If you get redirected to searchmine.net while browsing, your Mac device might be infected with a browser hijacker. By downloading software from unofficial sites, SearchMine browser extension comes as an extra to your device. Designed to look like a reliable search engine, it imperceptibly slows your Mac, collects your data, targets you with malicious ads, and more.
In this article, you will learn how to remove SearchMine from your Mac, the symptoms that help to detect it, and tips on to prevent it.
The most efficient way to remove SearchMine and other browser hijackers from your Mac device is to use TotalAV antivirus software. With it, you can run a full system scan, it offers real-time protection, and numerous additional security features.
What is SearchMine?
SearchMine is a type of virus called a browser hijacker. Browser hijackers are usually created to collect users’ data, sell it to malicious websites, and help cyber criminals to make an income. However, each browser hijacker comes with its own menaces.
Specifically, SearcMine is designed to look and work as a secure search engine. It also seemingly offers additional searching features, such as quick access to several popular websites like Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Aliexpress. Yet, the truth is completely the opposite. Behind the label of a search engine, a dangerous virus lurks for your data.
As soon as the new browser set is ready, SearchMine starts to redirect the traffic to sponsored pages. Those might infect your device even more severely. Not to mention the part where the infected browser collects your data to target you with personalized advertisements.
|Type||Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus|
|Symptoms||Changed browser’s homepage and search engine URLs, redirection to other search engines and websites, emerging of peculiar pop-up ads|
|Damage||Display of unwanted ads, data tracking, redirection to malicious websites, possible phishing, slower computer|
Why does searchmine.net keep opening in my browser?
Searchmine.net is a search engine that belongs to the SearchMine browser extension. That being said, if searchmine.net keeps popping out in your browser, then you should be concerned about being infected with the SearchMine browser hijacker.
SearchMine introduces an enterprise policy in the browser that replaces the admin's settings. Afterwards, the user isn't allowed to delete the changes forced by the hijacker.
If you have already been trying to remove the SearchMine from your device and the search engine continues to show up, then SearchMine keeps re-infecting your Mac. The virus can continue to spread if some of the infection’s components remain on your device. It is essential to remove this virus from your system completely.
Symptoms of SearchMine virus
If your browser got hijacked, you might come across unusual browser and Mac activity. These are the symptoms indicating the SearchMine virus on your Mac computer:
- Your default browser homepage URL and search engine URL have become searchmine.net. As the SearchMine virus can change the admin’s settings on your browser, everything gets replaced, starting with the design and ending with the search engine.
- You get a lot of dubious pop-up advertisements. These inform that your data has been compromised and used for malicious targeted advertising.
- You get redirected to other fake search engines and malicious web pages. Co-working with malicious websites is a way to make an income for cyber-criminal.
- Your Mac computer becomes slower. An active virus can consume a hefty amount of your computer's memory, leaving limited resources for other applications.
If any of these symptoms occur on your device, you should immediately look for the SearchMine installed and completely remove it. Any left remnant of the virus can inflict a new infection.
How to remove SearchMine hijacker on Mac
Every time you intend to remove a virus from your device, keep in mind that it’s a must to delete every patch of the infected program. Thoroughly going through folders might take some time, but it also brings long-term results.
Removing SearchMine also requires you to delete the virus from your Mac’s Applications, Profiles, folders, Login items, and more. Follow the steps below to learn how to do so:
Step 1: Remove SearchMine from Mac Applications
- Open Finder on your Mac computer.
- Choose the Applications folder.
- Look for the SearchMine application and drag it to the Bin.
- Empty your Mac’s Bin.
Step 2: Delete files that have installed SearchMine
- Head to Finder and, from the menu bar, select Go to Folder.
- Type “~/Library/LaunchAgents”.
- In the Launch Agents folder, search for SearchMine-related or suspiciously looking and recently added files.
- Drag and drop files to the Bin.
- Restart your computer and repeat the process with other folders.
Step 3: Remove SearchMine Login Items
- Go to the Apple Menu and select Systems Preferences.
- Open Users & Groups.
- Click on the lock pad icon in the lower left corner.
- Select the user account that runs SearchMine and click on Login Items.
- Select SearchMine and click on the minus (-) button.
Step 4: Remove malicious Profiles
- Go to Systems Preferences.
- Click on Profiles.
- Select the profile you want to remove.
- Press the minus (-) button.
Step 5: Remove SearchMine browser extensions
- Open Safari and go to Safari and then Preferences.
- Go to the Extensions section and look for suspicious recently added extensions and uninstall them.
- To change your homepage, head to the General section, and in the Homepage field, put the website of your choice.
- To change the default search engine, click the Search section, and, in the Search engine drop-down menu, choose your search engine.
- To disable pop-ups, head to Websites, click on Notifications, and Deny permissions to unwanted notifications.
- Open the Google Chrome browser, select More Tools and click Extensions.
- Remove recently installed suspicious extensions.
- To change your homepage, select Settings. Click On start-up, and under Open a specific page or set of pages, look for suspicious URLs and remove them.
- To change the default search engine, select the Search engine and click on Manage search engines and site search.
- Delete a browser hijacker’s URL.
- To disable pop-ups, click on Privacy and security, select Site settings, and then Notifications. Select Block or Remove searchmine.net to stop pop-ups.
- Open the Mozilla Firefox browser, click on the menu icon, select Add-ons, and then Themes.
- Select Extensions. Look for recently added suspicious extensions and click Remove.
- To change your homepage, select Settings. Choose Home, and in the Homepage and new windows field, choose the URL you prefer.
- To change the default search engine, select Search and, under Default Search Engine, select the one you prefer.
- To disable pop-ups, click on Privacy & Security, find Notifications and click Settings. Find searchmine.net and change the status to Block.
If you encounter any issues during the removal process, feel free to ask for help in the comments section below.
How can I protect my Mac against viruses?
After successfully solving the SearchMine issue, the best case scenario would be not to get infected again. Therefore, it’s crucial to know prevention steps to avoid getting viruses on your Mac device. Here’s what you can do:
- Keep your OS updated. Along with every OS update, security gaps are getting fixed. Hence, installing all the suggested macOS updates is a must.
- Avoid suspicious websites and links. Always click on the links and websites you know. A single malicious page can infect you with a virus.
- Don’t download patches from unofficial websites. Often unknown application bundles include malicious attachments, such as SearchMine, that damage your device and compromise your security.
- Don’t click on pop-up ads. Nearly all pop-up ads are a direct road to a malicious website that targeted you intentionally. Following the ad might get your device infected with malware.
- Get robust antivirus software. Antiviruses, such as TotalAV, guarantee overall protection. With them, staying secure and immune to viruses is much easier than trying to catch every bad guy on your own.
Staying fully immune to viruses requires responsibility and effort. However, dealing with dangers like the SearchMine browser hijacker is even more complicated. After all, online infections might lead to financial losses, identity theft, and more.
To maintain robust online security, choosing reliable antivirus software, like TotalAV, is the best you can do. With it, you wouldn’t miss any software updates, and malicious apps or websites would be stopped before getting into your device’s system.
More malware removal guides from Cybernews:
Is SearchMine a virus?
Yes, SearchMine is a virus. It is a Mac virus that hijacks browsers. Because of it, your default search engine gets replaced with searchmine.net, you get redirected to malicious websites, and your device might get damaged.
What is Smart Search in Chrome?
Smart Search in Chrome is a malicious browser extension. Just like SearchMine, it claims to be a reliable search engine with additional benefits. However, it also aims to infect your device and benefit from your data to make an income.