AVG Free Resource Usage Woes

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 10, 2010
Updated • Dec 12, 2012

Jojo mailed me yesterday with some interesting information about AVG's latest free antivirus software. I could not believe it at first, but confirmed it after installing AVG Free on a test system. Basically, Jojo mentioned that AVG was running eight background processes after installation, and that it's size of installation was exceeding the 500 Megabyte mark, with the majority of that installed on the system drive, regardless of the drive selected during installation.

That did not sound well, and it frankly reminded me of Nero and how the company turned a lightweight and excellent CD and DVD burning software into an overweight beast.

AVG 2011 Free can be customized before installation. Doing so provides options to install it on a different drive, or add and remove features from the program before installation. If you remove features you are likely to end up with a lower size on the computer's hard drive and less background processes. For the sake of this article though, I have decided to install all suggested modules. I did however select an installation directory on another system partition and decided to remove the AVG widget from the installation. The widget basically offers options to quickly run a scan and see if the system is protected, nothing that you cannot find out by clicking on the AVG icon itself. And AVG will notify you if it encounters problems.

Lets take a closer look at the components that are installed by AVG Antivirus Free:
avg installation options

  • Personal E-Mail Scanner: Monitors email clients using POP3, SMTP and IMAP for phishing and spam.
  • LinkScanner: Blocks dangerous websites in browsers automatically, and checks links on popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo.
  • AVG Search-Shield: Compatible with Google, Yahoo, MSN and Live search engines, displays safety information about search engine links.
  • AVG Surf-Shield: Protects users from drive by downloads and other exploits: Selected by default.
  • Identity Protection: Monitors the way programs behave on the computer, blocking any activity that could lead to ID theft.

AVG downloads roughly 130 Megabytes during installation, if the offline installer was used to install the antivirus software.
avg installation

The size on the hard drive however turns out to be more than that. The AVG installation folder on the hard drive will use roughly that size alone. What's puzzling is that AVG creates another folder on the system drive, regardless of the selected installation path. This additional folder is located in Users\All Users\AVG10 on Windows 7, and uses 302 Megabytes on the hard drive. That's a lot. Most of the space is taken by the SetupBackup folder. I assume that folder is there to prevent the user from having to download the setup files again when making changes to the antivirus software. It takes up 223 Megabytes on the system partition. The second biggest folder is the update folder with a size of almost 70 Megabytes.

It is definitely not a good practice to store files of that size on the system partition, especially not if the user has selected a different partition for installation of the software. At least a notification should be displayed to inform users of this fact.

If you take a look at the system processes you may be in for another shock. On the test system, AVG was using six background processes all the time. Jojo even mentioned eight processes on his system. Lets take a look at their names and their functions:

  • avgchsva.exe: AVG Cache Server Process, the process is apparently used to cache all system files in the background. avgchsva.exe will minimize its system resource usage after the cache has been populated, but keep on running nevertheless.
  • avgcsrva.exe: The core scanning module of AVG.
  • AVGIDSMonitor.exe: AVG Identity Security Monitor process. Monitors processes and behaviors in realtime.
  • avgrsa.exe: AVG Resident Shield Service, scans files as they are copied, opened and saved, and if a threat is found forbids the activation. It also provides vital protection for the system areas of the computer according to AVG.
  • avgtray.exe, AVG Tray is monitoring application over all AVG components and is responsible for showing pop ups by AVG (email scanning, computer scanning, Resident Shield / LinkScanner detections, etc.).
  • avgui.exe, likely linked to the graphical user interface of the AVG program.

Another annoying thing is that it is not possible to reduce the number of processes by disabling features of the program. I would expect that disabling Identity Protection would remove the AVGIDSMonitor.exe process. This is apparently not the case.

The processes do not seem to be using lots of resources, at least not when they are idle. The biggest idle processes are avgui.exe followed by AVGIDSMonitor.exe and avgtray.exe.

The biggest problems that I see are the massive size of the setup and update files on the system partition, and the number of running background processes.

What's your experience with AVG's latest antivirus software? Let us know in the comments.


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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):


  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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