Searchmine.net in details
The presence of Searchmine.net “Virus” inside your personal computer is probably the cause behind the range of strange pop-up ads or browser redirects you have been experiencing lately. What you are dealing with is called a Browser Hijacker program that is specialized in generating sponsored advertisements on the users’ screen during their regular web browsing. In most of the cases, those programs are harmless but very annoying. They tend to mess with the browser’s settings by installing some ad-generating and page-redirecting components and new tabs and impose homepage or search engine changes without the users’ permission.
Users who know how to put aside the commercials and ignore the imposed changes or get used to them are not really annoyed by the Hijackers. Yet, the great majority of users are typically looking for some way to remove those programs without a second thought and refer to them as potentially unwanted. We know that uninstalling applications like Searchmine.net is always much better than trying to get used to them and that’s why, in this article, we will help you to safely deal with them and bring your browser back to normal.
How dangerous a Browser Hijacker could be?
The main purpose of programs like Courselfan.pro, Newsmagic.net and Searchmine.net and other Browser Hijacker programs generally is to display all kinds of bothersome pop-up ads and sponsored commercials that tend to greatly interrupt your normal web browsing experience. Typically those programs come in the form of a browser plug-in that’s normally stuck to your browser and cannot be removed unless, of course, you uninstall it from your system. Now, you might be thinking why somebody would want to create software that can fill your web browser with all those bothersome adverts. Well, it’s all about money earned by making use of those advertisements. Apps such as Searchmine.net are legal computer programs, specially developed to assist the purposes of the online advertising industry and are commonly employed for showing adverts and executing various information-gathering activities to help marketers advertise their products and services. Very often, the advertisements shown by the Hijacker can get quite overly aggressive and bothersome to the user. In some cases, they may literally cover the screen with unwanted pop-ups, banners, and boxes that appear in dozens and are extremely hard to get rid of. That’s why it is not surprising that a lot of people conclude that their computer system might have been infected with some kind of a dangerous virus after experiencing all those pop-ups. As frustrating as the Browser Hijackers are, however, in reality, they are not that harmful. Dangerous software like viruses, Trojans and the increasing in popularity Ransomware, are the real dangers that people should fear because they can corrupt the system in a really bad way. Programs similar to Searchmine.net, on the other hand, are totally incapable of that. Yet, the Browser Hijackers are well known for their intrusive nature and tendency to obstruct your Internet experience by feeding all types of rage-inducing ads once you open your browser. That’s why many people prefer to simply uninstall them in order to save themselves from the disturbance.
|Type||Browser Redirect for Mac|
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Your screen may get constantly spammed with various ads, pop-ups and banners.|
|Distribution Method||Software bundling and free automatic installers are the main distribution method of this program.|
Remove Searchmine.net “Virus”
Step 1: Closing Safari (or any other browser that you may be using at the moment)
First, you will need to close your browser if it is still open. If you can’t do that normally, you will need to Force Quit it:
Open the Apple Menu and select Force Quit to do that. You can also use the ⌘ key + Option Key combination to open the Force Quit Applications dialog box. In this box, select the Safari browser (or whatever browser you are using) and then click on the Quit button. Confirm the action by selecting Force Quit again.
Step 2: Killing suspicious processes
Open Finder and go to Applications > Utilities and then open Activity Monitor. Now take a careful look at the processes there – look for any that seem suspicious, unknown and questionable. If you think that a given process may be the culprit behind the issue or may at least be related to it, highlight it with the mouse and select the i option at its top.
In the box that opens, click on Sample.
Scan the sample files with the online scanner we have on this page and if any of them get flagged as malicious, delete them and then kill their processes.
Step 3: Safely launching the browser
Hold the Shift from your keyboard and then launch Safari – holding Shift will prevent any previously opened pages to load again, just in case any of them were related to the problem.
If any problematic pages still load after you safe-launch the browser, then do the following:
Force-Quit the browser (Safari) again and then turn off your Wi-Fi connection by clicking on the Wi-Fi off option from the Mac Menu. If you are using cable Internet, simply disconnect the cable from your Mac.
Step 4: Uninstalling suspicious extensions
After you safe-launch Safari and are sure none of the previously opened pages load now, go to Preferences > Extensions.
Select and uninstall (by clicking on the Uninstall button) all extensions there that are unfamiliar to you or that you think may be suspicious. If you are not sure about a certain extension, it’s better to uninstall it – no extension is required for the normal functioning of the browser.
Step 5: Cleaning Safari
If you have other browsers aside from Safari, do the following:
In Safari, open Preferences from the browser’s menu and go to Privacy.
Select Remove All Website Data and then Remove Now. Note that this will delete all stored site data including any saved passwords and usernames. In other words, you will have to manually log-in to every site where you have a registration so make sure you remember your usernames and passwords.
Back in Preferences, click on General and see what your Safari’s homepage is. If it has been changed without your permission, change it back to what it used to be or to whatever you like it to be now.
Now go to the History menu and select the Clear History option.
Do the same to all other browsers you may have in your computer – here are examples with Chrome and Firefox.
Next, from the main menu, go to Settings and type Manage Search Engines in the search bar. Open the result that shows up and then delete all search engines other than the one you normally use by clicking on the three-dot icon next to the other ones and selecting Remove from list.