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Remove Searchmine.net (Virus Removal Guide) - Jan 2021 update

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

SearchMine is a browser hijacker that targets Mac OS in particular with the intention to promote search.yahoo.com search

SearchmineSearchmine.net is the browser hijacker that alters browser settings and replaces the homepage, new tab, and default search engine.  

Searchmine.net is the URL address that can show up as a default start page on Google Chrome or another web browser on both Mac and Windows machines. Also dubbed as SearchMine, this rogue search engine has been accused of aggressive techniques to infiltrate web browsers and take over web browser's settings. 

The Searchmine.net virus is internationally known as a browser hijacker and potentially unwanted application (PUA) as it is promoted as a pre-selected freeware component[1] and manifests itself as soon as the user agrees with the installation the main freeware installer. Experts warn to be cautious when downloading apps like Bundlore, Screen Dream, UtilityParse, and similar. 

Upon installation, it settles down on a default web browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, etc.) as an extension, set the homepage to hxxp://searchmine.net and search.yahoo.com as a default start page. Such modifications are not only intrusive but also pose a risk of being exposed to phishing websites or offensive content. 

Searchmine is dubbed as a Mac virus since statistically most of its victims are Mac OS users who employ Safari or Google Chrome web browsers in particular. However, it does not mean that Windows users cannot get infected with this browser hijacker. Beware that it may try to push Web Crawler search results aside with Yahoo, which is yet another dubious search engine used for marketing purposes solely. 

Questions about Searchmine.net

Thus, users who have already experienced searchmine.net hijack are strongly recommended to close the browser temporarily and initiate a full system scan to get rid of the malware. Otherwise, this rogue search may continuously expose you to sponsored websites, generate intrusive ads some of which may be used for malware distribution, and even record your web browsing history for sharing it with third-parties. 

Name SearchMine
Type Browser hijacker
Bundled with Bundlore and other adware apps
Targeted OS macOS, Mac OS X
Symptoms Alters new tab, homepage, search engine settings, delivers intrusive ads and redirects all in-browser searches
Risks Exposes users to suspicious and potentially dangerous content, collects and tracks user information
Distribution Software bundles, deceptive advertisements, P2P and other third-party sites
Mostly affected browsers Mainly targets Safari and Google Chrome web browsers on Macs
Elimination To remove potentially unwanted programs, you should check the instructions below. Additionally, you should scan your machine with security software and reset browsers if necessary
Optimization To optimize your Mac and delete junk files, download and install ReimageIntego

Users affected by SearchMine hijack will see numerous sponsored links when looking for the information online, which consequently changes which sites they visit, especially if they are unaware that their machines are infected in the first place. Nevertheless, most users will indeed notice that something is wrong because of a new start page, search provider, new tabs, toolbars, and other unapproved changes. 

Despite the fact that this rogue search doesn't seem dangerous and its plane style can even appear useful for some people, the bulk of Mac users performed searchmine.net removal right after installing it. However, the problem is that this hijacker tends to returns or does no uninstall completely.[2] In such a case, other malicious programs might be involved, and their termination is required to stop the intrusive ads, redirects, and other unwanted activity.

The ad network is vast, and sometimes, it is hard to determine which company is related. Regardless of how many times you will get redirected, however, you can be sure: multiple parties are receiving revenue. Moreover, they do not care that you are stuck with searchmine.net redirects; contacting these people might be impossible.

Besides, searchmine developers hurry to prevent themselves from being accused of anything based on their End User License Agreement:[3]

THIS DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY APPLIES TO ANY DAMAGES OR INJURY CAUSED BY THE SERVICE, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION AS A RESULT OF ANY FAILURE OF PERFORMANCE, ERROR, OMISSION, INTERRUPTION, DELETION, DEFECT, DELAY IN OPERATION OR TRANSMISSION, COMPUTER VIRUS, COMMUNICATION LINE FAILURE, THEFT OR DESTRUCTION OR UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO, ALTERATION OF, OR USE OF ANY DATA OR INFORMATION, WHETHER FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT, TORT, NEGLIGENCE, OR UNDER ANY OTHER CAUSE OF ACTION.

Searchmine.net virus primarily targets devices running on macOS and particular Google Chrome and Safari browsers with all the hijacker activities. The attack starts when preferred browsers start displaying Searchmine as the in-browser search engine and appear every time you open the new page or new tab.

Searchmine.net hijackSearchmine is the browser hijacker-type PUP that infiltrates machines without any users' knowledge or permission.

Since Searchmine is the potentially unwanted program, you need to be aware that many other tools or browser programs can get added without your knowledge. This feature also helps to keep the persistence of this initial intruder because you need to delete all the content related to the hijacker to end its intrusive processes. 

Main symptoms of such programs like searchmine.net hijacker involve:

  • changed appearance of the browser;
  • altered homepage, new tab, search engine preferences;
  • commercial content injected on the browser;
  • pop-up ads[4] and redirects showing up constantly;
  • diminished performance of the PC;
  • affected system speed.

Once a potentially unwanted program as the searchmine virus starts affecting the PC, the performance of the machine significantly diminishes. It also affects the processes and the general speed of a machine. You need to get rid of this program entirely from the system to get back to the device that performs normally.

