What is Search Protect by Client Connect Ltd?

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This page aims to show you how to remove Search Protect by Client Connect Ltd and answer the question what is is. These Search Protect removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.


Have you ever passed by the name Conduit ever before when using your PC? Chances are that you haven’t, but it has a rather close connection to Search Protect, because this browser hijacker comes from Conduit. How to remove Search Protect is what we will discuss today. As with most unwanted applications of this type, on the outside they always try to appear to be as useful or harmless as possible, but behind that innocent appearance hides a menacing piece of software that is awaiting its chance to strike.

While classified as potentially unwanted programs by default, browser hijackers do exactly what their name suggests – change the settings of your browser. This gives them a number of opportunities to succeed in their goals. They vary greatly, but the developers of the hijackers are usually driven by money in one way or another. It’s not really surprising either, they wouldn’t waste effort coding these things for nothing.

In the paragraphs below we’ve compiled all of the information we could find regarding the topic and Search Protect specifically. At the end of the article there’s also a set of steps you can follow to uninstall the culprit, but we strongly advise against jumping blindly into them without skimping over the following text we’ve prepared for you today.

What are potentially unwanted programs? How are the correlated with Search Protect by Client Connect Ltd?

Unwanted programs (PUP) tend to be software installed by tricking the user into believing that he needs it, or by hiding itself altogether. Companies often package a normal program you’d normally want or need and include a wrapper application that forces the user to install the unwanted program in question. This is largely considered unethical because it performs actions on your computer without your consent, often violating your privacy and/or security.

These unwanted software are, of course, not at all useless for the one who created them. They can flood you with intrusive ads, track your internet history and use it to sell information to potential advertisers. These programs always install without any easy to use uninstallation options or instructions, because that would be too obvious and people will be able to get rid of the program too fast (and the developers understand this).

Experts recommend users always refer to the official websites of software to install the latest versions. This way one can avoid a significant amount of PUPs and save him future headaches, although in the case of Search Protect it is a good idea to stay as far away as possible.

What are browser hijackers in general? What should one know about them?

As you may have already guessed, browser hijackers are a form of PUP. However, do not be deceived by this seemingly harmless classification. Hijackers can often be vary vicious and harmful to your PC depending on the motives of the developer, but at least in the case of Search Protect by Client Connect Ltd this doesn’t appear to be the case. It is, however, an incredibly obnoxious program.

As the name suggests, browser hijackers modify the browser to change its behavior from the moment its started. The procedure itself is often called injection, this is a process in which the undesirable application inserts its code into another program in a way that is not officially supported or meant to be used. In the case of Search Protect the hijacker will tamper with the settings of your browser, but you will not be able to see it in the extension list or remove it from there. Since Search Protect is not actually a virus most anti-virus programs won’t be able to remove it from your computer. This is why we’ve provided the guide under this article.

What this thing will do immediately after it has successfully injected itself into your favorite browser, such as Chrome or Firefox, is to change your starting page or home page to one of its own. This is usually the most noticeable thing, which is why hijackers are easily noticed just by opening your browser. It will probably change your home page to something else and/or switch your default search engine with its own. All of this is intended to funnel your browsing through pages linked to the program, thus boosting its popularity. This indirectly earns them income as well since most of these websites have ads placed on them, which is why the extra popularity gain is so important to them.

Browsing hijacking is generally considered illegal. because some other browser hijackers come along with a form of spyware. By definition, this terms refers to the act of collecting private information from a person or organization without their consent, just like a real world spy would do. For example, by installing a little program that tracks your keystrokes performed on your keyboard. This helps the hackers gather a myriad of useful information such as bank accounts, credit card info, email logins. They do that by sending the collected information to a remote server, then accessing it to filter out the important details among the hundreds of random letters you could have typed. Generally, any account on any site you log on can be compromised.

Search Protect by Client Connect Ltd gets away from legal problems by not employing any malicious tactics and claiming to have a working uninstall option, as you can see for yourself this does not make it useful in any way. In fact this programs works very much like a Hijacker despite claiming to protect you from these threats.

What are some specifics concerning Search Protect? What does it do differently?

  • Search Protect is designed with the main purpose of fully restricting competing web browser plugins. It prevents them from changing any settings that Search Protect has already altered. Just like many hijackers, this one enforces full superiority over your browser.

  • It is typically installed with several community toolbars hosted on conduit.

  • During said install, you are forced into accepting an End User License Agreement (EULA). Most people never read this document, which is sometimes their main mistake. Its usually fairly obvious to spot malicious intents when reading it.

  • During the installation, Search Protect by Client Connect Ltd will add 3 background start up options to your Windows settings that makes sure the program runs each time you start your OS. All of the user accounts on your OS install are affected by this.

  • In addition to that, the software adds a Windows service (named CtlMngSvc) and loads a file (called SPSetup.exe) into your browser temporary folder.

  • This program claims to protect your PC from other browser hijackers, but it will also protect itself from you should you try to remove it.


We’d like to summarize this rather lengthy article with a few concluding words. The most important thing to remember when dealing with this situation is to remain calm and always evaluate your options before acting. The attackers will surely present you with some various tempting offers. Do not be fooled and instead ignore their suggestions. You can continue with the removal instructions now that you’ve reached this point. Hopefully we’ve given you some insightful information concerning this topic. As a final note, we recommend you take then easy approach of downloading our recommended tool to handle this issue.

Until next time. Stay safe! Remember to leave us feedback below.


Name Search Protect
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (Search protect claims to protect you from malicious browser hijackers… by behaving in a way very similar to a browser hijacker)
Symptoms Several settings get changed in addition to a Windows service and files getting added to your computer.
Distribution Method Bundled with community created toolbars hosted on conduit, usually hidden inside their installers.
Detection Tool Search Protect may be difficult to track down. Use SpyHunter – a professional parasite scanner – to make sure you find all files related to the infection.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware detection tool is free. To remove the infection, you’ll need to purchase the full version.
More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.


Search Protect Removal

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Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

This was the first preparation.


To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.

If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading SpyHunter
a professional malware removal tool.

More information on SpyHunter, steps to uninstallEULAThreat Assessment Criteria, and Privacy Policy.

Reveal All Hidden Files and Folders.

  • Do not skip this – Search Protect may have hidden some of its files.

Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.


You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.

Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:


Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.


Hold the Start Key and R copy + paste the following and click OK:

notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

hosts_opt (1)

If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.


Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.

NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).


Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

ie9-10_512x512 Remove Search Protect from Internet Explorer:

Open IE, click IE GEAR —–> Manage Add-ons.

pic 3

Find the threat —> Disable. Go to IE GEAR —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

firefox-512 Remove Search Protect from Firefox:

Open Firefox, click mozilla menu ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Search Protect from Chrome:

Close Chrome. Navigate to:

C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

Rename the Folder to Backup Default

Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.

  • At this point the threat is gone from Chrome, but complete the entire guide or it may reappear on a system reboot.


Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC simultaneously. Go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which ones are dangerous. Google them or ask us in the comments.


We get asked this a lot, so we are putting it here: Removing parasite manually may take hours and damage your system in the process. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to see if it can detect parasite files for you.

Right click on each of the problematic processes separately and select Open File Location. End the process after you open the folder, then delete the directories you were sent to.



Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

Remember to leave us a comment if you run into any trouble!

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