If you already have AVG Free 2013, you should download and install the 2014 version sooner than later. If you don't, you will have pop-ups come up eventually asking you to update (and they will steer you toward the full paid version instead of the free basic version).
Print these instructions out, or bring them up on another computer in order to follow them through the process.
Download it from here and choose either the 32bit version or the 64bit version. If you still have Windows XP, you most likely need the 32bit version. Most people running Vista or Windows 7, or Windows 8 will need the 64bit version. When in doubt, try installing the 64bit version. If it's not the right one, the installation won't get all the way through.
The interface and settings are pretty much the same as in AVG Free 2013
Note: these instructions are for if you are installing AVG Free 2014 on top of AVG Free 2013. If you are installing AVG Free for the first time, the steps will be very similar. Also, for first time installers, if you have any other real-time security programs running on your computer, you will need to remove them before installing AVG Free.
Having problems installing AVG Free? See my post here for a resolution.
- Close any open programs, including your browser.
- Run the file you downloaded.
- Accept the license agreement
- Check Custom Install and click Next.
- Un-check Additional installed languages. Make sure AVG Add-Ons is UN-checked (if it shows in the list). Next
- UN-check Use the AVG Toolbar to improve my Internet protection. By default, nothing else should be checked off in this Window. Make sure all the boxes in this window are NOT checked off. Next.
- Now it will install. This can take a few minutes or longer, depending on your computer.
- When that is done, UN-check I want to help AVG improve its products ... (or leave it checked if you don't mind the program sending AVG anonymous information about threats it bumps into and security issues related to AVG in order for AVG to use this info to improve their program). I leave this checked. Note: for some of you, your browser might open with a notice from AVG that they are sad to see that you uninstalled the Security Toolbar. Ignore this and close the browser.
- Click on Restart Now
- If your operating system asks if you want to restart now, yes, restart.
- Wait for your computer to restart and wait for AVG window to open. If it doesn't, double-click on the AVG tray icon. If your tray icon ends up hidden, un-hide it (click the little up arrow and choose Customize and beside AVG, change to Show icon and notifications, and then click OK)
- Click on Update Now (if it shows Program Up To Date, then skip this). Let it update. Continue doing this until it says You are currently up-to-date. From the Update screen, to get back to the main screen, click on the back arrow on the left side (white arrow in green).
- Now, time to configure
- Go to the main AVG Free screen
- Click Options (top right), Advanced Settings
- UN-check the bottom 3 items: AVG Advisor Notifications, Boot time improvement notifications, and Statistical notifications (all mainly just annoying messages). Then click Apply
- Click on the + sign beside Scans and then on Removable device scan.
- Check Enable Removable device scan, and Heal/Remove virus infections without asking me
- Scroll to the bottom of this window and change Adjust how quickly ... to High Priority. Apply
- Back on the left, click on the + sign beside Schedules, and select Scheduled Scan
- Check off Enable this task
- Leave the default setting or adjust to a day and time of the week when the computer is normally on.
- Okay, and back to the main screen. And close (X in the top right corner).
- Eventually, usually within an hour from installation, AVG will pop up and ask you to do an initial scan. Do it.
- Everything that you will ever see in the Notification area (bottom of the main AVG screen) regards upgrading to the paid version of the program. For most people you can ignore this.
- Fix Performance - Don't use this. There are better free tools out there and most things like this that profess to tune up your computer only make it worse.
- Driver Update - Don't use this. It's not necessary and can end up installing an incorrect driver (which can really foul up your computer).
- If you accidentally upgrade to the paid version or a free trial of the paid version, you may find, among other things, that you get a lot of annoying messages popping up while you are on-line, and that you can't access some web pages that you regularly access. To revert back to the free basic version, remove the program via the Windows Control Panel and Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP), or Programs and Features (Windows Vista, 7, 8). Once you select to remove/uninstall it, you will be presented with various choices. Choose the one that converts or reverts you to the free, or basic protection/version.
- UPDATE: If you accidentally install the AVG Nation Toolbar, you may notice that it hijacks your browser (adds a toolbar, changes your search engine and home page). The simple solution is to just un-install it. To do so, go to the Control Panel, Programs and Features and remove it. Once removed, your browser settings will revert back to what they were.