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How to eliminate redirects to searchmime.com and the software causing them?

Also Known As: searchmime.com browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is searchmime.com?

Searchmime.com is the address of a fake search engine. Browsers cause redirects to fraudulent web searchers due to installed PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications) classified as browser hijackers.

searchmime.com browser hijacker set as the default search engine on Google Chrome

Searchmime.com fake search engine overview

Browser hijackers operate by assigning illegitimate web searcher addresses as browsers' homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs. Hence, new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar - redirect to the promoted address.

However, not all software within this classification modifies browsers in this manner; browser hijackers that promote searchmime.com have been observed only resetting the default search engine's but not the browser's homepage URL.

Fake search engines usually cannot generate search results, so they tend to redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other legitimate ones. This applies to searchmime.com as well. It redirects (or causes redirection chains) to both genuine and fake search engines.

Searchmime.com can redirect to Yahoo (search.yahoo.com), nearbyme.io, and many others. Some fraudulent web searchers (e.g., nearbyme.io) can provide search results, yet they are inaccurate and may endorse untrustworthy and malicious content.

Browser hijackers can undo any changes users try to make to their browsers. Alternatively, this software can deny access to the browser settings. Therefore, restoring the hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it.

What is more, fake search engines and browser hijackers typically have data tracking abilities. Information of interest includes: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, IP addresses, personally identifiable details, etc. The gathered data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties.

To summarize, presence of data-tracking content on systems can cause severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name searchmime.com browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names N/A (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 172.67.171.116
Symptoms Your Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Fake search engines and browser hijackers in general

Search.r0n3.comib-search.comtabsearch.netsearch.gg08m.com - are some examples of illegitimate search engines, and PlatformDeployProTypeMainSearchAdvise - of browser hijackers. They appear innocuous and offer "handy" functionalities, which rarely work.

This is true of nearly all PUAs. Instead of delivering on any promised functions, unwanted apps can hijack browsers, cause redirects, run intrusive advert campaigns (adware), and collect private data.

How did searchmime.com install on my computer?

PUAs are spread using the "bundling" marketing tactic of packing regular programs with unwanted/malicious additions. Rushed downloads/installations (e.g., skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device.

Intrusive advertisements are used to distribute PUAs as well. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations. PUAs may also have "official" promotional/download pages.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is advised to research software and only download from official/verified sources. Dubious download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc. - often offer bundled and harmful content.

When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, explore available options, and use the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out from all supplements. Intrusive adverts appear legitimate, yet they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).

In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be checked and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of searchmime.com redirecting to the nearbyme.io fake search engine (GIF):

searchmime.com redirecting to nearbyme.io (GIF)

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Mac malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner for Mac By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

searchmime.com redirect removal:

Remove searchmime.com related potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

mac browser hijacker removal from applications folder

Click the Finder icon. In the Finder window, select "Applications". In the applications folder, look for "MPlayerX","NicePlayer", or other suspicious applications and drag them to the Trash. After removing the potentially unwanted application(s) that cause online ads, scan your Mac for any remaining unwanted components.

Remove searchmime.com browser hijacker related files and folders:

Finder go to folder command

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar, choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

step1Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from launch agents folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from launch agents folder step 2
In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step2Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/Application Support folder:

removing adware from application support folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/Application Support

removing adware from application support folder step 2
In the “Application Support” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious folders. For example, “MplayerX” or “NicePlayer”, and move these folders to the Trash.

step3Check for adware-generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 1


In the Go to Folder bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 2

In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step4Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 1
In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 2
In the “LaunchDaemons” folder, look for recently-added suspicious files. For example, “com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, "com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”, etc., and move them to the Trash.

step 5 Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps in the correct order you Mac should be clean of infections. To be sure your system is not infected run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. Download it HERE. After downloading the file double click combocleaner.dmg installer, in the opened window drag and drop Combo Cleaner icon on top of the Applications icon. Now open your launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon. Wait until Combo Cleaner updates it's virus definition database and click "Start Combo Scan" button.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-1

Combo Cleaner will scan your Mac for malware infections. If the antivirus scan displays "no threats found" - this means that you can continue with the removal guide, otherwise it's recommended to remove any found infections before continuing.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

searchmime.com browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove searchmime.com browser hijacker related Safari extensions:

safari browser preferences

Open Safari browser. From the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

safari extensions window

In the preferences window, select "Extensions" and look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions. When located, click the "Uninstall" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Safari browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing homepage in safari browser

In the "Preferences" window, select the "General" tab. To set your homepage, type the preferred website URL (for example: www.google.com) in the Homepage field. You can also click the “Set to Current Page” button if you wish to set your homepage to the website you are currently visiting.

Change your default search engine:

changing the default Internet search engine in Safari browser

In the "Preferences" window, select the "Search" tab. Here you will find a drop-down menu labelled "Search engine:" Simply select your preferred search engine from the drop-down list.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

firefox browser iconRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove searchmime.com browser hijacker related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

accessing mozilla firefox add-ons

Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. At the top right corner of the screen, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button. From the opened menu, choose "Add-ons".

removing malicious add-ons from mozilla firefox

Choose the "Extensions" tab and look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Remove" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Mozilla Firefox browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing mozilla firefox homepage

To change your homepage, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Preferences" from the drop-down menu. To set your homepage, type the preferred website URL (for example: www.google.com) in the Homepage Page.

Change default search engine:

mozilla firefox about config

In the URL address bar, type "about:config" and click the "I'll be careful, I promise!" button.

changing mozilla firefox default Internet search engine

In the "Search:" field, type the name of the browser hijacker. Right click on each of the found preferences and click "Reset" from the drop-down menu.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

chrome-browser-iconRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove searchmime.com browser hijacker related Google Chrome add-ons:

removing malicious google chrome extensions step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button located in the top-right corner of the browser window. From the drop-down menu, choose "More Tools" and select "Extensions".

removing malicious Google Chrome extensions step 2

In the "Extensions" window, look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Trash" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Google Chrome browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing Google Chrome homepage

Click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Settings". In the "On Startup" section, click the "Set pages" link near to the "Open a specific page or set of pages" option. Remove the URL of the browser hijacker (for example trovi.com) and enter your preferred URL (for example, google.com).

Change default search engine:

changing the default Internet search engine in Google Chrome

Click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Settings". In the "Search" section, click the "Manage search engines..." button. In the opened window, remove the unwanted Internet search engine by clicking the "X" button next to it. Select your preferred Internet search engine from the list and click the "Make default" button next to it.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the purpose of forcing users to visit searchmime.com website?

Users are forced to visit searchmime.com, as the visits generate revenue for the developers of software promoting this fake search engine.

Is visiting searchmime.com a threat to my privacy?

To a certain extent, yes. Websites like searchmime.com are a threat to visitor privacy due to collecting information about them.

How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?

Browser hijackers are proliferated using social engineering and dubious distribution methods, e.g., misleading promotional/download webpages, unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, online scams, deceptive browser notifications/ intrusive advertisements, etc.

Will Combo Cleaner help me remove browser hijackers?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning devices and eliminating installed browser-hijacking apps. It is noteworthy that manual removal might not be ideal in cases when multiple browser hijackers are present. In such cases, when one browser hijacker is uninstalled - and the others may re-install it. Additionally, some removal-related settings may not be accessible while this software is present. Therefore, browser hijackers have to be removed all at once.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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