SearchApp.exe is Virus or Safe?

Written by Robert Bailey
SearchApp.exe is a legitimate process that is part of the Microsoft Windows operating system. It is also referred to as the Windows Search process and actively indexes files and folders on the hard drive of your computer. By doing so, it aids in accelerating file searches when utilizing the Windows search feature.

When you search for files or folders on your computer, Windows Search utilizes the SearchApp.exe process to thoroughly scan the indexed data and furnish pertinent search results. This process is typically situated in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. Nevertheless, there are instances where malicious software may disguise themselves as the SearchApp.exe process to hide among other processes in Task Manager. Consequently, if you observe any abnormal behavior or encounter high CPU usage linked to this process, it is advisable to run a malware scan using reputable antivirus software to ensure your system remains uninfected.

Is SearchApp.exe Safe?

The Microsoft SearchApp.exe is unquestionably safe and serves as a crucial component of Windows 10 and 11. But, as I said, ,alware can disguise itself as the legitimate SearchApp.exe process to avoid detection. This includes the possibility of a trojan miner disguising itself as the SearchApp.exe process. A trojan miner is malware that uses your computer’s processing power to mine cryptocurrencies without your knowledge or consent. It can slow down your system, cause crashes, and consume significant electricity.

To determine if the SearchApp.exe process on your computer is a trojan miner, you should monitor your system’s performance and look for any unusual CPU or GPU usage. Additionally, it would be best if you used reliable antivirus software to scan your system for malware regularly. If you suspect that the SearchApp.exe process on your computer is a trojan miner, you should take immediate action to remove the malware and prevent further damage.

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Besides CPU usage, some coin miners additionally use GPU power for their tasks. In that situation, you will probably struggle even to see the mouse arrow moving – GPU is usually utilized on 100%. It is not as important as a processor for system work, so Searchapp.exe coin miner viruses do not waste time on trifles and utilize all of it. It often can lead to unhappy effects.

Searchapp.exe Windows Process

Searchapp.exe – Really high CPU and GPU usage

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Crypto mining is a term that means the action of calculating the transaction block hash. That is a basic element of any project based on blockchain technology. Since this action requires many calculations, a high-end computer is required. The GPU is better for this purpose because they have more cores available. Cryptomining farms usually consist of dozens of GPUs to conduct their activity effectively. Such computer systems are not usable for “normal” purposes, like gaming or browsing the Web. Crooks who gain money via this coin miner use someone’s PCs instead, even if they are used for regular activity.1

List of the typical coin miner symptoms

  • Microsoft Defender is stopped;
  • CPU and GPU are loaded at 80-90% exactly after the system starts
  • Cooling fans are running at high speed and create a lot of noise
  • A single process in Task Manager consumes all CPU and GPU power
  • How dangerous is the SearchApp.exe miner?

    Coin miners do not deal damage to your files. However, they do a lot of unpleasant things with the whole system

    First off, SearchApp.exe virus makes your system overloaded. It cannot run your applications now because all CPU power is used by malware. That malware does not care for your demands. All it pays attention to is generating profits for you. Even if you are patient and wait until the browser opens, you will likely experience exceptionally slow efficiency. Pages will open for years. Any logins will likely take about a minute – just a nightmare for someone who does a job online.

    SearchApp.exe Technical Summary.

    File NameSearchApp.exe
    TypeTrojan Coin Miner
    Detection NameTrojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites, etc.
    Similar behaviorMsetup.exe, Micro.exe, Zsd.exe
    RemovalDownload and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic SearchApp.exe removal.

    “Visible” harm is not a single bad thing coin miners do to your system. SearchApp.exe coin miner likewise deals damage to your OS. Executing all malicious operations successfully, it ruins the protection mechanisms of your system. You will likely see your Microsoft Defender disabled – malware halts it to avoid detection. If you check the HOSTS file, you will likely see several new notes – this trojan miner adds them to connect your computer to a malicious mining network. All these adjustments shall be thrown back to the original in the process of computer recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides slowing down your PC, performing at peak level for long times can trigger damage to your device and increase electricity bills. PC elements are created to easily deal with high load, but they can do so only in case when they are in good shape.

