What is Surf Start?
Surf Start is yet another potentially unwanted program (PUP) for Windows computers. This program is a browser extension that belongs to the family of browser hijackers. Browser hijackers are designed to generate ad revenue. They change a web browser’s settings and/or homepage to inject unwanted ads into the user’s web browser. Browser hijackers can be used as gateways for other forms of malicious attacks. They may redirect users to malicious and scam websites. Browser hijackers can sneak into computers unnoticed due to the fact that it’s actively being promoted in freeware.
On installation, the extension can silently modify various browser settings, such as the homepage and search settings:
Surf Start in detail
Most often, PUPs and browser hijackers promote fake search engines by setting their address as the default search provider. In this case, the Surf Start hijacker can install tailsearch.com as a search provider. This means that users whose web-browser is affected with the hijacker are forced to visit tailsearch.com each time they search in the Internet, open a new window or tab. And since tailsearch.com is not a real search provider and does not have the ability to find the information users need, it redirects the user’s internet browser to Bing search engine. This may seem harmless, but users should still be very careful as it may redirect the browser to some malicious pages and scams designed to trick them into sharing sensitive information or buying questionable programs or products.
Surf Start can collect all kinds of information, including: IP addresses, web browser version and type, usernames and passwords, Internet Service Provider (ISP), internet cookies, webpages visited, auto-fill browser settings, and URLs visited. Such kind of behavior can lead to serious security problems or privacy info theft. This is another reason why the browser hijacker should be removed as quickly as possible.
Attackers often use browser hijackers to redirect users to fake dating sites, various diet pills scams, fake virus alerts that trick users to buy or install applications that are not needed, work-at-home schemes, fake surveys and giveaways, and other questionable content. Below are some examples of such sites:
In summary, Surf Start can seriously affect your privacy, your computer’s performance and security.
How can a browser hijacker get on your computer
Browser hijackers and PUPs such as Surf Start can get installed to your internet browser or computer when you visit a web-site and click an Install button, or when you download and run a dubious program, or when you install free software that includes a potentially unwanted program (PUP). Be very attentive when installing any apps and make sure you deselect any options for optional programs that you do not want.
Examples of scam pages that are deigned to trick users into installing browser hijackers and adware:
|Name||Surf Start, “Surf Start redirect”, “Surf Start extension”|
|Type||browser hijacker, home page hijacker, PUP, search provider hijacker, redirect virus|
|Affected Browser Settings||home page, newtab page URL, search provider|
|Distribution||dubious popup ads, freeware installers, fake update tools|
|Symptoms||Popups and newtabs are loaded without your request. Your browser is redirected to web pages you did not want. Your computer starts automatically installing unexpected programs. An unexpected web-browser toolbar appears in your web-browser. Your browser home page has changed without your permission.|
|Removal||Surf Start removal guide|
Browser hijackers Examples
Browser hijackers can be used to distribute other malware. They install trojans, adware, keyloggers, ransomware, spyware and more. Some of the malware designed to collect user data, others install ransomware and trojans on computers, and still others add infected computers to botnets, and so on. In any case, each malicious program is a huge threat to both user privacy and computer security. Therefore, malicious programs must be removed immediately after detection; using an infected computer is very dangerous.
More examples of browser hijackers are below:
How to remove Surf Start from Windows 11 (10, 8, 7, XP)
Surf Start is a browser hijacker that you may find difficult to remove from your PC. Luckily, you have found an effective removal guide in this post. Both manual and automatic removal method will be presented below, and you can simply choose the one that works best for you. If you have any questions or need help, write a comment below. Some steps will require you to restart your device or exit this web page. So, read this guide carefully and then bookmark this page or open it on your smartphone for future reference.
To remove Surf Start, perform the steps below:
- Uninstall Surf Start associated software
- Remove Surf Start hijacker from web-browsers
- Automatic Removal of Surf Start
- How to stop Surf Start redirect
Read this section to know how to manually remove the Surf Start hijacker. Even if the step-by-step guide does not work for you, there are several free removers below which can easily handle such hijackers.
Uninstall Surf Start associated software
You can manually get rid of nonaggressive hijacker by removing the program that it came with or removing the browser hijacker itself using ‘Add/Remove programs’ or ‘Uninstall a program’ option in Microsoft Windows Control Panel.
|Windows 7||Windows 8|
|Windows 10||Mac OS|
Remove Surf Start hijacker from web-browsers
If you are still seeing Surf Start that won’t go away, you might have malicious addons installed on your web browser. Check your web browser for unwanted add-ons using the steps below.
|Google Chrome||Mozilla Firefox|
You can also try to remove Surf Start hijacker by reset Chrome settings.
If you are still experiencing issues with Surf Start removal, you need to reset Mozilla Firefox browser.
Another method to get rid of Surf Start hijacker from Internet Explorer is reset Internet Explorer settings.
Automatic Removal of Surf Start
The above manual guide is tedious to follow and may not always help you remove the Surf Start hijacker easily. Here I will tell you an automatic solution to completely get rid of this browser hijacker from your browser. Zemana, MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, and Hitman Pro are anti-malware tools that can detect and remove all types of malware, including browser hijackers.
