AVG AntiVirus and AVG Internet Security work in real-time to protect your Mac from viruses, malware, phishing, and other malicious threats. Comprehensive shields and scanning tools check your programs and files to ensure they are safe before allowing them to be downloaded, opened, run, modified, or saved. Refer to the sections in this article to learn 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 following article:
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.
You can access most application features via tiles on the main AVG screen.
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 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 AVG screen, then click Open on the Ransomware Protection tile.
Customize protected file types
- Select the Protected folders tab, then click Protected file types.
- Select or deselect which file types are protected by Ransomware Protection.
- To protect additional file types, type the file extension (for example .html) into the text box.
- Click Save, then enter your system administrator credentials when prompted, and click OK.
Your file type changes are saved.
Add Protected folders
- Select the Protected folders tab, then click Add Folder.
- Select a folder, then click Open.
- Enter your system administrator credentials when prompted, then click OK.
The selected folder is added to the Protected folders list.
Add Allowed apps
- Select the Allowed apps tab, then click Allow An App.
- Select an app, then click Open.
- 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 AVG screen.
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:
- Click the Computer tile on the main AVG screen.
- Click Open on the Quarantine tile.
- Tick the box next to each file you want to manage, or choose Select all items.
- 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.
- If you selected Restore To..., select a location to move the file to, then click Open.
- If prompted, enter your system administrator credentials, then click OK to grant permission for the action.
- If you selected Delete, click Delete to confirm that the files will be permanently deleted from your Mac.
- When you have managed all files, click Close.
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.
- Click AVG AntiVirus or AVG Internet Security in the top-left corner of the menu bar, then select Preferences... from the context menu.
- Click the Exceptions tab, then select a shield in the left menu.
- 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.
- Click the + (plus) symbol at the bottom of the table.
- 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:
- Click Log in in the top-right corner of the AVG screen.
- Click Log in to existing account if you already have an AVG Account. Alternatively, click Create Account to set up a new AVG Account.
- 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 AVG 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)