SearchMine can be associated with other potentially unwanted programs, so don't be surprised when the computer gets additional tools or in-browser extensions. All the popular web browsers can get affected by such intruders, so make sure to eliminate these PUPs as soon as you notice the intrusive behavior.

You should remove searchmine.net as soon as your browser stars delivering suspicious results or causing redirects to sponsored pages. Commercial content creators, advertisers focus on creating redirects to their sites, so all the pop-ups or banners cause a new page or new tab appearance once clicked.

Searchmine bundled BundloreNot only is Searchmine bundled with adware apps like Bundlore, but it also protects itself from any responsibility via the EULA provided on the main site.

Unfortunately, you cannot notice the initial infiltration of searchmine.net malware, so it is unknown when the PUP got on your machine. You need to eliminate this threat, so your data remains safe because potentially unwanted programs have the functionality of tracking and collecting various data regarding your online preferences and location, details about the device. 

Browser hijackers like SearchMine can track PII and share it with third parties

PUPs such as the searchmine.net virus can access details about your online browsing, search queries. Most visited sites and searched items, IP address, location, and other information about your online browsing preferences can be useful for advertisers when they created commercial content, so this data is shared with all the sponsors and third-party companies. Also, the Privacy Policy of this program claims that some technical data is also gathered:

Certain technical information regarding your device, and your Use of the Software & Services and other third party software and applications installed on your device (the “Other Software”), including the type, name and version of operating system and Other Software including, without limitation, their interactions with the Software & Services, ISP (Internet Service Provider), location, Internet protocol (IP) address, anonymous user identifiers, device configuration and identifiers (IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers used in IOS), Advertising ID (Identifier for Advertisers used in Android) and the like), version of the Software & Services, and your configuration and settings of the Software & Services;

Experts[5] recommend using professional anti-malware for Searchmine.net removal because all the programs and files might not be easily found manually in some cases. Additionally, for maintenance purposes and better operation of the Mac, we recommend using ReimageIntego.

You should also keep such tools on the machine and run occasional scans to ensure that any PUPs like Searchmine.net cannot infiltrate the system. Often these programs can block unwanted applications and suspicious pages before you even enter them. Besides, it is a good piece of software while wanting to speed up your computing processes.

Remove Searchmine.net and all the secretly installed browser extensions, toolbars, or bookmarks by resetting the browser to default and changing all the settings back to your preferences. You can find all the PUP removal tips below the article in the step-by-step guide. These steps are valid for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Explorer, and Safari browsers.

Searchmine virusSearchmine.net virus is the potentially unwanted program that makes a huge difference in the speed and performance of the infected PC.

Click-bait ads on shady websites can lead to easy PUP infiltration

Deceptive advertisements redirecting to questionable websites, pages filled with commercial content, and other intrusive pop-ups or promotional material can lead to unwanted infiltrations of programs like adware or browser hijackers. Clicking on suspicious ads, visiting questionable pages, and so on can expose to various malicious sites.

However, the primary method used to deliver cyber infections and all those intrusive potentially unwanted programs is software bundling. This technique involves freeware distributors and PUP developers who pack their products in bundles and spread around the internet with the help of torrent sites, p2p[6] sharing services, and installations setups.

These unwanted programs come as additional installation parts when users download applications from the internet via questionable sources or providers. The main issue is with installation options because choosing Recommended, or Quick installations agree to get all the programs packed in the bundle. If you opt for the Advanced or Custom process, you can see all the included apps and de-select any suspicious tools from the list.

Search Mine virus

Delete Searchmine.net virus and all the associated programs to restore machine's stability

You should be aware that any program like potentially unwanted applications, adware, and rogue tools can automatically install files and in-browser content behind your back. Merely for that reason, Searchmine.net removal requires attention and professional tools, so that all the intruders get eliminated.

You can try to remove Searchmine manually, but PUPs come with additional files and functions, so full system cleaning can help to fix additional issues with your computer that may be caused by the infiltration of this cyber threat. Get anti-malware tool, download the program from a reliable source, and scan the machine thoroughly.

If, after all, you are determined to eliminate searchmine.net virus from the system manually, follow the guide submitted below and initiate every step in the right sequence. Note that it is not enough to get rid of the malware installer. The browser hijacker will reappear every time when you reopen the browser as long as the browser's settings won't be restored to the state before the attack. 

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. 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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To remove Searchmine.net, follow these steps:

Get rid of Searchmine.net from Windows systems

To remove Searchmine.net 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 Searchmine.net (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.

Remove Searchmine.net from Mac OS X system

Make sure to clean the system fully and eliminate all traces of Searchmine to make your device running smoother

Remove Searchmine.net from Applications folder:

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

Delete Searchmine.net 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 Searchmine.net 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 Searchmine.net removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Uninstall Searchmine.net 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 Searchmine.net-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

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 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 Searchmine.net 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 Searchmine.net 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 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

Reset Mozilla Firefox

In case Searchmine.net 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 Searchmine.net removal.Reset Firefox 2

Eliminate Searchmine.net from Google Chrome

Change the settings of your Chrome to ensure that Searchmine is not affecting the machine

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 Searchmine.net 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 like Searchmine.net 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 Searchmine.net-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 Searchmine.net removal.Reset Chrome 2

Get rid of Searchmine.net from Safari

You can benefit from browser reset when such PUPs come to the machine

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to Searchmine.net 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 Searchmine.net 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: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

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. 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 the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. 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.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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References
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