Remove “AVG Secure Search” redirect (Virus Removal Guide)

AVG Secure Search is a browser hijacker, which is promoted via other free downloads, and once installed it will add the AVG Toolbar, change your browser homepage to mysearch.avg.com, and set your default search engine to AVG Secure Search.
[Image: AVG Secure Search virus]
AVG Secure Search 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.

AVG Secure Search got on your computer after you have installed a freeware software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this browser hijacker. This browser hijacker is also bundled within the custom installer on many download sites (examples: CNET, Brothersoft or Softonic), so if you have downloaded a software from these websites, chances are that AVG Secure Search was installed during the software setup process.

For example, when you install DivX Player, you will also agree to change your browser homepage to AVG Secure Search, set your default search engine to AVG Secure Search, and install the AVG Toolbar.
[Image: AVG Secure Search redirect]
However when you uninstall DivX Player from your computer, your web browser’s default settings will not be restored. This means that you’ll have to remove AVG Secure Search, and AVG Toolbar from your favorite web browser manually.

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this AVG Secure Search browser hijacker. 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.

How to remove AVG Secure Search (Virus Removal Guide)

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove AVG Secure Search from 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 AVG Secure Search programs from your computer
STEP 2: Remove AVG Secure Search from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome
STEP 3: Remove AVG Secure Search browser hijacker with AdwCleaner
STEP 4: Remove AVG Secure Search virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
STEP 5: Double-check for the AVG Secure Search infection with HitmanPro

STEP 1 : Uninstall AVG Secure Search program from your computer

  1. To uninstall the program that is responsible for the AVG Secure Search redirect, 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 AVG Security Toolbar, AVG SafeGuard Toolbar and any other recently installed or unknown programs from your computer.
    [Image: Uninstall the AVG Secure Search programs]

If you are having issues while trying to uninstall the AVG Secure Search, you can use Revo Uninstaller to completely remove this unwanted program from your machine.
Depending on what program has installed the AVG Secure Search redirect, 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 AVG Secure Search from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome

Remove AVG Secure Search 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 AVG Secure Search
  4. When Internet Explorer finishes resetting, click Close in the confirmation dialogue box and then click OK.
  5. Close and open Internet Explorer.

Remove AVG Secure Search from Mozilla Firefox

  1. Remove AVG Secure Search extensions from Firefox.
    At the top of the Firefox window, click the orange Firefox button, then select Add-ons.
    Firefox addon menu
    Select the Extensions tab, then remove AVG SafeGuard Toolbar and any other unknown extensions from Mozilla Firefox.
    [Image: AVG Secure Search Firefox extension]
  2. Reset your default search engine and homepage from AVG Secure Search to their default.
    To reset your search engine and homepage to their default, we will use the SearchReset extension.This add-on is very simple: on installation, it backs up and then resets your search preferences and home page to their default values, and then uninstalls itself. This affects the search bar, URL bar searches, and the home page.
    You can download SearchReset from the below link, and then we will just need to install it to revert Firefox to its default settings.
    SEARCHRESET DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open another web page from where you can download the SearchReset Firefox extension)
    [Image: SearchReset extension]

Remove AVG Secure Search from Google Chrome

  1. Remove AVG Secure Search extensions from Google Chrome.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button on the browser toolbar, select Tools and then click on Extensions.
    Google Chrome Extensions
    In the Extensions tab, remove AVG SafeGuard Toolbar and any other unknown extensions by clicking the trash can [Image: Remove an extension from Chrome] icon.
    Basically, if you have not installed an extension, you should remove it from your web browser.
    [Image: AVG Secure Search Chrome extension]
  2. Set Google Chrome default search engine from AVG Secure Search to Google.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button, then select Settings and click on Manage search engines in the Search section.
    In the Search Engines dialog that appears, select Google and click the Make Default button that appears in the row.
    [Image: AVG Secure Search Chrome redirect]
    Search for AVG Secure Search (mysearch.avg.com) in the Search Engines list, and click the X button that appears at the end of the row.
    [Image: AVG Secure Search Chrome removal]
  3. Change Google Chrome homepage from AVG Secure Search to its default.
    AVG has modified your Google Chrome settings to open their webpage whenever you start your browser, so we will need to revert this change.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button, then select Settings and click on One the New Tab page in the On Startup section.
    [Image: Change Google Chrome homepage to its default]

STEP 3: Remove AVG Secure Search browser hijacker with AdwCleaner

  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 Scan button as shown below.
    [Image: Adwcleaner Scan]
    AdwCleaner will now start to search for AVG Secure Search malicious files that may be installed on your computer.
  4. To remove the AVG Secure Search malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Clean button.
    [Image: AdwCleaner removing infections]
    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.

