What is SearchSettings.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 SearchSettings.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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SearchSettings.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with SearchSettings
SearchSettings.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Search Settings application or Search Settings (version v1.2.3) or YouTube Downloader Toolbar (version v4.9)

belongs to software Search Settings or Widgi Toolbar or YouTube Downloader Toolbar or Vuze Remote Toolbar or IObit Apps Toolbar or Toolbar

by Spigot ( or Vendio Services ( or CBS Interactiv.

Description: SearchSettings.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. SearchSettings.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 991,584 bytes (23% of all occurrences), 974,848 bytes and 10 more variants. 
The file is not a Windows core file. The software starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). The program is not visible. You can uninstall this program in the Control Panel. SearchSettings.exe is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 34% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You have the option to remove the entire program Search Settings or YouTube Downloader Toolbar using Windows Control Panel.

Recommended: Identify SearchSettings.exe related errors

If SearchSettings.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files\Common Files", the security rating is 31% dangerous. The file size is 526,336 bytes (12% of all occurrences), 534,880 bytes and 27 more variants. The program has no visible window. The software can be uninstalled in the Control Panel. The process is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). It is not a Windows core file. It is digitally signed. It is a Verisign signed file. SearchSettings.exe is able to monitor applications.

Uninstalling this variant: You have the option to remove the entire program pdfforge Toolbar or YouTube Downloader Toolbar using Windows Control Panel.

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as SearchSettings.exe. Therefore, you should check the SearchSettings.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

tries to install every time I open a folder.
  Chris Dark  
It want to change the default search engine to Yahoo (with Bing search algorythms), which was recently bought by Microsoft, so their goal is to become more popular than Google... It can easily be removed by using the Add/Remove software in the control panel.
  Raphael J.   (further information)
It is maleware and is often called dealio, hijacks your search settings
I suspect it is a trojan and it is sending all the information of the web sites I visit.
it try redirect http request to it's own homepage, it modify internet explorer settings and came with other adware like shitty browser or toolbar... Should Delete it like a malware
  IT technician fred  
Kept causing Windows to freeze, didn't install it, had no idea why it was there, PC more stable since removal
SearchSettings.exe is generally considered malware (Trojan) and should be removed. It is a product of Vendio Services and has been reported to hijack your search toolbar to Yahoo. It has been known to install during some shareware and freeware program installations. It has also been reported under the name of Dealio toolbar.
  Mike   (further information)
SearchSettings.exe is just a small utility that comes with Yahoo appliations and tries to update Yahoo functionalities while setting the default search engine to Yahoo. More annoying than anything else. Disable it from your startup programs and it will never bother you again.
  Francois Demers  
Hi, my name is Laurentiu and I work for Spigot. I am here to provide information about how to remove searchsettings.exe. Please take a look here: Please contact me from our website if you need more help. Thank you.
  Laurentiu   (further information)
The file is safe.
  Laurentiu   (further information)
It runs continuously, blocking your attempts to change your default search engine: it keeps setting it back to Yahoo
I have had to remove this "Pestware" several times now. It appears when you start up your computer with a magnifying glass saying there was an attempt to change your search settings. The start up init is SpiBot. I believe that it may come from Yahoo tool bar updates. What I am certain of is that I have never requested the installation of it.Here is a link to help remove it. I hope this helps.
  rodneyp   (further information)
Downloads itself without permission with a YouTubedownloader Toolbar (toolbar is NOT necessary for YouTubedownloader to run!) and then simply makes your browsers - if you have more than one installed and several tabs on each open - literally crawl! Is installed by a company called "spigot" and as soon as I uninstalled everything in program files and regedit that had to do with "spigot", mu computer started working again normally, read 10 times faster. This is nasty little malware that ionstalls itself without your permission! Look out!
I found my PC was running in full CPU power, and SearchSettings.exe alone was at 40 ~ 50% of CPU power!
  Tony Ng, Malaysia  
It was installed with Yahoo messenger (without my permission) and was consuming 30-50% of my CPU when the Internet Explorer was running and was also running after quiting the IE. It not only took statistics of my Search Engine but was also trying to set Yahoo as the default search Engine.
  Dimitris G.  
Take, use and / or consumed at, 25% of the CPU in my Laptop
Known name of a variant of DarkComet trojan
I had just the same problem.. SearchSettings.exe 33% process rate.. I just removed YouTube Downloader Toolbar (YTD) and now it is gone
I deleted the Spigot folder, toolbar, AND downloader, SearchSettings comes right back. I am not pleased.
This nasty little code slowed down all my applications which use an internet connection by a degree of 10. So it's for sure the program is sending information the whole time! A golden tip: Press ctrl-alt-del and check all of your system tasks, then google them 1 by 1 to get to know about them. Some might act like windows core files!
Installed with YouTubeDownloader
Programme which installs itself and rewires your internet brower to set Yahoo as default browser. Causes stability issues in Windows 7. No useful function, essentially malign.
It is not listed in add/remove under it's own name, so one must figure out what name it is using to remove it. Spyware installed without my knowledge or permission, company claims not malware, uh huh.
  Gina Jordan  
Constantly changes Firefox search engines, making default search engine.
The file came with a toolbar i installed and it's safe. I've managed to remove it from my PC following the instructions provided here:
  Sam   (further information)
The uninstall asks for Admin permissions Sounds very dangerous
  David Coulter  
installed itself. Not wanted. i would class as malware because of this
it's a peace of crap and if you hawe it in your computer kill it !!!
  Hinuk Mattila  
SearchSettings.exe was eating CPU on my PC. It didn't appear in the control panel under that name, but I found two things there with the publisher "spigot" - one a toolbar that I did not want or knowingly install and another a thing called Slick Savings which I would have chased out of the door had I seen it trying to slink in. What is something called that is installed surreptitiously and eats CPU, and seems to be partnered with something with a name like Slick Savings? Must be one of virus, adware, spyware, or trojan.
also contained in pdfforge toolbar. computer was unusable - slow, failing to run programs with no failure notification, freezing. uninstalled the toolbar and spigot dissapeared. computer instantly became responsive
  ken markham  
Hijacks your search engine and makes your computer run a little bit slower
  Goeta Gaming  

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of SearchSettings.exe: based on 43 votes with 31 user comments. 2 users think SearchSettings.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 9 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 13 users suspect danger. 19 users think SearchSettings.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 2 users don't grade SearchSettings.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving SearchSettings issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with SearchSettings. 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 SearchSettings.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

SearchSettings.exe [all]