Amaresh Rajaratnam

Official Website of Amaresh Rajaratnam | Entrepreneur


Remove Search Protect by Conduit Virus

Posted by Amaresh on February 27, 2015 at 12:20 AM

I recently experienced the issue with this virus on my computer and there for I found a way to clean that "Search Protect" virus completely from my computer. I have described about the way step by step to clean and remove the harmful virus which is used to hack your privacy and information. I thank Mr.Stelian Pilici for this wonderful removal guidance. I am sharing this article because most of my friends and people arround me come with their computers with virus problems. Hope this article will also be useful for everyone to learn by yourself to clean up your computer.

Search Protect by Conduit is a potentially unwanted program that is designed to protect its bundled programs and make sure they remain installed or unchanged by other third party programs. The Search Protect by Conduit program is a part of the “Search Protect” program, and is developed by Conduit, a company known for their malicious programs.

Search Protect by Conduit it’s technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a “PUP,” or potentially unwanted program.

Search Protect by Conduit is an ad-supported (users may see additional banner, search, pop-up, pop-under, interstitial and in-text link advertisements) cross web browser plugin for Internet Explorer (BHO) and Firefox/Chrome (plugin) and distributed through various monetization platforms during installation. The browser extension includes various features that will modify the default or custom settings of the browser including the home page, search settings and in some cases will modify Internet Explorer’s load time threshold, place a lock file within Firefox to prevent competing software from changing its settings as well as disable the browser’s Content Security Policy in order to allow for cross site scripting of the plugin.


Search Protect by Conduit got on your computer after you have installed a freeware software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this browser hijacker. Search Protect by Conduit is designed to prevent other competing web browser plugins from changing the homepage and search settings that are created by the Conduit OurToolbar from being changed automatically. It is typically installed with various Community toolbars.

Upon installation the program will add three background startup options to Windows in order to make sure the program runs on each reboot. This includes a StartUp run activation on user login for both the current user as well as one for all users. Additionally a Windows Service is added (CtlMngSvc). During setup, the software will connect to the Internet and download a file called SPSetup.exe from which is loaded from the user’s web browser temporary folder.


For example, when you install VPlay, you will also agree to change your browser homepage to, install the Free Ride Toolbar, set your default search engine to, and install the Search Protect by Conduit program.

How to remove Search Protect by Conduit (Virus Removal Guide)

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove Search Protect by Conduit from your Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.

Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.

STEP 1: Uninstall Search Protect by Conduit malicious programs from your computer

STEP 2: Remove Search Protect by Conduit virus from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome

STEP 3: Remove Search Protect by Conduit browser hijacker from your computer with AdwCleaner

STEP 4: Remove Search Protect by Conduit virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

STEP 5: Double-check for the Search Protect by Conduit infection with HitmanPro

STEP 1 : Uninstall Search Protect by Conduit malicious programs from your computer

In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.


1. To uninstall the malicious program responsible for the Search Protect by Conduit redirect from Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, click the Start button, then click on the Control Panel menu option.

If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for “control panel” .Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control Panel from there.

2. When the Control Panel window opens click on the Uninstall a program option under Programs category. This option is shown by the arrow in the image below. If you are using the Classic View of the Control Panel, then you would double-click on the Programs and Features icon instead.

3. When the Programs and Features or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall Search Protect by Conduit, ValueApps, Conduit Toolbar and any other recently installed unknown program from your computer.

To view the most recently installed programs, you can click on the “Installed On” column to sort your program by the installation date. Scroll though the list, and uninstall any unwanted or unknown programs.

Depending on what program has installed the Search Protect by Conduit adware infection, the above program may have a different name or not be installed on your computer. If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.

If you are having issues while trying to uninstall the Search Protect by Conduit program, you can use Revo Uninstaller to completely remove this unwanted program from your machine.

STEP 2: Remove Search Protect by Conduit virus from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome

Remove Search Protect by Conduit virus from Internet Explorer

You can reset Internet Explorer settings to return them to the state they were in when Internet Explorer was first installed on your PC.


