Searchmine.net or simply called Search Mine is a malicious search tool that affects Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari browsers. It is observed to be targeting Mac OS users and spreads all over the internet as part of software bundles. Users typically obtain this dubious package from a number of malicious advertisements that suddenly pop-ups when visiting questionable websites. The method in which adware makers were able to convince web users to download the app is unchanged. They bundle the adware to appealing apps like utilities, media player, download helper, software update, internet speed booster, and similar programs. The pop-up page itself is able to draw user’s attention due to promising contents.
Without user’s realization, the downloaded application can cause hazard on their Mac because once installed, it integrates the adware onto browser programs. Then, it starts to change homepage and new tab settings to Searchmine.net. Search engine is also in the path of adware’s infection and in fact, it is the focal point of this attack. Searchmine.net needs to dominate user’s search activity because its authors are aiming to extract valuable data from this proceeding.
After collecting enough information, Searchmine.net will then focus on delivering personalized advertisements on infected browser programs. Pop-up, redirects, and task bar notifications will repeatedly show up with random endorsements. Result page of Searchmine.net is also filled with unusual advertisements in form of paid links mixed with actual search result link. Attackers are employing ad blindness on this scheme so user’s may accidentally click on advertisements and gain profit in return.
It is clear that primary motive of Searchmine.net is to exploit the computer for self-centered objective of generating online revenue while putting user’s online security and privacy at risk. Therefore, it is recommended to get rid of Searchmine.net as soon as possible before it can further endanger Mac system and avert the adware from exposing sensitive user’s data.
Procedures to Remove Searchmine.net from Mac
Systematic instructions and tools for the successful removal of browser threat are outlined on this section. This is helpful to totally get rid of Searchmine.net browser hijacker from infected browser programs.
Even ordinary Mac users can understand and follow this guide because it was created with less complexities and technicalities. Also, make sure to run the scanners to automatically delete harmful items belonging to Searchmine.net browser hijacker.
Quick Fix - Scan the Mac Computer with Combo Cleaner
Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of malicious browser hijacker like Searchmine.net. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.
1. Download the tool from the following page:
2. Double-click the downloaded file and proceed with the installation.
3. In the opened window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon onto your Applications folder icon.
4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.
5. Wait until antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing Searchmine.net.
6. Free features of Combo Cleaner include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus and privacy scanner, users have to upgrade to a premium version.
Aside from automatic removal using the recommended utility application, you can also remove Searchmine.net with manual procedure. If you are comfortable in executing this course, please proceed below.
Step 1 : Delete Searchmine.net from Mac Applications
1. Open Finder on you Mac computer.
2. Next, go to top menu and click Go. From the drop-down list, click on Applications to view the contents of Applications Folder.
3. Browse the Applications folder and look for Searchmine.net. If it is not present, find any unwanted or suspicious program that is probably relevant to the browser hijacker.
4. To delete Searchmine.net from Mac, simply Drag it to Trash Bin. You can also highlight/select the item and press Delete on your keyboard.
5. Next, delete Searchmine.net from Trash Bin. Right-click the Trash icon and click Empty Trash.
Step 2 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to Searchmine.net
1. Locate the add-on or extension that is relevant to the hijacker. To do this, please follow the following depending on affected browser.
Safari - Choose Preferences from the Safari menu, then click the Extensions icon. This will open a window showing all installed extensions.
Chrome - Select Preferences from the Chrome menu, and then click the Extensions link found on the left pane.
Firefox - Choose Add-ons from the Menu. Look at both the Extensions and Plug-ins lists when it opens a new window.
2. Once you have located Searchmine.net or any suspicious item, click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.
3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.
Step 3 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed Searchmine.net
1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.
2. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar please select Go > Go to Folder...
3. Press Command + V on your keyboard to paste the copied string. Press Return to go to the said folder.
4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:
The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. It is normally an unfamiliar file name such as the following:
- Search Mine
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing Searchmine.net to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the most latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files. Please press Option + Command + 4 on your keyboard to arrange the application list in chronological order.
Important: Take note of all the suspicious files as you may also delete the same item on another folder as we go on.
5. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.
6. Please restart the computer.
7. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.
8. Look for any suspicious items that are similar to the ones in Step 4. Drag them to the Trash.
9. Repeat the process on the following non-hidden folders (without ~):
Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:
1. Go to Launchpad, Utilities folder, open Activity Monitor.
2. Select the process you want to quit.
3. Click on Force Quit button.
4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to Searchmine.net homepage hijacker.
Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac
1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from the link below.
2. Run Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac. It will check for updates and download if most recent version is available. This is necessary in finding recent malware threats including Searchmine.net.
3. If it prompts to close all running web browser, please do so. Thus, we advise you to PRINT this guide for your reference before going offline.
4. Once it opens the user interface, please click on Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.
5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, Searchmine.net is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.
Step 5 : Remove Searchmine.net from Homepage and Search
- Open your Safari browser.
- Go to Safari Menu located on upper left hand corner, and then select Preferences.
