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

In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.

  1. To uninstall the AVG Secure Search program from Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, click the “Start” button, then click on the “Control Panel” menu option.
    [Image: Control Panel in Windows Start Menu]
    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.
    [Image: Type Control Panel in Windows 8 search box]
  2. When the “Control Panel” window opens click on the “Uninstall a program” option under “Programs” category. This option is shown by the arrow in the image below. If you are using the “Classic View” of the Control Panel, then you would double-click on the “Programs and Features” icon instead.
    [Image: Uninstall a program]
  3. When the “Programs and Features” 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 unknown program from your computer.
    AVG Secure Search has been found to be bundled with 3rd party software. To view the most recently installed programs, you can click on the “Installed On” column to sort your program by the installation date. Scroll through the list, and uninstall any unwanted or unknown programs.

    [Image: Uninstall the AVG Secure Search programs]
    If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.

If you are having issues while trying to uninstall the AVG Secure Search program, you can use Revo Uninstaller to completely remove this unwanted program from your machine.


STEP 2 : Remove AVG Secure Search from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome

Remove AVG Secure Search from Internet Explorer

You can reset Internet Explorer settings to return them to the state they were in when Internet Explorer was first installed on your PC.

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the “gear iconIE Icon Gear in the upper right part of your browser, then click again on Internet Options.
    [Image: Internet Options in Internet Explorer]
  2. In the “Internet Options” dialog box, click on the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.
    [Image: Reset Internet Explorer]
  3. In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click on “Reset” button.
    [Image: Reset Internet Explorer to its default settings to remove AVG Secure Search]
  4. When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box. You will now  need to close your browser, and then you can open Internet Explorer again.
    [Image Reset Internet Explorer settings]

Remove AVG Secure Search from Mozilla Firefox

If you’re having problems with Firefox, resetting it can help. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history and open tabs.

  1. In the upper-right corner of the Firefox window, click the Firefox menu button ([Image: Firefox Menu button]), the click on the “Help” ([Image: Firefox Help button]) button.
    [Image: Click on the Menu button then Help]
  2. From the Help menu, choose Troubleshooting Information.
    [Image: Troubleshooting Information in Firefox]
  3. Click the “Reset Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
    [Image: Reset Firefox to its default settings to remove AVG Secure Search]
  4. To continue, click on the “Reset Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
    [Image: Click on the Reset Firefox button]
  5. Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.

Note: Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.

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

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and web browser for the “AVG Secure Search” malicious files, browser extensions 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 open a new web page from where you can download “AdwCleaner”)
  2. Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
    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.
    AdwCleaner scan button
    AdwCleaner will now start to search for the “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.
    Remove AVG Secure Search with AdwCleaner
  5. AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or documents, as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.
    AdwCleaner removing malware

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

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free uses industry-leading technology to detect and remove all traces of malware, including worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware, and more.
It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free”)
  2. Once downloaded, close all programs, then double-click on the icon on your desktop named “mbam-setup-consumer-2.00.xx” to start the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware setup program]
    Picture of User Account Control You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
  3. When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard]
    To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Final Setup Screen]
  4. Once installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program, and that a scan has never been run on your system. To start a system scan you can click on the “Fix Now” button.
    [Image: Click on the Fix Now button to start a scan]
    Alternatively, you can click on the “Scan” tab and select “Threat Scan“, then click on the “Scan Now” button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Threat Scan]
  5. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now check for updates, and if there are any, you will need to click on the “Update Now” button.
    [Image: Click on Update Now to update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware]
  6. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for the AVG Secure Search virus. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is scanning it will look like the image below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware while performing a scan]
  7. When the scan has completed, you will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has found, click on the “Quarantine All” button, and then click on the “Apply Now” button.
    [Image: Remove AVG Secure Search with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware]
    Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.
  8. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. When removing the files, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot your computer, please allow it to do so.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware removing AVG Secure Search]
    After your computer will restart, you should open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform another “Threat Scan” scan to verify that there are no remaining threats

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.). HitmanPro is designed to work alongside existing security programs without any conflicts. It scans the computer quickly (less than 5 minutes) and does not slow down the computer.

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new 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.
    [Image: HitmanPro start-up screen]
    Click on the “Next” button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
    [Image: HitmanPro setup options]
  3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for AVG Secure Search malicious files.
    [Image: HitmanPro scanning for malware]
  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 virus.
    [Image: 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 Activate Free License]
Your computer should now be free of the AVG Secure Search. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove AVG Secure Search adware 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!