Recently I found some adware on my Windows 7 PC and I cleaned up them with AdwCleaner and it looks like it’s okay now. But this morning, opening the Chrome browser, I found that the default Google homepage was replaced with a website called: Search.weather-genie.com. It also loads automatically whenever I open a new tab. I did a scan with AdwCleaner again but it did not find anything. I checked the installed programs list but found nothing related to the website. It’s weird that the website can keep coming back even if I have deleted it from the homepage. I nearly quit using Chrome now. Can anyone help me get rid of this unwanted and intrusive visitor? Thanks in advance!
Is your browser homepage or new tab replaced with Search.weather-genie.com without permission? Don’t know how to delete the unwanted site from your browsers effectively? Read on and follow the guide in this post and your problem will be fixed soon.
What is Search.weather-genie.com?
Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) are programs that are usually installed on a user’s computer without knowledge or permission. They include adware, spyware, browser hijackers and other types of applications that may cause problems on the targeted machines. Search.weather-genie.com is a website that is promoted by WeatherGenie, a weather forecast app that claims to ‘give you the current weather conditions and forcasts for the next 24 hours and 8 days’. The website as well as WeatherGenie is considered as a member of PUPs because they sometimes get installed on users’ computers in stealthy ways. Many software developers bundle their freeware installers with PUPs like WeatherGenie that users have no intention of downloading and installing. Though these unwanted programs provide users with some useful services, they may also lead to many annoying problems at the same time.
If you download and install a piece of free software that has WeatherGenie or other unwanted programs bundled with its installer in a hurry, it’s very likely that those unwanted programs will enter your PC at the same time and your browser settings may also be changed. A browser hijacker is an unwanted program that makes changes on a web browser’s settings without permission. Search.weather-genie.com is also classified as a browser hijacker because it can affect most popular web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari, and modify the default homepage, search engine, new tab/window or other settings. When it gets installed on your PC, the default homepage of your browser will be changed to the website as showed below:
Like InitialPage123.com, Rambler.ru and Yeadesktop.com, this website also enables you to search for information by providing a search box. As browser hijackers are mainly designed to take control of web browsers and display advertising so that their developers/creators can make profits, this website also displays many advertisements when you do a search using its search engine. If you enter a keyword in the search box of this website and then search for the relevant information, a bunch of ads related to the keyword you entered may be displayed around the search results. If you don’t want those products or services promoted in the ads, it’s quite annoying to see them every time you do a search.
Moreover, the third party content promoted or displayed by Search.weather-genie.com may redirect you to websites that contain unnecessary programs, services, advertisements or even malware. You need to read the privacy policies and user agreements of those third-party websites to protect your personal privacy.
How does Search.weather-genie.com enter your PC?
The browser hijacker is usually distributed by being bundled with other free applications. Some freeware are not ‘free’, in fact. Their creators or developers bundle the installers with other potentially unwanted programs like WeatherGenie. When a user downloads and installs a desired program which has the PUP in its installer, he/she may invite the unwanted application unwittingly. Generally, there are two options for you to choose when installing a program: Custom Install or Recommended Install. We advise you to choose the Custom Install all the time because this option allows you to uncheck the additional items like installing PUPs or changing your browser settings during the installing process.
Sometimes, the browser hijacker or other unwanted items may also be mentioned in the End User License Agreement documents (EULAs). Before installing a new application, you’d better read the agreements carefully. If any unwanted content are fund the agreements, you can cancel the installation and find another similar program instead.
In addition, some malicious pop-ups in some websites may also download and install potentially unwanted programs or even malicious programs on your PC if your click on them. So you need to be cautious of pop-ups when viewing unknown web pages or unverified websites.
How to get rid of Search.weather-genie.com completely?
Step1: Remove WeatherGenie from browser extensions/add-ons
The browser hijacking problem may also be caused by WeatherGenie or other unwanted browser extension/add-ons. If your browser is hijacked, follow the instructions below to check the browser extension list and remove any harmful one if found.Internet Explorer
- Click on Tools or the IE menu button, and then select Manage Add-ons.
- In the Manage add-ons window, click on Toolbars and Extensions under Add-on Types on the left panel and then click the “Show” box and ensure it is set to “All add-ons.”. All your installed toolbars and add-ons in IE will be showed on the right panel.
- Find any one that was installed without consent recently, select it and click on the Remove button.
- Click on the Chrome menu button in the top right corner of the browser, select More Tools -> Extensions.
- In the chrome://extensions/ page, search for WeatherGenie or other unwanted extensions and remove it by clicking on the chrome-trashcan-icon next to it.
- Click on Tools on the menu bar (If the menu bar doesn’t show up, right click on the top bar of the browser and select Open menu bar.) and select Add-ons. Or click on the Mozilla Firefox menu button in the top right corner of the browser and then select Add-ons.
- In the Add-ons Manager page, click on Extensions on the left side.
- Find WeatherGenie or any other strange add-on that may result in the browser problems and remove it by clicking on Remove button next to it.
Step2: Delete Search.weather-genie.com from browser homepage
If the default homepage has been changed by the browser hijacker, you can follow the steps below to reset the homepage in IE, Chrome and Firefox. This sometimes can remove the browser hijacker easily.Internet Explorer
- Click on the Tools or the IE menu button and choose Internet Options.
