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Remove Search Protect (Removal Guide) - 2021 update

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search Protect is the potentially unwanted program that installs other programs from a bundle automatically and affects various parts of the machine

Search Protect browser hijackerSearch Protect is the program that automatically installs unwanted programs and tools on your machine.

Search Protect is the program also called Search Protect by Conduit because it belongs to a bundle of many potentially unwanted programs. When the program gets installed with all other tools and applications, uninstallation becomes difficult, and other third-party programs may get installed without your permission. This is the family of programs developed by a company that is known for developing such intrusive and questionable programs. Beware that this particular program has already been labeled as a potentially unwanted program and a browser hijacker.[1] Many AV engines can block access to this website or detect it as a potentially unwanted program and get rid of it.

It seems that the main reason why security experts decided upon such categorization is that the developer of this program is a questionable company, responsible of releasing other applications such as Trovi, Conduit, Search.conduit.com which have all been categorized as browser hijackers. This fact is also one of the determining factors that should encourage everyone infected to perform Search Protect removal.

Name Search Protect
Type Browser hijacker
Category Potentially unwanted program
Symptoms Alters browser settings, delivers advertisements, causes redirects to suspicious sites, affiliated pages
Distribution Comes via bundled software, deceptive ads, and pages
Main danger Tracks and collects information about the user, browsing habits and preferences
Elimination Use Malwarebytes for Search Protect removal

They are mostly presented as search engines, but you should never trust them and use them for your searches. We say so because they may alter your Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and other web browsers and, after doing so, may show you altered search results. Clicking on such results may lead you to Search Protect redirects [2] to unknown websites and other issues.

If you have already discovered Search Protect on each of your web browsers, keep in mind that it is yet another creation of Conduit that can barely give anything useful in return. Even more, this search engine is not only useless. You should also know that it may trick you into visiting suspicious websites because it has been actively used for affiliate marketing [3] and other questionable activities.

Besides, just like any other browser hijacker programs, it may start tracking your online activities and collecting your search queries, most visited websites, time that you send on them, etc. If this sounds familiar, you should check to remove Search Protect from your computer. For that, we highly recommend using reputable anti-malware program or other security software because intruder may try to 'protect' itself when trying to get rid of it manually. For that, we recommend ReimageIntego.

Search Protect PUPSearch Protect is the intruder that encourages people to make Conduit their default search engine.

Make sure to eliminate Search Protect by scanning the machine with antivirus tool fully, so all alterations and changes this unwanted program has made can be reversed:

  • altered registry entries;
  • disabled programs;
  • installed browser extensions.

Search Protect is the ad-supported program that can continuously deliver you commercial content in the form of banners, pop-ups, pop-unders, and multiple redirects and in-text-links. Different monetization platforms promote this program and bundled apps to distribute even further with all the intrusive behavior.

Due to the relation with Conduit company and other browser hijackers or potentially unwanted programs, Search Protect can install various applications and tools automatically like Conduit OurToolbar or questionable bookmarks, add-ons and programs that keep you from adding other browser plugins or search engines.

The primary purpose of such programs is to redirect your online traffic to affiliated, sponsored sites filled with commercial content and create revenue for the publisher this way because every page visit and views on the advertisements can be monetized.

These redirects and commercial content also ensures that users click on delivered content and PUP developer can access various information about the visitor and create more personalized advertisements this way. To end this Search Protect behavior you need to get the reputable anti-malware tool like Malwarebytes and make sure to clear the system. Keeping this tool can also help avoid any similar infections later on because this AV can block potential threats before the initial infiltration.

Search ProtectSearch Protect virus is the PUP that gets called like this because of the intrusive behavior.

The virus hijacks computers without the user's permission

You can download this rogue software consciously when developers promote the program as useful and valuable. However, we highly recommend not doing so because you may notice various issues and inconveniences on it. Furthermore, your system may be hijacked by this potentially unwanted program without your permission asked.

Moreover, just like other PUPs, this application may travel as an additional attachment of various freeware [4]. If you are attentive enough, you can prevent the installation of such unwanted attachments, but you should pay close attention when installing freeware on your computer for that.

As experts always[5] note, select Custom or Advanced installation options when downloading any updates or freeware. Please, do so when installing your next download manager, PDF creator, video streaming software, etc. This way you can de-select any unwanted application included on the list.

Search Protect cyber threatSearch Protect browser hijack is the program that affects various parts of the system, including the registry entries.

Tips and tricks for the proper Search Protect removal

We have already noticed that there are lots of internet users, who have been affected by this unwanted program. They claim that they have difficulties when trying to remove Search Protect because, as we have already mentioned, it relies on some tricks when trying to protect itself.

It looks like this program is capable of dropping registry entries that help this program to reappear on the system after its manual removal is finished. So, to make sure that this program is completely removed, we recommend scanning your computer with a reliable anti-malware program. Of course, you can also follow the step-by-step Search Protect removal guide below the article and get rid of this pesky intruder manually.

Make sure to eliminate all associated files and programs so that Search Protect virus damage can get eliminated. Resetting your browsers to default may also help since this intruders may install extra add-ons or plug-ins.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Search Protect, follow these steps:

Delete Search Protect from Windows systems

Search Protect is a virus you could typically remove from your computer manually. Nevertheless, if you don't have that opportunity, you can remove it from your device manually as well. You will learn how to do it following the step-by-step instructions below.

To remove Search Protect from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find entries related to Search Protect (or any other recently installed suspicious program).
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Eliminate Search Protect from Mac OS X system

If the PUP shows up on your Mac computer, its elimination can be performed manually, as shown in the tutorial below.

Remove Search Protect from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Search Protect-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove Search Protect, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to Search Protect and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Search Protect-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of Search Protect from Internet Explorer (IE)

When the virus is eliminated from the PC, it should don't forget to reset your browser as well. You can reset Internet Explorer easily in a few steps provided below.

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Search Protect and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Search Protect removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove Search Protect from Microsoft Edge

When it comes to resetting Microsoft Edge, the instructions below should come in handy:

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the Search Protect-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Erase Search Protect from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To stop Mozilla Firefox redirecting you through unfamiliar websites and performing other unauthorized activities on your browser, you should first remove the malware from your computer and then reset your browser like shown below.

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select plugins that are related to Search Protect and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

In case Search Protect did not get removed after following the instructions above, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox – this should complete Search Protect removal.Reset Firefox 2

Uninstall Search Protect from Google Chrome

When the browser gets targeted by potentially unwanted programs, the best way to eliminate the consequences of the hijack is to reset your Google Chrome. You will perform the reset simply by completing the steps below:

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to Search Protect by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site like Search Protect in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the Search Protect-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings to complete Search Protect removal.Reset Chrome 2

Delete Search Protect from Safari

In case you find the malware on your Safari browser, you will need to perform the browser reset like explained below.

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to Search Protect and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Search Protect registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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References
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