Splendor Search Ads Removal Guide

  • January 22, 2016

Splendor Search is a browser hijacker program from the Adware.BrowseFox family that hijacks your browser's search provider and injects their own advertisements into search engines. When installed, Splendor Search will install various browser addons and extensions that allow it to inject advertisements into search results on search engines such as Google and Yahoo. These advertisements will be labeled as Splendor Search ads and will show advertisements related to the keyword you searched for.

Splendor Search also modify the default search provider of your browser so that it first connects to http://splendorsearch-a.akamaihd.net:443 or http://searchinterneat-a.akamaihd.net/, which then redirects you to Yahoo where it will display its ads. Last, but not least, this hijacker will install a desktop search button that when clicked on allows you to search directly from your desktop. Just like the browser search, this too will redirect you through sites under their control until eventually showing you the search results in Yahoo.

  • Firefox Hijacked with Search Splendor Ads
  • Opera Hijacked with Search Splendor Ads
  • Desktop Search
  • Firefox Addon
  • Search Provider Hijack

It is important to note that the Splendor Search is bundled with and installed by free programs that did not adequately disclose that other software would be installed along with it. Therefore, it is important that you pay close attention to license agreements and installation screens when installing anything off of the Internet. If an installation screen offers you Custom or Advanced installation options, it is a good idea to select these as they will typically disclose what other 3rd party software will also be installed. Furthermore, If the license agreement or installation screens state that they are going to install a toolbar or other unwanted adware, it is advised that you immediately cancel the install and not use the free software.

As you can see, the Splendor Search hijacker is designed purely to generate ads for the developer. As it does not provide any extra benefit than you normally would have from your browser or Windows, it is suggested that you remove it from your computer. Please use this guide to remove all remnants of the Splendor Search hijacker and any other related programs.

Self Help Guide

This guide contains advanced information, but has been written in such a way so that anyone can follow it. Please ensure your data is backed up before proceeding.

If you are uncomfortable making changes to your computer or following these steps, do not worry! Instead you can get free one-on-one help by asking in the forums.

To remove Splendor Search, follow these steps:

1

This removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that will be used. It was only written this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove this infection for free. Before using this guide, we suggest that you read it once and download all necessary tools to your desktop. After doing so, please print this page as you may need to close your browser window or reboot your computer.

2

As Splendor Search sometimes has a usable Uninstall entry that can be used to remove the program, we want to try that first. To do this, click on the Start button and then select Control Panel.

3

When in the Control Panel, double-click on one of the options below depending on your version of Windows

  1. For Windows XP double-click on the Add or Remove Programs icon.

  2. For Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 double-click on the Uninstall Program option.
4

When the Add or Remove Programs or the Uninstall Program screen is displayed, please scroll through the list of programs and double-click on each of the entries listed in bold below to uninstall them.

Splendor Search

When you double-click on the above entries to uninstall them, please follow the default prompts and allow it to remove all files and all configuration information related to this program. If any of the programs ask you to reboot your computer, do not allow it to reboot until you have uninstalled all of the programs listed above.

5

When you are done, you can close the Control Panel screens.

6

To terminate any programs that may interfere with the removal process we must first download the Rkill program. Rkill will search your computer for active malware infections and attempt to terminate them so that they wont interfere with the removal process. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.

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Rkill

When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.

7

Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Splendor Search and other malware. Please be patient while the program looks for various malware programs and ends them. When it has finished, the black window will automatically close and a log file will open. Please review the log file and then close so you can continue with the next step. If you have problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions of RKill from the rkill download page. All of the files are renamed copies of RKill, which you can try instead. Please note that the download page will open in a new browser window or tab.

Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.

8

At this point you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, to scan your computer for any infections, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that may be present. Please download Malwarebytes from the following location and save it to your desktop:

logo
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
9

Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.

10

Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mb3-setup-1878.1878-3.3.1.2183.exe. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

11

When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

12

MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

We now need to enable rootkit scanning to detect the largest amount of malware and unwanted programs that is possible with MalwareBytes. To do this, click on the Settings button on the left side of the screen and you will be brought to the general settings section.

Now click on the Protection tab at the top of the screen. You will now be shown the settings MalwareBytes will use when scanning your computer.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Detection and Protection Settings Page

At this screen, please enable the Scan for rootkits setting by clicking on the toggle switch so it turns green.

13

Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the Scan button to go to the scan screen.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Scan Screen

Make sure Threat Scan is selected and then click on the Start Scan button. If there is an update available for Malwarebytes it will automatically download and install it before performing the scan.

14

MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Scanning

15

When MBAM is finished scanning it will display a screen that displays any malware, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that it has detected. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image below due to the guide being updated for newer versions of MBAM.

MalwareBytes Scan Results

You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the selected items. MBAM will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the programs quarantine. When removing the files, MBAM may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot, please allow it to do so. Once your computer has rebooted, and you are logged in, please continue with the rest of the steps.

16

You can now exit the MBAM program.

