A story on how AVG went from hero to zero in less than a year…
I’ve been an avid user of AVG since the very beginning – 1997 to be more exact – when Grisoft started to sell licenses in UK. Back then it was the best by far anti-virus solution for Windows. I must’ve recommended it to hundreds of people throughout the years and the number of computers I’ve installed it on is vast, but here ends this journey – which is a shame because AVG used to be the best when it comes to computer safety regarding anti-virus and firewall.
Why am I uninstalling AVG then? Some time ago someone at AVG decided that more money was to be made if they became more aggressive with their marketing. Fair enough – everybody has to live and unless you make a profit, this isn’t happening. Initially they started by using ads in the UI of AVG and this was accepted, and I’m sure the rate of sales went up.
At some stage someone at AVG decided that they wanted MORE sales and the introduction of system popups was made, and this is when people started to get pretty upset with AVG. Not only was it annoying, and that you had to click “No thanks” to the same offer every bloody day, which is merely annoying, no because AVG launched its popups whenever it felt like, and if you were playing a game – the damn popup would take focus and the game would end up in the background. Some games crashed due to this behaviour… Ok, a well written game should handle this, but life isn’t perfect, and often it was the graphics driver that caved in and not the game itself… And whatever happened in the game during it was put in the background was out of your control – i.e you died or failed whatever you were doing. This is not accepted by anyone.
At this stage the complaints started to really pour in at AVGs support forum, but all they answered was bullcrap. They didn’t care whatsoever. In fact since then they have only introduced more popups and craft-fully written ads to trick people to thinking that they must do an update when in fact they are installing a trail version of an addon – which will start to cost money after 30 days…
The support forum and many other places on the internet was now flooded with hate, and do you think AVG reacted? No, not a chance. In fact they have lost their early mantra of being the best free and paid anti-virus solution and now become one of the biggest suppliers of malware known today!
There are ways of getting rid of the popups by deleting some folders in the AVG installation and blocking a domain name in the hosts file, but AVG knows this and find ways to circumvent the bypass.
I have now after 19 years uninstalled AVG and installed Avira instead. I know they have popups as well, but they can easily be removed, and if you buy a cheap license, the popups and ads are removed forever – which is not the case with AVG paid version nor the free version.
So goodbye AVG and welcome Avira! I hope you do a better job than the previous one.
If you want to remove AVG ads and popups but don’t want to uninstall it, here’s how you go ahead.
1. Disable AVG self protection: Right click the AVG icon in the taskbar and select temporarily disable AVG.
2. Delete the following folders: (Note: 201x means 2013 or 2014 depending your installation)
c:\Program Files (x86)\AVG\AVG201x\Awacs
c:\Program Files (x86)\AVG\AVG201x\Banners
c:\Program Files (x86)\AVG\AVG201x\Tuneup (unless you’ve paid for this)
3. Enable AVG self protection: Right click the AVG icon in the taskbar and select enable AVG.
Open explorer and navigate to c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts and open the file with notepad as Administrator.
Add this line to block new popups from being installed:
I can’t promise this’ll work forever, and you probably have to run step 1-3 after every time AVG has updated, but it’s at least a way to stop the popups for now. Or uninstall AVG and install something else instead! Avira seems to work fine and is the most recommended replacement for AVG out there.
Shame on you AVG for abusing the massive customer base you have accumulated the last 20+ years! I hope you panic as hoards of users are uninstalling AVG every day, but I think it’s too late for you to salvage the situation.
If you want to read how AVG responds (or rather the lack of) to the complaints then follow this link to the AVG support forum. It’s only one page out of many with the same issue – but the story is the same… https://support.avg.com/answers?id=906b0000000DA01AAG
May 24, 2016
Avira now fully installed and a full scan has been performed, and it took its time to be honest – but I’ve got two almost full drives to scan so I’m not complaining.
It detected 7 infected files which AVG had missed – although all were there on purpose. Whilst researching netsec and similar one does have a bit of dodgy code in store, and this is what was detected. Good to know it catches malicious source as well as binaries!
