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Genieo adware causing Safari crashes

Published December 21st, 2014 at 6:57 AM EST , modified December 21st, 2014 at 7:50 AM EST

Over the last week, I’ve been seeing a lot of reports of Safari crashes on Apple’s discussion forums as well as via personal e-mail. All seem to be running Yosemite with Safari 8. Interestingly, in almost every single one of these cases, the Genieo adware was found on the machine. In every case where Genieo was found, removing Genieo solved the problem.

If you are having Safari crashes in Yosemite, searching for and removing Genieo would be the first thing to try. My AdwareMedic app will remove it for you, or you can follow the manual removal instructions for Genieo in my Adware Removal Guide.

For Safari crashes not caused by Genieo, post a question on Apple’s discussion forums.

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58 Comments

  • Fox says:

    Clean as a whistle here. AdwareMedic 2.2 Thanks, Thomas!

    • Karen says:

      How did you get the software to work? I downloaded it, and it’s on my dock, but when I double-click it nothing happens. Please help! I know I have the genieo virus and I have to get rid of it ASAP!

      • Thomas says:

        It sounds like you haven’t actually finished installing it. See:

        http://www.adwaremedic.com/kb/install.php

      • Fraser Gray says:

        I too had this problem. After double clicking it brings up the AdawareMedic Screen. After this screen appears go to the AdawareMedic Bar at the top of your screen. Go to the drop down menu for “SCANNER”. Double click on “SCAN”

        You may have to restart your computer after the SCAN is complete. I always restart mine just to be sure the files are really gone. I then do a 2nd SCAN to ensure the first attempt got it all. Hope this helps.

      • Nick says:

        1) Download
        2) Double click adwaremedic dmg
        3) Open new Finder
        4) Scroll down in Finder, find adwaremedic dmg
        5) Drag adwaremedic, drag app into application folder in the Finder
        6) Proceed as normally do.
        7) Your Welcome! 🙂

  • @elias says:

    Thanks Thomas,

    I found an interesting Article here (from May): http://www.intego.com/mac-security-blog/another-problematic-softonic-installer-brings-adware/

    Download Software only direct from regular Sites and don’t use Download-Sites like Software etc.

    Greetings and Merry Christmas,
    elias

  • Panem says:

    FYI, AdwareMedic 2.2 throws these two errors into console.log under 10.9.5 on a 2007 iMac. Doesn’t seem to cause any issues.

    12/21/14 10:18:53.631 AM System Events[71175]: .sdef warning for part of complex type ‘any | number | boolean | date | list | record | text | data’ used in suite ‘Property List Suite’: ‘data’ is not a valid type name.
    12/21/14 10:18:53.633 AM System Events[71175]: .sdef warning for type ‘text | missing value | any’ attribute ‘uniqueID’ of class ‘XML element’ in suite ‘XML Suite’: AppleScript ID references may not work for this property because its type is not NSNumber- or NSString-derived.

  • Mike Sombrio says:

    Thomas, have you seen this thread https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6732645 Seems that Genio also is crashing older versions of Safari as this poster was running 10.6.8 and Safari 5.0.5

    • Thomas says:

      Yup, but the person who replied to say that AdwareMedic fixed the problem was a different person, who was using Safari 8.0.2 on Yosemite. The original poster’s problem might be something else. If it is caused by Genieo, then that will be an interesting data point! Hopefully that person will respond soon.

  • Paul Duran says:

    Hi Thomas,

    Thanks for your work.
    Just removed Genieo using AdwareMedic and most references to Genieo are gone.
    With the exception of one: “Login item named: Genieo”

    Ran the software twice and restarted my Mac. Still there.
    It’s not one of the
    Can’t find anything left on my Mac myself.
    Any comments or follow up needed?

    I’m running OS X 10.9.5 on a MacBook Pro 2011 late

    • Thomas says:

      Something is probably wrong with your system that is preventing automatic removal. Just remove Genieo from System Preferences -> Users & Groups -> Login Items.

