How to remove Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab browser hijacker
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What kind of application is Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab?
We tested the Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab application and found that it operates as a browser hijacker. It promotes a fake search engine (spntextension.com) by changing the web browser's settings. We discovered Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab browser extension on a deceptive web page.
Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab browser hijacker overview
Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab sets spntextension.com as the default search engine, homepage, and new tab page. It forces users to browse the Internet using a fake search engine that shows results generated by Google, Bing, and possibly other search engines. Spntextension.com redirects to bing.com via find.dsrcgetit.com.
Google and Bing are legitimate search engines. However, fake search engines can promote shady websites and show ads. They can also show results generated by untrustworthy search engines. Thus, it is strongly recommended not to use them.
Typically, browser-hijacking applications prevent users from modifying the affected settings (homepage, default search engine, and new tab page). Thus, users cannot remove fake search engines from the settings of hijacked browsers without removing browser hijackers.
|Name||Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Detection Names||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (spntextension.com)||184.108.40.206|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
More about browser hijackers
Browser hijackers (and fake search engines) can track users. They can be designed to collect browsing-related information. Their developers can misuse gathered data for marketing purposes, sell it to third parties, or monetize it in other ways. Thus, having browsers hijacked can lead to issues related to online privacy.
More examples of browser hijackers are ComedyTab, Scoreboard Tab, and Landscape Scroller.
How did Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab install on my computer?
We discovered Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab on a deceptive web page instructing us to update the Chrome browser to get full access to all movies. A browser got hijacked after finishing the installation steps provided on that page.
It is also common for browser hijackers to be distributed by bundling them with other programs (free software). They can be found in installers as optional installations. Users install rogue apps when they finish software installations without changing "Advanced", "Custom", or similar settings (or unticking checkboxes).
In some cases, unexpected downloads and installations are caused via shady ads, notifications from untrustworthy pages, etc.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
Download applications (and files) from trustworthy sources such as official websites and verified stores. Do not use shady websites, third-party downloaders, P2P networks, etc., to download any apps or files. Always check downloaders and installers for unwanted apps and deselect them before downloading and installing programs.
Do not trust advertisements on shady, dubious websites or agree to receive notifications from such websites. Read reviews before downloading apps (even when apps are hosted on legitimate stores). If your computer is already infected with Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Spntextension.com redirects to bing.com (GIF):
Permissions asked by Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab browser hijacker:
Website promoting Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove spntextension.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove spntextension.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab browser hijacker removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the spntextension.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab" and other recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.spntextension.com) below the "Open a specific or set of pages" option. If present click on the three vertical dots icon and select "Remove".
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list look for "spntextension.com", when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Delete".
- If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the spntextension.com redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate "Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab", as well as all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Settings", in the opened window disable "Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab", remove hxxp://spntextension.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your default search engine:
In the URL address bar, type "about:config" and press Enter. Click "Accept the Risk and Continue".
In the search filter at the top, type: "extensionControlled". Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with spntextension.com redirect removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the spntextension.com redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users visit spntextension.com website?
The creators of spntextension.com seek to make this fake search engine more popular because their revenue directly depends on the number of visitors/users.
Is visiting spntextension.com a threat to my privacy?
It is common for fake search engines to be designed to track users (collect browsing-related and sometimes other information). Thus, using fake search engines can cause problems related to online privacy.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are distributed mostly via freeware installers, shady advertisements, deceptive websites, etc.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Cities HD Backgrounds in Your New Tab browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will remove any browser hijacker. It is worth mentioning that it can be difficult to remove multiple browser hijackers manually when they are designed to reinstall one another. In such cases, all browser hijackers have to be removed at once.
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