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Remove Searchmine.net (Virus Removal Guide) - Jun 2020 update

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

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 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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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 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

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

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

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 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

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

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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References
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