Severity scale:  
  (12/100)

Search9+. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Adware

Search9+ is an ad-supported program that delivers questionable content promoting rogue tools and services

Search9+
Search9+ virus is an adware-type virus detected as Win32:PUP-gen and PUP.AD.SEARCH9+. The main issue caused by this PUP is aggressive ads and similar content.

Search9+ — adware that can seriously disrupt your searches by interrupting you with useless advertisements inside your browser. It aims to reroute users to pre-selected sites and convince them about the usefulness of the promoted products. However, taking into account that this PUP has already been included in the database of several security programs as Win32:PUP-gen and PUP.AD.SEARCH9+, you should stay away from its ads as far as you can. However, if you like downloading freeware without monitoring its installation properly, you may not notice the moment of this virus infiltration on your computer as it has been actively spreading with the help of bundling. Fortunately, it is not hard to prevent Search9+ virus on the system or eliminate it by using proper removal steps.

Name Search9+
Type Adware
Danger level Low. Displays intrusive content, so it cannot harm the system directly
Main danger Collects information about the user and shares data with third-party companies
Symptoms

Specific changes on your web browser:

  • the replaced search engine, start page, new tab window;
  • changes in your bookmarks list;
  • constant reappearance of numerous pop-up ads;
  • redirects to unusual and possibly malicious websites;
  • slowdowns on every web browser
detected as  Win32:PUP-gen or PUP.AD.SEARCH9+
Distribution Software bundling
Download Reimage and run a full system scan to eliminate Search9+ and related programs

Some people have seen a connection between Search9+ and Search9.js file. However, such relation is not proper. The .jp is a file associated with CodeWarrior Development Studio by Metrowerks[1] which is a legitimate application for Windows OS. The PUP renders the name of the legitimate file to evade easy detection and removal.

Fortunately, no matter how actively people tend to call this intruder a virus, it does not fall for the category of malicious cyber infections. Its danger level is low as the changes it initiates are more intrusive than dangerous. Once installed, the potentially unwanted program (PUP) performs the following:

  • Installs browser's extensions, plugins, bookmarks;
  • Replaces search engine, start page and similar settings on every browser;
  • Installs tracking cookies to access Search Data;
  • Random web page text turned into hyperlink;
  • Displays intrusive pop-up ads promoting fake software updates;
  • Infects banners, hyperlinks to commonly visited sites.

The aim of the Search9+ virus is to promote the websites of its affiliates and increase visitor's rate to related websites. However, cybersecurity experts do not monitor the content of all sites that the search may try to popularize. Dieviren.de[2] security team warns that some of the links or ads displayed may promote unsafe domains filled with rogue software installers, fake queries, quiz, prize giveaway scams, and so on.

Apart from misleading content, Search9+ removal is also advisable due to the unapproved use of tracking cookies and web beacons. These technologies are used to gather browsing-related information, including but not limited to IP address, email address, geolocation, etc. The problem is that accumulated data may circulate among suspicious third parties that may create catchy ads to catch your attention.

This particular browser hijacker appears to be oriented to Mac OS users (though Windows is not immune as well). In case of a hijack, Mac users should carefully check the libraries for the following PUP-related files in ~/Library/LaunchAgents:

  • search9.askthepotato.com.AppVemoral.plist
  • askthepotato.btvlit.plist
  • askthepotato.disable.plist
  • askthepotato.dolnwoad.plist
  • askthepotato.uadpte.plist, etc.

All these entries have to be eliminated if you want to remove Search9+ once and for all. The easiest way to get rid of malware and all its components is by using a thorough system scan with anti-malware and system repair tools. We recommend using Reimage and Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner in particular to see what malicious programs[3] are hiding on your Mac and Windows OS. 

To get rid of Search9+ for good, make sure you also reset your web browsers. Instructions on how to do that without erasign your browser settings are provided below.

Malware developers use bundling technique to spread their viruses without being noticed

In a hurry or not, it's a must to check freeware installation setup as carefully as possible. Skipping through steps gets you nowhere because it allows additional programs to be installed. That's because even reliable free apps may contain “optional downloads” that are going to be installed by default unless you opt out of them.

To crack software bundle, its essential to select Advanced or Custom installation technique and read Privacy Policy, Terms, and other information provided. In particular, search for unknown browser extensions that are pre-marked. Make sure to uncheck each box saying that you agree with the installation of additional components and the changes that they may initiate.

Get rid of Search9+ to save yourself while browsing

If you are concerned about the state of your device because of the infiltration of potentially unwanted programs, make sure to remove Search9+ virus as soon as possible. For that, we recommend using automatic removal option which will help you find all malicious or at least unwanted components hiding in your system. Take into account that such PUPs tend to change the computer's registry to prevent their elimination.

If you are not willing to opt for automatic Search9+ removal, use guide that is presented down below. However, by using anti-malware or system repair tools, you can visibly improve the whole system and its functionality. Before you fix your Mac after the hijack, you should also terminate malicious processes by going thru these steps:

  • Go Finder -> Activity Monitor;
  • Look at running processes and mark the ones that seem to be related to Search9+ (typically, they consume numerous computer's resources);
  • Click (i) located at the top side window and wait for a new window to show up;
  • Click Quit.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Search9+, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Search9+ from Windows systems

To get rid of Search9+ from Windows, follow these steps and terminate the intruder:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Search9+ and related programs
    Here, look for Search9+ or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Search9+ from Mac OS X system

To fix your Mac after the hijack of this adware, get rid of all potentially unwanted programs by using the following guide and then reset the corrupted browsers:

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Search9+ or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Search9+ from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Search9+ and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Search9+ removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Search9+ from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Search9+ should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Search9+ from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Search9+ and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Search9+ removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search9+ from Google Chrome

To restore settings on Chrome, follow this tutorial:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Search9+ and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Search9+ removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Search9+ from Safari

To get rid of intrusive browser's add-ons, including Search9+, rely on this guide:

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Search9+ or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Search9+ removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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References