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Can’t Remove Webstart.me hijacker virus? This page includes detailed Webstart.me Removal instructions!
As you probably know already, Webstart.me is unreliable. This program is anything but the safe search engine that it was supposed to be. In fact, Webstart.me has been classified as a browser hijacker. Have you crossed paths with hijackers so far? If so, you’re aware of what tricks these viruses have in store. Hijackers are immensely problematic as well as irritating. Being a classic member of the pesky hijacker family, Webstart.me is no exception. The parasite modifies your default search engine and homepage. Both get replaced with its domain which means there’s no escaping Webstart.me. No matter which website you attempt to visit, you have to deal with the hijacker. This program takes over all your browsers and doesn’t bother to seek your permission. To be fair, nobody expects a cyber infection to take care of your online experience. The thing is, Webstart.me is presented as a harmless program. It promises to provide quick, accurate search results. The only thing it does provide is access to malware, though. Keep in mind that you’re dealing with a creation of hackers. Crooks’ very last concern is to enhance your browsing experience. On the other hand, they are quite dedicated to gaining profit online. By using the pay-per-click mechanism, crooks make money at your expense. Webstart.me also installs a browser plugin so you may come across some commercials as well. Of course, those are questionable, often corrupted pop-ups. Webstart.me only generates sponsored search results and commercials. Stay away from these unreliable web links unless you’re willing to support hackers’ business. Furthermore, clicking the links displayed by the virus could cause you damage. If you click the wrong pop-up or search result, you’ll get redirected to dangerous pages. Hence, you may download more infections on your already infected PC. Save yourself the hassle Webstart.me could create. Uninstall the parasite as soon as possible.
How did I get infected with?
The easiest infiltration method is called freeware or shareware bundling. You’ll quickly see for yourself how simple and effective that tactic is. All that hackers have to do is attach a certain virus to a program bundle. You do the rest of the job by rushing the installation process. Most PC users prefer to skip steps and overlook the immense threat they get exposed to. Eventually, they end up compromising their own computers. Remember that unless you pay close attention to the program bundle, you may install the addition infections in there. Opt for the custom/advanced option in the Setup Wizard in order to make sure there are no bonuses. If you spot some questionable program, deselect it. Your caution could protect your machine from infections so don’t be negligent. Preventing malware installation is your job and yours only. Do the right thing and your computer will remain virus-free. Another rule of thumb is to avoid unverified websites, suspicious-looking torrents and third-party pop-ups. Always watch out for parasites when surfing the Web.
Why is this dangerous?
Webstart.me hijacks all three of the most popular browsers out there. It successfully messes with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. That means you should wave your browsing activities goodbye. There is no more surfing the Web at peace, let alone finding the pages you need. The infection stubbornly redirects you and causes your machine to underperform. Thus, your PC now crashes and freezes like nobody’s business. Webstart.me might affect your Internet connection as well. As mentioned, the virus could start generating random pop-up ads and other sponsored, devious commercials. To top it all, this program may result in some serious privacy issues. For example, the hijacker steals your browsing history, IP addresses, email addresses, usernames and passwords. It might not stop there, though. If you’re unlucky enough, the virus could monitor some of your personally identifiable data too. Yes, that includes your bank account details as well as online credentials. Hackers could sell your data to third parties thus involving you in some nasty financial scam or even identity theft. To delete the hijacker manually, please follow our detailed removal guide down below.
How to Remove Webstart.me virus
The Webstart.me infection is specifically designed to make money to its creators one way or another. The specialists from various antivirus companies like Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Norton, Avast, ESET, etc. advise that there is no harmless virus.
If you perform exactly the steps below you should be able to remove the Webstart.me infection. Please, follow the procedures in the exact order. Please, consider to print this guide or have another computer at your disposal. You will NOT need any USB sticks or CDs.
STEP 1: Track down Webstart.me related processes in the computer memory
- Open your Task Manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keys simultaneously
- Carefully review all processes and stop the suspicious ones.
- Write down the file location for later reference.
Step 2: Locate Webstart.me startup location
Reveal Hidden Files
- Open any folder
- Click on “Organize” button
- Choose “Folder and Search Options”
- Select the “View” tab
- Select “Show hidden files and folders” option
- Uncheck “Hide protected operating system files”
- Click “Apply” and “OK” button
Clean Webstart.me virus from the windows registry
- Once the operating system loads press simultaneously the Windows Logo Button and the R key.
- A dialog box should open. Type “Regedit”
- WARNING! be very careful when editing the Microsoft Windows Registry as this may render the system broken.
Depending on your OS (x86 or x64) navigate to:
- and delete the display Name: [RANDOM]
- Then open your explorer and navigate to: %appdata% folder and delete the malicious executable.
Clean your HOSTS file to avoid unwanted browser redirection
Navigate to %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/host
If you are hacked, there will be foreign IPs addresses connected to you at the bottom. Take a look below:
STEP 3 : Clean Webstart.me traces from Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer
Open Google Chrome
- In the Main Menu, select Tools then Extensions
- Remove the Webstart.me by clicking on the little recycle bin
- Reset Google Chrome by Deleting the current user to make sure nothing is left behind
Open Mozilla Firefox
- Press simultaneously Ctrl+Shift+A
- Disable the unwanted Extension
- Go to Help
- Then Troubleshoot information
- Click on Reset Firefox
Open Internet Explorer
- On the Upper Right Corner Click on the Gear Icon
- Click on Internet options
- go to Toolbars and Extensions and disable the unknown extensions
- Select the Advanced tab and click on Reset
- Restart Internet Explorer
Step 4: Undo the damage done by Webstart.me
This particular Virus may alter your DNS settings.
Attention! this can break your internet connection. Before you change your DNS settings to use Google Public DNS for Webstart.me, be sure to write down the current server addresses on a piece of paper.
To fix the damage done by the virus you need to do the following.
- Click the Windows Start button to open the Start Menu, type control panel in the search box and select Control Panel in the results displayed above.
- go to Network and Internet
- then Network and Sharing Center
- then Change Adapter Settings
- Right-click on your active internet connection and click properties. Under the Networking tab, find Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Left click on it and then click on properties. Both options should be automatic! By default it should be set to “Obtain an IP address automatically” and the second one to “Obtain DNS server address automatically!” If they are not just change them, however if you are part of a domain network you should contact your Domain Administrator to set these settings, otherwise the internet connection will break!!!
You must clean all your browser shortcuts as well. To do that you need to
- Right click on the shortcut of your favorite browser and then select properties.
- in the target field remove Webstart.me argument and then apply the changes.
- Repeat that with the shortcuts of your other browsers.
- Check your scheduled tasks to make sure the virus will not download itself again.
How to Permanently Remove Webstart.me Virus (automatic) Removal Guide
Please, have in mind that once you are infected with a single virus, it compromises your whole system or network and let all doors wide open for many other infections. To make sure manual removal is successful, we recommend to use a free scanner of any professional antimalware program to identify possible registry leftovers or temporary files.