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AVG Internet Security and AVG AntiVirus for Mac - Getting Started

AVG Internet Security and AVG AntiVirus work in real-time to protect your Mac from viruses, malware, phishing, and other malicious threats. This article explains how to use AVG AntiVirus (free version) and AVG Internet Security (paid version) on your Mac.

This article assumes that the latest version of AVG AntiVirus or AVG Internet Security is already installed on your Mac. For detailed installation instructions, refer to the relevant article below:

Open the user interface

You can open AVG AntiVirus or AVG Internet Security using either method below:

  • Click the AVG AntiVirus icon in the menu bar and select Open AVG Internet Security or Open AVG AntiVirus.
  • Click Go in the menu bar and select Applications, then double-click the AVG AntiVirus icon.

All features are enabled by default and the status message You have full protection (AVG Internet Security) or You have basic protection (AVG AntiVirus) is displayed. On the main screen, you can also check when a Deep Scan was last performed, and ensure Virus definitions are up to date.

If you see the status You are not protected, ensure you have manually enabled AVG software extensions and Full Disk Access. For detailed instructions, refer to the following articles:

Access Features

You can access most application features via the tiles on the main application screen.

Basic Protection

Basic Protection includes the following features that are available in both AVG AntiVirus and AVG Internet Security:

  • File Shield: scans programs and files saved on your Mac for malicious threats in real-time before allowing them to be opened, run, modified, or saved. If malware is detected, File Shield prevents the program or file from infecting your Mac. To access File Shield, click the Computer tile on the main AVG screen.
  • Web Shield: scans data that is transferred when you browse the internet in real-time. This prevents malware, such as malicious scripts, from being downloaded and run on your Mac. To access Web Shield, click the Web & Email tile on the main AVG screen.
  • Email Shield: scans email attachments in real-time before allowing them to be opened, run, modified, or saved. If malware is detected, Email Shield prevents the program or file from infecting your Mac. To access Email Shield, click the Web & Email tile on the main AVG screen.

To customize these shield settings, go to AVG AntiVirus or AVG Internet Security in your menu bar, then select Preferences...Shields.

Full Protection

Full Protection includes the following features that are only available with a paid AVG Internet Security subscription:

  • Ransomware Protection: secures your personal photos, documents, and files from being modified, deleted, or encrypted by ransomware attacks. This feature automatically secures your Pictures and Documents folders, and allows you to specify which other folders and file types you want to protect from untrusted applications. Additionally, you can specify which applications are allowed to modify the files in your protected folders by adding applications to your Allowed apps list.
  • Phishing Net: uses our cloud database to catch the newest phishing sites and block spam, scams, and malicious phishing emails. To access Phishing Net, click the Payments tile on the main AVG screen.
  • Fake Website Shield: helps you avoid fake websites so you don't unknowingly give criminals your passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal data. This feature prevents criminals from hijacking your DNS (domain name system) settings by using AVG's own secured DNS servers to faithfully direct you to real websites. To access Fake Website Shield, click the Payments tile on the main AVG screen.

All Basic Protection features are enabled by default when you install AVG AntiVirus. Additional Full Protection features are enabled when you activate AVG Internet Security. We strongly recommend keeping all features enabled at all times to ensure maximum protection for your Mac. If you want to disable a feature, click the green slider above the feature name, enter your system administrator credentials when prompted, then click OK. The slider changes to red (OFF), indicating that the feature is disabled.

Manage Ransomware Protection

Ransomware Protection (available in AVG Internet Security) is enabled by default to protect your Pictures and Documents folders. You can customize these settings to protect specific file types, add additional folders to your Protected folders list, or add applications to your Allowed apps list. To access Ransomware Protection, click the Hacker Attacks tile on the main application screen, then click Open on the Ransomware Protection tile.

Customize protected file types

  1. Select the Protected folders tab, then click Protected file types.
  2. Select or deselect which file types are protected by Ransomware Protection.
  3. To protect additional file types, type the file extension (for example .html) into the text box.
  4. Click Save, then enter your system administrator credentials when prompted, and click OK.

Your file type changes are saved.

Add Protected folders

  1. Select the Protected folders tab, then click Add Folder.
  2. Select a folder, then click Open.
  3. Enter your system administrator credentials when prompted, then click OK.

The selected folder is added to the Protected folders list.

Add Allowed apps

  1. Select the Allowed apps tab, then click Allow An App.
  2. Select an app, then click Open.
  3. Enter your system administrator credentials when prompted, then click OK.

The selected app is added to the Allowed apps list.

Scan your Mac

There are three scan types available in AVG AntiVirus and AVG Internet Security: Mac Scan, Deep Scan, and File Scan. You can also create a scheduled custom scan to run regularly and automatically. To access these scan options, click the icon (three dots) next to Scan Mac on the main application screen.

Mac Scan performs a comprehensive scan of the most important directories on your Mac. To run Mac Scan:

  1. Click Scan on the Mac Scan tile.
  2. A progress screen appears while AVG performs the scan.
  3. When the scan completes, click Resolve next to a detected threat to move the file to Quarantine. Alternatively, click Resolve All to move all detected malicious files to Quarantine. If no threats are found, click Close to return to the main application screen.
You can also launch Mac Scan from the main application screen by clicking Scan Mac. To cancel the scan, click Stop Scan on the progress screen.

To customize your scan settings, click AVG AntiVirus or AVG Internet Security in your menu bar, then select Preferences...Scanning.

