How to remove Search Protect from your computer

How to remove Search Protect from your computer

This tutorial details how to completely uninstall Search Protect from your computer - I'll see how to do it manually and almost automatically (some things will still have to be done by hand). Usually we talk about Conduit Search Protect, but there are variations without Conduit in the name. The described can happen in Windows 8, 7 and, I think, in Windows 10 as well.

Search Protect itself is unwanted and even malicious, the English Internet uses the term Browser Hijacker for it because it changes the browser settings, the home page, spoofs the search results and makes ads appear in the browser. And it is not easy to remove it. The usual way for it to appear on your computer is to install it together with another program you need, sometimes even from a trusted source.

Table of Contents

Steps for Search Protect removal

Update 2015: As a first step, try going to Program Files or Program Files (x86) and if there is an XTab or MiniTab folder, MiuiTab, run the uninstall.exe file found there - this can work without using the steps outlined then. If this method works for you, I recommend watching the video tutorial at the end of this article that gives helpful recommendations on what to do after uninstalling Search Protect.

First of all, about how to remove Search Protect in automatic mode, but you should note that this method does not always help to get rid of this program completely. So, if the steps mentioned here weren't enough, you should proceed to the manual methods. I'll take Conduit Search Protect as an example, but the necessary steps will be the same for other variants of the program.

Interestingly, it is better to start Search Protect (you can use the icon in the notification area) and go to its settings - set there the desired start page instead of the search for Conduit or Trovi, in New Tab specify Default browser, uncheck "Improve my search experience" (improve search), also set the default search. And save the settings - these actions are a bit, but useful for us.

Continue with the uninstallation through the "Programs and Components" option in the Windows Control Panel. Better still if you use an uninstaller for this step, like Revo Uninstaller (free software).

In the list of installed programs, find Search Protect and uninstall it. If the uninstall wizard asks you which browser settings to leave, specify to reset the home page and settings for all browsers. Also, if you see multiple toolbars in installed programs that you haven't installed, uninstall them as well.

The next step is to use free malware removal tools. I recommend using them in the following order:

  • Malwarebytes Antimalware;
  • Hitman Pro (can only be used without paying for 30 days. After starting to activate the free license), restart your computer before the next point;
  • Avast Browser Cleanup, use this utility to remove all questionable extensions, add-ons and plugins in the browsers you use.

Download Avast Browser Cleanup from the official website, information about the other two programs can be found here.

I also recommend either re-creating the browser shortcuts (to do this, delete the existing ones, go to the browser folder, for example C: N Program Files (x86) GoogleChromeNApplication, for some browsers you should look in C: UsersUsernameAppData, and drag the executable file to the desktop or taskbar to create a shortcut), or open the properties of the shortcut by right-clicking on it (it does not work on the Windows 8 taskbar), and then under "Shortcut" - "Object" delete the text after the browser file path (if any).

Also, it makes sense to use the item to reset settings in the browser itself (found in the settings in Google Chrome, Opera, Mozilla Firefox). Check if it worked or not.

Uninstall manually

If you get straight to this point and already want to remove HpUI.exe, CltMngSvc.exe, cltmng.exe, Suphpuiwindow, and other Search Protect components, I would still recommend starting with the steps outlined in the previous section of the guide and finally clean your computer with the information provided here.

Steps for manual removal:

  1. Uninstall Search Protect via Control Panel or using the uninstaller (as described above). Also uninstall other programs that you haven't installed (as long as you know what you can and can't uninstall) - that have the toolbar in their name, for example.
  2. Use Task Manager to kill all rogue processes like Suphpuiwindow, HpUi.exe, and those consisting of a random character set.
  3. Carefully examine the list of programs in autorun and their paths. Eliminate doubtful ones from autostart and folders. They usually have random character set file names. If you come across the Background Container item in the autorun, remove it as well.
  4. Check that the job scheduler is not running unwanted software. The item for SearchProtect in the job scheduler library is also often called BackgroundContainer.
  5. Points 3 and 4 are convenient to do with CCleaner - it has useful elements for dealing with programs in autorun.
  6. Look in Control Panel - Administration - Services. If there are services related to Search Protect, stop and disable them.
  7. Check the folders on your computer: turn on the display of hidden files and folders, pay attention to the following folders and the files they contain: Conduit, SearchProtect (search for folders with this name all over your computer, they may be in Program Files, Data Program, AppData, Mozilla Firefox plugins. Look in the folder C: N-UsersNUsername_AppDataLocalTemp and look for the files with random name and the Search Protect icon there, delete them. Also, if you see subfolders there with the name ct1066435, it is also that .
  8. Go to Control Panel - Browser Properties (Explorer) - Connections - Network Settings. Make sure there is no proxy server in the configuration.
  9. Check and delete the hosts file if necessary.
  10. Re-create the shortcuts for the browser.
  11. In the browser, disable and remove all questionable extensions, add-ons, and plugins.


I have also recorded a video tutorial showing how to uninstall Search Protect from your computer. This information can also be helpful.

If any of the above points are not entirely clear to you, for example - how to delete the hosts file, all the instructions for each of them are on my site (and not just on my site) and are easily found via a search. If something is still unclear, write a comment and I will try to help you. Another article that can help Search Protect removal is How to remove pop-up ads in the browser.