Searchhost.exe Process — Is It Malware?

What is Searchhost.exe process?
Written by Robert Bailey
Searchhost.exe is an executable file associated with a Windows system process. However, its name is frequently exploited by malicious programs to mask their activities. The suspicious nature of the process can be identified by abnormally high CPU usage.

Searchhost.exe is a process related to Windows Search Indexer. It helps users to find the files and folders they need simply by typing it in the search tab in the system interface. It may create a slight load on your system (around 10% of CPU and a bit of disk reading) during the indexing process. Though, seeing it taking over 80% of your CPU power is taken by Searchhost.exe means malware presence. Coin miner trojans often hijack the names of benevolent processes to disguise themselves.

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What is Searchhost.exe process?

Searchhost.exe is a malicious process created by coin miner virus

As mentioned earlier, Searchhost.exe can be associated with a coin miner virus. Although the specific .exe file names used by malware may vary, the impact is usually similar. Coin miners are designed to exploit your computer’s hardware resources for cryptocurrency mining purposes. They disregard the fact that you may need your computer for other tasks and consistently consume over 80% of your CPU power.

Searchhost.exe Windows Process

Searchhost.exe – Extremely high CPU/GPU usage

As I said, Searchhost.exe is a process of Windows Search Indexer, a system mechanism that eases file searching. The process may cause a slight disk load, however, CPU load is not usual. There is another method of checking the benevolence of this process, aside from hardware load. Normally, the searchhost.exe file should be located in C:\Windows\SystemApps. You can check the file location by clicking the process with the right mouse button and choosing “Open File Location” option in the context menu. Locations other than mentioned one means it is a malicious counterfeit. You should remove it as soon as possible.

Shortly about cryptocurrency mining

Crypto mining term means the action of calculating the transaction block hash. That is an integral element of any project based on blockchain technology. Since this operation takes a lot of calculations, a very powerful desktop is required. Exactly, the GPU is better for this task, because they have more cores available. Cryptomining farms are usually constructed of tens and hundreds of GPUs to complete their task efficiently. Such computer systems are not usable for “usual” purposes, like gaming or web browsing. Crooks who make a profit via this coin miner use someone’s computers instead, even if they are used for regular activity.1

List of the typical coin miner symptoms

  • Extremely bad performance
  • CPU/GPU cooler fan creates a lot of noise
  • High temperature of the device (for laptops)
  • 80-90% consumption of CPU/GPU resources by an unknown process
  • Microsoft Defender is not working
  • How dangerous is the Searchhost.exe miner?

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

    First, Searchhost.exe malware makes your computer overloaded. It is unable to run your applications now, since all processor power is consumed by a virus. That malware does not care for your wants, all it focuses on is generating profits on you. Even if you are patient, and you waited until browser is open, you will likely experience extremely sluggish efficiency. Pages can open up for years, any sort of logins will take about a minute – just a horror story for a person who does a job online.

    Searchhost.exe Technical Summary.

    File NameSearchhost.exe
    TypeTrojan Coin Miner
    Detection NameTrojan:Win32/CoinMiner
    Distribution MethodSoftware bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
    Similar behaviorIcue.exe, Fmservice64.exe, Udcuseragent.exe
    RemovalDownload and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic Searchhost.exe removal.

    “Visible” damage is not a solitary bad activity coin miners perform to your computer. Searchhost.exe coin miner also deals damage to your OS. To carry out all malicious operations correctly, it wrecks the security mechanisms of your system. You will likely see your Microsoft Defender disabled – malware stops it to prevent detection. If you check the HOSTS file, you will likely see a number of new notes – they are brought in by this trojan miner to connect your computer to a malicious cryptomining network. All these changes shall be gone back to the original in the process of computer recovery.

    Hardware effects of coin miner activity

    Besides making your computer slow, performing at peak level for long times may trigger damage to your machine as well as increase electricity expenses. Hardware elements are designed to easily get along with high load, but they can do so only in case when they are in a good shape.

