What is SearchProtection.EXE?

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the SearchProtection.EXE on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

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SearchProtection.EXE file information

The process known as Search Protection or Yahoo! Application

belongs to software Search Protection or Yahoo! Search Protection or Visicom Media or Sony on Yahoo! Essentials or Yahoo! Suche Schutzvorkehrung

by Yahoo! ( or Spigot ( or Lavasoft ( or Visicom Media (

Description: SearchProtection.EXE is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The file SearchProtection.EXE is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 111,856 bytes (61% of all occurrences), 943,016 bytes and 12 more variants. 
It is not a Windows system file. The process starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: Run, MACHINE\Run, DEFAULT\Run). The program is not visible. It is a Verisign signed file. The file has a digital signature. SearchProtection.EXE is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 43% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You can also uninstall the program using the Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a ProgramYahoo! Search Protection or Yahoo! Suche Schutzvorkehrung.

Recommended: Identify SearchProtection.EXE related errors

If SearchProtection.EXE is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder, the security rating is 40% dangerous. The file size is 832,360 bytes (28% of all occurrences), 740,712 bytes and 11 more variants. The SearchProtection.EXE file is a Verisign signed file. The SearchProtection.EXE file is certified by a trustworthy company. The file is not a Windows system file. The process starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: Run, MACHINE\Run, DEFAULT\Run). The program has no visible window. SearchProtection.EXE is able to monitor applications.

Uninstalling this variant: You can also uninstall the program using the Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a ProgramSearch Protection or SearchProtection or turn to the software company, Spigot, for advice.

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as SearchProtection.EXE. Therefore, you should check the SearchProtection.EXE process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

searchprotection.exe comes with Yahoo.
Searchprotection.exe also comes with adaware from lavasoft. Seems to check searches at
Nod 32 define it as possible trojan. Im not using anything that is connected to yahoo or have anything yahoo instaled. I will remove it.
Changes the default search engine to yahoo in firefox - without user's permission. Hides itself. No useful function, tricky stealth technique: must be deleted.
Appears to be yahoo adware. Had an uninstall.exe next to it. So I ran it.
  Robert Russell  
File is related to Spigot Inc and their software.
  Stac   (further information)
it forcibly sets your home page and default search engine in all browsers. Starts up automatically and doesn't let you change it back.
  Ben Jorem  
Not needed even if it not malware it's just running an wasting memory
It causes the CPU to max out and the computer locks up
  Jack Ywazel  
Was responsible for 50% CPU usage causing other programs to Drive CPU close to 100% and hence computer was running slow
Un-wanted, Un-needed BS
  The Old Man  
Bogs down my system.
  C Irving  
Constantly changes, without permission, default search engine in Chrome, Firefox, and IE.
Also changes default search engine in chrome. I never installed it nor gave it permissions. Not malicious, but annoying.
Changes search engine and search engine list in Firefox. Changes can't be made until program is uninstalled. Comes with it's own uninstaller, which seems to work. Annoying, but not dangerous.
Changed the default search engine to yahoo in firefox, internet explorer and google chrome. Safe was only opera. Btw, this programme does it without user's permission and hides itself. Must be deleted.
Searchprotection.exe and new yahoo search setings for firefox comes with utorrent update. All without your permission.
It stealth installed on my Vista Pro recently. No idea where from. Seemed to uninstall without trouble via CP/Programs. I did notice FF search changed to Yahoo a few days ago, I immediately changed it back and it stuck. Thought I had done it by accident.
It was installed alongside another application, despite my denying to install Yahoo! search bar (as a part of a software bundle.) It would seem the only symptom is resetting your default browser's home page to Yahoo! and its default search engine to Yahoo!. Regardless, it's shown in MalwareBytes Free as adware. No hassle in deleting it and the associated files through MB Free.
--Unsure of origin, was installed surreptitiously either as a piggyback with another program or silently. --Overwrites Firefox search box engines and settings to always include the defaults + Yahoo --In Chrome it resets the home page (if Chrome is set to open a home page) to point to Yahoo search, along with a reference to Spigot in the URL, a company offering custom toolbars designed for driving increased advertising revenue. --This is a program that adds no value. A functioning browser with no malware will not change default search engines without user input. This is highly suspicious behavior. Recommendation: Destroy wherever it is found.
Search Protect comes also with OneClickRoot
C:\Users\ username \AppData\Roaming\Search Protection click the uninstall here
  supreet singh  
I know my Hotmail account was hacked the day after the Yahoo search engine suddenly appeared on my Firefox browser and Malwarebytes shows Searchprotection is there. Coincidence? maybe, maybenot.
On boot-up I get a message that searchprotection.exe can't be found. Annoying.
  Dean Bekken  
Absolutely loaded via external program *UTorrent - Without permission. Is also a resource hog.
Seems to be nothing more than a resource hog, constantly running my CPU to 100%. Uninstalled it no bother and had no problems.
Don't know where it came from, but a Zone Alarm box came up repeatedly warning of it's suspicious behaviour. Hard time getting rid of it.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of SearchProtection.EXE: based on 39 votes with 28 user comments. 2 users think SearchProtection.EXE is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 11 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 7 users suspect danger. 18 users think SearchProtection.EXE is dangerous and recommend removing it. 2 users don't grade SearchProtection.EXE ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving SearchProtection issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with SearchProtection. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the 6resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the SearchProtection.EXE process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

SearchProtection.EXE [all]