In this article we are going to try and help you remove StartFenster.de . Our instructions cover all Windows versions as well as most browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.
StartFenster.de is a piece of software that “hijacks” your browser (applies to all the popular ones: Firefox, Opera, Chrome or Explorer) and then changes their settings, thus making them substitute your regular browser home page and default search engine with entirely unfamiliar ones; causing your browser to redirect you to unknown web locations, as soon as you try loading a web page; and last but not least – allowing a great number of pop-up, box, banner and tab ads to invade your search engine every time you open it.
What is StartFenster.de ?
Logically, all the typical features mentioned in the previous paragraph define StartFenster.de as a browser hijacker. All hijackers share the same characteristics as the ones explained above. Generally, these programs are relatively harmless. Still, it is necessary that we point out all of their potential effects, not only the ones which are not causing any damage. In fact, StartFenster.de could often be mistaken for a type of computer virus, like a Trojan or ransomware, because people are not really aware of the scope of its actions and some of its activities may really be considered slightly intrusive. We are going to illustrate this statement with some examples. StartFenster.de ‘s ability to produce many ads and flood all your browser windows with them could appear extremely irritating, however it is completely legal. The number of pop-ups and banners is so big because the more of them are generated, the more money their creators make.
This is online marketing, a completely legitimate and prolific strategy. Sometimes the ads that this hijacker shows might be in accordance with the latest of your browsing requests. This may confuse some users and they may think that StartFenster.de could be spying on them (again, not a virus). This is NOT the case, as browser hijackers might often review your surfing activities and try to find out what kind of services and products you may need. As a result, the whole flow of the generated pop-ups and other ads could be promoting the same things you have recently been searching for. There is nothing malicious about that. No harm could come from the change in your homepage as well, the one that you now see is the one that was paid to be advertised. Also, the redirects may seem dangerous to some users because of the possibility that they could take you to sites with hazardous content. As a whole, StartFenster.de has nothing to do with any kind of malicious software as it doesn’t possess its characteristics like blocking or destroying data, hijacking files, asking for money, turning your system into a bot, etc. It could only be highly disturbing due to the annoying nature of the ads it displays.
How and where has your PC become infected with StartFenster.de ?
Nothing could be said for sure about the contamination, as most browser hijackers could hide everywhere on the web. Your computer may catch them if you visit a shady web page, if you download a torrent from a questionable site, if you open or preview an spam email. Of course, there are some products that distribute most of the known hijackers and they are known as software bundles. They are what programmers make to spread StartFenster.de more easily and make money out of the displayed ads.
Still, no system has ever been contaminated with this hijacker because its owner has downloaded a program bundle. Most probably, the affected user has installed this combo using an improper method and that’s why their computer is now under the attack of so many pop-ups and redirections. You shouldn’t use the DEFAULT / TYPICAL or BRIEF installation step of the wizard that opens every time you try to install a program on your computer. Don’t select any of the aforementioned options. Instead, go with the other one, which could be named CUSTOM or ADVANCED in the installer. This way you will see what a particular bundle really contains and you will select only the programs that you are interested in, not the ad-producing ones.
What if the infection has already occurred?
We suggest that you implement all the steps from our Removal Guide below and see whether they will be useful enough to uninstall StartFenster.de . They have already been tested and should be what you need to remove this hijacker, just make sure that you follow every single instruction carefully. We hope that this article will be helpful enough and will be what will save you from the irritating ads.
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 StartFenster.de 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 StartFenster.de 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 StartFenster.de 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 StartFenster.de 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 StartFenster.de 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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