Start Search browser hijacker installs unwanted extensions on Chrome

19
2014-04
  • user1132897

    I've had my Chrome browser infected by a browser hijacker. It would replace my home page with startsear.info. I fixed that, but every time I restart Chrome, it resets the following:

    • It redirects all my searches through a startsear.info custom Google search.
    • All Chrome extensions are removed
    • Skype Click to Call extension is added. (Extension)
    • DivX Plus Web Player HTML5 is added. (Extension)

    I've followed most of the basic tutorials out there to remove this browser hijacker, but it still resets every time I restart Chrome. As for the registry entries which are often referenced, I've either removed them or been unable to find them. Any suggestions on how to get rid of this? Thanks for the help, and let me know if you need any more information.

  • Answers
  • Brad Patton

    This is called a search engine hijack. Chrome 25 is adding two new features to prevent silent extension installs. From the Chrome blog post:

    Extensions installed by third party programs using external extension deployment options will be disabled by default. When a third party program installs an extension, the Chrome menu will be badged, and users can click through the Chrome menu to see a dialog containing an option to enable the extension or to remove it from their computer.

    In addition, all extensions previously installed using external deployment options will be automatically disabled. Chrome will show a one-time prompt to allow the re-enabling of any of the extensions.

    I don't know if this will block all search engine hijacks but it will go a long way to stopping a lot of them.

    Steps to remove now that it is there:

    • If you haven't upgraded to the latest version of Chrome do that first.
    • Check your installed programs and remove anything you don'r recognize.
    • Download an anti-spyware program and run that.
    • Disable any Chrome extensions you don't recognize
    • Remove the search engine and set the default back to Chrome.

  • Related Question

    How does one install an extension for Chrome browser from the local file system?
  • C.W.Holeman II

    How does one install an extension for Chrome browser from the local file system?


  • Related Answers
  • studiohack

    Found a set of instructions online for your own custom extension.

    Navigate to chrome://extensions
    Expand the developer dropdown menu and click "Load Unpacked Extension"
    Navigate to local folder
    Assuming there are no errors, the extension should load into your browser
    
  • Synetech

    What kind of extension is it? Is it a .CRX file? A (possibly ZIP’d) folder? A .JS user-script? The process differs for each.

    • CRX:
      1. Drag and drop the .CRX file onto the page chrome://extensions
      2. Click the Install button in the prompt at the bottom of the screen

    • Folder:
      1. If it is ZIP’d, extract the contents somewhere
      2. In Chrome, open chrome://extensions/
      3. Click + Developer mode
      4. Click Load unpacked extension…
      5. Navigate to the extension’s folder and click OK
      6. Delete the (extracted) folder (the extension was copied)

    • User Script:
      1. Exit Chrome (all windows)
      2. Copy the .JS file to the User Scripts folder in your User Data folder
      3. Run Chrome