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danielmak

Utorrent changed my Web Browswer settings

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I have been using Utorrent on my desktop and today installed the latest Mac stable version on my laptop but for some reason after this install, Firefox home page keeps reverting to Yahoo. I re-set it to Google but whenever I re-start Firevox, Yahoo comes up as my home page. Why is this happening and how do I permanently prevent it from happening.

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I have been using Utorrent on my desktop and today installed the latest Mac stable version on my laptop but for some reason after this install, Firefox home page keeps reverting to Yahoo. I re-set it to Google but whenever I re-start Firevox, Yahoo comes up as my home page. Why is this happening and how do I permanently prevent it from happening.

I registered just so I could reply to this, danielmak. Though I'm not a Mac user, I hope it's of some help:

Look for an installed program/process called SearchProtect.

I just got the same thing after updating, and -very sneaky- I was presented with additional steps that hadn't been shown during previous updates, and I clicked through, only seeing "Accept this offer" at the last second as I clicked it.

Uninstall that useless piece of crap, then your browser settings changes will stay in-place. After that, I might also recommend that you do what I did, and remove the application that had the temerity to introduce such underhanded software to your machine in the first place.

----To uTorrent itself:

I trusted you, uTorrent. You were a regular standby app on my systems because you did the job, and did it well. I counted you alongside tools like Winamp or Notepad++ as "must-haves" during any new installation. I put up with the "app" nonsense when it was added, and even accepted the addition of the ad bar as a necessarily evil. At least it was all unobtrusive enough, and safe to ignore if I didn't want it.

Now, you're partnering with a "search company" (HA!) that has resorted to underhanded shady tactics to boost their usage numbers. I never used Yahoo because I don't need a "content provider" for my web searches. Yahoo is floundering so hard because, just like AOL, they sat back on their collective butts, content with the number of legacy users they managed to gather back in their heyday, instead of trying to keep with the times and make themselves attractive to new users. Looks like they've realized how far back they've managed to slide, and are willing to resort to any means to make themselves look better to potential buyers.

Meanwhile, uTorrent has resorted to trickery, relying on their users' trust and acquired expectations/habits to sneak this stupid hijacker past them during an "update". It took me just a few minutes to figure out why I couldn't get my homepage settings to stick, but once I did, I knew EXACTLY who had introduced this malware (and make no mistake, that is EXACTLY what it is) to my machine. Yes, I should have been more aware when the installer threw a full page of text at me (the "agreement"), but it was late and I simply wasn't expecting this changed behavior from such a trusted program.

So, like so many other companies before it, uTorrent has apparently decided that it's time to start foisting this crap off onto their loyal users. Thing is, you don't have a captive audience here. You're not the only fish in the sea, and I can very easily adapt to another program that does the same job, but doesn't treat its users like delicious marketing numbers to be manipulated and sold.

Rest assured: the people who will be most offended by this behavior are the people who supported your efforts from the very beginning. The feeling of betrayal is a lot stronger with folks like us, and the reaction will be just as strong as it is quick.

Now, uTorrent is no longer a mainstay of my regular apps, and will not be recommended by name to the many people I talk to in a support capacity every day, as I had been for a few years now. I suppose I can at least thank you, though, for confirming I was doing the right thing by steering users away from Yahoo, which has apparently decided any tactic is fair game where boosting their numbers is concerned.

Enjoy whatever pennies you got out of my accidental click. They will be the last you see coming from my direction.

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I have to totally agree with Deadweasel. I don't know if I can trust uTorrent anymore. I'm going to have to install another torrent program in the meantime. So far after the utorrent update, I have been able to reverse some of the Yahoo settings, but I still now have Yahoo as the search provider when I type anything in the address bar. It is such a hassle trying to get this undone. Somebody suggested to uninstall uTorrent, which I've done, but the yahoo settings on still on my firefox browser. I never would have thought that uTorrent would have done that to us. Anybody had any luck removing the Yahoo settings that uTorrent installed?

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I have to totally agree with Deadweasel. I don't know if I can trust uTorrent anymore. I'm going to have to install another torrent program in the meantime. So far after the utorrent update, I have been able to reverse some of the Yahoo settings, but I still now have Yahoo as the search provider when I type anything in the address bar. It is such a hassle trying to get this undone. Somebody suggested to uninstall uTorrent, which I've done, but the yahoo settings on still on my firefox browser. I never would have thought that uTorrent would have done that to us. Anybody had any luck removing the Yahoo settings that uTorrent installed?