- Under the General tab, locate to the Home page field and delete Search.weather-genie.com if it is there. Then enter the address of the website that you’d like to set as the default homepage instead. Click OK to save the changes.
- Click on Tools or the Firefox menu button in the top right corner of the browser and select Options.
- Click on General on the left side. Under Startup, make sure When Firefox starts: is set to Show my home page. Delete Search.weather-genie.com from the Home Page field if you see it there. Then enter the address of your preferred website.
- Click on Chrome menu button in the upper right corner of the browser and select Settings.
- Under On startup, select Open a specific page or set of pages and click the Set pages. Delete Search.weather-genie.com and enter the URL of your preferred page in the blank field and click on OK to save the changes.
- Scroll down to the Appearance section, check Open Homepage button and click on the Change link. If any unwanted URL is displayed there, please delete it by clicking on the “X” button. Then type the address of the website you’d like in the editable field and click on OK button.
Step3: Reset your browsers to defaults (optional)
If you have followed the steps above to delete Search.weather-genie.com but it still exists on the PC, you may consider performing a browser restore. When your browser settings are modified by a potentially unwanted program, resetting the browser settings to their original settings usually fix the problem. Please note that this procedure will remove your installed add-ons, toolbars and other customized settings.
Click on Tools or the Tools button and select Internet Options.
Under the Advanced tab, then click on Reset… .
Check the box of Delete personal settings and then click on Reset button.
You must restart the computer for these changes to take effect.
Click on Chrome menu button in the upper right corner of the browser and select Settings.
Scroll down to the end of the page and click on the Show Advanced Settings….
Click on Reset browser settings.
Click on Reset button to restore the Chrome’s settings to the original.
Click on Help on the menu bar and select Troubleshoot Information.
Or click on the Firefox menu button in the upper right corner of the browser and then click on the question button then select Troubleshoot Information.
Click on the Refresh Firefox .
Click on Refresh button to confirm the change.
Step4: Run anti-malware to remove Search.weather-genie.com (Recommended)
Sometimes the browser hijacker can’t be removed completely by uninstalling relevant programs and changing the browser settings. Some files and registry entries of the hijacker might still remain on the system. However, it’s complicated and difficult for regular users to modify the Windows registry and delete all malicious registry entries manually. For the sake of your PC, it’s not suggested that you make changes on the registry yourself if you have little experience in deleting registry entries. In this case, it’s necessary to use a professional malware removal tool to fix the problem.
SpyHunter is an anti-malware program that is able to find and remove Search.weather-genie.com thoroughly. In addition to browser hijackers, this tool can detect and clear other cyber threats like Trojans, adware, spyware, ransomware and so on. It shows the brief info of the threats found in the scan results and also lists the relevant malicious files. With SpyHunter, you can get rid of the browser hijacker successfully within seconds.
- Download SpyHunter to your computer.
- SpyHunter starts to scan your system for malware. To scan for viruses effectively, you may need to update the tool to the latest version before scanning. To start a new scan, click on Scan Computer Now button. The scanning may take a few minutes to finish.
- Once done, all the threats on your PC will be showed in the scan results. Click on the expand button next to the Search.weather-genie.com and other threats and more details about them will be displayed. To clear them, click on the Fix Threats button.
- SpyHunter is a free virus scanner. You need to purchase its full version to completely clear the threats found.
Plumbytes is a tool that detects and annoying browser toolbars or extensions, spyware, hijackers like Search.weather-genie.com, ad injects and other types of malware. This tool is good at restoring your hijacked browser, search engine, and home page, and constantly monitoring your computer’s security. If your browser is hijacked, follow the steps below to fix it by using Plumbytes.
- Click here to download Plumbytes.
- Run the downloaded file to start the installation. Follow the instructions on the screen complete the installation. The installation process usually takes merely a few seconds.
- Once installed, Plumbytes starts to scan your system for malware automatically. The scanning may last for several minutes.
- When the scan is completed, all the threats on your PC are displayed in the scan results. You can see Search.weather-genie.com and other threats are showed there. To clear the infections and protect your PC, click on the REMOVE SELECTED button.
- This is also a free malware detection utility. You need to purchase its full version to completely clear all the infections.
Tips and Warnings:
Search.weather-genie.com is a PUP or browser hijacker that can change the homepage, new tab or the search engine without permission. This site is not a virus but it is not suggested that you keep it on the PC. Browser hijackers not only tamper with your browser settings and force you to visit specific sites, but also send you many unwanted advertisements and collect your personal data for commercial purposes. It’s annoying to see lots of annoying sponsored advertisements when you do a search on the web. As a result, your browsing experience will be affected and the computer performance may become slow.
Some browser hijackers can be removed easily by changing the browser settings. But some keep coming back after a browser restart. In this case, you need to ensure all the files and registry entries of the PUPs have been deleted. If you can’t delete Search.weather-genie.com by manually resetting the browser settings, we strongly suggest you download and install a Search.weather-genie.com removal tool to safely and fully remove the threat.
The following video offers a complete guide for Search.weather-genie.com removal. You’d better watch it in full-screen mode!