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Remove Search9+ (Removal Guide) - updated Sep 2020

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Adware

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

Search9+

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 Reimage Cleaner Intego 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego 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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage 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 Reimage, 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.

To remove Search9+, follow these steps:

Uninstall Search9+ from Windows systems

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

To remove Search9+ from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  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 entries related to Search9+ (or any other recently installed 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.

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:

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Search9+ from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Search9+-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 Search9+, 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 related to Search9+ and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Search9+-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of Search9+ from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Search9+ and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Search9+ removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete Search9+ 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 Search9+-related 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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 DeleteAdvanced 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” -VerboseAdvanced 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 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

Erase Search9+ 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 plugins that are related to Search9+ and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  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

In case Search9+ did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete Search9+ removal.Reset Firefox 2

Remove Search9+ 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 Search9+ 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

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the Search9+-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 to complete Search9+ removal.Reset Chrome 2

Uninstall Search9+ 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 related to Search9+ 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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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