Genieo Virus (Mac)

Also Known As: InstallMac virus
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove Genieo browser hijacker from Mac?

What is Genieo?

Genieo is a dubious application that usually infiltrates systems without permission, since developers proliferate it using download/installation set-ups. Genieo's main purpose is to promote a fake search engine and record information. For these reasons, Genieo is categorized as a browser hijacker and a potentially unwanted application (PUA).

Genieo browser hijacker on a Mac computer

After successful system infiltration, Genieo hijacks Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome, assigning the homepage, default search engine, and new tab URL settings to search.genieo.com. Note that this browser hijacker works on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS operating systems (you can read about the Windows version in this article), however, its behavior is essentially identical. Be aware that Genieo modifies browser options and prevents users from reverting these changes. Research shows that Genieo continually reassigns browser settings when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, returning browsers to their previous states becomes impossible and users are encouraged to visit search.genieo.com when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar. This significantly diminishes the browsing experience. In addition, browser-hijacking apps and fake search engines are likely to record information relating to browsing activity. Collected data typically includes personal details that developers share with third parties. These people generate revenue by misusing private information. Therefore, data tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. We strongly recommend that you eliminate the Genieo browser hijacker and never return to search.genieo.com.

Threat Summary:
NameInstallMac virus
Threat TypeMac malware, Mac virus
SymptomsYour Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methodsDeceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
DamageInternet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Removal

To eliminate InstallMac virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Combo Cleaner.
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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

Genieo shares many similarities with dozens of other browser-hijacking viruses, such as Maconomi, Pronto File Converter, and numerous others. Most of these apps offer "useful features", however, browser-hijacking programs are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, browser hijackers cause unwanted redirects and record sensitive information, thereby diminishing the browsing experience and posing a threat to your privacy.

How did Genieo install on my computer?

This browser hijacker is free for anyone to download on its official website, however, due to the lack of knowledge and careless behavior of many users, Genieo often infiltrates systems without permission. Developers proliferate this browser hijacker using fake software installers/updaters (for example, fake Adobe Flash Player updater). Most are promoted by rogue sites that (for example) claim that specific software is outdated (even when it is not) and encourages users to download an update. This leads to installation of rogue apps, such as Genieo. Therefore, users are often responsible for infiltration of apps such as Genieo.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, pay attention when downloading/installing software and browsing the Internet. Carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes and opt-out of additionally-included programs. Avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since developers monetize them by including rogue apps. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. Keeping installed applications up-to-date is also extremely important. To achieve this, however, use implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Official Genieo browser hijacker installation setup:

Delusive installer used to promote Genieo

One of the deceptive pop-up windows displayed after Genieo infiltration:

Pop-up displayed after Genieo infiltration

Instant automatic removal of InstallMac virus: 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 InstallMac virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner for Mac By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

Genieo redirect removal:

Remove Genieo-related potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

mac browser hijacker removal from applications folder

Click the Finder icon. In the Finder window, select “Applications”. In the applications folder, look for “MPlayerX”,“NicePlayer”, or other suspicious applications and drag them to the Trash. After removing the potentially unwanted application(s) that cause online ads, scan your Mac for any remaining unwanted components.

Remove installmac virus related files and folders:

Finder go to folder command

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar, choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

step1Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from launch agents folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from launch agents folder step 2
In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step2Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/Application Support folder:

removing adware from application support folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/Application Support

removing adware from application support folder step 2
In the “Application Support” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious folders. For example, “MplayerX” or “NicePlayer”, and move these folders to the Trash.

step3Check for adware-generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 1


In the Go to Folder bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 2

In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step4Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 1
In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 2
In the “LaunchDaemons” folder, look for recently-added suspicious files. For example, “com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, "com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”, etc., and move them to the Trash.

step 5 Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps in the correct order you Mac should be clean of infections. To be sure your system is not infected run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. Download it HERE. After downloading the file double click combocleaner.dmg installer, in the opened window drag and drop Combo Cleaner icon on top of the Applications icon. Now open your launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon. Wait until Combo Cleaner updates it's virus definition database and click "Start Combo Scan" button.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-1

Combo Cleaner will scan your Mac for malware infections. If the antivirus scan displays "no threats found" - this means that you can continue with the removal guide, otherwise it's recommended to remove any found infections before continuing.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

InstallMac virus homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove installmac virus related Safari extensions:

safari browser preferences

Open Safari browser. From the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

safari extensions window

In the preferences window, select "Extensions" and look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions. When located, click the "Uninstall" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Safari browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing homepage in safari browser

In the "Preferences" window, select the "General" tab. To set your homepage, type the preferred website URL (for example: www.google.com) in the Homepage field. You can also click the “Set to Current Page” button if you wish to set your homepage to the website you are currently visiting.

Change your default search engine:

changing the default Internet search engine in Safari browser

In the "Preferences" window, select the "Search" tab. Here you will find a drop-down menu labelled "Search engine:" Simply select your preferred search engine from the drop-down list.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

firefox browser iconRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove installmac virus related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

accessing mozilla firefox add-ons

Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. At the top right corner of the screen, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button. From the opened menu, choose "Add-ons".

removing malicious add-ons from mozilla firefox

Choose the "Extensions" tab and look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Remove" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Mozilla Firefox browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing mozilla firefox homepage

To change your homepage, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Preferences" from the drop-down menu. To set your homepage, type the preferred website URL (for example: www.google.com) in the Homepage Page.

Change default search engine:

mozilla firefox about config

In the URL address bar, type "about:config" and click the "I'll be careful, I promise!" button.

changing mozilla firefox default Internet search engine

In the "Search:" field, type the name of the browser hijacker. Right click on each of the found preferences and click "Reset" from the drop-down menu.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

chrome-browser-iconRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove installmac virus related Google Chrome add-ons:

removing malicious google chrome extensions step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button located in the top-right corner of the browser window. From the drop-down menu, choose "More Tools" and select "Extensions".

removing malicious Google Chrome extensions step 2

In the "Extensions" window, look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Trash" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Google Chrome browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing Google Chrome homepage

Click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Settings". In the "On Startup" section, click the "Set pages" link near to the "Open a specific page or set of pages" option. Remove the URL of the browser hijacker (for example trovi.com) and enter your preferred URL (for example, google.com).

Change default search engine:

changing the default Internet search engine in Google Chrome

Click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Settings". In the "Search" section, click the "Manage search engines..." button. In the opened window, remove the unwanted Internet search engine by clicking the "X" button next to it. Select your preferred Internet search engine from the list and click the "Make default" button next to it.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
InstallMac virus QR code
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