    Compact and covered CPU cooling system is hard to damage. Meanwhile, GPUs have big and easy-to-access rotors, which can be easily broken if affected while working, for example, by the user much before the coin-miner injection. A malfunctioning cooling system and the extremely high load caused by SearchApp.exe malware can easily lead to GPU failure. Graphic cards also tend to have fast wearing when used for cryptocurrency mining. It is likely a bad case when your GPU’s performance decreases on 20-30% only after 1-2 weeks of being used in such a way.

    How did I get the SearchApp.exe coin miner virus?

    Coin miners are spread through different ways, but their main sources are malicious banners and programs from dubious sources

    Coin miners are the most widespread malevolent programs through “severe” malware. Adware sometimes serves as a carrier for SearchApp.exe malware infiltration: it demonstrates you the banners, which have a link to malware downloading. Yes, this abstract “malware” may belong to any type – another adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. However, the statistics say that around 30% of all viruses spread with malicious banners are coin miners – and SearchApp.exe is just one of them.2

    Unwanted banners adware

    The example of malicious banners you can see in the Internet

    An additional way you could get this thing on your computer is by downloading it from the suspicious website as a part of a program. People that spread hacked versions of popular programs (which do not need the license key) have small chances of getting paid. Hence, there is a very big temptation to include malware to the final package of the hacked application and get a coin for each installation. Before criticizing these people for hacking and malware spreading, ask yourself – is it alright to avoid purchasing the program in this manner? It is more affordable to pay $20-$30 one time than to pay a much greater figure for antivirus software as well as new parts for your PC.

    How to remove the SearchApp.exe miner from my PC?

    The best way to get rid of this coin miner virus is to use anti-malware software

    Removing such a virus requires using a specific program. Proper security tools should have a high capability at scanning and also be lightweight – to make no problems with usage even on weak systems. On top of that, it is recommended to have on-run protection in your protection solution – to stop the virus even before it starts. Microsoft Defender does not have these elements for various factors. That’s why I’d recommend you use a third-party anti-malware program. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is a superb option that fits all of the discussed characteristics.3

    Before the malware removal, it is important to boot your Windows into Safe Mode with Networking. Since SearchApp.exe miner consumes a lot of processor power, it must be halted before launching the security program. Otherwise, your scan will last for years, even though the GridinSoft program is pretty lightweight.

    Booting the PC into Safe Mode with Networking

    Press the Start button, choose Power, and click Reboot while holding the Shift key on the keyboard.

    Boot into Windows Safe Mode

    Windows will reboot into recovery mode. In that mode, choose Troubleshoot→ Startup Settings→ Safe Mode with Networking. Press the corresponding button on your keyboard to choose that option.

    windows safe mode boot option with command prompt

    When your PC is in Safe Mode, all third-party apps, just like most non-crucial operating system components, are not launched with the system start. That allows you to clean the system without dealing with the high processor usage of the coin miner.

    Remove SearchApp.exe coin miner virus with GridinSoft Anti-Malware

    Download and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware. You can use this anti-malware program for free during its 6-day trial period. In that term, all functions are available, and it takes no payments to remove malware from your system.

    GridinSoft Anti-Malware free trial

    After activating your free trial, start the Full scan. It may last up to 10 minutes. You may use the PC as usual.

    Scanning SearchApp.exe

    When the scan is finished, press the Clean Now button to remove all detected elements from your system. This procedure takes less than a minute.

    After the scan was found SearchApp.exe

    Now, you are good to go. Reboot your PC into normal Windows mode and use it just as if there was nothing malicious.

    Remove SearchApp.exe Virus (Trojan Coin Miner)

    Name: SearchApp.exe

    Description: The SearchApp.exe is a Windows Search Indexer - a legitimate built-in mechanism for file indexing. However, the process name searchapp.exe is attractive for hackers as a disguise. Coin miner trojans are known for using it to conceal itself in the Task Manager.

    Operating System: Windows

    Application Category: Trojan

    User Review
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    1. Detailed explanation of how does cryptomining work.
    2. Read more about various malware type on GridinSoft Threat Encyclopedia.
    3. Our review on GridinSoft Anti-Malware.

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    About the author

    Robert Bailey

    I'm Robert Bailey, a passionate Security Engineer with a deep fascination for all things related to malware, reverse engineering, and white hat ethical hacking.

    As a white hat hacker, I firmly believe in the power of ethical hacking to bolster security measures. By identifying vulnerabilities and providing solutions, I contribute to the proactive defense of digital infrastructures.

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