Browser Redirect

How to Remove Starting123 “Virus” Chrome/Firefox/IE

In this text we are discussing one very bothering program – Starting123 “Virus”,  in details. The presence of this browser hijacker inside your system could result in the entire modification of all your browsers’ appearances and ways of acting. Among the most likely effects of Starting123 “Virus” could be some unwanted redirecting to unknown web pages; some slightly intensive generation  of pop-up and other ads, whatever browser app you use- Chrome, Firefox, or Explorer. One more rather annoying consequence of most browser hijackers is the unauthorized substitution of your default browser app homepage and/or search engine. More details about this software type – browser hijackers, are available just below.

Browser Hijackers Essentials:

When we talk about hijackers, it is essential to point out that these programs may just infect your browser apps. Also, they have really nothing to do with viruses. Usually, their typical behavior is simply marketing-driven.  Logically, this could explain all the alterations they may make as their developers have signed contracts, which promise them generous payment if exchange for the promotion of particular websites; search engines or homepages; goods or services. Such software is legitimate and might simply be characterized as the ad-producing type  like Adware.

What makes Starting123 “Virus” different from any popular version of malware (for instance- Trojans and Ransomware)?

The most common malware like this, based on Trojans or Ransomware, is able to perform something very harmful once they have infected your PC. For instance, the Ransomware ones may encrypt data; and the Trojans could destroy files or format all your disks and drives.

Luckily, nothing like that could be expected from Starting123 “Virus”. What it may do at ties  is to review your last search requests;  and to adjust the production of advertisements to your supposed interests and searches.
Such a trait may appear somehow intrusive. In spite of that, such a taste-based review may be useful to you. If this hijacker is able to broadcast ads, based on your personal preferences, you could receive the best offers automatically. However, most of the users see such activities as too irritating and that’s why hijackers are often found potentially unwanted by many experts.

How you are most likely to end up infected by hijackers like Starting123 “Virus”

Even though ad-showing programs can be found almost everywhere on the web, you are most likely to experience such an infection if you download and install any free program bundle from the web. Let’s explain what a bundle represents – briefly speaking, just many various programs mixed and spread together.  The content of any bundle may include games, apps, Adware-like products,  browser hijackers and  other kinds of software.

Simply make sure that you bear in mind that getting such a free bundle is not what really causes an infection. What does is improperly installing such a software mixture.

Which are the “good” installation options? Which ones are considered “bad” choices?

As soon as the installation wizard pops up, you will be given the available installation options. When you see the available choices, look for the Advanced/Custom or Customized one. Stick  to its instructions only in order to complete the installation process. Always be sure that only such a feature can enable you to choose what exactly to install on your PC , and what to disregard from a given bundle/program .

Always try to avoid all other installation choices- the Typical; Default; Automatic ones. They are not helpful  in case you need to stay away from any ad-broadcasting programs.

Some more tips on prevention

Besides the aforementioned way of incorporating any program that you want to try, using these steps may greatly lower the risks of catching Starting123 “Virus”:

  • Stay away from all the other potential sources of hijackers, including torrents; shareware and spam. Also avoid add-ons and enabling browser extensions.;
  • Make sure that your OS is functioning properly and is frequently updated.;
  • You DO need a great anti-virus program. In case you don’t have any, please, purchase one. They are extremely useful tools and can warn you about potential threats.;
  • Take a look at your Firewall. See whether it is functional. Make sure that you update it on a regular basis and keep it on.
  • Just be wise about your browsing activities. Mind the addresses you go to.

In case you need to remove the ongoing infection with Starting123 “Virus”, follow the steps inside our Removal Guide. It should help you achieve your purpose.

How to Remove Starting123 “Virus”

Before you begin completing the steps from the following guide, we advise you to place a bookmark on this page or have it opened on a separate device since some of the following steps will require you to close your browser.

Enter Safe Mode. If you don’t know how to do it, use this guide.


Open the Task Manger by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Go to the processes/details Tab and take a look at the resulting list. If you see a process with the name of the unwanted program or looks shady, right-click on it and select Open File Location. If you believe it is part of the infection, delete the files.


Use the Winkey+R key combination to open the Run window and in the search field type appwiz.cpl. Hit Enter and in the resulting list, look for recently installed programs that look potentially unwanted. If you find anything – uninstall it.


Re-open Run and this tie type msconfig. Hit Enter again and in the resulting window, go to the Startup tab. See if there are any shady programs there and if anything looks suspicious uncheck it and then select OK.

In the Start Menu search field, copy-paste the following line: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts . Open the first result and look at the bottom of the file where it says “Localhost”. If there are any IP addresses below that, tell us what they are in the comments since they might be coming from the unwanted software.


Type Network Connections in the Windows search field and click on the first result. Right-click on the adapter that you are using at the moment and go to Properties > Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) > Properties.

If the DNS line is not set to Obtain DNS server automatically, make sure to check that option.

Now go to Advanced > DNS tab and remove everything in DNS server addresses, in order of use.


Right-click on your browser’s icon and select Properties. Delete everything in Target that is after .exe”.

For Chrome users

Close Chrome and go to this folder: C:/Users/*Your username*/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. Change the name of the Default folder to Backup Default. Re-open Chrome.

For Firefox users

Open Firefox and click on the Main Menu > Add-ons > Extensions. If you see anything suspicious there, remove it.

For IE users

When you open the browser, go to Tools > Manage Ad-ons and remove the unwanted software if you see it there. Next, go to Tools > Internet options and change the homepage URL to whatever you are normally using.


Open Run (Winkey+R), type Regedit and click on OK. Next, press Ctrl+F and type the malware name. Hit Enter and delete everything that gets found.

If there are no results from the search, manually visit those folders in the Registry Editor.

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main

If you find there any suspicious keys that have names with a lot of random letters and numbers, delete them or if you are not sure, tell us in the comments what you saw.

About the author

Adrian Bitterson

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