Yes, read the first part of my post. There's a hijacker process installed that maintains the bogus settings called SearchProtect. Stop that process and uninstall it first, then your browser changes will stick.

Also, after uninstalling uTorrent, check your installed programs locations. I discovered that even after it had been uninstalled, the folder was still there, and -oh look!- a single executable was still sitting in there: the uTorrent installer itself.

Looks like the shady practices go even farther than I had thought. Damn you, uTorrent, not only are you slipstreaming disreputable software during your updates, you're further violating user trust by specifically NOT adhering to expectations for standard OS processes. Uninstall means REMOVE COMPLETELY from the system, not leave a little something behind for just in case, later!

Now I need to go through the registry and look for more similarly-cutesy surprises that you've left behind.

To users looking for an alternative: look up qBittorrent. It was designed specifically as an alternative to uTorrent, and presents an interface we all knew from back before all the "app" crap was added. It's free, supports almost all of the important features we want and use, and is not smeared with the taint of any advertising crap.

It really says something that volunteers invested the time and effort to develop a specific alternative to uTorrent. Looks like a lot more folks saw the writing on the wall quite some time before I did. The irony is that while uTorrent is smearing ads in their client and making deals with shady vendors, qBittorrent is probably seeing a lot more income from the donations by comparison. They just earned 10 bucks from me.

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wow same here, i registered just to say this. I agree 100% with what you said deadweasel, i usually avoid updates from whatever software alerts me, mainly cause of the potential marketing ploys. Which is usually true to the case when a company sells out. But never in my dreams did I expect utorrent to employ such devious practices. Im a legacy user of bittorrent, and what the selling point of all the many torrent clients was that it was raw, low mem usage, and down to the point, vs the bloated memory intensive clients (bitcomet, Azureus). Wow did utorrent jsut 100% let me down, to take advantage of my trust after these many years. I guess its time to move on and let utorrent die a slow death, as such its predecessors.

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Stop installing things you don't want. Don't accept it if you don't want it, Simple.

We've been over this in the Windows section too many times when people just aimlessly click everything in their way without reading.

So, this is not what you do:

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Stop installing things you don't want. Don't accept it if you don't want it, Simple.

We've been over this in the Windows section too many times when people just aimlessly click everything in their way without reading.

So, this is not what you do:

You missed the point entirely, or else didn't really bother to read yourself. Go back and check again.

The behavior of the updater changed, and the installation of the hijacker was unintentional, which you would understand if you'd actually read the post instead of glossing it over.

There are applications where I expect this behavior already, and they are watched very carefully as the process goes along: Flash, Java etc.

They too try to sneak in "offers" with their updates, which is why their auto-updaters get disabled.

What ticks me off is that this is not how uTorrent used to behave, and rather than introduce this Yahoo partnership with new installs, they made the choice to make it part of an update, which leaves me wondering if the update had any other purpose in the first place.

I had never had a problem with uTorrent's update process, and by and large, the updates always seemed to contain something positive or useful for the program.

Then BAM, out of the blue the process changes, catching me out in a moment of drowsiness, and suddenly a trusted program is installing sketchy things to my machine.

I DO watch installers closely, especially when I haven't installed them from scratch in a while. What I don't expect is a program that had formerly been pretty straightforward and trustworthy suddenly introducing malware to my machine because I didn't watch the UPDATEprocess closely enough.

I know exactly why this was introduced as part of an update, and it's a blatant violation of trust. You can act like this totally fine and it's all the users' faults for installing the bad stuff, but you're missing the real point:

Why is it in there at all? We never had to watch the updates with a wary eye, now suddenly we do? No, I don't think so. I have to tolerate that uncertainty with some programs because there are no viable alternatives.

Thankfully that is not the case with this torrent client.

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Sorry, but sadly this is the path they've chosen, being bought by BitTorrent, Inc. and all.

Even when used as portable it will install it in another location so you need to manually replace the executable now.

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Looked around and finally found some solutions that worked for me (see link below). I uninstalled that Search Protection and deleted the "uTorrentcustomsearch" under Manage search engines and mozilla, but Yahoo was still default when I typed in the address bar. Searching for yahoo in about:config and replacing it all with Google restored my former settings. I also downloaded qBittorrent. Thanks for the suggestion.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/962694

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Glad I could help FrysGIRL! :)

Sorry, but sadly this is the path they've chosen, being bought by BitTorrent, Inc. and all.

