Saturday, 27 December 2008

Microsoft SeaPort Search Enhancement Broker, Office Live add-in toolbar – how to uninstall / disable

Here’s tips on how to disable or get rid of two unwelcome additions that just seem to install themselves whether you choose to install them or not (unbeknownst to you, in the case of SeaPort at least!):
  1. Microsoft SeaPort Search Enhancement Broker.

  2. Office Live add-in toolbar.

What is Microsoft SeaPort Search Enhancement Broker?

The description against SeaPort in Services (see below) says:
“Enables the detection, download and installation of up-to-date configuration files for Microsoft Search Enhancement applications. Also provides server communication for the customer experience improvement program. If this service is disabled, search enhancement features such as search history may not work correctly.”
I’m not entirely sure from that description exactly what Seaport does, but I think I know how I got it: from Windows Live (see Back-story below if you’re interested).

How to get rid of i.e. disable Microsoft SeaPort Search Enhancement Broker

From an online forum I found out SeaPort was running as a service, so here’s how to stop it if you want to - at your own risk etc (if you believe that it’s needed for “search enhancement features” then feel free to leave it alone if you wish!).

I like keyboard shortcuts so this is the way I’d use:
  1. Vista: click the Start menu and in the "Start Seach" box just type (without the quote marks) "services.msc", then hit Enter.

  2. XP:
    1. Hold down the Windows key (next to the Alt key) and tap the r key and release both keys. (Non-keyboard way - Start menu, Run)

    2. In the window that pops up, type: services.msc
  3. Click OK and a window like the following should come up:

  4. Scroll down to locate SeaPort under the Name column and click on that line to select it.

  5. Then rightclick on the highlighted SeaPort line and choose Properties:

  6. In the window that appears, click the dropdown arrow under Startup type and choose Disabled (or Manual, if you want to play it safe and allow it to start itself up manually – but then you’re not really stopping it from doing whatever it wants to do on your system).

  7. Then click OK, but before you do that, if you want to stop SeaPort as it’s currently running, click the Stop button (outlined in red above), let it do its thing and then OK.

  8. There you go, it’s stopped and Disabled from starting again (unless you picked Manual), and you can close the Services window.

  9. (If you have problems with your Search History and want to get it back, just repeat the above but choose Automatic from the dropdown in step 6 instead of Disabled.)

Note: Is SeaPort related to searching IE history? My Internet Explorer history sidebar had recently stopped working (I couldn’t access the sidebar for History, Favorites, anything, though the info was still recorded behind the scenes) but I’ve got it back now through reverting to IE 7 (I was using IE 8 beta 2) and fiddling with the add-ons, so I don’t think it’s anything to do with SeaPort. Especially as I’ve always stopped SeaPort from accessing the Internet whenever my firewall popped up a warning about it, yet I can access my IE history. Maybe it’s only the searching of my Search History that’ll be affected by SeaPort, who knows. I think it’s unrelated anyway. But I'm mentioning this so you know, in case getting rid of SeaPort causes history problems for you.

How to get rid of i.e. uninstall the Microsoft Office Live addin toolbar

This one’s easier, thanks to this (to uninstall the download):
  1. Go to Start menu, Control Panel.

  2. Then doubleclick Add/Remove Programs (XP) or Programs and Features (Vista).

  3. Wait for the list to come up, scroll down to find “Microsoft Office Live Add-in Beta”, and then click Uninstall or Remove and follow the instructions to remove the add in.

Back-story i.e. allow me my grumble

Those two things got installed recently through upgrading my Microsoft Windows Live Writer blogging software, which I’ve been using for a few months and had been really happy with (expect a review at some point). But those two additions I’m not so happy with, as I didn’t ask for them and wasn’t told about them, even if they let people use Word, PowerPoint or Excel with their Microsoft Office Live “online workspaces”, kind of Microsoft’s competitor to Google’s Docs.
Put it this way, I would prefer that all Windows Live software boxes are not ticked by default when you try to install just one product. I’m pretty sure I unticked everything except Live Writer when I tried to upgrade Writer, but the toolbar and “Seaport Search Enhancement” still got installed. Maybe I'm mistaken, but I didn't see any option to untick the Toolbar. It also used up some of my bandwidth capacity downloading 134MB of Windows Live software (including for Messenger, Mail, Gallery, etc) just to install the one Live product I wanted. I unticked the toolbar from Word’s View, Toolbars menu but it kept coming back whenever I reopened Word so I went hunting for how to get rid of it. It would have been helpful to see an explanation of SeaPort when it was being installed, so I knew what it was, rather than being surprised when my firewall first alerted me to its presence.