1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the “gear icon”  in the upper right part of your browser, then click again on Internet Options.

2. In the “Internet Options” dialog box, click on the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.

3. In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click on “Reset” button.

4. When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box. You will now need to close your browser, and then you can open Internet Explorer again.

Remove Search Protect by Conduit virus from Mozilla Firefox

If you’re having problems with Firefox, resetting it can help. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history and open tabs.


1. In the upper-right corner of the Firefox window, click the Firefox menu button (), the click on the “Help” () button.

2. From the Help menu, choose Troubleshooting Information.

3. Click the “Reset Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.

4. To continue, click on the “Reset Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.

Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.

Note: Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.


Remove Search Protect by Conduit virus from Google Chrome

1. Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines () .When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled Settings.

2. Chrome’s Settings should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Show advanced settings link (as seen in the below example).

3. Chrome’s advanced Settings should now be displayed. Scroll down until the Reset browser settings section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the Reset browser settings button.

4. A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the Reset button.

STEP 3: Remove Search Protect by Conduit browser hijacker with AdwCleaner

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and browser for Search Protect by Conduit malicious files that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.


1. You can download AdwCleaner utility from the below link.

ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)

2. Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.

If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.

3. When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the “Scan” button as shown below.

AdwCleaner will now start to search for the Search Protect by Conduit malicious files that may be installed on your computer.

4. To remove the Search Protect by Conduit malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the “Clean” button.

AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the “OK” button.

5. AdwCleaner will now delete all detected adware from your computer. When it is done it will display an alert that explains what PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Adware are. Please read through this information and then press the “OK” button. You will now be presented with an alert that states AdwCleaner needs to reboot your computer.

Please click on the “OK” button to allow AdwCleaner reboot your computer.

STEP 4: Remove Search Protect by Conduit virus from your computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free uses industry-leading technology to detect and remove all traces of malware, including worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware, and more.

It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.


1. You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.

MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)

2. Once downloaded, close all programs, then double-click on the icon on your desktop named “mbam-setup-consumer-2.00.xx” to start the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

Picture of User Account Control You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.

3. When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.

To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.

4. Once installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program, and that a scan has never been run on your system. To start a system scan you can click on the “Fix Now” button.

Alternatively, you can click on the “Scan” tab and select “Threat Scan“, then click on the “Scan Now” button.

5. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now check for updates, and if there are any, you will need to click on the “Update Now” button.

6. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for the Search Protect by Conduit virus. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is scanning it will look like the image below.

7. When the scan has completed, you will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has found, click on the “Quarantine All” button, and then click on the “Apply Now” button.

Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.

8. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. When removing the files, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot your computer, please allow it to do so.

After your computer will restart, you should open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform another “Threat Scan” scan to verify that there are no remaining threats.

STEP 5: Double check for the Search Protect by Conduit infection with HitmanPro

HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner, designed to rescue your computer from malware (viruses, trojans, rootkits, etc.) that have infected your computer despite all the security measures you have taken (such as anti virus software, firewalls, etc.). HitmanPro is designed to work alongside existing security programs without any conflicts. It scans the computer quickly (less than 5 minutes) and does not slow down the computer.


1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:

HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)

2. Double-click on the file named “HitmanPro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “HitmanPro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.

Click on the “Next” button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.

3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for Search Protect by Conduit malicious files.

4. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the “Next” button, to remove Search Protect by Conduit malware.

5. Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.

Your computer should now be free of the Search Protect by Conduit infection. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the Premium version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future, and perform regular computer scans with HitmanPro.

Author Information:
Pilici, S., 2014. Remove "Search Protect by Conduit" virus (Removal Guide)., April 5th 2015, 1

Remove "Search Protect by Conduit" virus (Removal Guide). 2015. Remove "Search Protect by Conduit" virus (Removal Guide). [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2015].

Categories: Information Technology

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Reply Nancy
5:13 PM on July 25, 2016 
Good one! thanks for the informaiton.
Reply Lynsye
3:01 PM on February 28, 2015 
Thanks Amaresh for your neat and clear instructions. My search protect virus is now disappeared from my pc.