THREAT REMOVAL

Remove Wowstart.online Redirect

STF-wowstart-online-wow-start-browser-hijacker-redirect-main-site-page

Wowstart.online is an online page redirect, which can hijack your browsers. The settings which this hijacker can switch are the start page, search engine and new tab of browsers you use. You will be redirected to Google’s Custom Search from the search queries you make. You will see advertisements and redirect links from the results page. To remove this browser hijacker, you should read the whole article.

Threat Summary

NameWowstart.online
TypeBrowser Hijacker, PUP
Short DescriptionBrowser applications on your computer system can be affected. The hijacker redirects you and can show you advertisements and sponsored content.
SymptomsThe homepage, search engine and new tab setting will be changed. You will get redirected from the search results every time you do a search, use a search bar or open a new tab.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Wowstart.online.

Wowstart.online – Distribution Ways

Wowstart.online can be distributed using several ways. One of those ways is through third-party installations of bundled apps and free software. Such installations might have default settings to place additional content on your personal computer. Without your knowledge, the hijacker will secretly modify specific setting until you notice a change. To avoid setups like that can be done easily, if you manage to find a Custom or an Advanced settings menu. From it, you can deselect components you do not want.

Another way of distribution might use a browser add-on, extension or a plug-in, set across your browsers. The distribution might happen via banners, pop-ups or other types of advertisements. The hijacker redirect could be spread by redirect links from other websites. Such websites might be partnered with Wowstart.online. The following browsers could be affected: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Mozilla Firefox.

Wowstart.online – Technical Analysis

Wowstart.online is the main website page of a search engine. The search provided on the site is presented as the fastest search engine. That is not true as the site uses Google’s Custom Search, but is actually slower than Google and other notable search engines. The site will set the Wowstart.online page as your starting page, new tab setting and default search service. You can see how the page looks like from the image shown right here:

STF-wowstart-online-wow-start-browser-hijacker-redirect-main-site-page

The Wowstart.online page primarily consists of a pure white background picture, a search bar with a logo stating the name of the site and some buttons. The buttons are big and provide redirect links to popular websites – YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon, AliExpress, Instagram, and Pinterest. There are no other redirects or links on that page whatsoever. That online page replaces the default homepage, search engine, and new tab setting of each browser found on your computer machine.

In the image placed right under the paragraph, you will see an example results page of a search query made on the Wowstart.online service. Evidently, Google’s Custom Search is utilized, but the URL address does not change. This search engine is not a reputable one, so it won’t be a surprise if it only uses the logo of Google’s Custom Search and a similar design. Advertisements and targeted content can appear among the search results.

STF-wowstart-online-wow-start-browser-hijacker-redirect-robert-downey-jr-search-results

Your search queries will be filtered by the Wowstart.online service. So, every bit of data going through the search bars will be duplicated and sent to servers tied to the website makers. Be on alert when using the search and preferably do not use it altogether. It will intrude your privacy and probably track you and your online activity.

Be very careful with what information you give out on this and similar sites. Do not provide any account information, credentials, banking details or personal data. Anything may be used by the site owners to access your accounts, or possibly be sold on the black market for some lousy cents. In-text links or additional redirecting links could be generated when you surf the net. Some information may be acquired from the website through the help of cookies and more related technologies. Read further to find out what the Wowstart.online site does to invade your private space.

The Privacy Policy of the Wowstart.online is nowhere to be found. That speaks volumes concerning legitimacy. It might be hidden somewhere, but it definitely not on the site. However, you can see something very peculiar in the following picture:

STF-wowstart-online-wow-start-browser-hijacker-redirect-cookies

As you can see from the above image, the site is using one browser cookie to track visitors on the site, but the odd thing here is the expiration date. It expires more than two hundred years from now, so technically, if you don’t clear your cookies, it is going to stay forever on your computer device.

Usually, cookies found on such websites gather technical data, such as the search terms you enter on the site, the pages you visit, links you follow, ads you click on and the list might be quite long. In addition, a cookie might collect personally identifying information such as your geo location, IP address, unique identifier number and etc. So, be careful what you enter as information on the Wowstart.online site and any other website found through it for that matter.

Besides browser cookies, the site may use similar technologies, such as pixel tags, Web beacons, clear GIFs or more technologies for tracking. Thus, any interaction with the website may send some information to servers connected to the browser hijacker site. Furthermore, if you get redirected to other websites, they surely will have cookies or a privacy policy set in place. Be wary of your actions online and choose carefully what you do.

Remove Wowstart.online from Your PC

To remove Wowstart.online manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the hijacker and its files completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such a program can keep your computer secure in the future.

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Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove Wowstart.online from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Wowstart.online

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Wowstart.online and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Wowstart.online on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Wowstart.online there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Wowstart.online with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Wowstart.online from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Wowstart.online and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Wowstart.online:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Wowstart.online. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Wowstart.online. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove Wowstart.online via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Wowstart.online. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Wowstart.online from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Wowstart.online from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Wowstart.online from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Wowstart.online from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Wowstart.online will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Wowstart.online from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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