Danger level:  
  (10/100)

Search Protect virus. How to delete? (Removal tutorial)

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker
12

Installation of Search Protect might be the reason of decreased computer’s performance

The example of Search Protect virus

Search Protect is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) created by Conduit Ltd. The application spreads bundled with freeware and after infiltration starts acting as a browser hijacker. It might alter browser’s settings and make Search.conduit.com default search engine.

Search Protect virus can affect the most popular web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. The PUP also creates an icon in the system tray and runs every time with system startup, and it might be the reason of sluggish computer’s performance.

In order to strengthen its presence it might also:

  • modify Windows registry;
  • install helper objects;
  • add Windows Service (CtlMngSvc);
  • download SPSetup.exe file from integration.download.conduit-services.com.

Once it settles in, it starts causing undesired activities on the browser, such as redirecting to questionable websites, display misleading ads and altering search results. While these activities are beneficial for the developers, users have to deal with suspicious Search Protect redirect issues.

The hijacker can force or trick users into visiting potentially dangerous websites, where they can get infected with malware or reveal sensitive data for cyber criminals. Therefore, we highly advise initiating Search Protect removal as soon as you find unexpected changes on your browser.

Nevertheless, hijackers generally are not hard to remove; this one might be a challenge. It makes a bunch of system changes to prevent from quick and straightforward elimination. However, a professional anti-malware, such as Reimage, can remove Search Protect for you within several minutes.

Bundling helps the hijacker to infiltrate computers silently

Nevertheless, users can download Search Protect directly; it’s not the primary distribution method. Developers of the PUP mostly relies on bundling that allows spreading PUP pre-installed in freeware or shareware packages.

The main advantage of this distribution method is that the hijacker can enter the system silently if a user installs freeware with Quick/Recommended setup. These settings do not openly disclose about additional components and install them by default.

To avoid installation of undesired apps, you have to install new programs using Advanced/Custom settings and carefully monitor each of the steps. If you see the list of pre-selected third-party entries, uninstall them immediately.

The step-by-step guide for Search Protect elimination

Search Protect removal can be complicated because PUP can alter Windows registry and install additional components. For this reason, you should scan the device with anti-malware software and get rid of all suspicious entries automatically.

Additionally, you can remove Search Protect manually. This method might be rather difficult because you have to find and delete all hijacker-related entries without any help. However, our team has prepared a step-by-step guide that will help to wipe out this cyber threat from the PC.

If you want to uninstall Search Protect automatically, you can use one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware Computer security experts recommend these programs because they can detect and remove potentially unwanted programs and viruses from your computer, including all dangerous and malicious components related to them. Besides, these programs guarantee immediate and ongoing system protection.

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Computer security experts recommend using Reimage to uninstall Search Protect virus. Reimage scans the entire computer system and checks whether it is infected with spyware/malware or not. If you want to remove computer threats and secure your computer system, you should consider buying the licensed version of Reimage.
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Search Protect virus screenshot
Search Protect virus screenshotSearch Protect virus screenshotSearch Protect virus screenshot

Manual Search Protect Removal Instructions:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Search Protect in Windows systems

Follow these steps to uninstall Search Protect from your PC.

  1. Go to Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, open Add/Remove Programs).Go to 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, open 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, click on Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen to open Quick Access Menu. Then click Control Panel and select Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, click on Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen to open 'Quick Access Menu'. Then click 'Control Panel' and select 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Remove Search Protect and programs related to it
    Now, take a look at the list of programs and find Search Protect or other programs that you do not remember installing.
  4. Right-click on these programs and select "Uninstall." Then click OK to save changes. Right-click every suspicious program and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Delete Search Protect from Windows shortcuts
    Right-click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and click Properties. Right-click on web browsers' icon and click 'Properties'
  6. Now, go to Shortcut tab and find Target field. Then delete the URL that is associated with your virus. Open 'Shortcut' tab and erase 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other shady URL

Follow the same steps as explained above with all other shortcuts of Internet browsers, including Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Please check Start Menu, Desktop, and taskbar to find all shortcuts.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Search Protect in Mac OS X system

  1. Users who use OS X should click on Go button, which can be found at the top left corner of the screen and select Applications. Click on 'Go' to open a drop-down menu and select 'Applications'.
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Search Protect or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash.Click on each malicious application and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Search Protect from Internet Explorer (IE)

Follow the steps below to reset Internet Explore to get rid of all the changes caused by the browser hijacker:

  1. Delete suspicious browser add-ons
    Launch Internet Explorer, and then open IE by clicking on the Gear icon, which is located at the top right corner of the Internet browser. Then, click Manage Add-ons. Open browser menu and go to 'Manage add-ons'
  2. Manage Add-ons window will appear on your screen. Now, search for Search Protect and other questionable browser add-ons. Right-click them on each of them and select Disable. To eliminate malicious applications, right-click on each of them and click 'Disable'
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Click the Gear icon at the top right corner of the Internet browser and then click Internet Options. Stay in General section.
  4. Now, delete malicious URL and enter Delete suspicious URL, type in your preferable site name and click 'Apply' to save
  5. Reset all Internet Explorer settings
    Click on Gear icon and then opt for Internet options. Then go to Advanced section.
  6. Click Reset.
  7. A new window appears, and then you have to tick Delete personal settings and click Reset to finalise Search Protect removal. In 'Advanced' tab, click 'Reset'. Then tick 'Delete personal settings' and click 'Reset'.
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Search Protect from Microsoft Edge