- Under General tab, navigate to Default Search Engine section and select Google or any valid search engine.
- Next, be sure that "New Windows Open With" field is set to Homepage.
- Lastly, remove Searchmine.net from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.
- Open Chrome browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and press Enter on keyboard : chrome://settings/
- Look for 'On Startup' area.
- Select 'Open a specific page or set of pages'.
- Click on More Actions and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing Searchmine.net. Click Save.
- To set default search engine, go to Search Engine area.
- Click on 'Manage search engines...' button.
- Go to questionable Search Engine. Click on More Actions and Click 'Remove from list'.
- Go back to Search Engine area and choose valid entry from Search engine used in the address bar.
- Run Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and hit Enter on keyboard : about:preferences
- On Startup area, select 'Show your home page' under 'When Firefox starts' field.
- Under Home Page field, type the desired URL to replace Searchmine.net settings.
- To configure default search engine, select Search on left sidebar to display settings.
- Under Default Search Engine list, please select one.
- On the same page, you have an option to Remove unwanted search engine.
Step 6 : Delete Searchmine.net Login Items
Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs Searchmine.net during user log in.
1. Go to Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
2. Select Users & Groups from the preferences window.
3. You may need to Unlock this area in order to make changes. Click on the Lock icon on lower left corner of the window.
4. Next, select user account that runs Searchmine.net.
5. Click on Login Items tab.
6. Select Searchmine.net or any suspicious entries from the list and click on the minus [-] button and confirm your actions. Please see image below for reference.
Optional : If unable to change browser settings, execute these steps:
Some user complains that there is no way to change browser settings because it is grayed out by Searchmine.net. In such situation, it is important to check if there is unwanted profile. Please do the following:
1. Quit any running applications and launch System Preferences from your Dock.
2. Under System Preferences, click Profiles.
3. Select , Searchmine.net or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.
4. At the bottom of this window, click minus [-] button to delete the account. Please refer to image above.
5. Close the Profiles window and open the affected browser to change all settings associated with Searchmine.net.
Get rid of Searchmine.net Pop-ups (Notification)
Most of the time, browser hijackers are combined with intrusive pop-up ads originating from the source website Searchmine.net. It is taking advantage of push notification feature of popular internet programs like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Edge. These pop-up ads from Searchmine.net are extra ordinary as it exceeds the normal display volume and they are certainly annoying.
Normally, Searchmine.net pop-ups will start to bombard internet browser screen with pop-ups if web user was deceived to click “Allow” button that triggers the said website to send push notification. To stop Searchmine.net from showing the pop-ups, please execute the procedures below. Remember, these steps may only be successful after the removal of the main component or dubious browser extension.
1. On Google Chrome browser, input the following in the address bar and press Enter:
2. Navigate to the list under "Allow" section and look for Searchmine.net.
3. Click the ellipses (3 dots) beside Searchmine.net list to reveal the options.
4. Click on Block or Remove to stop Searchmine.net from displaying pop-up ads on Google Chrome browser.
6. Please restart Google Chrome browser.
1. On Mozilla Firefox browser, type the following in the address bar and press Enter key:
2. Navigate below to Permission area and look for Notifications.
3. Click the Settings button aligned with the Notifications.
4. Look for Searchmine.net entry and change the Status to Block.
5. Click on Save Changes and restart Mozilla Firefox and check if Searchmine.net pop-up is gone.
1. On top menu, click on Safari and then, select Preferences from the drop-down list.
2. Click on Websites tab to open its settings.
3. Select Notifications from the left sidebar.
4. On right panel, it will display a list of websites with "Allow" attribute.
5. Find and click on Searchmine.net.
6. You may choose to Deny or Remove it from the notification list.
7. You may now restart Safari browser and see if Searchmine.net pop-up is gone.
1. Assuming that Edge browser is open, click on the ellipses (3 dots) on upper right corner to open the Settings. Alternatively, you can press Alt + X on the keyboard.
2. Select Settings from the drop-down list.
3. Click on Advanced.
4. Under Website Permissions area, click on Manage Permissions button.
4. Find and select Searchmine.net from the list. Click on X button to stop it from showing pop-up ads or notifications.
5. You may now restart Edge browser.
Remove Stubborn Searchmine.net from Google Chrome via Terminal of Mac
If solution above is not sufficient and Searchmine.net is still present on the browser, you may need to proceed with these steps.
1. Open Terminal App by navigating to Go > Utilities, then click on Terminal.app
2. Input the strings below and press Enter on keyboard to execute the command. Input one string at a time.
defaults write com.google.Chrome HomepageIsNewTabPage -bool false
defaults write com.google.Chrome NewTabPageLocation -string “https://www.google.com/”
defaults write com.google.Chrome HomepageLocation -string “https://www.google.com/”
defaults delete com.google.Chrome DefaultSearchProviderSearchURL
defaults delete com.google.Chrome DefaultSearchProviderNewTabURL
defaults delete com.google.Chrome DefaultSearchProviderName
3. Please restart Google Chrome browser to see if Searchmine.net is gone.