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Remove Search.weather-genie.com virus (Removal Instructions) - Jun 2017 update

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.weather-genie.com search engine promoted with a help of suspicious browser extension

Search.weather-genie.com PUP

Search.weather-genie.com is a suspicious website that looks like a legitimate search engine at first. However, its functionality might be questionable. Our attempts to access the “About us” section which should technically introduce us to its creators always hit the dead end. However, we managed to find out that it has been developed by a company that has also developed Linkury Smartbar, a questionable browser extension that changes default browser's homepage, search engine and new tab settings. In case of Weather-Genie extension, feed.weather-genie.com URL might be assigned to these settings.

Besides, its other product, known as Safe Finder, has also been causing headache for computer users for a long time. Both of these browser extensions belong to potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) category, and due to their ability to change aforementioned browser settings they fall into browser hijackers' group[1]. Such programs are untrustworthy and should be kept away from the system due to several reasons. In fact, we suggest you remove Search.weather-genie.com because:

  1. The Weather-Genie extension comes with tracking technologies that automatically collect data such as: search logs, visited pages, operating system type, IP address, internet service provider and similar information. Although such data is classified as personally non-identifiable one, search queries might contain some details that could reveal your identity. The company admits sharing collected data with its affiliates and service providers.
  2. Weather-Genie's service providers (Google Analytics, search feed providers (sponsors), customer service, marketing assistance, etc.) can also employ tracking technologies to track and analyze user's preferences.
  3. Although the company swears to be using collected data to perform analysis and research, improve the service and to fight against fraud, security or technical issues, you can never be sure about that. The developer claims to be using “commercially acceptable means and procedures” to protect collected information, they refuse to confirm that their systems are absolutely safe. 
  4. In our opinion, the distribution method used to promote the extension that sets search.weather-genie.com as default start page and search tool in user's browsers is quite deceptive. Software bundling is used to promote many ad-supported programs. Although the method is legitimate, users are not quite happy to find some additional programs in their computers all of a sudden. There is nothing bad in monetizing one's creations, but not when it is done by taking advantage of unsuspecting users[2].

We must warn you that the described search tool always provides dozens of various URLs (a.k.a. search results) linking to various external sites. The search tool also include ads to monetize its free service. As its Privacy Policy states, “the Product includes links to third party sites or content.” However, what concerns us is that the company claims that it has no control over and assume no responsibility for third-party content. It says that all responsibility and risk of using and interacting with Third Party Content is a matter of the user. The company disclaims any and all liability to users or third-parties regarding third-party content. 

Suprisingly, the developer of WeatherGenie extension also suggests that it has “no obligation to examine, review or monitor Third Party Content and are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, appropriateness or legality” of it. We suggest you think twice before using this search tool because clearly, the developer of it doesn't really care whether sites it lists in the search results are trustworthy or not. You might even unexpectedly land on dangerous sites[3]!

Questions about Search.weather-genie.com virus

Another suspicious fact is that the software was earlier available to download at install.weather-genie.com, and now the website is down. The uninstall.weather-genie.com site is, however, still active, and we assume it means that the suspicious browser hijacker is promoted in some other ways than via its official website. If it entered your system unexpectedly and you do not want to use it any longer, perform Search.weather-genie.com removal using spyware removal tools. You might want to use ReimageIntego or Malwarebytes

Search.weather-genie.com hijackerSearch.weather-genie.com hijacker usually arrives in a form of a browser extension that changes some browser's settings. However, you can remove it quite easily.

Search.weather-genie.com hijack is a warning which should urge you to upgrade your security equipment and re-evaluate your own browsing habits[4]. While the potentially unwanted program is still on your computer, we recommend refraining from extensive web browsing. This is primarily because you can never know whether the parties this advertiser promotes are actually reliable.

It might be that among the numerous advertisement and sponsored links that this search provider generates, there is some content which may potentially harm your computer. We want to point out that while the browser hijacker is NOT malicious itself, the content it provides (links to external sites) can be untrustworthy. In our opinion, the company should use at least some filters in order to provide more secure URLs to users of their software.

Ways to install unwanted browser extensions and ad-supported programs

When it comes to distribution of Search.weather-genie.com, we cannot name one specific strategy because the developer of it might be changing it from time to time. However, we want to introduce you to main methods used to distribute ad-supported programs. The truth is, computer users typically do not want such programs on their systems. Consequently, to force users to install them, their developers use one of these techniques (or some of them at once):

  • Software bundling. Software bundling is a legitimate, yet very questionable software distribution method that allows spreading several programs at once. You should double check software installation settings and make sure Advanced or Custom option is selected. These options allow decomposing software packages by opting out suggested additions.
  • Pop-up ads. Sometimes people encounter offers to install certain browser extensions that appear in pop-up windows on their screen. If this happens to you, it is likely that you have an adware program installed on your computer.

More dangerous programs like viruses may use spam [5] or drive-by downloads to sneak into the system, but lightweight parasites like Weather-genie do not need all that. As we said, ad-supported programs are simply added to the software packages as suggested programs and install along with whatever software the user is setting up on the computer.

Quick way to uninstall Search.weather-genie.com

You have the right to choose how to remove Search.weather-genie.com from your computer. You can uninstall it manually – we have provided instructions right below this article for your convenience. You can also just install a reliable anti-spyware product and uninstall this potentially unwanted program automatically. If you choose to remove the hijacker manually but do not have the right skills or guidance, you cannot simply expect great results.

In most cases, the easiest and quickest way to uninstall such programs is to use an automatic adware and spyware removal tool. Anti-spyware utilities are specifically designed for this purpose and guarantee that the device is also protected from spyware or malware returning to your computer in the future. Another reason why we suggest using automatic spyware removal tool is because users tend to complain that instructions provided on the hijacker's developer site do not help to eliminate their products from the system[6].

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Search.weather-genie.com virus, follow these steps:

Eliminate Search.weather-genie.com from Windows systems

The Search.weather-genie removal can be performed both automatically and manually. if you do not have the access to automatic tools, you can follow the guidelines below to remove the virus.

  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 Search.weather-genie.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.weather-genie.com 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 Search.weather-genie.com 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.

Remove Search.weather-genie.com from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Search.weather-genie.com virus from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Search.weather-genie.com virus-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove Search.weather-genie.com virus, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to Search.weather-genie.com virus and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Search.weather-genie.com virus-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Delete Search.weather-genie.com from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Search.weather-genie.com virus and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Search.weather-genie.com virus removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Uninstall Search.weather-genie.com virus from Microsoft Edge

Remove the annoying PUP from Edge browser according to the tutorial indicated below:

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the Search.weather-genie.com virus-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Erase Search.weather-genie.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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 Search.weather-genie.com 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 Search.weather-genie.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Get rid of Search.weather-genie.com from Google Chrome

If you want to make sure the browser hijacker does not bounce back to your browser, clean up your computer from all of its components. On Google Chrome, pay attention to the unfamiliar toolbars, add-ons, extensions and remove them.

  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 Search.weather-genie.com 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 Search.weather-genie.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate Search.weather-genie.com 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 Search.weather-genie.com 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 Search.weather-genie.com, 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 Search.weather-genie.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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