “Scanner” select the Perform full scan option and click the Scan button to perform a full system scan. Malwarebytes will automatically detect malware infecting the computer system.

Malwarebytes Perform Full Scan

5. Once the malware scan is complete, Malwarebytes may prompt a notice 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) or click the Delete button to remove quarantined files.

Malwarebytes Gadgetbox


CCleaner can be used to automatically repair internet browser settings startup up settings, and uninstall the iStartSurf.com hijacker and associated third-party software.

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

Purchase CCleaner for $24.95*   Free Download

CCleaner Analyze Cleaner

2. Once installed, open the program and 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.

4. To automatically uninstall iStartSurf.com supported software such as iStartSurf Toolbar, Search Protect, Conduit Toolbar, and other unwanted programs, navigate to the Uninstall tab and search for software used to support www.iStartSurf.com, etc. in the list of installed programs. Uninstall the unwanted software as selected by clicking the Run Uninstaller button.

2. Manual iStartSurf.com virus removal

Use the instructions below to manually uninstall iStartSurf.com supported software and third-party software using generic Microsoft Windows removal procedures. 

How to uninstall iStartSurf.com (supported software)

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

2. Click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program.

3. In the list of installed programs search for iStartSurf.com supported software such as Linkey and other potentially unwanted software. Once located, double click the unwanted programs or highlight them in the list and click the Uninstall button.

How to remove iStartSurf add-ons and extensions

Use the instructions to remove iStartSurf add-ons and extension. Please note, it may be necessary to remove different attachments than suggested and multiple third-party items.

Google Chrome

1. Click on the Customize icon (wrench or 3 bar icon) next to the address bar and navigate to Tools > Extensions.

2. Search for the iStartSurf extension and remove it by clicking the trashcan icon next to them.

Mozilla Firefox

1. Type Ctrl+Shift+A.

2. On the Extensions and Plugin search for the iStartSurf add-on and remove it.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

1. Click Tools and select Manage add-ons.

2. On the Toolbars and Extensions tab search for the iStartSurf add-on and remove it if located.

How to remove iStartSurf search engine

  • In Mozilla Firefox, click the small search magnify glass near the search box (not url/search field) and click “Manage Search Engines…”. Remove iStartSurf 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 iStartSurf 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 iStartSurf search engine to remove it.

Please note, If http://www.iStartSurf.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 the unwanted search engine by clicking the X next to it.

How to remove iStartSurf.com homepage

  • In Mozilla Firefox navigate to Tools > Options or click Firefox in the top left corner and click Options > Options. Under the General tab remove iStartSurf.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 iStartSurf.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 iStartSurf.com and replace it with your preferred homepage URL.

Helpful Links:

Jared Harrison

Jared Harrison is an accomplished tech author and entrepreneur, bringing forth over 20 years of extensive expertise in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and various other tech domains. He has made significant contributions to the industry and has been featured in multiple esteemed publications. Jared is widely recognized for his keen intellect and innovative insights, earning him a reputation as a respected figure in the tech community.

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