Today’s article reviews the Adware known as GeniusBox Ads. If you are reading this then you are probably already familiar with how annoying GeniusBox Ads can be and want it removed. The removal guide on the bottom can help you handle that, but please don’t rush straight to it. The rest of the article can help you learn a thing or two about GeniusBox Ads and other adware, but more importantly how to recognize and avoid them in the future. So without further ado we will begin by…
A short overview of GeniusBox Ads
Viruses are classified in several sub-groups depending on their method of operation and threat. GeniusBox Ads belongs to the Adware family – and behaves like a classic sample of them. After infecting your computer it has attached itself to your internet browser and has been generating unwanted advertisements. Note that beside the classics “best deal offers” you might also see either of the following:
- Offers to download free software (often supposedly anti-malware programs)
- Warning messages about a missing plug-in
- Request to install a certain video player in order to see something
All of this is both fake and dangerous. At the very least following the ads will waste your time and generate views for someone. Worse yet – the free things offered by GeniusBox Ads are likely malware. Never download or install anything offered by this parasite, but rather ignore it and close all windows of it.
Next – let’s discuss how your PC became infected
Unfortunately the most likely answer is – by you. It is important to realize that Adware clings to something of a semi-legit status in most jurisdictions and in order to maintain that it will always ask for permission nicely before installing. However, nothing is stopping it from hiding in installers or posing as something less sinister. In fact Adware developers will use every trick in the book to mask their products. Learning their tricks is the single best defense a user can have against Adware like GeniusBox Ads.
- Bundled programs can be dangerous – these days most installers for programs will try to offer you at least 2-3 other products – either from the save developer or from his friends. Unfortunately his friends sometime make Adware. Its generally a good idea to select advanced installation when prompted so when installing anything. It gives you control of what is getting installed and you can stop the installation of any unwanted or suspicious software bundled with the main app.
- Torrents/Download sites can be dangerous, fake copy-cats double so. There are these sites that don’t actually host anything. Instead they copy your search query – and generate a file with the copied data. DON’T download such a file – its a virus for sure. Best way to tell a fake site is to look for the file extension. Regardless of the name it will end with .exe.
How to Remove GeniusBox Ads
Our first step here is a reboot in Windows Safe Mode. If you already know how to do it, just skip this and proceed to Step 2. If you do not know how to do it, continue reading:
For Windows 98, XP, Millenium and 7 Users:
Restart your computer. To be sure you don’t miss the window of time when you need to press it, just spam F8 as soon as the PC starts booting. In the new menu, choose Safe Mode With Networking.
Proceed to Step 2.
For Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Users:
Press the Windows Key and R at the same time. Select the Boot tab in the new window that appears.
Then check the Safe Boot option and click OK. Click Restart in the new pop-up.
Proceed to Step 2.
For OS X Users:
When you Mac is turned off, press the Power Button. After you hear the Startup Sound, immediately press and hold the Shift key until the Apple logo appears.
Proceed to Step 2.
GeniusBox Ads has infected ALL of your browsers. Apply the steps separately for each one.
For Internet Explorer Users:
Open IE, then click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find GeniusBox Ads . Disable it.
If your Home Page is different from the usual, click —–> Internet Options>edit the URL box with your preferred search engine, and click Apply.
For Mozilla Firefox Users:
Open Firefox, click on (top right) ——-> Add-ons.
Hit Extensions next.
GeniusBox Ads should be somewhere around here – Remove it.
For Google Chrome Users:
Start Chrome, click —–>More Tools —–> Extensions.
In Extensions, find the virus and select .
Click again, and proceed to Settings —> Search (the fourth tab), select Manage Search Engines. Remove anything but the search engines you normally use.
For Safari Users:
Open Safari, and click Safari —–>Preferences —–> Extensions—–>Uninstall the malware.
(Works for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1)
You are now in the Control Panel. Search around for GeniusBox Ads and anything else suspicious-looking. Uninstall it/them. Also, be extremely careful. Viruses often spend one last ditch effort to trick you into installing more of their kind. If you see a screen like this when you click Uninstall, choose NO:
This is perhaps the most important and difficult step, so be extremely careful. Open the Task Manager by right clicking on the Taskbar and choosing Start Task Manager.
Once it opens, choose the Processes Tab. Look at all of the processes in front of you and try to determine which ones are a virus. Google them or ask us in the comments and we will provide the best assistance we can. If the virus returns later on after you supposedly removed it, the reason is that you missed something here.
Right click on each of the virus processes separately and select Open File Location. Also, End the process after you open the folder. Just to make sure we don’t delete any programs you mistakenly took for a virus, copy the folders somewhere, then delete the directories you were sent to.
STEP 5 – Optimization
And that’s it. Well done for removing GeniusBox Ads. We’ve prepared a short and sweet optimization guide, specifically designed for users who just removed a virus. It is completely free, you do not need to download anything, and it’s not very time consuming. If you are interested, you can check it out here.