(UPDATED to move howto higher etc. )


hermanwest said...

office live totally sucks. it made maintenance files of my office setup crap. i cannot update any fix or remove office at all. i need to manually uninstall whole office before doing anything.

Improbulus said...

Herman, I've not tried any of the Office Live things apart from Live Writer (which I like). No urge to try anything else and, from what you've said, best not to!

Lily said...

Thanks for the tips... very helpful. I have tried to disable the SeaPort service. It came up as Stopped and Disabled. But the Search Entertainment Pack Window Explorer still pops up when I startup my Computer. Is there anyway to remove it? Thanks!

Improbulus said...

Sorry Lily I didn't get the Search Entertainment Pack and don't know how to disable it. If it's extra Microsoft software, you could try to uninstall it in the Control Panel (Add/Remove programs)?

W.G. Hubris said...

I just manually went and installed the new Windows Live Writer software last night after the "update" function in my currently installed Live Writer lied and said there was no update. I have come to like it for posting to my Best Hubris blog.

After a ludicrously long download and install (I too unchecked everything except Live Writer) it hung at 96% complete and I just power cycled the PC.

This morning I awake to find Seaport running on my PC and have to spend my precious time figuring out what the heck it is because Microsoft has decided that they know what is best for me and that I don't need to be told they installed a new service on my computer.

I'm going to start some sort of group like EFF for computer owner's install rights. No installing background services, or EXTRA PRODUCTS without both informing me AND giving me the right to opt out.

Geez, is it too much to ask for my computer to be MY computer?

Anonymous said...

If you installed the Live Essentials Package AND rely on OUTLOOK... BEWARE of unstalling. Hardly anything is un-installed and what is uninstalled renders Outlook useless especially if you have exchange accts. I went thru every office version of outlook and several uninstallers from Microsoft and after market to find nothing worked... other than abandoning mail on that machine... a reformat is bad enough but scrambling to gather email can be a real nightmare no matter how prepared.

- almost forgot - this same machine is enjoying a boot loops as of yesterday too. So yes avoid the beta essentials.

dvc said...

If you have Windows Live Essentials and have installed the Windows Live toolbar (thank you Mr Thurrott for that recommendation), then you get seaport - yippee! Thankfully, uninstalling Live toolbar also removes Seaport.

Anonymous said...

Office Live add-in causes a growing each time you close MS Word (or MS Outlook if you use MS Word as its editor). Looks like a poorly coded application. Shame on Microsoft...

Kenny said...

If you think Live sucks to, try MobileMe on I have it and i like it 100 times better then Live.

Anonymous said...

Well out of beta, at v1.3, is actually a good thing, and yes, thanks t0o Paul for that tip too!

Anonymous said...

I've disabled Seaport.exe TWICE and it still fires up automatically on boot. I'm trying to remove it and it doesn't seem to affect Mozilla's Firefox Internet browser atall (I don't trust Microsoft I.E. anymore after it got my PC infected with a virus from a Pop-up i'd told it to block). I don't even know what the extra things were but installed them anyway. Now I have to fight to remove them before something goes wrong.

Anonymous said...

After disabling Seaport, I renamed the Microsoft Folder that the Search Enhancement Pack was in.
I called it "Spyware by Microsoft"

Anonymous said...

Thanks you! I agree with /wG Hubris 100%!

Anonymous said...


Oh, now this is a hoot..or should I say Toot! After installing windows live, I'm working online, and I hear this Ding..Ding..Ding..Ding. Yeah, just like a ship...I thought it was my spyware/adware alerting me of a threat or something..Nope...I ran Emsisoft's highjack alert program. Yes, someone I suppose thought this was amusing for me to hear this every 5 damn minutes...I had to blast it off the computer...Heh heh

Anonymous said...

I have a prog called Malwarebytes, if you have it you can just use the tool it has called FileAssassin to delete this program, all you need is to restart.

If you have to use Windows, never DL or install anything related to Windows Live, Silverlight or Bing, because you'll end up dealing with this type of s***.

Anonymous said...

Goto Run -> CMD.exe and run

msiexec /x "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Search E
nhancement Pack\Installers\DefaultManager2.2.114\DefaultManager.msi"

msiexec /x "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Search E
nhancement Pack\Installers\SearchEnhancementPack3.0.131\