Even when used as portable it will install it in another location so you need to manually replace the executable now.

Nah. I'm not going to be dealing with it at all, actually, and that's exactly the kind of mistreatment that will have me looking for something different in record time.

This path is their choice, absolutely. Mine is to move on to something else, something better; something that hasn't become all about the money to the point where they are playing head games with their users.

The thing I find truly humorous about this? This greedy behavior has driven me to another client, and one that seems to indicate that uTorrent is doing something even more the users may not be aware of. The new client is running a particular torrent full-bore, for which uTorrent didn't connect to a single seed.

Same .torrent file, different client.

uTorrent sat for four days without a single byte transferred from 0(31) peers and 0(42) seeds.

The other client? 4GB in 30 minutes from 7(31) peers and 18(42) seeds..

Difference in connection settings? None, except that I changed the new client to use the same port uTorrent had been running on. Coincidentally, this is the same torrent that had me checking for an update (and accidentally installing that Yahoo hijacker) in the first place, as the last time I fell behind in versions, torrents would magically just stop working well, or sometimes at all. I used to chalk it up to changes in the protocol I wasn't aware of. Guess I was quite wrong.

I never would have believed a transfer would ever be intentionally influenced by the client used. Then again, I never would have thought they'd start trying to sneak Yahoo's malware by on an update either, so there's that. This is a mostly tongue-in-cheek comment, but really, between the malware and the obvious performance difference, it's almost enough to make me wonder if they've got a deal with Comcast, Cox, Brighthouse or Roadrunner as well.

Whatever's going down over there, I'm glad I'm out before they start making bundled ad deals that result in truly malicious packages being rotated in under their noses, as often happens at even well-known large web businesses like C-Net.

Some people will shake their heads over this, but this is simply the way it always seems to go for companies that start down this path. It starts with self-hosted ads, escalates to sneaky minor malware "updates" resulting from shady corporate deals, and before you know it, culminates in ad space sold by the bundle, which those virus and scam devs just love.

Their path is apparently making money at any cost, including the trust of their longtime users. Mine is to choose a different solution rather than play a part in advancing such a cause.

Before, I used not bother with educating users on how torrents work; now I'm going to be teaching them specifically how it works, how flexible their choices are, and just who they need to stay away from if they want to keep their systems safe and secure.

After all, I like repeat business, but I'm not going to violate my clients' trust by steering them toward something I know is not in their best interest. That's how I can be sure I'll always have repeat business instead of being just another "me too" in the game.

Good luck with those ad pennies, guys!

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I deleted the SearchProtect program. . . .I still have Yahoo! hijacking my browsers. Did not start until I updated uTorrent. I am a bit miffed.

What browser? Did you try to set everything back after deleting SearchProtect?

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Registered a profile just to say the following:

Like Deadweasel, I also clicked 'Accept this offer', thinking it was a benign part of the update as per usual. Silly me.

Uninstalled Search Protector, start page still resets to SearchConduit.

Uninstalled uTorrent, installed qBittorrent instead. Never going back.

Fuck you BitTorrent Inc.

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It has actually stopped doing it now. But I'm dubious because I haven't changed anything since it was last doing it. I uninstalled all the extensions and changed my homepage and default search engine settings and it was still doing it. Then I came here and searched my computer for those programs/processes that people mentioned and found no trace. Now Yahoo is no longer bugging me after my having taken no further action. Weeeerd and disconcerting. I just want to delete any trace of what has happened here today. I feel violated haha! Especially as this is my first boot up since formatting my hard drive and installing a new operating system. What an insult! I'm with RoboHobo FUCK YOU BITTORRENT.INC!!! Oh yeah and I'm using a mac if anyone knows where the offending files would be stored on a mac/what they would be called that would be awesome. Thanks

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I created an account just to comment on this, too.

I've used this program for as long as I can remember torrenting. At least 5-6 years now. I consider it an essential install on every new system. I've recommended it to countless friends. Now you've got us accidentally installing malware. Now I have to explain to them why they need to uninstall it. I'm always very careful to monitor software installs. I use custom installs, I uncheck every box not needed, etc. I made one mistake tonight in the update process. Bam. Malware. I don't mind ads. I understand you've gotta make money somehow. That doesn't bother me. What I despise about you is the malware. The deceit. I've already installed a new program. You've lost my trust. I'm out.

TL;DR: I was a 5 year user. Go fuck yourself, utorrent.

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