StartEssentials is a malicious app. If allowed to run, it can hijack your web traffic and open unwanted sites, as well as log your data. It can also cause other apps and browser add-ons to be installed without your permission.
It’s best to remove StartEssentials quickly by deleting this app and reverting the changes that it might have made to your settings.
- What is StartEssentials?
- StartEssentials hijacks web browsers
- It’s installed without permission
- How to avoid malware infections
- How to delete StartEssentials
- Find and delete all malware
- Protect your accounts
- Automatic Malware removal tools
- Delete malicious apps and files
- How to remove StartEssentials from macOS
- (Optional) Delete related settings
- (Optional) Delete malicious files
- Fix browser settings
- How To remove StartEssentials from Firefox on Mac OS:
StartEssentials in short:
|Problems caused by StartEssentials||Unexpected websites open on their own,
some websites don’t load or take a long time to load,
unknown apps and browser extensions are installed.
|How to avoid adware infections||Block malicious sites,
scan the installers that you download for malware,
manage your Mac’s Security & Privacy settings to disallow unknown apps.
|How to get rid of StartEssentials||Find and delete all files related to StartEssentials (manually and with anti-malware scanners like Spyhunter for Mac, Combo Cleaner, etc.),
review all the settings that StartEssentials might have changed.
What is StartEssentials?
StartEssentials hijacks web browsers
StartEssentials is a malicious app. It might appear out of the blue and begin interfering with your online activities:
- Your macOS might show you warnings about StartEssentials, such as that StartEssentials wants access to control Safari.
- StartEssentials might run whenever your browser runs. It might appear in your Dock unexpectedly, but if you click on it and open it, it doesn’t seem to do anything at all.
- The app can open unwanted sites, such as SearchMarquis or SearchBaron. It can cause your browser’s home page and default search engine to change.
- More apps just like StartEssentials can get installed on their own.
StartEssentials affects Safari, Chrome, and other browsers.
It’s installed without permission
StartEssentials is one of many very similar apps: TypeInitiator, CharacterSearch, SearchLeadingInfo, DesignDefault, LinkBranch, etc. As you can see, these apps all have similar style names – random nouns concatenated to sound as generic as possible.
These apps are AdLoad infections. This is malware that targets Macs. It redirects traffic through a proxy, which allows malicious actors to control and spy on people’s traffic.
It’s also why StartEssentials can cause internet connectivity problems, such as slow connection and inaccessible websites.
These apps tend to use two methods to spread:
- Malicious ads, fake update alerts for apps and for macOS. These ads download an installer that looks like a trusted app but that installs malware.
- Infected app installers. These apps can be downloaded from unreliable software download sites.
How to avoid malware infections
There are a few things you can do to avoid malware infections:
- You can configure your Mac to only allow apps from the App Store and identified developers. Unfortunately, some malicious apps have been known to get around this.
- You can use security apps for some additional protection. Anti-malware apps aren’t perfect, but they help.
- Ad blockers and malicious site blockers can stop some dangerous sites from showing. This can be immensely helpful if you frequent sites that show dangerous ads.
- Use online scanning services, such as Virustotal.com, to check installers before you run them By the way, here’s a VirusTotal scan of StartEssentials.
How to delete StartEssentials
Find and delete all malware
The StartEssentials adware can be a little persistent. Delete it as you would any other app, such as from the Application folder, and you might see it return a few days later.
To permanently get rid of this leech, you need to delete the files that came with it, as well as change the settings that it took over.
You can find the files that belong to StartEssentials as described below, by searching for them in hidden folders. Some other malicious files might be harder to recognize, as they might use strings of random letters and numbers for names.
Anti-malware apps (Spyhunter for Mac, Combo Cleaner, and others) can help here. Security programs should recognize StartEssentials and detect it by names like Adware, Trojan, Malicious, Potentially Unwanted Program, and others. Scanners can also find malicious apps that you might overlook.
You’ll need to review your settings manually, including configuration profiles and startup items. The instructions are below.
