Stop search.conduit.com Browser Hijacker

Search.conduit.com also known as Search Protect or Conduit Search is an unwanted program which changes your browser settings and hijacks the default search engine and homepage. It is one of the most popular adware which has infected lots of computers and generates significant traffic to its website. This adware is closely related to another version called Trovi Search.

Technically this program is not a virus since it is distributed using legal (although in many cases not ethical) methods. However, this hijacker does not add any value to the browsing experience and many users struggle removing it from their computers.

This fake search website is designed to simply generate traffic from infected browsers and earn money by displaying various advertisements or redirecting user searches to other search engines. Currently this website redirects to Bing custom search which allows the creators to earn a percentage of profits if the users click on any of the advertisements displayed in the search results.

Since this adware does not have any value and only slows down your system you should remove it from your computer as soon as possible. We have an automatic removal tool which will also protect your PC from similar threats in the future. We have also prepared a manual removal guide for more experienced users.


Recommended Method: Download Browser Hijacker Removal Tool

Version:   All Updated:   2 days ago Compatible OS:   All
This is the most suitable program for automatically removing the threat and repairing your PC.
Works with: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP. Read instructions here
File name Size
mb3-setup.exe 56.5 MB

Click here to download alternative tool

What is Search.conduit.com browser hijacker?

Like most other browser hijackers this one is designed to generate traffic from infected browsers and convert it into advertisement revenue. However, Conduit search is made more professionally than most of the competition. It also has much higher traffic and is owned by a company as opposed to other such websites usually owned by unknown individuals.

The website is very minimalistic and only has a search field in the middle. At the moment of testing we could not find any additional advertisements, hidden affiliate links or redirects. It seems that the developers chose a more legitimate way since they probably do not want to lose the huge visitor base. At the moment of testing it was estimated to have more than 15 million daily pageviews.

This hijacker earns money by redirecting your queries to custom Bing search. It hijacks the browser settings in order to make sure that this search engine stays selected as your default one. It might be inconvenient for most users since they could be used to another providers like Google search.

Another drawback of having this adware present on your computer is that it slows down your system. The hijacker needs to launch a background program and check for any browser changes every time you launch your PC and this requires additional resources.

Finally, since this unwanted program has a total control of your browsers you never know how it might act in the future. It can lead to another malware or simply spy on your activity. Therefore, you should remove it as soon as possible in order to avoid compromising your personal data.

We have an automatic removal and protection tool listed above. We also have a manual removal guide for more experienced Windows users. However, even if you successfully remove the source of this threat, we still strongly recommend securing your computer with a proper antivirus software.

Screenshots of Conduit search hijacker:

  


 Manual Removal Instructions:

NB: Make sure to bookmark this page, print it out or simply open on another device in order to access it after a browser or computer restart which will be required during the removal process.

Step 1:

Remove any suspicious programs that might contain the adware.

Start by opening the Programs and Features window using the following method:

Hold Windows () key and click R key while holding.

Enter the following in the field:

appwiz.cpl

Click OK.

You might have to wait a bit before the list of all programs is loaded as it displays a list of all programs installed on your PC.

We recommend sorting the programs by “Installed On” column (simply click on the column name in order to sort by this value).

Look for any recently installed suspicious programs that might contain the adware as a bundle or could be the adware itself. If you have never seen or used an app chances are that it is an unwanted software.

Here are some unwanted programs:

Search Protect
Browser Protect
ValueApps
Conduit Toolbar

Uninstall all suspicious programs by right-clicking on them and choosing Uninstall…

Repeat this process until no more suspicious programs are left.

Step 2:

Delete registry values created by this adware.

Press and hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:

regedit.exe

Click OK.

 

Search for entries by pressing keyboard buttons CTRL + F and entering the name:

conduit

Click Find Next.

Delete any registry entries associated with the hijacker.

Repeat the search until all entries are cleaned.

Step 3:

Clean up Windows temporary files.

You can safely remove all temporary files without posing any risk to your computer.

Hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:

%Temp%

Click OK.

All temporary files will be listed in the directory.

Select all temporary files by simultaneously pressing CTRL + A and delete them.

Step 4:

Check for any recent changes in all the other important system files.

Hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:

%AppData%

Click OK.

Do not delete anything here! Search for any recent changes (by “Date Modified”) in the files first. Only if you see that a file has just been changed scan it with virustotal.com. Remove only files marked as dangerous. Otherwise you might remove critical system files and Windows might stop working.

Repeat this step with the following three directories while being very careful:

%LocalAppData%
%ProgramData%
%WinDir%

Remember that these directories contain many important system files! Be very careful!

Step 5:

Remove suspicious programs from your startup config so they would not launch as soon as you boot your computer.

Hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:

msconfig.exe

Click OK.

Go to the Startup tab and uncheck all suspicious entries.

The infected or fake startup items usually have “Unknown” listed as Manufacturer. However, sometimes they might pretend to be legitimate programs.

Check process location by hovering your mouse over the “Command” column. Navigate to the location and scan the file using virustotal.com if it looks suspicious but you are not sure.

Click OK when you are finished unselecting all potentially dangerous processes.

Step 6:

Clean up your DNS.

Press and hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:

ncpa.cpl

Click OK.

It will open your current network adapters list.

Right-click on the one you currently use (unused usually have a red X near them while the active one is usually green).

Choose Properties.

Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) (make sure the checkbox is checked near it).

Click Properties.

First, select Obtain DNS server automatically.

Then click Advanced… and go to DNS tab in the newly opened window.

Remove everything from the DNS server addresses, in order of use.

Step 7:

Delete the shortcuts for all browsers on your computer as they might have been changed by the hijacker.

Remember that there are shortcuts not only on your Desktop but also in other places (for example, Start Menu).

Then create them again in order to have clean browser start.

Alternatively, you can click Properties on each of the shortcuts and remove any additions (usually a link to http://search.conduit.com) made to the Target field by the virus.

Step 8:

IMPORTANT: Now you will have to reset browser settings for each browser individually that you have installed on your computer. Alternativelly, you could simply reinstall them.

 Google Chrome:

Launch the browser and select More Tools, then click Extensions.

Check for any suspicious extensions.

Click Remove From Chrome for each unwanted or suspicious toolbar or extension (the trashcan icon on the right).

Go to Settings.

Scroll to the very bottom of the settings page and click Show advanced settings…

Scroll to the very bottom again and click Reset settings.

Click Reset.

 Mozilla Firefox:

Launch the browser and go to Add-ons.

Search for any suspicious toolbars and add-ons and Remove them.

We recommend going to Options (input about:preferences in your address field and press Enter) and clicking Restore to Default near the Home Page field.

You can also completely refresh the browser settings by entering the following in the address (URL) field:

about:support

Press Enter.

Click Refresh Firefox… and then click Refresh Firefox again.

 Microsoft Edge:

Since Microsoft Edge is not a separate program and is a core component of Windows 10 you should backup your computer or at least create a Restore Point before continuing.

Navigate to the following folder (where %username is your computer user name):

C:\Users\%username\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Clear all contents of the folder. Click CTRL + A to select everything and delete the contents.

Click Start (Windows logo).

Search for Windows PowerShell.

Right-click on the result.

Choose Run as administrator.

Paste the following command:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}

Press Enter.

The settings should now be reset to default.

 Internet Explorer:

Press and hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:

cmd

Click OK.

Enter the following command in the appeared window:

RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ResetIEtoDefaults

Press Enter.

Check Delete personal settings.

Click Reset.

Alternatively you can run this command to delete all caches and settings:

RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 4351

After removing the virus

When you have finished removing the “Conduit Search” adware and reverting your browser settings make sure to protect your computer by installing a good antivirus suite that would identify the threats online and in programs you have downloaded. Also, never install suspicious programs. If you are installing a new software, make sure it has nothing bundled in it by following the install wizard as well as searching for user reviews online.


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