Does AVG Anti-Virus Free Come With a Rootkit?

by Kevin Lee

The name "rootkit" may not be as well-known as the word "virus," but rootkits can be just as dangerous as viral infections that harm your computer. You PC might even have a rootkit infection now and you may not know it. If you use the AVG Free Anti-Virus program, you can take advantage of its rootkit scanning feature to eliminate the threat.

Rootkit Dangers

One reason that rootkits are so dangerous is because they're difficult to detect. You can get one by installing an application or application package that has a rootkit hidden inside. Cybercriminals may also install rootkits manually if they discover a security hole that gives them access to your computer. Rootkits can hide at the operating system level and steal data, change it and attack other computers on a network. While firewalls may reduce the odds of getting a malware infection, it's wise to install a security program that protects against rootkits.

AVG Free Features

AVG provides a free version of its anti-virus program. Although it doesn't provide all features that its paid apps do, it can detect malware threats and remove them. However, the free version doesn't protect you when downloading files, shopping online or managing email. If you'd like those features, look at the AVG Internet Security program instead. After installing AVG Free, you always have the option to upgrade to a paid version right from AVG’s main screen.

AVG Free Rootkit Protection

AVG Free comes with a special tool called the Anti-Rootkit component. Run it by opening AVG's main screen, clicking "Computer" and then clicking "Scan for Rootkits." The program will begin a rootkit scan that you can pause whenever you like by clicking "Pause." You also have the option to minimize the status screen so you can work on other things during the scan. AVG displays the results of its rootkit scan when it finishes and recommends actions if it discovers a rootkit. AVG also performs a rootkit scan by default whenever you run a whole computer scan.


Rootkit detection programs, such as AVG's, can sometimes sound false alarms. For instance, AVG might identify a safe application as a rootkit threat and warn you about it. If that happens, ensure that the app is one that you trust and then add it to your list of exceptions. AVG will no longer flag it while performing a scan. lf you need assistance managing exceptions, click "Options" on AVG's main window and then click "Help Content." You can then search for exceptions or other topics that can assist you.

About the Author

After majoring in physics, Kevin Lee began writing professionally in 1989 when, as a software developer, he also created technical articles for the Johnson Space Center. Today this urban Texas cowboy continues to crank out high-quality software as well as non-technical articles covering a multitude of diverse topics ranging from gaming to current affairs.

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