SOLVED Unable to uninstall AVG Web TuneUp


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First time poster, please let me know if this is not the right subforum for my problem.

Using Windows 10. AVG has rendered the computer unusable (95% CPU usage by AVG processes when idle, taking 3 minutes to open a document, most web sites timing out while opening, zillions of junk AVG sales pop-ups disguised as system notifications). Perusing the AVG support forum, I can see AVG tech support never solves these issues when posted by other users.

Decided to uninstall AVG and to install BitDefender instead. There were two AVG packages installed: AVG Antivirus Free and AVG Secure Search. (The latter is the software package, not the toolbar with the same name.)

First, I removed the AVG Antivirus package. The removal was successful.

Then I attempted to remove AVG Secure Search (the standard way - control panel, add-remove programs). Whenever I try to do that, the pop-up appears, I confirm the removal, the progress bar is shown for about 3 seconds, then the pop-up disappears and the package stays there on the list of installed programs.

BitDefender says it cannot complete the installation due to the presence of another antivirus. I do believe the culprit is most likely the program that I cannot remove.

How do I proceed? Thanks!
 
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Regedit32

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Before people start offering suggestions can you quickly confirm that second item you mentioned.

AVG has no products named AVG Secure Search on their official website.

They do offer another software package names AVG Secure Browser. Is this the package you are having issues with?

Regards,

Regedit32

AVG's Support page offers a removal tool for their official AVG products here:

https://www.avg.com/en-ww/avg-remover
 
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Thank you for pointing out my mistake!

The correct package name is AVG Web TuneUp.

I have just finished executing this procedure: https://www.infopackets.com/news/10012/how-fix-cant-uninstall-avg-web-tuneup-wont-remove . It involves running the avg-remover tool, removing the registry keys, removing the program files and uninstalling the software. The last step does nothing (not even opening the pop-up), the program name stays on the list despite all those steps.

BitDefender installer says "AVG Web TuneUp detected" and I am still stuck.

Thank you again for your help.
 

Regedit32

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Hi Gabi,

I've read through the article you provided a URL to.

Personally, I feel the information there is a little disorganized, and getting you to carry out instructions in a way that could potentially leave traces of the AVG Web TuneUp application.

From what I can tell this particular application has been removed from AVG's site - probably owing to the 2015 flaw discovered that placed millions of Google Chrome users at risk of having personal data mined.


So far as I can see this application adjusts settings to popular browsers such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla FireFox and Google Chrome.

Windows 10 comes with Internet Explorer. If you type Internet Explorer in your search bar you'll see its executable appear in the search list.

Perhaps you need to apply the changes to Internet Explorer too - if you have not all ready done so, and also to all browsers present on your system.

Failing that you may need to consider doing a full clean install of Windows 10, and during the installation process select the option to delete personal files - after backing up those personal files you do not want to lose. That should then fully remove this AVG from your computer.

Others in our Forum may have more insight into this particular application.

If I can locate an installation file for this application I'll install it and work out what footprint it leaves in a Windows 10 environment, which will allow me to work out how to manually remove it without the need to do a full clean install of Windows 10.

In the meanwhile can you take a look at your Startup Folder, and also C:\Program Files as well as C:\Program Files (x86) to confirm the AVG directory has, or has not been removed?

Regards,

Regedit32
 

Regedit32

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Hi again,

I managed to locate AVG Web TuneUp version 4.0.6 and have installed this to test its foot print.

As expected it did in fact add an Add-on to Internet Explorer, but failed to do this with Google Chrome or Edge.

During this installation process there were some options to add additional items, or choose not to - so my first question is did you choose to add more or stick with the most basic install possible.

Also, is the version 4.0.6 the one you have installed?

The additional driver files and scripts it installs are all contained within its program directory, so a manual remove of these will prove relatively simple should we need to go there.

As expected a Task is added to StartUp to allow the program to load each time the computer is started. This is controlled via the Windows Registry via the Registry hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You'll find references to the following executables AVG Web TuneUp uses here:

  • vprot.exe is loaded in the all users (HKLM) registry as a startup file name 'vProt' which loads as "C:\Program Files\AVG Web TuneUp\vprot.exe".
  • WtuSystemSupport.exe is loaded in the all users (HKLM) registry as a startup file name 'WtuSystemSupport.exe' which loads as "C:\Program Files\AVG Web TuneUp\WtuSystemSupport.exe".

