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Just earlier I opened IE to go check my emails, etc... but my startup page is not google anymore as it previously was. The startup page was instead some "mystartsearches" thing which I had not downloaded. I also had two new add-ins into IE that I had not downloaded nor had been installed with any other program. I have been able to remove said add-ons, I have changed the home page to google, but it still does not open google on startup. Is there any extra configuration or file I need to change to make this startup page changed to be in sync with my homepage?

Extra info: I have cleared all settings from IE, restored to default, cleared all history and cache, refreshed my DNS cache, etc.

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It sounds like you have a PUA (potentially unwanted application) installed. Usually they are installed alongside other applications; for example, Java offers to install the 'Ask' toolbar.

There are various removal guides online. I have had much success with the program 'AdwCleaner' (logo is a blue spider) at removing these type of programs.

Check your Programs and Features list to see if you can uninstall there, too. In your browser settings, you can change your home page and search providers- I imagine it will always change back until you get the offending program removed.

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  • I have already done all this - I have removed the offending plugins, removed the search provider and reset it to google and reset all settings in IE. As I also said, no unwanted applications have been installed as I manually extract installer packages to install only the program I wanted to install. – Bilfred Dec 18 '14 at 0:34
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I know answers with only links are discouraged on superuser, but I can't be bothered to type it all out. Feel free to downvote/flag/delete as needed...

Please refer to this guide for complete removal instructions (pictures included).

In case the link goes dead for future reference, I found it using a google search for "remove mystart search from ie"

Good luck with the removal!

---- EDIT; second suggestion ----

I can not take credit for this solution. Full credit goes to STELIAN PILICI from http://malwaretips.com

Source of this solution can be found here

Remove MyStartSearch.com redirect (Virus Removal Guide)

Mystartsearch.com is a browser hijacker, which is promoted via other free downloads, and once installed it will change your browser homepage and default search engine to Mystartsearch.com. Mystartsearch.com virus

The Mystartsearch.com homepage will display advertisements and sponsored links in your search results, and may collect search terms from your search queries. The Mystartsearch.com hijack is used to boost advertising revenue, as in the use of blackhat SEO, to inflate a site’s page ranking in search results.

Mystartsearch.com homepage got on your computer after you have installed a freeware software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this browser hijacker.

For example, when you install VPlay, you will also agree to change your browser homepage and default search engine to Mystartsearch.com.

However when you uninstall VPlay from your computer, your web browser’s default settings will not be restored. This means that you’ll have to remove Mystartsearch.com homepage from your favorite web browser manually.

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Mystartsearch.com browser hijacker. Be very careful what you agree to install.

Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

Mystartsearch.com Overview:

  • Mystartsearch.com is a potentially unwanted program
  • Mystartsearch.com will hijack your web browser homepage and default search engine
  • Installs a Windows Service and runs on Windows start up.
  • Typically distributed through a pay-per-install bundle
  • This program has a poor reputation within the MalwareTips Community.

How to remove Mystartsearch.com (Virus Removal Guide)

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove Mystartsearch.com from your Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.

Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.

  • STEP 1: Remove Mystartsearch.com browser hijacker from your computer with AdwCleaner
  • STEP 2: Remove Mystartsearch.com from Internet Explore, Firefox and Google Chrome with Junkware Removal Tool
  • STEP 3: Clean up the various Windows shortcuts that have been hijacked by Mystartsearch.com virus
  • STEP 4: Remove Mystartsearch.com malicious files with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
  • STEP 5: Double-check for the Mystartsearch.com infection with HitmanPro

STEP 1: Remove Mystartsearch.com browser hijacker with AdwCleaner

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and web browser for malicious files, adware browser extensions and registry keys, that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.

You can download AdwCleaner utility from the below link.

ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer) Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.

If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run. When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the “Scan” button.

AdwCleaner will now start to search for the “Mystartsearch.com” malicious files that may be installed on your computer.

To remove the “Mystartsearch.com” malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the “Clean” button.

AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or documents, as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.

STEP 2: Remove Mystartsearch.com from Internet Explore, Firefox and Google Chrome with Junkware Removal Tool

Junkware Removal Tool is a powerful utility, which will remove Mystartsearch.com browser extensions from Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome, and will double-check for any other compromised Windows shortcuts.

