How to remove the Conduit 'Community Toolbar' in OS X

One set of browser add-ons in OS X are based on the Community Toolbar, and may be difficult to remove if the distributor does not include an uninstaller. Here is how to uninstall them.

Add-ons to Web browsers are exceptionally popular, but sometimes can result in features being tacked onto the brower's interface that can be annoying at best if they're not used. Many times these add-ons are simple drag-and-drop plugins that can be removed from the various Internet Plug-Ins folders in either the global or user libraries, but at other times the add-ons may use alternative means of loading, which can make removing them less straightforward.

One of these is the Community Toolbar, which is developed by "Conduit" and may be customized by other developers for specific purposes and called custom names, one example of which is the "Elf Toolbar." A number of people have installed this plug-in but then have run into roadblocks when trying to uninstall it, and have contacted us for how to remove or disable it.

Instead of being installed as a standard plug-in, the toolbar uses the system loader "launchd" to load the plugin on-demand whenever Safari is opened. You will need to remove three components that are installed, starting with the binary files.

The binary file is the actual toolbar application, and is located in the /Library/InputManagers/CTLoader/ folder. Removing the entire CTLoader folder will remove the application and other files that are installed along with the toolbar. If you just care to quickly stop the toolbar from loading, doing this will be enough to keep it from loading.

With the binary file removed, the toolbar will no longer launch; however, the system will still try to load it when Safari is opened because the system launcher instructions file is still installed. While having these instructions present will not cause a decrease in performance, removing them will prevent the system from outputting errors and warnings in the system log files.

Removing only this instructions file is another way to stop the toolbar from loading; however, it will require either the use of the following command in the Terminal (done before removing the file) or a restart of the system after removing the file to unload the instructions from the system loader and prevent the toolbar from launching.

sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchAgents/com.conduit.loader.agent.plist

The final components to the toolbar are some resources that it uses, which are relatively benign and will become unused "orphaned" files when the other components of the toolbar are removed. These files are all located in the /Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/ folder in a directory called Conduit. Remove this directory and the toolbar in its entirety will be removed.



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About the author

    Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.

     

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