AVG Web TuneUp directories are added in four locations:
  1. C:\Program Files\AVG Web TuneUp
  2. C:\Program Files (x86)\AVG Web TuneUP
  3. C:\Users\[your username you login with here]\AppData\Local\AVG Web TuneUp
  4. C:\Users\[your username you login with here]\AppData\Local\Packages\windows_ie_ac_001\AC\AVG Web TuneUp
Tip: to easily access the 3rd and 4th locations mentioned open File Explorer | Open This PC | Then in the address bar type or copy & paste the following:​
%\localappdata%
Press Enter key to open then continue navigating as usual​

This may sound counterintuitive, however, if your installed version of AVG Web Installer is the same that I tested, then reinstalling it and running its Uninstall.exe would in all likelihood resolve your issue.

I ran the Uninstall for this test install and can confirm it removed the entire application including the Add-on added to Internet Explorer, and all directories it created during the install.

If you'd like to see whether that'd work for you then I'll provide the download link and instructions on the install and ultimate, uninstall, for you.

Interestingly, the install of this application had no affect on Windows Defender or Windows Security, so it is odd Bitdefender is complaining about its presence in your case.

Regards,

Regedit32
 
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Regedit32,

Wow, thank you very much for all of this, I really appreciate it!

I have deleted the directory under C:\Program Files (x86) as per one of your suggestions - this location was not mentioned in the original procedure from infopackets.com. The uninstall finally worked fine after this step (with "An error occurred ... would you like to remove ... from the list ..." as expected). Next, BitDefender installer finished successfully right away and the first full system scan is in progress as I am writing this.

I hope it's OK to ask a few last questions before marking this thread as solved and closing it:

1. - Could you possibly fix the title of the thread to show the correct package name? This would help other users running into the same problem. I messed it up, specifying the wrong name...

2. - You wrote: "[...] the 2015 flaw discovered that placed millions of Google Chrome users at risk of having personal data mined". Could this be how my gmail account was hacked and abused? I am still suffering from it in multiple ways. Would it be OK if I posted about that issue on a new thread (seeing that such abuse is not specific to Windows 10)?

3. - I hope BitDefender will give me more benefit than damage, unlike AVG. Should I set up any further protection beside an antivirus?

Again, thank you very much for your amazing work.

Gabi
 

Regedit32

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Hi Gabi,

Thanks for the update. I'm pleased you have finally managed to rid yourself of the AVG Web TuneUp.

You said you were unable to uninstall it once you removed that additional directory, so assuming it uninstalled like mine did when testing, you ought to see no presence at all of AVG Web TuneUp on your computer, or in your chosen browser.

As requested I've changed your Thread title to reflect the software you were having an issue with.

Re the Gmail hack - theoretically its possible but probably unlikely. Gmail being so popular as the Windows operating system is, means those malicious folk out there who like to cause grief will target these given they can cause a lot of harm to a lot of people. I suspect if the flaw in AVG Web TuneUp was responsible for a hack we'd have heard by now of litigation in the US.

Bitdefender should be fine - I have not used it since Windows 7 so I cannot comment as to how it will affect Windows Security. If you scroll through our Forum you'll find numerous thoughts on Antivirus software, and other suggestions regarding AdWare and PuPs.

Personally I feel the built in Windows Security which includes Windows Defender, and Microsoft's Malicious Removal Tool, are perfectly adequate for protecting the computer. However, a lot of users like using as an additional support applications like Malwarebytes which is essentially a cleanup tool, but also comes with additional features that allow you to uninstall applications installed on your computer, clean your Registry of divorced hives and values - items often left behind when uninstalling third party apps, etcetera.

Applications like this can be quite handy, but be warned, any third party application that is cleaning your Registry can report back in a false/positive sense, so before clicking YES or OK to allow them to remove Registry items, make certain you are sure the items found are not needed!

Best of luck with your Windows 10 experience, and fingers crossed the problematic application is now removed permanently :)

Regards,

Regedit32

ps: Third party applications for security or general cleaning generally are free although some offer trials too of the paid version. If you decide to install one of these - read carefully prior to download and installation as they often come bundled with additional software or search bars for browsers that you may not want to install. Generally, you can opt out of the extras and only download and install the actual application you chose to try out. The same goes for when you run the installation file - check as it starts whether there are any check boxes or radio buttons next to bundled extras. Again you can opt out of these too and only install the downloaded application.
 
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Hi Regedit32,

Thank you very much for your detailed advice and insight. I will keep coming back to your concluding post as necessary.

It is a new and refreshing experience to have 95% of the hardware resources available for the user tasks rather than 5%.

I am going to mark the thread as solved.

Thanks again!
 

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