  • Timothy says:

    Exactly this happened to me. Safari would not start again after a crash. The Open/Don’t open dialog presented but was inoperative for a second or two and then a sudden quit dialog for Safari appeared.

    Last downloads that probably installed Genieo were:
    makemkv_v1.9.0_osx.dmg
    install_mactheripper.dmg

    My Bad….
    All is well again thanks to AdWareMedic. Just donated to show thanks.
    Cheers.

    /timothy

  • Anna says:

    Oh GOD, I’ve been having the same problem with my Mac yesterday, HOW did I not find your post and your page in general earlier?! In iSpot they made me reinstall my whole system… >.< good that it was completely new, only 2 days, but still…

    anyways thanks, you are the best, keep doing what you're doing, I think I'll be an often guest here…

    Anna

  • Zoe Sweett says:

    I’m running OS X 10.6.8 on a Mac I bought 6 years ago. I’ve had years of virus free computing (a relief after being driven to distraction by viruses on PCs) but have had Genieo on my system for years – a major irritation. Thanks to the manual removal instructions on your site I have now removed it. However – I did need to do some research figure out how to use Terminal to get Finder to show all files though, and I had no success with the search strategy you recommend (in locating files from paths) as Finder’s search function did not bring up the files (even after I got Finder to show all files) despite me being able to find them by following the actual filepaths manually. I’m definitely not tech minded and only use my computer for email, word processing, watching the occasional movie and internet research so this is a major step for someone like me. Maybe other readers would benefit from this information?

    Thanks for your great site!

    Zoe

    • Manfred says:

      You have a point here Zoe…
      Thomas, is there a technical reason why AdWareMedic can’t be used on Macs running Snow Leopard?
      Cheers,

      Manfred

    • U.N. Owen says:

      I’ll say.

      Pardon me, for butting in, Ms. Stewart, but, I sometimes (DO!) leave ‘harsh,’ snarky comments – people who – amazingly – somehow manage to just LIVE, yet have all sorts of disasters befall them on their computers.

      These things can run the whole gamut – frm giving out info to unknown people (?!?) to installing things, ””’cos they’re ‘told to’ by (again) ‘unknown’ parties.

      It is SO nice to see some1 like you – who honestly admits they’re not a computer genius, yet, can through a little gumption, GOOD common sense, and taking a few minutes to LEARN, can DO something POSITIVE for themselves!

      I personally commend you, Zoe (if you don’t mind me calling you that).

      I learned how to operate Macs … a ‘while ago,’ let’s just say, and, I knew NOTHING.

      I taught myself, and, over the years, through trial and error, have become quite…proficient.

      I’m NOT a teacher, I just help friends who need help, ‘cos they know I know stuff.

      When I help people out, in person, I sit with them, but, I remain mostly silent – and let them try to figure stuff out, because I won’t always be there to help, and – I find – the best way to learn something – ANYTHING – is to understand WHY something went wrong to begin with.

      You’re really admirable, Ms. Stewart, and deserve a pat on your back.

  • Joanne Welch says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! AdWare Medic cleared Genio from my MacBook Air after several unsuccessful attempts with other programs.

  • Karen says:

    How does this work? I downloaded your software and am trying to run it, but nothing is happening. Is there a place to ask questions?

  • jeeves2323 says:

    A friend is experiencing pop-up issues on macbook pro running yosemite 10.10 and using firefox (I know, don’t say it) as her browser. Should Adware medic cure her problems?

    • Thomas says:

      Probably. There cannot be any guarantees, because not all problems like this are caused by adware, and it’s possible she may have some adware that I’ve never seen before. However, chances are good it will help.

  • Dick says:

    Why is your software not available on the app store? You could be making a fortune!

    • Thomas says:

      Because it needs access to places in the file system that App Store apps are not allowed to access. So it really can’t be distributed through the App Store.

  • Johannes Berggreen says:

    Thanks for the help! Wonderful that there are guys like you out there that wants to help. Happy Ney Year.

  • Graham Perrin says:

    Please: in crash reports, is there anything distinctive about crashes associated with Genieo? (Is the external modification summary relevant? Are there similarities between crashed threads?)

