In this article we are going to try and help you remove Istart123. Our instructions cover all Windows versions as well as most browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.
In case you can hardly navigate through your web pages and various ads, banners, and pop-ups constantly are interrupting your browsing activity, then there is a great chance of you dealing with a browser hijacker. And more precisely, one of the newest browser hijackers called Istart123. These types of programs are known for the intrusive and undesired ads they display as well as the changes they apply in your browser. A new browser homepage may have replaced your current one and every time you search the web, you may get redirected to some new tabs with offers and ads. These are all clear signs of a browser hijacker infection and in the next lines we will show you exactly how to clean your system from it. To do so, you will need to carefully follow the steps in the removal guide below, because there you will be able to detect and manually delete all Istart123 related files and their traces. When you are done, you will no longer see all these annoying popping banners and messages and you would be able to restore your browser settings to normal. But before you scroll down to the removal guide, it is important to familiarize yourself with the specifics of this type of programs and the best methods of prevention.
How can Istart123 get on your computer?
Since you can’t recall installing such a program, this is probably the question that is bugging you the most. However, you may be surprised to know that actually you willingly downloaded and installed Istart123 on your PC. How did this happen? Well, the most common way to get a browser hijacker is a software bundle. If you are not familiar, this is a method that many software developers use. What they do is they pack a browser hijacker with another piece of software that users download and install. Usually, such bundles could be found in Torrents, open source platforms, free downloads, download managers or even spam emails. When the users get the free software, they usually install it the quick way and unfortunately they don’t read the EULA or check the advanced/custom options in the setup. This way, they very often overlook the additional applications such as Istart123, which get installed along, if not manually deselected.
But why do programmers bundle such disturbing browser hijackers? At first you may think that the ads displaying activity has no sense, but in fact, there is a lot of money in it. The developers earn from every click the ads get through a well-known Pay-Per-Click business model. This explains why they are so intrusive with the constant flow of banners, blinking messages, promotional pages, and links. The more ads are displayed, the greater the chance of people clicking on them. To increase the chances of clicking even more, the browser hijacker is also programmed to keep track of the user’s online activity and customize its ads according to the user’s searches. For example, if you search for a new smartphone, soon you may see that most of the ads that are displayed would be related to smartphones, best brands, top offers and accessories for mobile devices. The browser hijacker may even redirect you to such pages. Despite that this activity may sound useful to some people, there are others who feel that their privacy is violated when such private data about their online activity is collected. Therefore, many of them prefer to simply uninstall the program, rather than being worried where this data goes and who uses it.
Could Istart123 be called a virus or a malware?
When data collecting and browsing interruption is aggressively making your web surfing impossible, it is possible that you think of Istart123 as a virus or some nasty malware. However, there is a huge difference between browser hijackers and real online threats like viruses, Ransomware, Trojans, Spyware and many more malicious scripts out there. In fact, a browser hijacker can’t be even compared to them and in most cases it cannot impose any direct harmful activity on your computer. Security experts even consider it to be among the most harmless applications one could get, since it cannot destroy your files or your system in any way.
However, there is still a small chance you bump into threats like Trojans and especially Ransomware. Hackers are recently using new techniques to infect unsuspecting people through a method known as malvertising and we should warn you about it. This could happen indirectly, in case that a malicious ad sneaks among the dozens of ads that are displayed. If you happen to click on such a compromised ad, it may introduce you to some serious malware or redirect you to illegal web locations where you could get infected. Therefore, in case you really want to eliminate that risk, you may wish to completely uninstall Istart123 from your computer. To do that, simply follow the instructions below and you will be able to remove it in just a few minutes.
Many types of malware will restrict your access to their core files. It is highly recommended that you reboot your PC in safe mode before attempting to use this guide.
- To enable Safe Mode reboot you PC, then hit F8 repeatedly. When the corresponding menu opens please select Safe Mode with Networking.
WARNING! If you are using Windows 8,0 or later and/or your operating system is installed on a fast SSD drive this may fail to work. In this case click here to see how to start your PC in Safe Mode.
#1: Uninstall the malicious program from your control panel
Enter control panel to look for any suspicious programs, which may have installed on your PC. To do that:
- Navigate to your Desktop
- Press simultaneously the Win button together with the R button (Win+R)
- In the Run window that just opened type appwiz.cpl
- Go through the list of programs and find Istart123 or anything else that may seem suspicious. Right-click on it and choose the uninstallation option
WARNING! Carefully read any confirmation messages that may be created in the process. Sometimes you may get offers to download more Adware applications and this can be linked to either the Yes or the No answer depending on the wording!
Go through the list of programs again and check online for any potentially unwanted programs. We have an article that covers this awesome free software that makes sure that your computer is free from bloatware and programs that you don’t need.
#2: Remove Istart123 From Chrome
Now we’ll remove the extensions that the malware has attached to your browser.
- Open your Google Chrome browser.
- Type chrome://extensions/ in the URL address bar and press Enter.
- Click on “Developer Mode” on the top right and look for the extension installed by Istart123 and anything that might be related to it. Copy their IDs (the string of letters), then remove them by clicking on the trash bin icon.
- Type Regedit in the Windows Start Menu and press Enter. Go in : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Google\Chrome\Extensions and delete the entries corresponding to the suspicious IDs you recorded.
#3: Remove Istart123 From Firefox
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type “about:support” in the URL address bar and press Enter.
- Click on the “Refresh Firefox” button on the right and confirm.
#4 Remove Istart123 From Internet Explorer
- Open your Internet Explorer internet browser.
- Click on the Gear icon on the up right, then on manage add-ons.
- Go through the list disable any suspicious extensions.
#5 Remove any leftover parasitic processes
From the task manager:
- Use Ctrl + Shift + Esc and open the Task manager, then click on the Processes
- Go through the list of processes and look for unknown or otherwise suspicious entries.
- If you see anything suspicious right click on the process and shoes Open File Location, then terminate the process and delete any files you find in the directory.
WARNING! If the directory you open from this menu has no files inside of it it’s probably because the malware has hidden them. You need to reveal hidden files and folders in order to be able to see them. Click here if you don’t know how to do that.
From the start menu:
- Press simultaneously the Win button together with the R button (Win+R)
- In the Run window that just opened type msconfig
- Click on the Startup tab.
This menu controls which programs are loaded when windows starts after a reboot. Disable anything that seems suspicious. Optionally you can also disable any program that you don’t need and also has a high impact on your startup time.
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