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Microsoft SeaPort Search Enhancement Process

December 23rd, 2011

If you have installed or updated your Windows Live applications in the last few months, chances are there is a new service running on your computer called seaport.exe. What is it and how did you get it, anyway?

Written by: Brian Nelson • Edited by: Rebecca Scudder
Updated Feb 6, 2010 • Related Guides: Microsoft | Configuration File | Windows Live

Microsoft SeaPort.exe Process

The Microsoft SeaPort Search Enhancement Process seemingly comes bundled with the Windows Live Suite regardless of what options are chosen by the user during installation. The explanation of SeaPort found in the description field of the Services Administrator Tool is that SeaPort,

“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.”

Assuming that is a fairly accurate description, then it would seem that the SeaPort service is essentially an automatic updater for “Microsoft Search Enhancement applications.” So, it seems that search history is one of the search enhancement applications.

However, seaport.exe runs automatically and continuously upon startup regardless of whether any searches have been performed or browser windows opened. Indeed, the SeaPort service is set to Automatic. That means that it adds additional time to the boot-up process and that its resource usage starts immediately.

SeaPort.exe appears to use approximately 4.5 MB of RAM. All of this seems like a bit much for a process whose only function is to download and install configuration files for a little used enhancement to the search function. If one never uses search history, then the extra boot time, and memory usage, not to mention network bandwidth is wasted. With Microsoft so frequently accused of bloat in its systems and programs it seems an odd choice of what to use precious system resources on.

Is It a Virus, Malware, or Trojan

Searches on both Google and Microsoft Live turn up no Microsoft webpages explaining SeaPort or its installation as part of the Windows Live software package. Also absent is any discussion of uninstalling SeaPort to save resources or improve performance. And, conspicuously absent is any explanation of the benefit the average user should expect to receive for sacrificing system resources for SeaPort’s ever-on running state.

Instead, the majority of search results are from panicked users who suddenly discovered a new process running on their PCs and, being able to find no explanation, worried that they had contracted a virus. One forum answers a concerned user by encouraging them to report what he assumes is malware to his virus detection company.

No Harm No Foul?

The good news is that SeaPort is not a virus, malware, Trojan, or other unsavory software. The bad news is that it does seem to use system resource for a dubious benefit and does not easily go away. The really bad news is that Microsoft seems to have decided to use the computer users are dummies mentality on this one. The Windows Live applications installs a new automatically running process without telling the end user. Obviously, Microsoft’s position is that no one would notice, and if anyone did, they should trust that Microsoft knows what is best for them. Of course, this strategy has failed before.

If you conclude that you would like to be the one who decides what is necessary to run on your computer, you will likely want to delete SeaPort. Unfortunately, you won’t find any uninstall program in Add Remove Programs or anywhere else.

Source: Bright Hub

How to Delete SeaPort

Written by: Brian Nelson • Edited by: Rebecca Scudder
Updated Mar 10, 2011 • Related Guides: Microsoft | Task Manager | Windows Live

You updated your Windows Live Writer, or you downloaded some other Windows Live applications and now your PC runs seaport.exe all the time. There is no uninstall, so you’ll have to delete it yourself.

Guide to Kill SeaPort.exe

SeaPort.exe is installed by various Windows Live applications. Officially, it is part of the Windows Live Toolbar and should only be installed as part of that, but there have been conflicting reports as to whether or not this is actually true. Regardless, if you want to remove SeaPort.exe you’ll have to do it manually because there is no uninstall program installed along with the service.

Why Delete SeaPort Service

The SeaPort service is setup as a Windows automatic service, which means that it runs at boot time on each and every start-up. This increases what may already be a painfully slow Windows boot-up sequence. Additionally, seaport.exe runs continuously in the background. Doing so costs you around 4.5 MB of RAM. And, whenever SeaPort decides it is time to check for and download those updates, it will soak up some of your bandwidth as well.

As always, the prudent move is to weigh the benefits against the costs. Microsoft’s description of SeaPort says that it is used to download and install configuration files for search applications. The only one specifically named is search history. If you don’t use search history, or are fine with the un-enhanced version, then you have no need for seaport.exe and the resources it uses are simply wasted.

Even if you do use the enhanced search features of search history, there is the question of whether the benefits are large enough. If a process is set to run continuously on every startup a user should expect frequent and on-going updates which are important to the needed functionality. However, it does not appear that the files are updated even daily or weekly which begs the question as to why an always-on process is necessary.

Delete SeaPort Permanently Step-by-Step

Deleting SeaPort is cumbersome, but not difficult.

If you noticed it was running, then you are most likely familiar with the tools that will required to shut it down for good or remove it.

First, in Service Manager, shutdown the SeaPort service by clicking the Stop button.

You can also kill the process from within your task manager if you prefer.

Second, set the startup method of the SeaPort service to Disabled from Automatic.

For most users, this should be sufficient, but some people have reported SeaPort re-enabling itself somehow.

If this is the case, or if you just want to be really sure, then go to \Program Files\Microsoft\Search Enhancement Pack\SeaPort\ and either delete or rename the seaport.exe file.

Deleting the file, of course, completely removes the component from your PC, while renaming it provides the option to rename it back should the situation arise where you actually need SeaPort.

Hopefully, Microsoft will re-think the method it used this time to add this additional service, and be more forthcoming in the future both with the options to not install in the first place, as well as the option to remove such services later if it turns out that a particular user finds no need for it.

Source: Bright Hub

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