    Tiny and well-protected CPU fan is hard to damage. Meanwhile, GPUs have large and easy-to-access rotors, which can be easily broke if touched while working, for example, by the user much earlier before the malware injection. Malfunctioning cooling system, together with the very high load caused by Searchhost.exe can easily lead to graphic processing unit failure2. GPUs are also tend to have fast wearing when used for crypto mining. It is likely a bad situation when the performance of your graphic card plunges 20-30% just after several weeks of being exploited in such a way.

    How did I get Searchhost.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 one of the most prevalent malevolent programs through “severe” malware. Adware frequently acts as a carrier for Searchhost.exe malware infiltration: it shows you the banners, which have a link to malware downloading. Yes, this abstract “malware” may belong to any kind – another adware, spyware, rogue or backdoor. But the statistics say that about 30% of all malware spread with the malicious banners are coin miners – and Searchhost.exe is just among them.

    Unwanted banners adware

    The example of malicious banners you can see in the Internet

    Another way you could get this thing on your PC is by downloading it from the unreliable web page as a part of a program. People that spread hacked variants of well-known programs (which do not require the license key) have small chances to get paid. Hence, there is a huge lure to include malware to the final package of the hacked application and acquire a coin for each setup. Prior to criticizing these individuals for hacking and also malware spreading, ask yourself – is it alright to avoid purchasing the program in this manner? It is more affordable to pay $20-$30 at once than to pay a much bigger sum for antivirus program as well as new parts for your PC.

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

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

    Eliminating such a virus involves using specific software. Effective security tool should have high performance at scanning and be lightweight – in order to create no problems with utilization even on weak computers. In addition, it is better to have proactive security in your security tool – to prevent the virus even before it launches. Microsoft Defender lacks these functions for various factors. That’s why I’d suggest you to use a third-party anti-malware program for that purpose. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is an ideal option that fits all of the discussed features.3

    Prior to the virus removal, it is important to reboot your Windows into Safe Mode with Networking. Since Searchhost.exe miner takes a lot of CPU power, it is required to halt it 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, then choose Power, and click on 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 software, along with the majority of non-critical operating system components, are not started with the system start. That gives you the ability to clean the system without dealing with high CPU usage of the coin miner.

    Remove Searchhost.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 Full scan. It may last up to 10 minutes. You may use the PC as usual.

    Scanning in GridinSoft Anti-Malware

    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.

    GridinSoft Anti-Malware can remove malicious Searchhost.exe

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

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is SearchFilterHost exe used for?

    “SearchFilterHost.exe” is a Microsoft Windows core process residing in “C:\Windows\System32.” It “hosts” (links to and loads into memory) search filter “. dll” (Dynamic Link Library) modules so that Windows Search or another full-text indexing program can execute them.

    Where is the SearchHost EXE file?

    SearchHost.exe file information Description: SearchHost.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. SearchHost.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows—typically C:\Windows\SystemApps\MicrosoftWindows. Client. CBS_cw5n1h2txyewy.

    Can I remove SearchHost exe from the system?

    Removing SearchHost.exe file completely is not recommended. As any other system element, it backbones some of the functions, specifically – file system indexing. Though, if you are not using Windows Search, you can disable it in Settings.

    Can a legit Searchhost exe instance overload my system?

    Yes, in some cases, even a normal Searchhost.exe may cause troubles. That happens relatively often on systems with HDD, which are way slower than SSDs. Windows Search Index reads through the disk to collect information about all the files you have. If the disk is quite slow, Searchhost.exe will simply jam it with its operations, making it troublesome to use.

    Remove Searchhost.exe Virus ⛏️ Trojan Coin Miner

    Name: Searchhost.exe

    Description: The Searchhost.exe is originally a system process that does not carry any hazard. However, its name may be used by different malicious programs as a disguise. There are also cases where a bug in Windows Search Indexation mechanism caused Searchhost high CPU usage.

    Operating System: Windows

    Application Category: Trojan

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    1. Detailed explanation of how does cryptomining work.
    2. About unwanted effects for GPUs in the process of cryptomining.
    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.

    One Response

    1. Brendan Smith April 20, 2023

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