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.
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 Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Serving IP Address (searchgeniusapp.com)||18.104.22.168|
|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.
Some examples of browser hijackers include Download Forms Now, My Inbox App, GetSeniorResources 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 browser hijacker 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:
- What is searchgeniusapp.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Genius App application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove searchgeniusapp.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Genius App browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove searchgeniusapp.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove searchgeniusapp.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Genius App 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, "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:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" 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:
Click the "gear" 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:
Click the "gear" 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".
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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
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 "Genius App" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage:
Click the 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:
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 "searchgeniusapp.com" when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchgeniusapp.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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (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:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (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:
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.
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, 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 searchgeniusapp.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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