    • Thomas says:

      I haven’t had the time to sit down and compare crash logs. However, anyone who wanted to do so could search Apple’s discussion forums for “Genieo” and come up with no shortage of logs to look at.

  • Kareem says:

    I have followed all your instructions on removing Genieo (non of the files mentioned are presents now). The AdwareMedic doesn’t detect any adware when scanning. However, when Chrome is clicked, Genieo search engine shows as my homepage even though it’s set to Google. Is that an indicator that I still have Genieo?

  • Joyce Mankin says:

    Many, many thanks for AdwareMedic! Safari has ben crashing during the night for the last three to four days. Also while I have Google set as my search engine, I keep catching Bing searching. AdwareMedic did the trick. I left you a small appreciation donation via PayPal. Too bad about the App Store and their rules…

  • Jackie Caldare says:

    Thomas, I’m grateful for your help, I was at a point I could barely use my mac, pop-up videos that I couldn’t stop, ads all over the place. Your AdwareMedic cleaned all that junk out of my life saved me a lot of anguish and I will broadcast the good news. Thank you Thomas

  • Felipe says:

    This worked just fine for me! Thk you so much!!!

  • Marie says:

    Thank you – your software cleared this off for me!

  • Ignace says:

    THANK YOU !

    I was looking for it all around following Apple’s and other’s instruction and didn’t find a trace of Geneio. The i used your manual search and removal instruction and found the Genieo crap all around. I believe i’f removed it, no funny “Completer” bs anymore.

    Thanks again.
    Ignace

  • Matt says:

    Worked a treat. Thanks very much.

  • Michael says:

    It appears I have multiple issues plaguing me for some time now—
    constant redirects, new windows spawning, sham Tech Assistance alerts,
    Searching in all the places outlined here (thank you, Thomas!) revealed the following:

    Users: Michael

    Downloadsƒ
    ez7z214.dmg (no idea what this is)

    Libraryƒ >

    Application Support >

    Spigotƒ
    Searchme.safariextz
    searchme@mybrowserbar.com.xpi

    com.genieoinnovation.Installerƒ
    Completer.aap

    Firefoxƒ > Profilesƒ > 6gicvsh6.defaultƒ > extensionsƒ >
    searchme@mybrowserbar.com.xpi

    Cachesƒ
    com.genieoinnovation.Installerƒ >
    Cache.db

    LaunchAgentsƒ
    com.genieo.completer.download.plist
    com.genieo.completer.ltvbit.plist
    com.genieo.completer.update.plist
    com.google.keystone.agent.plist
    com.citrixonline.GoToMeeting.G2MUpdate.plist

    Preferencesƒ > (have no idea what these empty folders are)

    Ùr‰èRƒ
    0n‰èRƒ
    ä‰èRƒ

    Safariƒ > Extensionsƒ >
    Searchme.safariextz

    Root:
    Applicationsƒ >
    InstallMacƒ >
    Reset Search

    I’ve had to do this manually with OS 10.6.8 on an older MBP.
    No evidence of launched.conf nor any .dylib files anywhere.
    I don’t believe Genieo.app was ever installed.

    The question is, can I trash all the aforementioned files with
    impunity, per the Adware Removal directives here?
    Just need to make sure I’m not blundering into anything more
    serious by doing so.

    • Thomas says:

      Some of those are not things that are mentioned in any of the removal instructions. For example, the GoToMeeting item is related to the legit GoToMeeting software. I have no idea what those preferences items are. The ones that are mentioned are safe to be removed.

  • Jeff says:

    Nice job Thomas. Genieo is now gone. (yay!) My web browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Aviator) have all been cleaned of the installmac default searches. MacKeeper has finally gone (F2 is a great piece of software). A small donation is now on its way to you. I am very much obliged to you for your fantastic work.

    Thanks a million. :)))

    2008, iMac running OS X Yosemite.

