Remove Search Donkey virus (Removal Guide)

Search Donkey is an adware program, which will show a pop-up windows whenever you highlight a word on a webpage, and will display targeted advertisements within your browser.
[Image: Search Donkey virus]
Search Donkey pop-up ads will be shown as boxes containing various coupons that are available or as underlined keywords, which when clicked will display an advertisement that states it is brought to you by this adware.

Search Donkey it’s technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a “PUP,” or potentially unwanted program.

Search Donkey is an extension for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome that is typically added when you install another free software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this adware program. When you install these free programs, they will also install Search Donkey as well. Some of the programs that are known to bundle Search Donkey include 1ClickDownload, Superfish, Yontoo and FBPhotoZoom.

When installed, whenever you will visit Expedia, Best Buy, Facebook or any other similar websites, Search Donkey will display on product images a See Similar button, which when clicked will show you ads by Search Donkey.
Search Donkey may also display advertising banners on the web pages that you are visiting, and as you browse the Internet, it will show coupons and other deals available on that those websites.
[Image: Search Donkey ads]
You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Search Donkey adware. Be very careful what you agree to install.
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

Search Donkey  - Virus Removal Guide

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove Search Donkey from your Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point STOP, and ask for our assistance.
STEP 1: Uninstall Search Donkey programs from your computer
STEP 2: Remove Search Donkey extensions from your web browser
STEP 3: Remove Search Donkey adware with AdwCleaner and Junkware Removal Tool
STEP 4: Remove Search Donkey virus with Malwarebytes and HitmanPro

STEP 1 : Uninstall Search Donkey from Windows

Search Donkey is developed by WebApp Tech Coding, and is installed on users computer as an optional install with other free downloads. In our case this unwanted program was installed with the Delta Toolbar and WebCake 3.00 programs. In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.

  1. To uninstall Search Donkey from your computer, click the Start button, then select Control Panel, and click on Uninstall a program.
    If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for “control panel“. Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control Panel from there, then select Uninstall a program.
    [Image: Uninstall a program]
  2. When the Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall Search Donkey (WebApp Tech Coding), Webcake, BrowserDefender and any other recently installed or unknown programs from your computer.
    [Image: Uninstall Search Donkey program from Windows]

Depending on what program has installed the Search Donkey adware, the above program may have a different name or not be installed on your computer. If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.


STEP 2 : Remove the Search Donkey from your web browser

Depending on what program has installed the Search Donkey, this hijacker may install one more browser extensions, which we will need to remove from your machine.

Remove Search Donkey from Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon [Image: icongear.jpg] (Tools for Windows XP users) at the top (far right), then click again on Internet Options.
    Internet Options in IE
  2. In the Internet Options dialog box, click on the Advanced tab, then click on the Reset button.
    Reset Internet Explorer
  3. In the Reset Internet Explorer settings section, check the Delete personal settings box, then click on Reset.
    Internet Explorer back to its default settings to remove Search Donkey
  4. When Internet Explorer finishes resetting, click Close in the confirmation dialogue box and then click OK.
  5. Close and open Internet Explorer.

Remove Search Donkey from Mozilla Firefox

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button, go over to the Help sub-menu (on Windows XP, click the Help menu at the top of the Firefox window), and select Troubleshooting Information.
    Firefox Troubleshooting Information
  2. Click the Reset Firefox button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Information page.
    Firefox default settings
  3. To continue, click Reset Firefox in the confirmation window that opens.
  4. Firefox will close and be reset. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click Finish

Remove Search Donkey from Google Chrome

  1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button on the browser toolbar, select Tools and then click on Extensions.
    Google Chrome Extensions
  2. In the Extensions tab,remove the Search Donkey, Webcake, BrowserDefender and any other unknown extensions by clicking on the Recycle Bin next to the plugin.
    Basically, if you did not install an extension, you can safely remove it from your web browser.
    [Image: Search Donkey Chrome extension]

STEP 3: Remove Search Donkey adware from your computer

To remove all the Conduit adware from your computer, we will need to run a scan with the AdwCleaner and Junkware Removal Tool utilities.

Run a computer scan with AdwCleaner to remove Search Donkey pop-up ads

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer for Search Donkey files and registry keys, that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.

  1. You can download AdwCleaner utility from the below link.
    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
  2. Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
    [Image: AdwCleaner Icon]
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
  3. When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the Search button as shown below.
    [Image: AdwCleaner scanning for Search Donkey]
    The program will now start to search for Search Donkey malicious files that may be installed on your computer. When it has finished it will display a notepad screen that contains a log file of all the Search Donkey extensions, files, and registry keys that have been detected. Unless you see a program name that you know should not be removed, please close the Notepad window and continue with the next step.
  4. To remove the Search Donkey malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Delete button on the AdwCleaner screen.
    [Image: Adwcleaner removing Search Donkey]
    AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.
  5. AdwCleaner will now delete all detected adware from your computer. When it is done it will display an alert that explains what PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Adware are. Please read through this information and then press the OK button. You will now be presented with an alert that states AdwCleaner needs to reboot your computer.
    Please click on the OK button to let AdwCleaner reboot your computer.

Remove Search Donkey popups with Junkware Removal Tool

Junkware Removal Tool is a powerful utility, which will remove Search Donkey from Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome, and will double-check for any other compromised Windows shortcuts.

  1. You can download the Junkware Removal Tool utility from the below link:
    JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download the Junkware Removal Tool utility on your computer)
  2. Once Junkware Removal Tool has finished downloading, please double-click on the JRT.exe icon as seen below.
    [Image: Junkware Removal Tool]
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Junkware Removal Tool, please allow it to run.
  3. Junkware Removal Tool will now start, and at the Command Prompt, you’ll need to press any key to perform a scan for the Search Donkey virus.
    [Image: Junkware Removal Tool scanning for Search Donkey virus]
    Please be patient as this can take a while to complete (up to 10 minutes) depending on your system’s specifications.
  4. When the scan Junkware Removal Tool will be completed, this utility will display a log with the malicious files and registry keys that were removed from your computer.
    [Image: Junkware Removal Tool final log]

STEP 4: Remove Search Donkey virus from your computer

Run a computer scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to remove Search Donkey virus

  1. You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link, then double-click on the icon named mbam-setup.exe to install this program.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK(This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
  2. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the setup process, then at the last screen click on the Finish button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware final installation screen]
  3. On the Scanner tab, select Perform quick scan, and then click on the Scan button to start searching for the Search Donkey malicious files.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Scan]
  4. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for Search Donkey as shown below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for Search Donkey virus]
  5. When the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan has finished, click on the Show Results button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan results]
  6. You will now be presented with a screen showing you the computer infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked), then click on the Remove Selected button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malwar removing Search Donkey]

Double-check for the Search Donkey infection with HitmanPro

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. Double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
    HitmanPro scanner
    Click on the Next button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
    HitmanPro installation
  3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for Search Donkey malicious files.
    HitmanPro detecting for Search Donkey virus
  4. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the Next button, to remove Search Donkey adware.
    HitmanPro scan results
  5. Click on the Activate free license button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    [Image: HitmanPro 30 days activation button]

Your computer should now be free of the Search Donkey infection. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future, and perform regular computer scans with HitmanPro.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Search Donkey virus from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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THE 411 ON ME

FC Barcelona fan, Starbucks addicted and super geek.
I am the creator and owner of MalwareTips.com
My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.
I live in Bucharest (Romania), where I run my own local computer repair shop.
I repair both hardware and other operating systems related issues, however most of my business is malware related problems.

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  • John E Quest

    awesome instructions and everything worked as ‘advertised’. Thank you!!