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loadstart.net virus

How to remove Loadstart.net (Virus Removal Guide)

Loadstart.net is a website that hijacks your current internet browser settings. The website will replace your home page, new tab page, and default search engine. This will cause your browser to start-up on loadstart.net and redirect to the website when a search is performed in the address bar.

loadstart.net virus

If your internet browser starts and redirects to the website when you search the web it means that your computer is infected with a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and browser hijacker. The website uses potentially unwanted programs and browser attachments to aggressively replace existing internet browser settings without consent or knowledge. Potentially unwanted programs and browser add-ons and extensions that cooperate with the website will replace the browser settings of each internet browser installed on the machine simultaneously. They will replace the home page, new tab page, and default search engine in order to cause the affected web browsers to start-up on the website and redirect to the website when a search is performed in the address bar or a new browser tab is manually opened.

The Loadstart.net browser hijacker will employ potentially unwanted programs and browser attachments like ScreenMaker2 in order to change settings. To make matters worse, these programs are usually bolstered by malicious advertising platforms and rogue download managers. In addition the platforms and download managers will advertise and bundle the initial threat with other rogue programs, malware, and malicious files.

What is Loadstart.net?

Loadstart.net is a website that is associated with a browser hijacker infection. If your existing browser settings have been replaced with this website it means that the computer is infected with a a PUP and browser hijacker. The website acts as a search engine that grabs search results from various search engines and popular websites.

How did Loadstart.net virus get on my computer?

Potentially unwanted programs and browser attachments that change browser settings to this search engine typically bundle with free downloadable content. This includes freeware, shareware, plugins, and torrents. Downloading free items online can result in potentially unwanted programs, adware, and malware infecting the computer system. Even if a program is commonly used by many people and reputable (Google Chrome, Microsoft Word, etc.), if it is download  from a malicious website or via an untrustworthy download manager it can lead to a computer infection.

Some advertisements embedded by various websites and third-party download managers may also claim that the program used to change browser settings or another program a user might seek to download is something it is not. The program may also be offered as a custom install which allows users to manually chose to accept or decline the download.

How to remove Loadstart.net virus (Removal Guide)

This removal guide is designed to completely remove Loadstart.net virus and all other traces of malware from your computer. In order to remove this threat and other malicious programs follow each step below.

1. Download and Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software to scan for malware and automatically remove malicious files from your computer.

download malwarebytes

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2. Open Malwarebytes and click the Scan Now button – or go to the Scan tab and click the Start Scan button.

3. Once the Malwarebytes scan is complete click the Remove Selected button.

4. To finish the Malwarebytes scan and remove detected threats click the Finish button and restart your computer if promoted to do so.

5. Download and Install HitmanPro by Surfright to perform a second-opinion scan, remove remaining trace files, and automatically repair certain settings.

download hitmanpro

6. Open HitmanPro and click Next to start scanning your computer. *If you are using the free version you may chose to create a copy or perform a one-time scan.

7. Once the HitmanPro scan is complete click the Next button.

8. To activate the free version of HitmanPro: enter your email address twice and click the Activate button.

9. Click the Reboot button.

10. Download and Install CCleaner by Piriform to automatically cleanup junk files, repair your registry, and manage settings that may have been changed.

download ccleaner

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11. Open CCleaner and go to the main Cleaner screen. Click the Analyze button. When the process is complete, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.

12. Go to Tools > Startup and search for suspicious entries in each tab starting from Windows all the way to Content Menu. If you find anything suspicious click it and click the Delete button to remove it.

13. Go to the Registry window and click the Scan for Issues button. When the scan is complete click the Fix selected issues… button and click Fix All Selected Issues.

14. Make sure that your browser settings have been repaired by opening your affected web browser. If the browser was not repaired use the tutorials below to manually repair your browser settings.

How to manually repair your browser settings
How to stay protected against future infections

The key to staying protected against future infections is to follow common online guidelines and take advantage of reputable Antivirus and Anti-Malware security software with real-time protection.

Real-time security software

Security software like Malwarebytes and Norton Security have real-time features that can block malicious files before they spread across your computer. These programs bundled together can establish a wall between your computer and cyber criminals.

download norton security
Common Online Guidelines

  • Backup your computer and personal files to an external drive or online backup service
  • Create a restore point on your computer in case you need to restore your computer to a date before infection
  • Avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions, and programs you are not familiar with
  • Avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions, and programs from websites you are not familiar with – some websites use their own download manager to bundle additional programs with the initial download
  • If you plan to download and install freeware, open source software, or shareware make sure to be alert when you install the object and read all the instructions presented by the download manager
  • Avoid torrents and P2P clients
  • Do not open email messages from senders you do not know
Helpful Links

Sean Doyle

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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