Click on screenshot to zoom
Danger level 9
Type: Browser Hijackers
Common infection symptoms:
  • Changes default search engine
  • Hijacks homepage
  • Installs itself without permissions
  • Connects to the internet without permission
  • Shows commercial adverts
  • Cant change my homepage

If you are certain that the home page and the search provider of your Internet browsers have been changed to without your permission, you should get very concerned about your online security and browsing habits. The search engine that has just become your default search engine is promoted by a browser hijacker and is similar to search engines such as,, and These search engines are designed differently but the programs distributing all of them, including, work in the same way.

The browser hijacker promoting alters the shortcuts of the browsers so that you cannot rid the browsers of the search engine. After the link of the search provider is added to the Target line of the shortcuts, your attempts to manually change the settings of the browsers become useless. It is so because you cannot restore the former settings without editing the Target line. At the end of the review, you will find our instructions on how to remove from the shortcuts. However, you should bear in mind that manual removal may be insufficient because some browser cookies and other unreliable files may remain on the computer.

The browser hijacker, let us call it , also installs a browser extension called SupTab, which work only on Internet Explorer, and QuickStart, which is compatible with Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Note that instead QuickStart you may find FastStart, which is an identical program.

We suspect that Elex Technology Co. Ltd. is responsible for the distribution of the hijacker because the installer and the symptoms exhibited are identical to the installer and the symptoms concerning the case of the browser hijacker.

The search engine may seem a useful search provider for it features links to popular websites, including Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google. The fact that it allows you to access Google may imply that you can safely use the search engine, which is not true. As has been already mentioned, the browser hijacker distributing attempts to hamper the removal of the search provider, which indicates that the developers of the program do not care about your preferences.

The browser hijacker arrives at the computer with its uninstaller, which comes in handy when trying to remove the search engine manually. During the uninstall process, the Target line is fixed automatically; however, some manual changes are necessary within the browsers afterwards.

Do you want to save time? If so, implement a reputable spyware and malware removal tool. We recommend using SpyHunter because this real-time security program can remove from the browsers and shield the system from multiple computer threats.

How to remove

Windows Vista and Windows 7

  1. Click Start and select Control Panel.
  2. Click Uninstall a program and remove the browser hijacker.

Windows XP

  1. Open the Start menu and click Control Panel.
  2. Select Add or Remove Programs.
  3. Uninstall the malicious program.

Windows 8

  1. Press Win+R and enter control panel.
  2. Click OK.
  3. Select Uninstall a program.
  4. Remove the program responsible of the changes in the browsers.

Remove from the browsers

Fix your browser shortcuts

  1. Right-click the shortcut of a browser.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Open the Shortcut tab.
  4. Delete the symbols following the closing quotation mark.
  5. Save the changes.

Internet Explorer

  1. Press Alt+T and click Internet Options.
  2. Select the Advanced tab.
  3. Click Reset.
  4. Select the check box and click Reset.
  5. Click Close.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Press Alt+H and click Troubleshooting Information.
  2. Click Reset Firefox.
  3. In the dialog box, click the Reset Firefox button.
  4. Click Finish.

Google Chrome

  1. Press Alt+F and select Tools.
  2. Click Extensions.
  3. Remove unwanted extensions.
  4. Click Settings.
  5. Under On startup, select the last option and click Set pages.
  6. Remove and type in a new URL.
  7. Under Search, click Manage search engines and set a new search provider.

In case you have tried to remove manually, you should scan the system to make sure that no malicious files are present on the PC.

Download Spyware Removal Tool to Remove*
  • Quick & tested solution for removal.
  • 100% Free Scan for Windows


  1. Roger Jul 17, 2014

    Thx it was alright

  2. coco Jul 27, 2014

    I am not able to uninstall the istart 123 uninstall from control panel. Any other options

  3. sandi Jul 27, 2014

    Interesting instructions as the istart123 program keeps coming back over and over and over again after it's been uninstalled!

  4. misty Jul 27, 2014

    i have also tried everythin i can think of please help!!!

  5. Frustrated Jul 28, 2014

    I do not even see the istart123 it must be in a hidden folder somewhere!
    I so need help to remove this... I am surprised that my antivirus software is not able to detect this!

  6. Erik Jul 31, 2014

    I can't get rid of this. Please help!!

  7. Da Xiong Aug 2, 2014

    use revo uninstaller

  8. Steve Aug 3, 2014

    Editing the Target line (as directed in "Fix your browser shortcuts", above), together with changing the settings according to the instructions for Chrome (also above), appears to have worked for Chrome.