One false detection (warning) was Amiga Forever by Cloanto, and more specifically one rp9 file which is a packed file which contains loads of lhz (lharc) compressed files which Avira was unable to decompress. False positive that most people will never see.
Now we’ll see how Avira works the coming weeks and if it works well I shall fork out the 300-ish SEK (£25) for a license – as I previously did with AVG.
The only way AVG can change is if we vote with our feet and get rid of this crap, and this I now did as so many others before me the last months…
December 2, 2016
I’m currently researching new antivirus for exactly the same reasons! I’ve been using avg since the beginning too and it’s a shame to uninstall it as it’s been so reliable but I’ve had one too many games minimised while playing online to prompt me to install some superfluous rubbish I don’t want.
How has Avira been?
December 4, 2016
I was also a user of AVG since the very beginning and I have to admit uninstalling it for something else wasn’t easily done because I trusted AVG – but the crap they were doing was too much in the end…
Avira has been similar to what AVG was from the beginning and so far without any issues whatsoever! If you’re running in “free” mode then you get the odd popup once a day or so – but never whilst playing a game so it doesn’t take focus! If you pay then you are promised to never ever again to see a popup or similar, and this is in the terms!
So I’m happy with my change and I have now rolled out Avira to all the computers in my house and I will never install AVG again because they shafted us users/customers! (and yes, I was a paying AVG user and still got all the bullcrap popups and ads…)
The installation is simple and easy so don’t worry, just get rid of AVG and install Avira!
December 14, 2016
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I too am having the exact same issues. In fact I was in a game and AVG tried to do its 3rd update today knocking me out and causing me to crash out. Sooo… I too immediately came here in my search for ways to disable or turn it off. After reading here I think I’ll just uninstall AVG and try something else. Thanks again for sharing!
July 3, 2017
I tried to find excuses to keep AVG as well. But the pop ups are getting worse. I have an ultimate subscription good to the end of the year – but don’t trust AVG anymore. Their popups are telling me that I have all these threats on my computer – I run their PC tuneup – which I pay for to protect against those same threats – and the threats don’t appear there to be fixed – yet they want $33.00 to protect me against these “new threats”. I used to be a network systems engineer – retired 10 years – so I know this is not right and sets off all kinds of alarms on the ethical practices of AVG. If I was still working and I had software behave like this on my work network – I would remove it as malware / ransomware – so even with 6 months to go on my subscription – I will be removing the software today – so disappointed with AVG.
July 3, 2017
I hear you Mr. Hoeppner…
AVG used to be a great company run by engineers and it was a no-brainer what anti-virus software to use on Windows computers. (yes, even we *NIX people must have a couple of Windows computers around the house…)
Some time ago they were bought up – and promised not to interfere with business, but we all know how that story ends, and you have – like so many other of us – now had enough of all their scams of trying to squeeze out as much money as possible from all their existing customer base! Poor business and poor way to run a reputable company!
I’ve now been running Avira on all the non *NIX computers in my house for quite a while and although they have a popup once a day (if that) for those who are using it for free, the popup will NEVER take focus from an application (like a game) and thus isn’t intrusive. If you pay a license you will never get a popup according to their business model. They might become scumbags one day as well, but until then I’ll be a happy user and I don’t miss AVG. A shame though because I’ve been a user of AVG since the very start, but they pissed the whole company down the drain and I almost feel sorry for the engineers who started the company. They are hardly in charge any more, and probably not even employed by AVG any more, so I don’t feel too bad about thinking so.
Do yourself a favour and get rid of AVG once and for all. I can recommend Avira because it suited my needs – which are perhaps more strict than normal – but it runs a bit like the old-school AVG in a way, but without all the bullshit! 😉
I’m not affiliated in any way, shape or form with Avira, nor do I get anything back from them for this post – I just think their product was a great replacement for AVG.
I did a LOT of research prior to changing, that I will admit…