Search Donkey Adware
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Search Donkey?
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 behavior 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.
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Search Donkey?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Search Donkey application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Search Donkey add-on from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Search Donkey plugin from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove Search Donkey extension from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Search Donkey extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Search Donkey removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
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 malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click on the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "SearchDonkey" and disable it.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search donkey virus, 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 the 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 the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) 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?
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search donkey virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click on the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable this add-on: "SearchDonkey".
Computer users who have problems with search donkey virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search donkey virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
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