    The istart123 uninstaller still appears in the program list; attempts to uninstall it give an error message.

    Function looks okay so far...

  9. andy Aug 12, 2014

    can someone please block istart-cant even work out how it got on my pc

  10. Earl Aug 16, 2014

    I tried all of that as well, still can't get rid of it

  11. Robert Mitchell Aug 17, 2014

    This software is terrible. I don't appreciate software to install even though I tell it to not install useless software. Anything that install regardless of saying no, hijacks and changes your setting, etc., I don't want it.

  12. Susan Aug 18, 2014

    Fixed my browser shortcuts worked for me also

  13. c Aug 21, 2014

    fooled to belive google wanted me to install update video player got a dozen unwanted adware programs got rid of all execpt i start 123 still have on my taskbar reset page to google shurly this type of adware virusware must be illigal to force on you

  14. Martin Aug 25, 2014

    Also cannot stop Istart123 from loading when launching Chrome browser. Have run malware removal - no change, still get istart123. get error message when I try to uninstall the programme in control panel. Completely stuck!

  15. Henry Aug 28, 2014

    didnt work comes back

  16. deb Sep 3, 2014

    Seems to have worked (windows 8)...

  17. Angel of Mercy Sep 3, 2014

    This istart123 is in my IE home page. Cannot remove it and this ***** doesn't appear in Add and Remove Program. Hell be to the one causing hardship to mankind

  18. Adeleye John Oct 8, 2014

    Here is what fixed it for me.
    1. go to your browser icon shortcut on your desktop, right click>properties change the target to "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" delete where istart url begins and type google there. Do this for all your browsers.

  19. Adeleye John Oct 8, 2014

    2. Go to internet explorer, click on tools>internet option. in general tab, change homepage to change search default setting. Enable google and set it as default, then delete istart. Apply and ok. You are good to go...

  20. Adeleye John Oct 8, 2014

    3. Go to mozilla firefox, open menu>option under general change your homepage to as in 2. then in new tab address type in about:config and enter, click on i'll be careful, i promise type in istart right click and reset and you are good to go!!!
    4. Do same for chrome,hope this works for you cos it fixed it for me.

  21. papadave Nov 8, 2014

    Has anyone tried Adeleye John's method?

  22. Daniel Craig Feb 3, 2015

    Adeleye John's method worked for me on the third attempt.
    The problem I had was At tools-internet options-general tab. I deleted 123start from the "homepage" box and put google in, then "apply/ok", then i did the same in the "default" box, which still had 123start in there.

    hope this helps someone

  23. BrynL Feb 4, 2015

    iStart123 did not appear in the 'programs' list on her laptop, but something odd had been added just before the problems occurred. Sorry, but I just deleted it without noting what it was. Didn't get rid of the problem. This site is the only one of many claiming to help you. The simple instructions for removing this ***** from browser short cuts and Internet Explorer worked fine for us; just remember to RESTART your computer! Otherwise the changes you make are ignored. Many thanks

  24. Super grateful in Dallas Feb 4, 2015

    Adeleye John, you are a rock star - thank you! All of my browsers were affected and your solutions were the only thing that did the trick!

  25. Now Frustrated in Dallas :( Feb 4, 2015

    Ok so I got excited too soon ... following the instructions I was able to get my browsers back for Mozilla, Chrome & IE; however if I try to open a new tab on my Firefox toolbar (clicking the + sign), that damn istart toolbar appears! So it's still there, insidiously.

  26. Now Frustrated in Dallas :( Feb 4, 2015

    Ok so I got excited too soon ... following the instructions I was able to get my browsers back for Mozilla, Chrome & IE; however if I try to open a new tab on my Firefox toolbar (clicking the + sign), that damn istart toolbar appears! So it's still there, insidiously.

  27. Max Feb 6, 2015

    Friends , pay attention on the browser's desktop shortcut. Make sure you click on the shortcut, go to properties and check out where it says TARGET look at the line make sure it contains for example just "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"
    You may find attached to it the istart123 address, you should delete it.
    You may not find anywhere else existence of istart123.
    Make sure you do this step and you will feel free from that problem

  28. LD Feb 17, 2015

    Max, you solved it! The TARGET line had iStart still in it, so once i removed that and restarted my computer, it was gone at last! I had tried everything else. Thank you!

  29. MAHEALANI Mar 4, 2015

    Thanks Max!! FINALLY a solution!!

  30. Relieved in Oregon Jul 14, 2015

    MAX!!! YOU ARE AWESOME!!!I have been trying to get rid of this stupid thing for months!!!!! WAY TO GO!!!

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