Search9+ (Removal Guide) - updated Oct 2018

Search9+ Removal Guide

What is Search9+?

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

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 FortectIntego 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.[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:

  • 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 FortectIntego and SpyHunter 5Combo 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.

Search9+ virusSearch9+ is an unwanted program that affects your device significantly. Its intrusive advertisements, redirects to questionable sites and additional commercial content can seriously diminish your time online and make the machine slower.

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 may remove virus damage with a help of FortectIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of Search9+. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

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

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete from macOS

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:

Remove items from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash) Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files. Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom. Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear. Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running. Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick Delete Advanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose Advanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy, search and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now. Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset. Reset Chromium Edge

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Remove from Google Chrome

To restore settings on Chrome, follow this tutorial:

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

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

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Search9+ registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting adware

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

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Ugnius Kiguolis
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