How to remove Surf Start with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware
You can automatically get rid of the browser hijacker with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware. We recommend this free malware removal tool because it can easily remove hijackers, adware, potentially unwanted programs and toolbars with all their components such as files, folders and registry entries.
- Download MalwareBytes Anti-Malware by clicking on the link below. Save it on your Windows desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
- Once the download is done, close all applications and windows on your personal computer. Open a folder in which you saved it. Double-click on the icon that’s named MBsetup.
- Choose “Personal computer” option and press Install button. Follow the prompts.
- Once installation is finished, press the “Scan” button to perform a system scan for the Surf Start hijacker. A scan can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of files on your computer and the speed of your PC. While the MalwareBytes AntiMalware utility is scanning, you can see number of objects it has identified as being infected by malicious software.
- When MalwareBytes is finished scanning your personal computer, it will produce a list of unwanted software and hijackers. Review the report and then press “Quarantine”. After the process is done, you can be prompted to reboot your computer.
The following video demonstrates how to remove hijackers, adware and other malware with MalwareBytes.
How to delete Surf Start with Zemana
Zemana Anti-Malware is highly recommended because it can detect security threats such as hijackers and adware that most “classic” anti-malware applications cannot detect. Moreover, if you have any problems with Surf Start hijacker removal that cannot be fixed by this utility automatically, Zemana provides 24/7 online help from highly trained support staff.
Now you can install and use Zemana AntiMalware to get rid of Surf Start hijacker from your internet browser by following the steps below:
Visit the following page to download Zemana setup file called Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup on your computer. Save it on your Windows desktop or in any other place.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
Start the installation package after it has been downloaded successfully and then follow the prompts to set up this tool on your computer.
During installation you can change some settings, but we suggest you do not make any changes to default settings.
When setup is complete, this malicious software removal tool will automatically start and update itself. You will see its main window as displayed in the following example.
Now click the “Scan” button for scanning your computer for the Surf Start hijacker. While Zemana AntiMalware is scanning, you can see number of objects it has identified either as being malware.
Once Zemana AntiMalware has completed scanning your PC, it will open the Scan Results. Next, you need to click “Next” button.
The Zemana AntiMalware will start to remove Surf Start hijacker. After that process is complete, you can be prompted to restart your computer to make the change take effect.
Remove Surf Start hijacker and malicious extensions with Hitman Pro
Hitman Pro is one of the most useful tools for deleting hijackers, adware software, potentially unwanted programs and other malware. It can scan for hidden malware in your device and delete all malicious folders and files linked to hijacker. Hitman Pro will allow you to get rid of Surf Start from your personal computer and Firefox, Chrome, IE and Edge. We strongly advise you to download this utility as the creators are working hard to make it better.
Installing the Hitman Pro is simple. First you’ll need to download Hitman Pro by clicking on the link below.
Category: Security tools
Update: June 28, 2018
Download and use Hitman Pro on your computer. Once started, press “Next” button for scanning your personal computer for the Surf Start hijacker. Depending on your computer, the scan can take anywhere from a few minutes to close to an hour. While the Hitman Pro is scanning, you can see count of objects it has identified either as being malware..
When HitmanPro has completed scanning your computer, HitmanPro will show a list of all threats found by the scan.
You may remove threats (move to Quarantine) by simply press Next button.
It will display a prompt, press the “Activate free license” button to start the free 30 days trial to remove all malware found.
How to stop Surf Start redirect
We suggest to install an adblocker program which can block scam sites and malicious browser redirects. The ad blocker utility such as AdGuard is a program which basically removes advertising from the Internet and stops access to malicious websites. Moreover, security experts says that using ad-blocking apps is necessary to stay safe when surfing the World Wide Web.
Visit the page linked below to download the latest version of AdGuard for MS Windows. Save it to your Desktop so that you can access the file easily.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
After downloading it, start the downloaded file. You will see the “Setup Wizard” screen as shown on the image below.
Follow the prompts. After the installation is finished, you will see a window as displayed in the following example.
You can click “Skip” to close the setup program and use the default settings, or click “Get Started” button to see an quick tutorial that will assist you get to know AdGuard better.
In most cases, the default settings are enough and you don’t need to change anything. Each time, when you start your computer, AdGuard will launch automatically and stop unwanted ads, block malicious and misleading websites. For an overview of all the features of the program, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the AdGuard icon, which can be found on your desktop.
Once you have removed the hijacker using the few simple steps, MS Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer will no longer show the Surf Start page on startup. Unfortunately, if the few simple steps does not help you, then you have caught a new hijacker, and then the best way – ask for help.
Please create a new question by using the “Ask Question” button in the Questions and Answers. Try to give us some details about your problems, so we can try to help you more accurately. Wait for one of our trained “Security Team” or Site Administrator to provide you with knowledgeable assistance tailored to your problem with the Surf Start hijacker.