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Remove Searchmine.net (Virus Removal Guide) - Aug 2019 update

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

SearchMine.net is the fake search engine that is usually installed via adware bundles 

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

Searchmine.net, also known as SearchMine, is a potentially unwanted application that alters various preferences on Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or any other installed browser. The browser hijacker usually enters the machine without user consent and is often bundled[1] with adware like Bundlore. In other cases, users might stumble upon SearchMine.net when browsing insecure third-party sites or clicking on ads.

Searchmine.net virus mainly targets Mac operating systems, although it does not mean that Windows users cannot get infected with the browser hijacker. As soon as it enters the system, the PUP embeds its custom search engine (which looks rather plain) and changes the homepage of the browser to hxxp://searchmine.net, which redirects all searches to the infamous Web Crawler.

Questions about Searchmine.net

Consequently, users affected by Search Mine 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 and perform Searchmine.net removal. Unfortunately, many reported the hijacker 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.

Name SearchMine.net
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 commercials and redirects all in-browser searches
Main danger Exposes to suspicious material, collects and tracks users' information
Distribution Software bundling, deceptive advertisements, p2p networks
Affects Mainly targets Safari and Google Chrome on Mac devices
Elimination Use Reimage to keep the system free of PUPs and remove Searchmine.net

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

Since Searchmine.net 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 Search Mine hijack involves:

  • 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 potentially unwanted program as Search Mine virus starts affecting the PC, 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.

Search Mine 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 can 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 new page or new tab appearance once clicked.

Searchmine bundled Bundlore
Not 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 Search Mine, 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. 

PUPs such as Search Mine 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, files, and associated intrudes can get eliminated automatically. During a full system scan with Reimage or another anti-malware tool, programs and files get indicated and detected as malicious or dangerous. 

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

Online ads appearing on every page you visit can include a direct download of PUP

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 Advanced or Custom process, you can see all the included apps and de-select any suspicious tools from the list.

Search Mine virus

Get rid of Searchmine.net virus and all the associated programs

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.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, 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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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 SpyHunter 5.
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 Searchmine.net, follow these steps:

Get rid of Searchmine.net from Windows systems

  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 Searchmine.net and related programs
    Here, look for Searchmine.net 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'
  5. Remove Searchmine.net from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

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

  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 Searchmine.net 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'

Delete Searchmine.net 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 Searchmine.net 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 Searchmine.net removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Uninstall Searchmine.net 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, Searchmine.net should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Erase Searchmine.net 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 Searchmine.net 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. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. 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'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Searchmine.net removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate Searchmine.net from Google Chrome

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

  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 Searchmine.net 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. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. 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
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Searchmine.net removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of Searchmine.net from Safari

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

  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 Searchmine.net or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Searchmine.net, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. 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...'
  6. 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 Searchmine.net removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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