Search Donkey Adware
Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: Medium
Search Donkey removal guide
Search Donkey (SearchDonkey) is a browser add-on created by WebAppTech Coding LLC. This plug-in enhances Internet users' browsing experience by displaying quick search links relating to user-selected text. When users of this add-on select text within a website, Search Donkey displays a small pop-up containing quick search links from Google, AOL, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Whilst such added functionality may seem useful, Search Donkey is categorized as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) or adware, since it adds little value, tracks users' Internet browsing habits, displays intrusive ads, and greatly diminishes Internet browser performance (for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox).
Many Internet users refer to this add-on as the Search Donkey virus; such negative associations are made, since this browser extension commonly installs on users' systems without their consent via a deceptive a software distribution method called 'bundling'. In most cases, Search Donkey installs on Internet browsers together with free software downloaded from the Internet. To avoid unwilling installation, be attentive when dealing with freeware, since not inspecting each installation step can lead to inadvertent installation of additional unwanted browser add-ons and toolbars. These cause diminished browser performance, privacy, and redirect issues. While search donkey is not a computer virus, it is an unwanted browser add-on, and thus it is recommended that this adware is removed from your computer.
The Search Donkey add-on tracks IP addresses, unique identifier numbers, operating systems, browsers and other installed software information, web-page URLs visited, and search queries entered. Furthermore, this plug-in displays various unwanted ads: in-text, interstitial, pop-up ads, etc. This adware is similar in behaviour to Yontoo and "Ads not by this site". The best way to avoid installation of such adware is to express caution when downloading and installing free software. Today, the majority of popular freeware download websites use 'download clients' and 'installers' offering installation of additional programs together with the free software downloaded from these sites. When downloading free software, decline any promoted software, and when installing freeware, choose the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' installation options and opt-out of any additional software. To eliminate Search Donkey from your system, use the removal guide provided.
Search Donkey removal:
Windows 7 users:
Click "Start" ("Windows Logo" in the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose "Control Panel". Locate "Programs and Features".
Windows XP users:
Click "Start", choose "Settings" and click "Control Panel". Locate and click "Add or Remove Programs". Locate "Programs and Features".
Windows 8 users:
Right-click in the screen’s bottom-left corner, select Control Panel. In the opened window choose "Uninstall a Program".
In the uninstall programs window, look for "SearchDonkey", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling Search Donkey, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. Recommended malware removal software.
Remove Search Donkey from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove Search Donkey from Internet Explorer:
Click "Tools" (or the gear icon in Internet Explorer 9), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "SearchDonkey" and disable it.
If you continue to have problems with removal of Search Donkey, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click "Start", click "Run", in the opened window type "inetcpl.cpl". In the opened window click on "Advanced" tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type "inetcpl.cpl" and click enter. In the opened window click on the "Advanced" tab, then click Reset.
Remove Search Donkey from Google Chrome:
Click on the wrench or bars icon (top right of the screen), select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate: "SearchDonkey", select it and click on the trash can icon.
If SearchDonkey extension is greyed-out and you cannot remove it ("This extension is managed and cannot be removed of disabled"), follow this removal guide - how to remove a managed Google Chrome extension?
Remove Search Donkey from Mozilla FireFox:
Click "Tools" (at the top of the window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable this add-on: "SearchDonkey".
If you continue to have problems with removal of Search Donkey, reset your Mozilla FireFox settings to default.
Open Mozilla FireFox, at the top left corner of the main window click "FireFox", in the opened drop down menu choose Help and then click on Troubleshooting Information, in the opened window click on the "Reset FireFox" button.
Search Donkey Adware is an adware program that tracks user's Internet browsing and generates intrusive online advertisements. Most commonly adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate user's Internet browsers through free software downloads. Internet users should know that nowadays most of free software download websites are using download clients to manage their freeware download process, unfortunately some of the mentioned download clients don't properly disclose the fact that advertised browser plugins or toolbars will be installed together with the free program that users have decided to download.
Download clients and installers that are used to distribute adware commonly hide the “decline” button that can be used to opt-out of installing the advertised potentially unwanted applications. Some of the malicious free software download websites doesn't allow to download the chosen freeware if users decide to decline the installation of promoted software. Notice that the safest source for downloading free software is it's developers website. Screenshot of the free software download clients that are used in Search Donkey Adware distribution:
To avoid installation of Search Donkey Adware be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. If your download is managed by a download client be sure to decline installation of promoted browser plug-ins and toolbars:
When installing the already downloaded free program choose “custom” or “advanced” installation options – this step will reveal all of the potentially unwanted applications that are being installed together with your chosen free program:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove Search Donkey Adware from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.