After the hijack, you have to take care of Microsoft Edge too:

Reset settings in Microsoft Edge (Technique No.1):

  1. Open Microsoft Edge browser, then click on More button, which is situated at the top right edge of the screen
  2. Select Settings from the drop down menu.
  3. When the Settings panel appears, find Clear browsing data section and hit Choose what to clear button. Open Settings and click on 'Choose what to clear' button
  4. Then mark all components that you wish to delete and after that hit Clear. Click 'Clear'
  5. Right-click the Start button (that has Windows logo on it) and choose Task Manager. Right-click the Start button again and choose 'Task Manager'
  6. Go to Processes tab and look for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and select Go to details. If there is no Go to details option, select More details and carry out previous instructions. Right-click on 'Microsoft Edge' and choose 'Go to details' option If 'Go to details' option does not show up, choose 'More details' instead
  8. Once Details tab appears, look for entries that contain Microsoft Edge name. Right-click on such individual entries and choose End Task option to terminate them. Locate all entries that relate to Microsoft Edge and click 'End Task'

Reset Microsoft Edge (Technique No.2):

In case the Technique No.1 did not help you to fix the problem, use advanced Edge reset option.

  1. Important: you must backup your files before you use these tips
  2. Locate this folder on your PC: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select all items in this folder and right-click with your mouse. Select Delete. Open Microsoft Edge folder on your PC, click every entry with the right mouse button and select 'Delete'
  4. Click on the Start button (that has Windows Logo on it) and in Search my stuff field, type in window power.
  5. With the right button of your mouse, click on every entry and select Run as administrator. Locate where Windows PowerShell is, right-click on it and click on 'Run as administrator' option
  6. Once you get Admin's rights, Windows PowerShell window should show up shortly. Paste this line:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and hit Enter. Copy and then paste the necessary command and hit 'Enter'

After completing these steps, Microsoft Edge should be Search Protect-free.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Search Protect from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

In order to stop undesired activities on Mozilla Firefox, you have get uninstall suspicious browser extensions and reset the browser.

  1. Delete suspicious browser extensions
    Launch Mozilla Firefox, and then open menu (click a button at the top right corner). Then, go to Add-ons Extensions. Open browser menu and go to 'Add-ons'
  2. Now, locate Search Protect and other suspicious extensions. Click Remove to eliminate them. Go to 'Extensions' and locate malicious browser add-ons. Hit 'Remove' button to delete each entry
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Open Firefox menu (click the button at the top right corner), and go to Options General.
  4. Delete malicious URL and then enter the address of the website that you want to set as your homepage.
  5. Click OK to save the changes. Open 'General' tab and delete the URL from 'Home Page' field or just simply click 'Restore to Default'. Then click on 'OK' button to apply changes.
  6. Reset all Mozilla Firefox settings
    Click on the Firefox at the top left corner and then click the question mark. Then, select Troubleshooting Information. Open menu by clicking on the indicated icon and on '?'. Then select 'Troubleshooting Information'.
  7. Reset Firefox to its default state message should appear then. You will see Reset Firefox button. Click this button a few times and finalise Search Protect removal. Hit 'Reset Firefox' button a few times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Search Protect from Google Chrome

Search Protect termination requires resetting Google Chrome by following these steps:

  1. Remove malicious extensions
    Launch Google Chrome, and then open menu (click a button at the top right corner). Then, go to Tools Extensions. Open browser's menu, then click 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Now, look for Search Protect and other suspicious extensions and then click the trash icon to remove them. Find malicious extensions and click on the Trash bin icon to remove them
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Open menu and select Settings.
  4. Find Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup section and click Set pages. Open browser's menu, then go to 'Settings' and select 'Set pages' under 'On startup' section
  5. An additional window should pop-up. Here, remove dubious URLs and add a new page that you wish to set as a homepage. Remove malicious search sites by clicking 'X'
  6. Open Chrome menu and go to Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. Once you open browser's 'Settings', click on 'Manage search engines...' button
  7. In Search Engines..., configure default search engine settings. Remove untrustworthy ones. We advise you to leave only Google or another reputable website of your choice. Remove malicious search sites by clicking 'X'
  8. Reset all Google Chrome settings
    Open menu by clicking the button at the top right corner of Google Chrome, and go to Settings.
  9. Scroll down to find Reset browser settings button. Click on it. When in 'Settings', click Show advanced settings and then find 'Reset browser settings' button. Click on it.
  10. Click Reset to approve this action and finish Search Protect removal. Click 'Reset' to finish the removal process.
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Search Protect from Safari

  1. Delete suspicious browser extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and then select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Search Protect or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and remove untrustworthy extensions
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Search Protect, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. Go to 'General' section and find Homepage field. Delete suspicious URL and replace it with a URL of your choice.
  5. Reset all Safari settings
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and then select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Search Protect removal process. Select all checkboxes and click 'Reset'
Even if you have completed all the steps above, we still strongly recommend you to scan your computer system with a powerful anti-malware software. It is advisable to do that because an automatic malware removal tool can detect and delete all remains of Search Protect, for instance, its registry keys. The anti-malware program can help you to easily detect and eliminate possibly dangerous software and malicious viruses in an easy way. You can use any of our top-rated malware removal programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis

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Source: https://www.2-spyware.com/remove-search-protect.html

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