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Home page keeps changing to start.search

Posted

This morning my home page in FF and IE were changed to start.search.us.com. I was able to uninstall start.search (using Revo Uninstaller; it does not show up in Control Panel/Programs). I was able to change my home page in IE back to what I want and it seems to "stick." But every time I restart FF the home page I had previously set switches back to start.us. I can't find any evidence of start.search in Add-ons, Extensions etc. I think I know where this came from--I clicked a little too fast on some free software and spotted the search thing too late. I saw some extremely complicated explanations and recommendations for this problem in FF somewhere with lots of comments that the stuff was undecipherable and didn't work anyway. Any suggestions? I saw a suggestion that uninstalling FF and then reinstalling it can fix this. Does it? If so I can do that pretty easily--saving my bookmarks and reinstalling the single add-on that I have been using for months.

Chosen solution

Also, if the problem persists, you can try to Start Task Manager (right-click the taskbar) > Processes > Show processes from all users. You can then search online for suspicious Image Name and try uninstalling the external Windows program behind the suspicious name via Start menu or Windows Control Panel > Programs and Features, or at least make settings changes in the external Windows program. The dedicated security forums will be helpful:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/forum79.html

http://www.spywarewarrior.com/index.php

http://www.spywareinfoforum.com/

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/

Read this answer in context 2

Additional System Details

This happened

Every time Firefox opened

This started when...

I was installing software yesterday and clicked too fast

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 11.4 r402
  • Google Update
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in Web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • iTunes Detector Plug-in
  • 4.1.10329.0
  • NPWLPG
  • GEPlugin
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape "9.4.5"
  • NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 10.0.0
  • Adobe Shockwave for Director Netscape plug-in, version 11.5
  • The plug-in allows you to open and edit files using Microsoft Office applications
  • Office Authorization plug-in for NPAPI browsers

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:16.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/16.0

More Information

Windows 7 and FF 16.02

the-edmeister
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
3197 solutions 24403 answers

The Reset Firefox feature can fix many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information. Note: This will cause you to lose any Extensions, Open websites, and some Preferences.

To Reset Firefox do the following:

  1. Go to Firefox > Help > Troubleshooting Information.
  2. Click the "Reset Firefox" button.
  3. Firefox will close and reset. After Firefox is done, it will show a window with the information that is imported. Click Finish.
  4. Firefox will open with all factory defaults applied.


Further information can be found in the Reset Firefox – easily fix most problems article.

Did this fix your problems? Please report back to us!

dumdidadida 172 solutions 1436 answers

Chosen Solution

Also, if the problem persists, you can try to Start Task Manager (right-click the taskbar) > Processes > Show processes from all users. You can then search online for suspicious Image Name and try uninstalling the external Windows program behind the suspicious name via Start menu or Windows Control Panel > Programs and Features, or at least make settings changes in the external Windows program. The dedicated security forums will be helpful:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/forum79.html

http://www.spywarewarrior.com/index.php

http://www.spywareinfoforum.com/

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/

Modified by dumdidadida

Question owner

Thanks! Will a reset remove my bookmarks? If so I have already backed them up in an html file as well as a file with a wierd ending like json.

dumdidadida 172 solutions 1436 answers

The Reset Firefox feature will in normal circumstances save bookmarks among other personal data as listed here. As you have already made an HTML backup you could use that if anything is amiss.

Importing from HTML

Importing

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10756 solutions 96800 answers

You can check for problems with preferences and try to rename or delete the prefs.js file and possible numbered prefs-##.js files and a possible user.js file to reset all prefs to the default values.

Question owner

The reset seems to have worked. The start.search page is gone. Bookmarks are here. All I had to do was re-download a single add-on. Took less than 2 minutes. Thanks!

Question owner

But wait! Now I seem to have a different problem which is admittedly awfully minor. When Firefox opens I not only get the home page I want (sorry, it's just Google) I also get a Welcome to Firefox page inviting me to use the browser (A better browser. For the greater good!) which, of course, I am already doing! I am invited to "keep in touch" with my e-mail address and also to get Firefox for Android. My guess is that that won't work too well on my iPhone. Maybe if I had an Android . . . In fact that Firefox page is the primary tab with my actual home page sitting behind it in a separate tab, every time I restart Firefox, even after restarting my computer. Hardly the end of civilized life but what's this about?

dumdidadida 172 solutions 1436 answers

You can try to Use current pages in General after closing all other tabs except your Google homepage.

Home page

Options

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10756 solutions 96800 answers

See these articles for some suggestions:

If you do not keep changes after a restart then see:

Question owner

THanks. Indeed FF has changed my home page to something very long starting with mozilla and ending in google! This might explain how I got a FF page AND a Google tab. I reset the home page and so far the problme has disappeared.