Mint Search browser hijacker removal instructions
What is Mint Search?
Mint Search is designed to promote find.mintsearch.net (the address of a fake search engine). This app also adds the "Managed by your organization" feature to Google Chrome browsers. Since Mint Search is classified as a browser hijacker, it might also be designed to collect browsing data. Commonly, users download install browser hijackers inadvertently and, therefore, these apps are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). This particular app is distributed through a deceptive installer, a tool designed to illegally activate Adobe Photoshop.
Generally, browser hijackers promote fake search engines by assigning their addresses as the homepage, new tab and default search engine. They effectively force users to a visit specific address when they open a browser, new tab or enter search queries into the URL bar. This is how Mint Search promotes the find.mintsearch.net address. People who have browsers hijacked by such apps cannot remove the address of the fake search engine from the settings as long as the hijacking apps are installed on browsers and/or computers. Therefore, find.mintsearch.net can be prevented from opening on the aforementioned occasions only by removing Mint Search. Note that find.mintsearch.net displays results generated by Google - it simply redirects to google.com. I.e., mind.mintsearch.net does not generate unique results and thus classified as a fake search engine. Mint Search and other installed browser hijackers should be removed, since they often gather browsing data (e.g., IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations), and sometimes even sensitive, personal details. The developers misuse the data to generate revenue by selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals), or in other ways. Therefore, users who have apps such as Mint Search installed on the browser and/or operating system might experience problems relating to browsing safety, online privacy, and they could become victims of identity theft and/or encounter other issues.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Browser Extension(s)||Mint Search|
|Supposed Functionality||This app supposedly improves the browsing experience.|
|Serving IP Address (find.mintsearch.net)||126.96.36.199|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine.|
|Symptoms||Manipulated internet browser settings (homepage, default internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the hijacker's website and search the internet using their search engines.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
Some examples of other apps similar to Mint Search include Mongo Search, Mazy Search and CapitaSearch. These apps promote fake search engines by changing browser settings and adding "Managed by your organization" to Chrome browsers. Browser hijackers often track information. In summary, these apps are designed only to generate revenue for the developers and deliver no real value for regular users.
How did Mint Search install on my computer?
Research shows that Mint Search is distributed through a software 'cracking' tool designed to activate Adobe Photoshop. Note that it is illegal to bypass activation of licensed software with programs of this type, and they can be used to distribute PUAs, ransomware, Trojans and other malware. People often download and install potentially unwanted apps together with other software (PUAs are included into the set-ups as 'additional offers'). This distribution method is called "bundling". Generally, offers to download or install additionally-included apps can be declined through "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" or other settings. Many user fail to check and change these settings, thereby allowing PUAs to infiltrate. In some cases, rogue downloads and/or installations are caused through deceptive ads that execute certain scripts (but only if the ads are clicked).
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Do not download or install software through third party downloaders/installers, eMule, torrent clients and other Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial websites, etc. Files and programs should be downloaded only from official, trustworthy websites and via direct links. Check all settings such as "Advanced" and "Custom" and decline offers to download or install unwanted software. Do not click advertisements that appear on untrusted pages, since they can open other untrusted websites or even cause download/installation of unwanted apps. Remove all suspicious, unwanted/unknown extensions, plug-ins and add-ons from the browser immediately. The same applies to software of this kind that is installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with Mint Search, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
find.mintsearch.net redirects to google.com (GIF):
Unofficial activation tool for Adobe Photoshop, which is designed to install Mint Search:
Notification stating that Mint Search can read and change certain data:
Screenshot of a Chrome browser managed by Mint Search:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Mint Search?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Mint Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove find.mintsearch.net redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Mint Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove find.mintsearch.net homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove find.mintsearch.net redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Mint Search browser hijacker removal:
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Mac OSX users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "Mint Search"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the find.mintsearch.net website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Mint Search browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://find.mintsearch.net and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.
Change your default search engine:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "Mint Search".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the find.mintsearch.net redirect, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Mint Search" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Mint Search", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.find.mintsearch.net) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click on the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list look for "find.mintsearch.net", when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the find.mintsearch.net redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Mint Search", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window, disable "Mint Search", remove hxxp://find.mintsearch.net and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your default search engine:
In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with find.mintsearch.net redirect removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the find.mintsearch.net redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove find.mintsearch.net redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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