FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Prevent Genius App from hijacking your browser

Also Known As: searchgeniusapp.com redirect
Damage level: Medium

What is Genius App?

Genius App is a browser hijacker and a PUA (potentially unwanted application). As the former, it modifies browser settings and reassigns them to searchgeniusapp.com. Due to most users installing this rogue application inadvertently, it is categorized as the latter. Furthermore, Genius App spies on users' browsing activity, thereby gathering their personal information.

Genius App browser hijacker appearance (GIF)Browsers with greatest popularity and/or user bases are the typical targets of browser hijackers (e.g. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and others). These apps operate by changing browser's homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs to promote their fake search engines.

To elaborate, every single web search through the URL bar and every new tab/window opened - redirect to searchgeniusapp.com. Most of these web searchers are unable to generate search results, therefore they redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Bing, Yahoo or other legitimate search engines.

While searchgeniusapp.com cannot provide search results itself, it lets users choose which genuine search engine it will redirect to. However, this makes it utterly useless, as users can use whichever search engine they want without interference of third parties.

These unauthorized redirects cannot be disabled, as access to certain browser settings is limited/denied and any changes made - reset. Recovering an affected browser is only possible through the removal of the hijacking application. It must be stressed, that Genius App is not just a nuisance, it is also a threat to device and user safety.

Most browser hijackers have data tracking abilities, Genius App is no exception to that. By monitoring users' browsing habits (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed and etc.), it gathers their personal information (IP address, geolocation and real-life personal details).

This private data is then shared with third parties (not unlikely, cyber criminals), seeking to misuse it for financial gain.

Therefore, presence of data tracking content on systems can result in serious privacy issues, even culminate in identity theft. To protect themselves and their property, users must remove all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins from their devices.

Threat Summary:
Name searchgeniusapp.com redirect
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) GeniusApp
Promoted Domain searchgeniusapp.com
Serving IP Address (searchgeniusapp.com) 104.18.63.132
Detection Names (searchgeniusapp.com) Dr.Web (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Affected Browser Settings Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine
Symptoms Manipulated Internet browser(s) settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). User's are forced to visit 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 browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Some examples of browser hijackers include Download Forms NowMy Inbox AppGetSeniorResources and many others. Browser hijackers and unwanted applications in general, offer a wide variety of features. However, said features are rarely operational, and users who install these apps experience various problems.

The only goal of all undesirable content is to generate revenue for their developers, i.e. they are not intended for the purposes they advertise. Instead, PUAs hijack browsers, cause redirects to malignant websites, deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns (banners, pop-ups, coupons, etc.) and they track sensitive data.

How did Genius App install on my computer?

The most common ways of PUA proliferation is through intrusive ads, "official" sites and download/installation setups of other software. Invasive adverts are typically hosted by compromised sites, though the ads themselves usually look ordinary and harmless.

Once clicked, they can execute scripts, designed to make autonomous downloads/installs of unwanted content. Some PUAs have "official" webpages, which endorse them as legitimate and useful products. It is worthy of noting, that at the time the research on Genius App was done, it was available to download from the official Chrome Web Store.

The deceptive method of pre-packing regular programs with unwanted applications is called "bundling". This method is widely used by PUA developers and is often very successful in furthering their malignant creations.

When downloading/installing desired software, users often ignore terms, skip steps and use pre-set options - thereby endangering their systems with potential invasions and infections.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Desired content should always be researched, in order to verify its legitimacy before downloading/installing it. Untrustworthy download sources are likely to offer illegitimate, bundled and even malicious software. Therefore, using Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.), free file-hosting websites and other third party downloaders - is ill-advised.

Users should threat download/installation setups with caution. Terms of downloading/installation should be read and all possible options explored. Additionally, it is recommended to use "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out/decline supplementary offers (e.g. various apps, tools, features and so on).

Users should refrain from clicking on random advertisements, so that they could avoid the intrusive type and protect themselves from potential issues. Should users experience suspicious redirects and/or invasive ad campaigns, they are strongly advised to remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins.

If your computer is already infected with Genius App, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Genius App browser hijacker asks if users want to give it various permissions:

Genius App asking for permissions

Genius App browser hijacker on Chrome Web Store:

Genius App on Chrome web store

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

Genius App browser hijacker removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

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:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

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:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

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:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

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.

searchgeniusapp.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "Genius App"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the searchgeniusapp.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Genius App browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing searchgeniusapp.com related Internet Explorer extensions

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Change your homepage:

Removing searchgeniusapp.com from Internet Explorer homepage

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://searchgeniusapp.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.

Change your default search engine:

Removing searchgeniusapp.com from Internet Explorer default search engine

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "searchgeniusapp.com".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchgeniusapp.com redirect, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing searchgeniusapp.com related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Genius App" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing searchgeniusapp.com from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.searchgeniusapp.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:

Removing searchgeniusapp.com from Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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 "searchgeniusapp.com" when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchgeniusapp.com redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing searchgeniusapp.com related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Genius App", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing searchgeniusapp.com from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://searchgeniusapp.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing searchgeniusapp.com from Mozilla Firefox default search engine

In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "searchgeniusapp"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with searchgeniusapp.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, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

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.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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 Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchgeniusapp.com redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA 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.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on searchgeniusapp.com redirect or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

▼ Show Discussion

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk logo

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
searchgeniusapp.com redirect QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of searchgeniusapp.com redirect on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.