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Gensearch.co. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Gensearch.co is a program that diminishes your web browsing experience

Gensearch.co virus
Gensearch.co is a program that disguises as legitimate search engine

Gensearch.co is a browser hijacker[1] that displays ads instead of improving search results, as it initially promises. Program developers promote this it as a legitimate search engine that helps users find what they are looking for faster. But the truth is that it is a potentially unwanted program that has no positives when it comes to the browsing experience. This browser hijacker modifies settings of Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome and sets hxxp://gensearch.co as a homepage and the new tab address. Additionally, this dubious application may lead users to sponsors' or potentially dangerous websites.

Name Gensearch.co
Type Browser hijacker, PUP
Affected browsers Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox
Main dangers Can potentially lead to malware; collected information might be shared with third parties
Symptoms Changed browser, new tab settings, redirects, an increased amount of pop-up ads
Distribution Software bundling
Elimination Use Reimage for virus removal

Potentially unwanted programs are similar because most of them infiltrate the computer without your consent. However, unsuspecting people might get tricked into downloading these programs themselves. If you got conned into downloading a browser hijacker, do not wait and immediately remove Gen Search. We explain how in the last paragraph – so keep reading.

Gensearch.co hijack firstly focuses on browser settings modification. Soon after that, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • you can't set your preferred homepage;
  • new tab directs to Gensearch.co by default;
  • unknown bookmarks, extensions or toolbars added to your browser;
  • search queries are automatically redirected to http://gensearch.co/search/?q=;
  • search results are altered and lead to affiliated websites;
  • increased amount of advertisements;
  • most ads that pop-up on legitimate sites include “Powered by Gen Search,” “Ads by Gen Search,” or similar written in the corner of the window;
  • browser operation becomes sluggish.

Although initially not malicious, a browser hijacker could potentially lead you suspicious or even dangerous sites. Besides porn and gambling ads, you may be redirected to hacked or malicious websites, where malware (such as a keylogger, crypto-miner, or even ransomware) can be injected into your computer. Therefore, close down all suspicious tabs, or even the browser itself immediately. Because of such deceptive behavior, some users tend to call this program Gensearch.co virus.

Additionally, in Privacy Policy located on the official website of the hijacker, we found information about data tracking. The collected information does not identify you as an individual (i.e., anonymous information). However, if you decide to provide any personal data, it may be stored on company's server, as it is clear from this statement:

Gen Search does not collect any personal information about you (such as your name or email address) except when you specifically and knowingly provide that information. We do keep a record of the IP addresses from which users access our site. 

Avirus.hu[2] team notes that this information later can be used by advertisers. This makes advertisements more attractive when based on your preferences. You should remove Gensearch.co immediately, and the quickest way to do that is by employing Reimage or other security software. Alternatively, you can get rid of the PUP by following our manual instructions below.

PUP developers employ bundling technique to spread their software

Bundling is a widely used technique in product marketing world, but PUP developers also take advantage of this method. People tend to rush the installation processes and skip important steps or rely on p2p networks[3] for downloading software. This behavior can lead to the installation of additional pieces when installing free software from the internet. 

Freeware and PUP developers often collaborate, as both of parties gain the benefit – unwanted program authors get a chance to increase the popularity of their product, and free software creators get paid for every install made by the user. However, the user is a victim here. If you are not paying attention and choose Recommended or Quick settings you might end up with browser hijackers and other useless software.

The only way to see a complete list of the programs included in the installer is by selecting Advanced/Custom installation settings. Remember, when it comes to internet safety –  knowledge and caution is the key.

Gensearch.co elimination procedure

To permanently remove Gen Search from your browser you should rely on anti-malware software that is trustworthy. Security tools are programs that are capable of detecting deceptive programs and eliminating them in just a few minutes. Remember, the PUP might have installed other components without your knowledge, so as a precaution we recommend performing a full system scan regardless.

Gensearch.co removal might be difficult and time-consuming if your computer skills are not the best. However, if you are familiar with computers and their operation, you can use our step-by-step guide below. Make sure you dot rush these steps, as incorrect removal might result in the re-installation of the Gen Search virus.

You can remove Gensearch.co automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Gensearch.co you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Gensearch.co. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
Press mentions on Reimage

To remove Gensearch.co, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Gensearch.co from Windows systems

Eliminate Gensearch.co from Windows OS and search online safely again:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Gensearch.co and related programs
    Here, look for Gensearch.co or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove Gensearch.co from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Gensearch.co from Mac OS X system

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Gensearch.co or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Gensearch.co from Internet Explorer (IE)

Clean your browser from possible threats:

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Gensearch.co and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Gensearch.co removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Gensearch.co from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Gensearch.co should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Gensearch.co from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Browser hijacker elimination needs to be finallized by refreshing Firefox browser:

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Gensearch.co and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Gensearch.co removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Gensearch.co from Google Chrome

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Gensearch.co and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Gensearch.co removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Gensearch.co from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Gensearch.co or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Gensearch.co, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Gensearch.co removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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