How to remove the Search Protect from Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox

Author: Ioana Bistriceanu

Over time, we’ve told you how to remove a couple of toolbars that hijack your search engine or your homepage and cause a lot of browsing slowdown, not to mention directing you to malicious websites.

Since most of our targeted audience has learned how to deal with these pesky toolbars, the potentially unwanted applications have moved on to a stealthier level. Instead of a toolbar, you might end up with a program that modifies your search engine and your homepage, but sounds entirely legitimate and... is nowhere to be found. Where is the worst part? It comes with an End User’s License Agreement, which makes it hard (legally speaking) for security solutions to remove it.

Such an example is Search Protect by Conduit, which claims to keep your browser protected from malware, bad extensions and home page hijacks. Oh, the irony! Not only that, but it will add a Startup task – which will load every time you turn your computer on, or a Scheduled Task (which triggers it at any User’s logon to Windows).

There are multiple steps in getting rid of this pesky program. But, as a thousand mile journey starts with a single step, getting rid of Search Protect by Conduit starts with removing it from the list of installed programs. To do that, you’ll need to hit Start and type in Control Panel, then select Programs and Features or Uninstall a Program. Our XP users will click Start - (Settings) - Control Panel and select Add/Remove Programs.

Once in the list of installed programs, scroll to Search Protect, right click it and select “Uninstall”. Easy-peasy!

Also, please keep an eye out for any of the programs listed below. Not only do they fall in the same category, but they can also be bundled with Search Protect:

  • Mobogenie
  • Mixi.DJ toolbar
  • WhiteSmoke Toolbar
  • Delta Search toolbar
  • Oople Toolbar
  • Internet Helper Toolbar
  • DivX Browser Bar
  • Yontoo
  • Travelocity Toolbar
  • Entrusted Toolbar
  • Social Search Toolbar
  • VisualBee
  • Webcake

This, however, won’t fix the issue. So, for the next step, we’ll reset the browsers:

Internet Explorer

  • For Internet Explorer 9 and above: Click on the Tool button (Cogwheel) in the top right corner and click again on Manage Add-ons.
  • For Internet Explorer 8: Click on Tools, then select Manage Add-ons.
  1. In the new window, make sure to select the Toolbars and Extensions category from the left side, and then browse for Search Protect by Conduit (and any of the previously mentioned toolbars). If you find traces right click on them and select disable.
  2. Click on the Search Providers category from the left side of the window, right click on all Conduit traces and select Remove. If it is set as a default search engine, select another one (Bing, Google) and set it as default, then remove Conduit.
  3. Close and open Internet Explorer again. Click on the Tool button (Cogwheel) in the top right corner and select Internet Options.
  4. If the Home Page is set to (or anything other than your regular homepage), you will need to delete the URL and type a new home page. It can be , , , or any other page that you wish to set as your home page.

  5. Click Apply, then OK and restart Internet Explorer in order to apply the settings.

If you open a new tab in Internet Explorer and it still displays Conduit Search as the home page, do the following:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Tools icon (Cogwheel), and select Internet Options.
  2. In General tab, click the Tabs button (in the Tabs section).
  3. In the new window, go to the drop down menu and select the option: Your first home page.
  4. Click OK, Apply and OK in the next window as well.
  5. Restart Internet Explorer.

Mozilla Firefox

Here are some small steps to make your browser really works for you:

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button.
  2. From the New Menu select Add-ons. In the new tab browse the Extension sections for any traces of Conduit. Select one at a time and then click on Remove.
  3. Access the Plug-ins category and search for Conduit Search Protect, then from the right side select Never Activate (if found).
  4. Click again on the Firefox button in the top left corner, and access Options.
  5. In the General Tab, if the Home Page is set to, you will need to remove the URL and instead type a new home page. It can be , ,, or any other page that you wish to set as your home page.

  6. Restart Firefox after performing these steps
  7. Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the address bar and type "about:config".
  8. Press Enter. You will get a warning about "warranty". Click on the button that says, "I'll be careful".
  9. In the next screen type "Conduit" in the Filter window (a search field in the config located at the top of the page). A list of results should be displayed afterwards.
  10. Highlight the entries one at a time, right click on them and select "reset";
  11. Simply restart Mozilla and check if it has been removed.

Google Chrome

For Google Chrome just follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Chrome and click on the Chrome menu.
  2. Click Tools and then select Extensions.
  3. In the Extensions tab, remove everything related to Conduit from the list then restart your browser.
  4. Open Chrome again and click on the Chrome menu.
  5. Select Settings, then click Manage Search Engines. Select Conduit from the list and click the X that appears at the end of the row. Select Google or another search engine (Bing, Yahoo) from the list to make it your default search engine.
  6. Restart Chrome, then click on the Chrome menu. Select Settings, then change the home page as follows:
  • Add the home button to the browser toolbar
  • The homepage button is off by default. Select the "Show Home button" checkbox in the "Appearance" section to have it displayed in the browser toolbar.
  • Set your homepage
  • When the "Show Home button" checkbox is checked, a web address appears below. If you want the Homepage button to open up a different webpage, click Change to enter a link. You can also choose the New Tab page as your homepage.

The Search Protect by Conduit also creates startup for Windows system and this is probably the reason that many users still see the conduit hijacker and redirects in their web browser when they restart their computer even if they’ve done all the uninstall and browser repair.

For this next step, you’ll need Autoruns, which can be downloaded from here.

  1. Extract the content, then right click Autoruns.exe and select “Run as Administrator”. Our fellow XP users will just need to double click the file.
  2. Wait for the list to be populated, then click on the Logon tab. Look for “BackgroundContainer.dll” (or anything published by Conduit), right click it and select Delete.
  3. Then, click on the “Scheduled Tasks”, look for “BackgroundContainer.dll”, right click it and select Delete.
  4. Restart your PC and you’ll be all set!

When your PC is acting up, call Bitdefender Tech Assist. We are a team of computer experts, always available to give full personal attention to your PC needs. Tech Assist is available 24/7. We save you time and energy so you can focus on what's really important for you.

PS: If you like this post, you might also like How to improve your Internet browsing speed and performance when using Internet Explorer and How to improve your Internet browsing speed and performance when using Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.