17

Now we need to download Junkware Removal Tool, or JRT, and save it to your desktop. JRT will scan your computer for adware programs that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge. You can download JRT from the following URL:

img
Junkware Removal Tool
18

When JRT has finished downloading, please double-click on the JRT.exe icon that now appears on your desktop. Once you double-click on the icon Junkware Removal Tool will open and you will be presented with its start screen as shown below. If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run JRT, please allow it to run.

JRT Start Screen

19

Now press any key on your keyboard to continue with the cleaning process. The program will now start to search for known adware, PUPs, and junkware programs that may be installed on your computer. This process may take upwards to 20 minutes while it creates a registry backup and checks your startups, installed modules, processes, services, files, folders, and the Windows Registry.

20

When it has finished it will display a notepad screen that contains a log file of all the adware programs, files, and registry keys that have been detected.

JRT Log

Please review this log file and then close the Notepad Window.

21

Now you should download HitmanPro from the following location and save it to your desktop:

img
HitmanPro

When you visit the above page, please download the version that corresponds to the bit-type of the Windows version you are using.

22

Once downloaded, double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.

HitmanPro Start Screen

Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.

23

You will now be at the HitmanPro setup screen. If you would like to install the 30 day trial for HitmanPro, select the Yes, create a copy of HitmanPro so I can regularly scan this computer (recommended) option. Otherwise, if you just want to scan the computer this one time, please select the No, I only want to perform a one-time scan to check this computer option.

Kickstart Setup Options

Once you have selected one of the options, please click on the Next button.

24

HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for infections, adware, and potentially unwanted programs. When it has finished it will display a list of all the items that Hitman has found as shown in the image below. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image.

MalwareBytes Scan Results

You should now click on the Next button to have HitmanPro remove the detected items. When it is done you will be shown a Removal Results screen that shows the status of the various programs that were removed. At this screen you should click on the Next button and then if prompted you should click on the Reboot button. If HitmanPro does not prompt you to reboot, please just click on the Close button.

Once your computer has has restarted or you pressed the Close button, you should now be at your Windows desktop.

25

As many malware and unwanted programs are installed through vulnerabilities found in out-dated and insecure programs, it is strongly suggested that you use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs on your computer. A tutorial on how to use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs can be found here:

How to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector

Your computer should now be free of the Splendor Search program. If your current security solution allowed this program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.

If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow the steps outlined in the topic linked below:

Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help

Are Your Protected?

While Malwarebytes Anti-Malware & HitmanPro will scan and clean a computer for free, the free versions do not offer real-time protection. If you want to be fully protected at all times then it is recommended that you purchase a premium version.

img

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Purchase the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which includes real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and website filtering, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!


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HitmanPro

Purchase the full-featured version of HitmanPro, which includes discover viruses, trojans, rootkits, spyware and other malware on up-to-date and fully protected computers using cloud protection and behavioral detections, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!

Disclaimer: While we do earn a commission from the sale of the above products, rest assured we only recommend them due to their effectiveness.

View Associated Splendor Search Files

C:\Program Files (x86)\Splendor Search\ C:\Program Files (x86)\Splendor Search\7za.exe C:\Program Files (x86)\Splendor Search\Extensions\ C:\Program Files (x86)\Splendor Search\Extensions\firefox@www.splendorsearch.com.xpi C:\Program Files (x86)\Splendor Search\Products\ C:\Program Files (x86)\Splendor Search\Products\UnSplendorSearchDesktopSearch.exe C:\Program Files (x86)\Splendor Search\SplendorSearch.exe C:\Program Files (x86)\Splendor Search\Uninstaller.exe C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\SplendorSearchDesktopSearch.lnk C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Splendor Search\ C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Splendor Search\SplendorSearchDesktopSearch.lnk C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Splendor Search\Uninstall.lnk C:\ProgramData\Splendor Search\ C:\ProgramData\Splendor Search\SplendorSearchDesktopSearch.exe C:\ProgramData\Splendor Search\SplendorSearchDesktopSearch.exe.config C:\Users\User\AppData\Local\Temp\Splendor Search\ C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\bf4434je.default\extensions\firefox@www.splendorsearch.com.xpi C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\bf4434je.default\searchplugins\search-simple.xml C:\ods.exe C:\ods.exe.config

View Associated Splendor Search Registry Information

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage\NewShortcuts\C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Splendor Search\SplendorSearchDesktopSearch.lnk 1 HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage\NewShortcuts\C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Splendor Search\SplendorSearchDesktopSearch.lnk 1 HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Splendor Search HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\SplendorSearch HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main Start Page = http://splendorsearch-a.akamaihd.net/h?eq=[query] HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main Start Page = http://searchinterneat-a.akamaihd.net/h?eq=[query] HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{0633EE93-D776-472f-A0FF-E1416B8B2E3A}

This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk.

BleepingComputer.com can not be held responsible for problems that may occur by using this information. If you would like help with any of these fixes, you can ask for malware removal assistance in our Virus,Trojan,Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.

If you have any questions about this self-help guide then please post those questions in our Am I infected? What do I do? and someone will help you.

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