Check your browser add-ons as StartEssentials might have installed some malicious ones. These malicious add-ons won’t necessarily be named “StartEssentials”, so be thorough.
Protect your accounts
It’s possible that StartEssentials or other malicious apps or browser extensions logged your information. If StartEssentials influenced your browser, then it very likely logged your browsing history and search terms. But even worse, it might have got your credentials and passwords.
To make sure that your accounts aren’t hacked by malicious actors, you need to be using multi-factor authentication wherever possible. You might also want to reset your passwords.
And do use strong and unique passwords, as if you don’t, cybercriminals might be able to break into your accounts even without knowing your credentials.
Automatic Malware removal tools
Delete malicious apps and files
How to remove StartEssentials from macOSDelete StartEssentials from your applications.
- Open Finder.
- In the menu bar, click Go.
- Select Applications from the dropdown.
- Find the StartEssentials app.
- Select it and right-click it (or hold the Ctrl and click the left mouse button).
- In the dropdown, click Move to Bin/Trash. You might be asked to provide your login password.
(Optional) Delete related settingsSome malicious apps make themselves difficult to delete by changing various settings and leaving behind malicious files. Remove settings related to StartEssentials.
- Click the Apple logo in the menu bar. Open System Preferences.
- Some malicious applications set profiles to enforce unwanted settings. Remove unwanted configuration profiles.
- In System Preferences, click the Profiles icon. This icon is only visible if there are profiles on your Mac.
- Select unwanted profiles and remove them by pressing the minus '-' button at the bottom.
- Some adware applications set SOCKS proxy to manipulate your internet traffic. Remove unwanted proxies:
- In System Preferences, click Network, Advanced, Proxies.
- If a proxy is set without your permission, uncheck it and click OK.
(Optional) Delete malicious filesSome malicious apps leave behind dangerous files in your Library folders. Delete files related to StartEssentials.
- Open Finder.
- In the menu bar, click Go -> Computer.
- In the search box, type in StartEssentials and variations of it.
- Delete the files that are found and that seem to be related to StartEssentials.
Fix browser settings
How to remove StartEssentials from Safari:TopRemove malicious extensions
- Click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Preferences.
- Select Extensions and uninstall StartEssentials and other suspicious extensions.
- If your homepage was changed, click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Preferences and choose General tab. Enter preferable URL to the homepage field.
- Click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Reset Safari…
- Select which options you want to reset (usually all of them come preselected) and click on the Reset button.
TopHow to remove StartEssentials from Google Chrome on Mac:
- Open Chrome browser.
- Enter in the url field “chrome://extensions” address and hit Enter.
- Find StartEssentials on the extensions list and click on the recycle bin icon next to it.
- Click on 'Chrome' button at the top left corner. Select 'Preferences' on a drop-down menu box.
- Find 'Search' options on Settings tab. If your search engine is changed, click 'Manage Search Engines' and set your preferred search engine.
- On the same page find 'Show home button' checkbox and change your homepage.
- On the 'Preferences' menu window, scroll down to the bottom and find 'Reset settings' button. Click it.
- Confirm your selection and click 'Reset' on the following window.
How To remove StartEssentials from Firefox on Mac OS:
- Click on the menu button on the top right corner of a Mozilla window and select the “Add-ons” icon (Or press cmd+Shift+A on your keyboard).
- Go through Extensions list, remove everything StartEssentials related and items you do not recognise. If you do not know the extension and it is not made by Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, Oracle or Adobe then you probably do not need it.
- Enter “about:preferences” in URL bar and hit enter.
- Open Search settings tab.
- If your search engine is changed, click 'Default Search Engines' and set your preferred search engine.
- If your homepage was changed, click on the Firefox menu in the top right corner, select Preferences-> General. Enter a preferable URL to the home page field.
- Click on the menu button on the top right corner of a Mozilla Firefox window. Click on the Help button.
- Choose Troubleshooting Information on the Help menu.
- Click on the Refresh Firefox button.
- Click on the Refresh Firefox button on the confirmation box. Mozilla Firefox will close and change the settings to default.