Deep Scan performs an in-depth scan of each file on your Mac's hard drive. To run Deep Scan:

  1. Click Scan on the Deep Scan tile.
  2. A progress screen appears while AVG performs the scan.
  3. When the scan completes, click Resolve next to a detected threat to move the file to Quarantine. Alternatively, click Resolve All to move all detected malicious files to Quarantine. If no threats are found, click Close to return to the main AVG screen.
Deep Scan usually takes considerably longer than Mac Scan or File Scan due to the large number of files being analyzed.

To customize your scan settings, click AVG AntiVirus or AVG Internet Security in the menu bar, then select Preferences...Scanning.

File Scan allows you to specify which files and folders on your Mac are scanned. To run File Scan:

  1. Click Scan on the File Scan tile.
  2. Select the files you want to scan, then click Open.
  3. A progress screen appears while AVG performs the scan.
  4. When the scan completes, click Resolve next to a detected threat to move the file to Quarantine. Alternatively, click Resolve All to move all detected malicious files to Quarantine. If no threats are found, click Close to return to the main AVG screen.

To customize your scan settings, click AVG AntiVirus or AVG Internet Security in your menu bar, then select Preferences...Scanning.

The Schedule Custom Scan feature lets you configure any scan type to run regularly and automatically according to the settings you specify. To schedule a custom scan:

  1. Click Schedule Scan on the Schedule Custom Scan tile.
  2. Enter a name for your scan, then customize the following parameters according to your preferences:
    • Type of scan: click the down arrow and select either Mac Scan, Deep Scan, or File Scan.
    • Frequency: click the down arrow and select either Once, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.
    • Date: select a date for your scan to run.
      • Once: click the calendar icon and select a date.
      • Weekly: click the down arrow and select a day.
      • Monthly: click in the text box and select a date.
    • Start time: click in the time box, then use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to set your preferred start time for the scan.
  3. If you selected File Scan, click Add Folder and select the folder you want to scan.
  4. Specify your preferred scan settings by ticking or unticking the options below:
    • Scan archives: include compressed file types such as .zip, .rar, and other executable files. Including these file types increases the scan duration.
    • Scan external drives and shared folders: include any external drives connected to your Mac and shared folders on your network.
    • Scan for potentially unwanted applications (PUAs): scan for PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications) such as spyware and adware that are stealthily downloaded onto your Mac with other applications.
    • Scan Time Machine backups: include Time Machine backups in your scheduled scan. Time Machine is the built-in backup feature on your Mac.
    The external storage device used for your Time Machine backups needs to be connected to your Mac when the scheduled scan runs.
    • Scan when on batteries: the scheduled scan runs even if your Mac is not plugged in.
    • Wake up your Mac for scan: the scheduled scan runs even if your Mac is in sleep mode. If necessary, AVG wakes up your Mac to run the scheduled scan.
  5. Click Save to confirm your settings.

Your scan runs according to the schedule you specified. A summary of your Custom Scan parameters appears on the Scan Options screen. To edit or delete the scan, hover your cursor over the scan details, and click the icon (three dots), then select Edit Scan or Remove Scan.

Manage quarantined files

When File Shield detects a file you download as a threat, an alert notification appears to inform you that the file has been moved to Quarantine. Click Got It to close the alert window, or click See details to view more information about the detected threat.

To manage quarantined files:

  1. Click the Computer tile on the main application screen.
  2. Click Open on the Quarantine tile.
  3. Tick the box next to each file you want to manage, or choose Select all items.
  4. Choose an action for the selected file(s):
    • Restore: moves the file to its original location so that it is accessible again.
    • Restore To...: moves the file to a location you specify.
    • Delete: permanently removes the file from your Mac.
  5. If you selected Restore To..., select a location to move the file to, then click Open.
  6. If prompted, enter your system administrator credentials, then click OK to grant permission for the action.
  7. If you selected Delete, click Delete to confirm that the files will be permanently removed from your Mac.
  8. When you have managed all files, click Close.

Set exceptions

You can set an exception for File Shield, Web Shield, or Email Shield to exclude specific files, folders, and servers from being scanned by these shields.

  1. Click AVG AntiVirus or AVG Internet Security on the left of the menu bar, then select Preferences... from the context menu.
  2. Click the Exceptions tab, then select a shield in the left menu.
  3. Click the lock in the bottom-left corner of the window, enter your system administrator credentials, then click OK to grant permission for the changes.
  4. Click the + (plus) symbol at the bottom of the table.
  5. Choose the relevant option:
    • File Shield: navigate to the file or folder you want to exclude, then click Open.
    • Web & Email Shield: type the name of the server you want to exclude, select the service from the expandable menu, then click Add.

Your exception is configured. To remove a file or server from Exceptions, click the lock in the bottom-left corner of the window, enter your system administrator credentials, and click OK to grant permission for the changes. Then, select the exception you want to remove and click the - (minus) symbol.

Connect to your AVG Account

An AVG Account allows you to easily manage your AVG subscriptions and products. To connect AVG AntiVirus or AVG Internet Security with an AVG Account:

  1. Click Log in in the top-right corner of the application screen.
  2. Click Log in to existing account if you already have an AVG Account. Alternatively, click Create Account to create a new AVG Account.
  3. Enter your AVG Account credentials, then click Log In.

When AVG is connected with an AVG Account, the text Connected appears in the top-right corner of the application screen.

  • AVG AntiVirus 19.x for Mac
  • AVG Internet Security 19.x for Mac
  • Apple macOS 11.x (Big Sur)
  • Apple macOS 10.15.x (Catalina)
  • Apple macOS 10.14.x (Mojave)
  • Apple macOS 10.13.x (High Sierra)
  • Apple macOS 10.12.x (Sierra)
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.11.x (El Capitan)
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.10.x (Yosemite)

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