Solution: Remove startsearcher.com Google Chrome search hijacker

Today I encountered an irritating Google Chrome search hijack which wasn’t removable via the usual methods.  Attempting to remove the rogue search engine via the Chrome options menu simply produced a yellow bar at the top of the screen which read:

Some options are managed by your administrator.

Even completely uninstalling Chrome and removing the existing User Data folder under Chrome’s AppData directory didn’t fix the problem.

Shortly thereafter, however, I discovered another location where Chrome settings can be preset/mandated: the registry.  Specifically, two locations:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome

and

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome

The specific keys which needed deletion in this case were:

  • DefaultSearchProviderName
  • DefaultSearchProviderSearchURL
  • HomepageLocation
  • HomepageIsNewTabPage

I had to remove them from both registry areas.  But after this, the problem was gone.

If this post has helped you, please take a moment to leave a comment!

Donate to say "Thanks" if this post has helped save you time and money! 🙂

8 thoughts on “Solution: Remove startsearcher.com Google Chrome search hijacker

  1. Thanks! I actually had a different issue where I could not sign into Chrome and found the keys SyncDisabled set to 1. I changed it to 0 and now can sign in. Anyway, this post helped me find the issue.

  2. Thank you SOOO much! I’ve been trying to delete this stupid program off my computer since November, and nothing seemed to completely remove it. This finally worked.

    The only thing I didn’t know how to do was to get to the HKEY registry, which I had to look up (type in “regedit” into the “RUN” bar).

    Thanks again!

  3. My pleasure guys; glad it was of some help to you. 🙂

    Shell, you shouldn’t have to worry about that entry. Are you still experiencing problems?

  4. I got the same too, I had to run malwarebytes in order to get those security hijack registry . but my question is how do we get that in the first place? I have kaspersky 2012 internet security always enabled btw 🙂

  5. dutta,

    It doesn’t take much. I have stopped recommending heavy security to my customers because I find it really doesn’t make that much of a functional difference in the long run. No security can block everything no matter how effective. The key is to ensure you are not vulnerable; and that starts with keeping your vulnerable software–especially plugins such as Java–up to date.

    Let me know if you have any more questions! 🙂

    -Steve

  6. i am getting this in the above path:- there’s (default) REG_SZ (value not set).

    And still i am facing the same problem.

  7. Hi!
    It was very very very helpful thanks to you!
    Thank you very much!
    Browser I am very happy heal.
    The Japanese site, because it was not listed on the registry of the place, it was very helpful.
    Finally, really thank you!

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