If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been infected with the everlasting Conduit search bar/page problem. It’s super annoying and it’s not easy to remove – unless you know where to look. Even when you think it’s gone (because it’s no longer on your browser toolbar) it’s still there, haunting you every time you try to use a search engine or open a new window. I’ve had it, several times, and I’m sure half the people who use the internet have had it, too. It’s important to have some basic understanding of computer security, or you could compromise your machine and all of your data. Conduit is more annoying than damaging, but there are a lot of malicious plugins out there that can be just as easy to accidently download. Basic computer security will teach you how to protect yourself from those. So what is Conduit, how do we get rid of it once and for all… and where does it come from!? Let’s chat.
Where does it come from?
If you’re like me you may download some software from a site like download.net (I’ve since stopped doing this and maybe you should too), or you get a bit torrent client like uTorrent, or you downloaded a free application like GIMP (free photo editing software like Photoshop) or IrfanView (image resizing program), or one of a million other cool programs floating around on the web. This is most likely where Conduit came from. When you install any of the above programs, you’ll be asked to install a search bar, or to accept an agreement and then download this “necessary” component to the program package. Typically, you’ve willingly, and unknowingly downloaded Conduit, which is exactly what Conduit wants you to do.
How do I make it go away, forever?
Oh, you don’t want to use the annoying, not-going-to-give-you-what-you’re-looking-for search engine? What a tragedy. Well, let’s go ahead and get rid of this thing once and for all. (Until you download another program that re-installs it… careful now.)
Get to your control panel. You can do this by going to Start> Control Panel. If you are using Windows 8, go to your traditional desktop and hit the and x to pull up a menu where you can then select the control panel from.
Once in the control panel go to Programs>Uninstall Programs or Add/Remove Programs. Now you have to search the programs installed on your computer in order to remove the Conduit toolbar. This is kind of the hard part, the Conduit toolbar won’t appear as “Conduit toolbar” it may be disguised under the name of the program you installed that brought Conduit to your computer. So, if you downloaded a uTorrent program, maybe look for uTorrent toolbar, or something like that. If you’re still having trouble finding it, do a Google search for the program you think installed the nuisance toolbar and put “conduit toolbar” in quotes in the search. Maybe you’ll be able to pin point the name of it.
Once you’ve found the correct program, right click and select uninstall. Wait for the uninstallation process to finish and then open a new browser to see if the problem still exists. For a lot of us, Conduit is still lingering behind the scene. If this is the case, move on to Step 4 to see what you can do for each browser to get rid of it totally.
Remember that learning the basics of digital internet security will help you decipher what is safe to download, what sites are safe to visit and how to prevent your information from being hacked. Better safe than sorry, right? If you need to, let’s move on to Step 4.
Google Chrome Browser
Open a new window in Chrome and enter chrome://extensions/ into the URL bar. Once you do this you will again have to search for the name of the Conduit toolbar to remove it from the extensions library. Once you do, click remove.
Mozilla Firefox Browser
Open a new Firefox window. You want to make sure that conduit didn’t reset your homepage to be Conduit. To do this go to Tools > Options or Firefox>Options>Options.
Under the General tab find the home page field and make sure it doesn’t say anything to do with Conduit. If it does, reset the homepage to your favorite website. Click OK.
You also want to make sure that your default search engine wasn’t changed by Conduit. To do this, go to your browser tool bar, next to your address bar you’ll see a search engine bar. Click on the down arrow. If you see Conduit, right click it and then select remove and then select your preferred search engine. Close the browser and then re-open it. If you still see Conduit, be patient, in Mozilla Firefox there are a few more steps we can take to finally get rid of Conduit.
Open a new browser in Firefox and go to Tools> Add-Ons or Firefox>Add-Ons.
Go to the Plugins and Extensions tabs and remove anything you see remotely related to Conduit.
Close the browser and re-open it. If Conduit is still there, move on to the next step. If it’s done – hallelujah!
In the browser, go to the address bar and type in about:config, press enter. This is going to bring you to a caution prompt that looks like this:
Don’t freak out, it’s okay. Click on I’ll be careful, I promise!
In the Search bar, type in Conduit. Since I do not have Conduit in my computer, my results will show nothing. Yours, however, should show results.
In your Conduit search results, you want to locate CT1060933.TBHomePageUrl in the Preference Name field (the first column). You can do this by searching it, or scrolling through to find it. Once you find it, you want to double click on it so you can edit the name. Change it to:
You’re going to do another search now for the preference name keyword.URL. Again, once you find this, double click on it and change it to:
After you have changed the name fields, you need to exit Firefox and then open a new browser. This should once and for all take care of your Conduit problems!
These kind of tricks aren’t exactly intuitive. Which is to say, you would never know to take these steps to get rid of this problem unless you know your way around a computer. However, with a little computer knowledge you can find more tips that will help you navigate your computer and clean it up when you need to. Learn some computer essentials.