Home and Start Pages Hijacked by AVG Secure Search..
First of all, I acknowledge the fact that I'm using "free" software, and that I may be expected to endure a certain amount of inconvenience for this. But having my start and home pages, as well as search engine settings for Firefox, IE and Chrome changed, without my permission, is too much.
I like AVG (Free) very much. I used to use Avira Antivir, but found it too "naggy" so I switched to AVG on the recommendation of some trusted colleagues. But this latest "stunt" (or mistake?) with a recent "update" has annoyed me enough to make the effort to get an account here, and make this post. This was after the 10 minutes I went through restoring my original settings to the browsers in question. Like the OP, I am experienced at this and it was a minor inconvenience. I would also agree that less-experienced users may find the occurrence somewhat more traumatic.
AVG provides free software as a "service" that elevates its brand, that may possibly lead to a future paying customer relationship. Actions such as this hijacking go a long way towards undermining this. AVG should reconsider such actions in the future, accordingly.
Even after restoring my original settings, and restarting Windows 8, I tried using Google Chrome's "omnibox" (used for both searches and inputting URLs) to find something, and I got AVG Secure Search, AGAIN!!
I went into settings, and they had switched the search engine back to AVG Secure Search. This is what a virus or malware would do. Kind of ironic, under the circumstances.
After switching it back to Google, I tried searching again--and still got AVG Secure Search, even though a re-check of my advanced settings showed Google. So I went into the "Manage Search Engines" section and deleted two entries for AVG Secure Search, restarted Chrome, and Google appeared to be working. However, for some weird (and possibly unrelated reason) I could no longer get to ANY page with Chrome, although other browsers continued to function. As I had a lingering "Resolving proxy..." message in the lower left corner, I checked those settings, and they appeared OK. After restarting Windows, again, Chrome seems to be working, with no further AVG Secure Search hijacking, at least....not so far. I'll let you all know if that occurs down the road.
This is a lot of b.s. to have to deal with, and again--someone unfamiliar with changing browser settings, or knowing about proxy servers, might be completely apoplectic by now.
[Edit: AVG provides an easy way to fix the New Tab Secure Search hijack in Chrome. There is a link in the Secure Search toolbar to the far right on a New Tab screen in Chrome that gives the option to return to the previous settings. Once the procedure is completed, the original New Tab screen is restored. I admit that my apoplexy prevented me from noticing this right away. It would have been cool if the other hijacks had similar solutions--or maybe they did and I missed them?]
My problem arose with AVG Free 2013. I had no problems with AVG Free 2012. It's just that there is no AVG Free 2013 forum you can post to!
Oh I do like the AVG claim that my startup time has improved since installing AVG. I wonder how they do it? The PC Analyser software has never been run. I do not believe in using registry cleaners and optimisers.
Very disappointed with the decision to change AVG to behave like this, and even more so after seeing that the response to so many complaints is essentially this is how it is supposed to work. Shame on you. You used to know better.
One can only conclude that AVG no longer puts user's concerns first. Now it's up to users to accept that reality and move forward accordingly one way or another.
As for me and my customers, we will be moving forward without AVG. I hope you and your adware are very happy together.