#EpicFail: Netgear Router Software Has A Critical Bug That Affects macOS….. And They Won’t Fix It

I’ve become aware of a growing issue that has macOS users of Netgear products ticked off. The issue came to light on MacInTouch where a user posted that upon installing a piece of software that Netgear supplies to manage their router called Netgear Genie, this happens:

I bought a Netgear router, and noticed something strange when I installed the Netgear Genie software: the dock vanished for a moment, and when it returned, my desktop picture was reset to the Apple-supplied default. And all my desktop picture settings (e.g. random rotation of a particular folder) were wiped out.

Now that sounds trivial. But when the user investigated, he discovered that it is not trivial. Here’s why:

The explanation is simple. I can see in the Genie installer that at the end of a new or upgrade installation, it runs a script which contains this command:

rm -f ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db && killall Dock

That’s right: the installer will blithely delete any database that is in the OS X Dock library folder.

This is a critical bug because you really should not be deleting anything in that directory. Not just because you’ll inconvenience users by resetting their dock and desktop preferences. But because of the fact that Apple might use that directory for other things in the future. Thus by installing this software to manage your Netgear router, you might hose your system.


What’s worse is if you read through the post on MacInTouch, Netgear’s response has been shambolic. They’ve asked for irrelevant information. They’ve raised roadblocks to getting a timely resolution. And they’ve generally been unhelpful.


Clearly, Netgear has dropped the ball here and either doesn’t recognize that or doesn’t care. Either way, the correct response to this is to not buy their products. Any company that has a potentially catastrophic bug and does nothing to address it doesn’t deserve your money.


One Response to “#EpicFail: Netgear Router Software Has A Critical Bug That Affects macOS….. And They Won’t Fix It”

  1. […] day after a really mind blowing bug with their router management software on macOS that they for whatever reason will not fix, Netgear has had to fess up to losing customer data […]

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