What is Search Donkey?
Search Donkey is a reported malicious browser add-on, extension, and helper object created by WebAppTech Coding, LLC for allegedly improving the internet browsing experience that installs with or without consent of the computer user and causes many unwanted problems. Search Donkey is identified as potential malware, categorized as adware and a browser hijacker and is often referred to as the Search Donkey virus. Search Donkey is reported to display pop-up advertisements (in-text, pop-under, coupon) and modify existing internet browser settings of popular internet browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer without consent, causing affected browsers to start up on and ultimately redirect to the Search Donkey search engine and third-party domains including or similar to search.conduit.com.
The Search Donkey browser attachment also displays alternative (to currently searched) search results or links in a pop-up once an additional link is hovered over for Google, AOL, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and other websites. The pop-up links may say Best search with AOL, Best search with Google, Best search with Images, Best search with Maps, and so on. This may even happen when using Google.com to search the web.
Search Donkey and similar adware platforms such as Web Cake or MindDabble Toolbar may also interrupt your internet browsing sessions with reportedly malicious pop-up ads that are filled with various links and promote non-beneficial software. In most of the cases, the links are from sponsored parties and redirect users to suspicious domains that are related to Search Donkey.
In addition, the Search Donkey virus and third-party programs may collect and distribute user activity and sensitive data including information manually submitted online such as home addresses, telephone numbers, and even information concerning bank accounts, credit cards, and identity. The information collected may be used to include users to marketing and mailing lists without direct consent or knowledge, and in some cases the information the information is used in crimes involving credit theft, extortion, and identity theft.
How does Search Donkey malware infect a computer?
Search Donkey can get onto a computer via third-party downloadable content such as freeware or shareware. In some cases during the installation of third-party software, users will be given the opportunity to accept or decline and offer to install Search Donkey and additional items, including add-ons, extensions, toolbars, and non-beneficial security tools. Even if the offer is declined, many victims claim that Search Donkey installs anyways.
Search Donkey can also be manually and voluntarily installed from a variety of websites including searchdonkey.com and download.com.
How to remove Search Donkey
- Automatically remove Search Donkey malware – Scan for and automatically remove Search Donkey and related malware
- Manually remove Search Donkey – Remove/Uninstall Search Donkey software and third-party malware
1. Automatic Search Donkey removal
Use the instructions below to automatically remove the Search Donkey browser hijacker and third-party malware, as well as automatically remove unwanted search engines from your internet browsers.
1. Install the free or paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
2. Once Malwarebytes is installed, run the program. If you are using the free version of Malwarebytes you will be prompted to update the database, make sure to do so.
3. On the first tab labeled “Scanner” select the Perform full scan option and click the Scan button to perform a full system scan. Malwarebytes will automatically detect malware infecting the computer system.
4. Once the malware scan is complete, Malwarebytes may prompt a notice stating malicious objects were detected. Select the malicious objects and click the Remove Selected button to completely remove the malicious files from your computer (the image below shows a file that is NOT selected) or click the Delete button to remove quarantined files.
CCleaner can be used to automatically repair internet browser settings startup up settings, and uninstall Search Donkey and associated third-party software.
1. Install the free or paid version of CCleaner by Piriform.
2. Once installed, open the program and navigate to Cleaner > Windows/Applications and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.
3. Next, navigate to Tools > Startup and search through each tab starting from windows, internet explorer, etc., all the way to Content Menu, for additional suspicious entries and click Disable and Delete once anything is found.
4. To automatically uninstall Search Donkey and other unwanted programs, navigate to the Uninstall tab and search for Search Donkey, etc. in the list of installed programs. Uninstall the unwanted software as selected by clicking the Run Uninstaller button.
2. Manual Search Donkey removal
Use the instructions below to manually uninstall Search Donkey and third-party software using generic Microsoft Windows removal procedures.
How to uninstall Search Donkey
1. Access Windows Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel.
2. Click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program.
3. In the list of installed programs, search for Search Donkey (various titles) and other potentially unwanted software. Once located, double click the unwanted programs or highlight them in the list and click the Uninstall button.
How to remove Search Donkey add-ons and extensions
Use the instructions to remove Search Donkey add-ons, extensions, and plug-ins. Please note, it may be necessary to remove multiple third-party titles.
1. Click on the Customize icon (wrench or 3 bar icon) next to the address bar and navigate to Tools > Extensions.
2. Search for the Search Donkey extension and remove it by clicking the trashcan icon next to them.
1. Type Ctrl+Shift+A.
2. On the Extensions and Plugin search for the Search Donkey add-on and remove it.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
1. Click Tools and select Manage add-ons.
2. On the Toolbars and Extensions tab search for the Search Donkey add-on and remove it if located.