You can download the Junkware Removal Tool utility from the below link:

JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download the Junkware Removal Tool utility on your computer)

Once Junkware Removal Tool has finished downloading, please double-click on the JRT.exe icon as seen below.

If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Junkware Removal Tool, please allow it to run.

Junkware Removal Tool will now start, and at the Command Prompt, you’ll need to press any key to perform a scan for the Mystartsearch.com virus.

Please be patient as this can take a while to complete (up to 10 minutes) depending on your system’s specifications.

When the scan Junkware Removal Tool will be completed, this utility will display a log with the malicious files and registry keys that were removed from your computer.

STEP 3: Clean up the various Windows shortcuts that have been hijacked by Mystartsearch.com virus

This infection has hijacked your browser shortcuts, so in this step we will need to manually clean them by removing the Mystartsearch.com argument.

Search for your browser shortcut (Desktop, Taskbar or Start Menu Shortcut), then right click on it and select Properties.

To view the Properties menu for the browser shortcuts pinned to your Task Bar, right-click on the browser shortcut from the Taskbar, then right-click again on the browser icon as see in the below image. Alternatively, you can just Unpin the browser shortcut from your task bar, then you can add it back after you have removed the “http://Mystartsearch.com/” argument from the original browser shortcut.

In the Shortcut tab, in the Target field, remove the http://Mystartsearch.com/ argument. Basically, there should be only the path to browser executable file. Nothing more.

These are the default shortcut path that should be in your Target box, if the Mystartsearch.com argument is there, then you should remove it.

Information related to different browsers:

  • Internet Explorer: “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”
  • Chrome: “C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” for Windows 32 bit OR “C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” for Windows 64-bit
  • Firefox: “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” for Windows 32-bit OR “C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” for Windows 64-bit

STEP 4: Remove Mystartsearch.com virus from your computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free uses industry-leading technology to detect and remove all traces of malware, including worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware, and more. It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.

MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)

Once downloaded, close all programs, then double-click on the icon on your desktop named “mbam-setup-consumer-2.00.xx” to start the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.

When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.

To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.

Once installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program, and that a scan has never been run on your system. To start a system scan you can click on the “Fix Now” button.

Alternatively, you can click on the “Scan” tab and select “Threat Scan“, then click on the “Scan Now” button.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now check for updates, and if there are any, you will need to click on the “Update Now” button.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for the Mystartsearch.com virus. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is scanning it will look like the image below.

When the scan has completed, you will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has found, click on the “Quarantine All” button, and then click on the “Apply Now” button.

Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. When removing the files, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot your computer, please allow it to do so.

After your computer will restart, you should open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform another “Threat Scan” scan to verify that there are no remaining threats

STEP 5: Double check for the Mystartsearch.com infection with HitmanPro

HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner, designed to rescue your computer from malware (viruses, trojans, rootkits, etc.) that have infected your computer despite all the security measures you have taken (such as anti virus software, firewalls, etc.). HitmanPro is designed to work alongside existing security programs without any conflicts. It scans the computer quickly (less than 5 minutes) and does not slow down the computer.

You can download HitmanPro from the below link:

HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)

Double-click on the file named “HitmanPro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “HitmanPro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.

Click on the “Next” button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.

HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for Mystartsearch.com malicious files.

When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the “Next” button, to remove Mystartsearch.com malware.

Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.

Your computer should now be free of the Mystartsearch.com redirect. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Mystartsearch.com browse hijacker from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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  • I'm upvoting because you understand the "no-answering-with-a-link" rule. I checked out the link though, I agree it would have been more trouble than it is worth to try and put all that into an answer. Good find @Kristian! – Andrew Dec 17 '14 at 10:54
  • @Reeves thanks for the comment. I appreciate it! – Kristian Dec 17 '14 at 11:47
  • The guide you linked did not work. As covered in the OP NO APPLICATIONS that are unwanted have been installed. I have already reset the settings several times, and am now going to try reinstalling ie. – Bilfred Dec 18 '14 at 0:38
  • Added a lot of information to my first answer. – Kristian Dec 18 '14 at 11:53

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