  • Regy says:

    Regy
    i will thank you ,i have buy many programs
    to deleted the adware , they have failed i was searching on google
    then i saw this website ,i started the adwaremedic ,and everything is ok now
    many many thanks
    Regards Regy

  • Jason Frovich says:

    I had a similar issue with Safari crashing, I didn’t have malware but had to simply trash my safari preferences.
    That old fix seems to still work.

    Glad I found your site, I can use it remove malware from the mac’s I work on. 🙂
    Jason

    • aaanouel says:

      I had used AdwareMedic already and it worked quite well but thanks anyway for remembering us that useful old trick Jason.

  • aaanouel says:

    Great Thomas!!!
    I had had Mac crashes a lot lately and didn’t know what the cause was.
    I used AdwareMedic and these issues magically disappeared!!!

    This’s been te most useful Macusers site I’ve found!!!
    Thanks a lot once more for your help and for being so honest and useful, I do appreciate it.

    aaanouel

  • Parker Arts says:

    I installed Yosemite about a month ago on my MacBook Pro, so I could use go pro app. Last week, it looks like Genieo hitched a ride in when downloading Flash update. Activity monitor shows “InstallerS” gobbling up huge amount of memory; “get info” reveals a massive list of Genieo stuff starting with “com.Genieoinnovation…..blah, blah”. No Genieo items ANYWHERE in Library, Application Support, Users, etc. Probably could get to it through admin paths, but finding a “Directory Services Modification” option in the log in process that’s not listed in any removal instructions I can find. Reluctant to “Okay” this….

    Mac’s not crashing, but running so slow, this otherwise great laptop is now useless. My free lance workload is about to start up after holiday lull…..Any ideas?

  • Parker Arts says:

    Your help is much appreciated. Because any action on this ailing system means an investment of at least an hour (just to perform 3-5 nominal tasks, steps), I have to ask: do these fixes work when no Genieo items are visible in any folder? My understanding was that my situation calls for admin log in. Does AdwareMedic work with this? Thanks again.

    • Thomas says:

      It depends on what you mean by “no Genieo items are visible in any folder.” I’ve had a lot of people say they didn’t see any Genieo items because they were not looking in the right places or using the wrong techniques, but they ended up being infected with Genieo nonetheless. I can’t say whether that will be the case for you or not.

      AdwareMedic will need to ask for an admin password for most variants of Genieo, but does not necessarily need to be run from an admin account. It should be run from the account that installed Genieo, even if that account isn’t an admin account. If it needs admin permissions, Mac OS X will prompt you for an admin username and password. AdwareMedic never sees this password, it simply is temporarily given the higher permissions by the OS.

  • Genieo says:

    Hello,

    We haven’t seen any crashes when we ran our tests on 10.10 with SF 8 versions (same for Mavericks).
    Could you please let us know of any contacts that had any real problems, so we can investigate this issue if there is one?

    • Thomas says:

      I’m really not interested in helping you guys fix your adware, but at this point there have been literally hundreds – maybe even thousands – of reports on Apple’s forums of these problems, where removing Genieo fixed the problem. And those are only the people who 1) came to Apple’s forums for help, and 2) reported back with success.

      Even if Genieo weren’t adware, I’d still steer people away from it after this.

  • john pendreich says:

    thank you so much for removing Genieo, virus or not, it’s pest like rats, mice and cockroaches.

  • Richard says:

    I used the medic software to uninstall genieo, but a file is left .dylib that bit defender keeps finding. I have seen warnings about deleting this file if other are not present. I am not getting ads that I know of, though I am not primary user of this machine

  • Ernst says:

    Great! I got Genieo malware and didn’t know about it. Safari crashed when started. I checked several forums and couldn’t solve the problem. just before I decided to call Apple support I found your site! In 2 minutes Safari worked again! Woow. My donation came from the bottom of my heart 😉

  • Mike says:

    I’ve used the Adware Removal Tool to remove Genieo after getting locked on a site with Safari. Unfortunately it’s still locked on the site even when I go offline, remove genieo and restart Safari with the space key down. I have not found a way to get rid of the tab and free up safari.

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