STEP 4: Remove AVG Secure Search virus from with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free utilizes Malwarebytes powerful technology to detect and remove all traces of malware including worms, trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware and more.

  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 AVG Secure Search malicious files.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Scan]
  4. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for AVG Secure Search as shown below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for AVG Secure Search 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-Malware removing AVG Secure Search]

STEP 5: Double-check for the AVG Secure Search infection with HitmanPro

HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner, designed to rescue your computer from malware (viruses, trojans, rootkits, etc.) that have infected your computer despite all the security measures you have taken (such as anti virus software, firewalls, etc.).

  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 AVG Secure Search malicious files.
    HitmanPro detecting for AVG Secure Search 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 AVG Secure Search 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 AVG Secure Search 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 AVG Secure Search from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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ABOUT STELIAN PILICI

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.

You can follow me on Google+ and I will keep you up-to-date with the latest computer infections and malware threats.

  • mickey

    Thanks so much, it worked. I should have found your site 1st.

  • ShadowKat Sam

    Thank You Very Much!!! I just built my new computer and installed GOM player for a couple of videos this past weekend. Tonight it showed there was an update, so I updated. But then I saw AVG toolbar being added…and knew I was screwed :( But AdwCleaner saved the night. AVG had shut down all internet access and after I did the control panel software removal for it and then GOM, AVG was still in Chrome. And I cleared it out of Chrome too and tried a “reset to default”, before ending up here. I already had Malwarebytes but it did not help. I did reboots between each software removal too. I installed AdwCleaner, let it run, did a reboot, opened Chrome and what do you know, FINALLY, I think, everything is normal again.

  • Steve henry

    Hi despite completing all the steps on the Remove “AVG Secure Search” redirect (Virus Removal Guide) I still get the AVG Secure Search page when opening a new tab in Firefox. Can you offer any further advice please?

    • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

      Hello,
      Lets reset Firefox to its default settings:
      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.

      2.Click the Reset Firefox button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Informationpage.

      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

      • Steve henry

        Thanks Stelian, actually I have overcome this problem by removing the Java Script as recommended by RZKYBZNZ below.

  • ara

    Stelian do you have www-linkeyproject-com-redirect-virus removal guide?

  • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

    Hello,
    Lets try to remove this infection:
    STEP 1: Run a scan with AdwCleaner
    1. Download AdwCleaner from here: http://general-changelog-team.fr/fr/downloads/finish/20-outils-de-xplode/2-adwcleaner

    2.Close all open programs and internet browsers.

    3.Double click on adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.

    4.Click on Clean button. Your computer should restart.

    STEP 2: Run a scan with Junkware Removal Tool

    1.Download Junkware Removal Tool to your desktop from the below link:

    JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL : http://thisisudax.org/download

    2. Double-click on the JRT.exe icon to start this utility.

    3. The tool will open and start scanning your system. Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system’s specifications

    Next, please run a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro as see in this guide.
    Stay safe!

  • RZKYBZNZ

    THIS WORKED FOR ME ON MOZILLA FIREFOX

    It is a javascript, that’s keeping this
    fiend alive

    Delete “C:Program FilesMozilla
    Firefoxbrowsercomponents —> avgMozXPCOM.js” and the beast will be no
    more!

    • Caro13

      Oh my gosh, this is months later, but THANK YOU. That finally did it.

  • AB

    I can’t get past step one! I keep getting an error when I try to uninstall the program!

    • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

      Hello AB,
      Lets try to remove this infection:
      STEP 1: Run a scan with AdwCleaner
      1. Download AdwCleaner from here: http://general-changelog-team.fr/fr/downloads/finish/20-outils-de-xplode/2-adwcleaner

      2.Close all open programs and internet browsers.

      3.Double click on adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.

      4.Click on Clean button. Your computer should restart.

      STEP 2: Run a scan with Junkware Removal Tool

      1.Download Junkware Removal Tool to your desktop from the below link:

      JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL : http://thisisudax.org/download

      2. Double-click on the JRT.exe icon to start this utility.

      3. The tool will open and start scanning your system. Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system’s specifications

      Next, please run a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro as see in this guide.
      Stay safe!

  • Maddie

    Thank you so much for your help!! You are a genius.

  • Roberta

    Thank you! Removed all the files. My excel docs are still not corrupt but at least AVG is gone.

  • Monica C

    I LOVE YOU STELIAN PILICI! THANK YOU

  • AVG and then back to normal

    Hi Stelian! Great advice, thank you so much for your easy to follow instructions, saved me from a headache dealing with AVG malware.

  • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

    Hello,
    This infection is actually a browser hijacker, so it should not slow your computer down. Apart from the fact that it will change your browser homepage and default search engine (which is not most user want), it’s not really malicious.
    Even so, I recommend that you perform all steps from this guide!
    Stay safe!