Why Does Chrome Keep Redirecting to Start-PageSearch.com?

If you’ve noticed that whenever you launch Google Chrome on your PC, it automatically redirects you to the start-pagesearch.com website instead of your desired homepage or a new tab page, you’re not alone. Many Chrome users have reported dealing with this frustrating issue, which is typically caused by a browser hijacker or potentially unwanted program (PUP) installed on your system. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this redirect, how to remove it, and how to prevent it from happening again.

What is Start-PageSearch.com?

Start-PageSearch.com is a notorious browser hijacker that takes over your default browser settings, changing your homepage, new tab page, and search engine without your consent. It’s often bundled with free software downloads or installed through deceptive means, such as drive-by downloads or misleading advertisements.

The start-pagesearch.com website itself is not inherently malicious, but it’s designed to generate advertising revenue by forcing you to visit it whenever you open your browser. It may also track your online activity and display targeted advertisements, which can be intrusive and potentially compromise your privacy.

Reasons for the Redirect

There are several reasons why Chrome may be redirecting you to start-pagesearch.com:

1Browser Hijacker or Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP)


The most common cause of this issue is the presence of a browser hijacker or PUP on your system. These programs can be installed inadvertently when you download and install other software, often through bundled installers or deceptive advertising tactics.

2- Malware Infection


In some cases, the redirect could be caused by a malware infection on your computer. Malware can modify your browser settings and redirect you to malicious or advertising websites without your consent.

3- Browser Extension or Add-on


Another possible reason for the redirect is the presence of a malicious or unwanted browser extension or add-on. Some extensions can change your browser settings and inject advertisements or redirects without your knowledge.

4- System Settings or Registry Modifications


Browser hijackers and PUPs can modify your system settings or registry entries to enforce the redirect, making it more difficult to remove and prevent it from recurring.

How to Remove the Start-PageSearch.com Redirect

If you’re experiencing the start-pagesearch.com redirect in Chrome, here are some steps you can take to remove it:

start-pagesearch.com redirect removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.

Windows 10 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

macOS (OSX) users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

start-pagesearch.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently-installed potentially unwanted applications, select these entries and click “Uninstall” or “Remove“.

Scan for Malware: Use a reputable anti-malware program, such as Malwarebytes or HitmanPro, to scan your system for any malware or potentially unwanted programs. Follow the prompts to remove any detected threats.

Reset Chrome Settings: In Chrome, go to Settings > Reset and clean up > Restore settings to their original defaults. This will reset your homepage, new tab page, search engine, and other settings to their default values.

Remove Browser Extensions: Go to Settings > Extensions and remove any suspicious or unwanted extensions from your browser. Be cautious of extensions you don’t recognize or didn’t intentionally install.

Check System Settings and Registry: Use a trusted registry cleaner or system optimization tool to scan for and remove any unwanted entries or modifications made by the browser hijacker or PUP.

Restart Your Computer: After completing the above steps, restart your computer to ensure all changes take effect.

Preventing Future Redirects

To prevent future redirects to start-pagesearch.com or similar websites, it’s essential to adopt safe browsing and downloading habits:

Be Cautious When Installing Software: Always read the installation prompts carefully and opt out of installing any additional software or browser add-ons you don’t need or recognize.

Use a Reputable Anti-Malware Program: Keep your anti-malware program updated and perform regular scans to detect and remove any potential threats.

Keep Your Software Updated: Regularly update your operating system, web browser, and other software to ensure you have the latest security patches and bug fixes.

Use Ad-Blockers and Anti-Tracking Extensions: Consider installing reputable ad-blocking and anti-tracking extensions in your browser to prevent unwanted redirects and protect your privacy.

Be Vigilant Online: Exercise caution when browsing the web, downloading files, or clicking on advertisements or links from untrusted sources.

By following these steps and adopting safe browsing habits, you can protect your system from browser hijackers, PUPs, and other potential threats that may redirect you to unwanted websites like start-pagesearch.com.

References:

  1. “What is Start-PageSearch.com?” – Malwarebytes Labs. https://blog.malwarebytes.com/detections/start-pagesearch-com/
  2. How to Remove Start-PageSearch.com Redirect from Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer” – Virus Removal Guides. https://www.virusremovalguidesforwindows.com/how-to-remove-start-pagesearch-com-redirect-from-chrome-firefox-and-internet-explorer/
  3. “Browser Hijackers and Unwanted Software” – Microsoft Support. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/browser-hijackers-and-unwanted-software-e6cf74b6-d569-5a94-a3c3-b1c84e7a8a88
  4. “How to Remove Start-PageSearch.com Redirect” – MalwareTips. https://malwaretips.com/blogs/remove-start-pagesearch-com/
  5. Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)” – Kaspersky Lab. https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/threats/pups

Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I'm the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek. Through this little blog, I share with you my passion for technology. I specialize in various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, focusing on providing practical and valuable guides.

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