How to uninstall Avast SafeZone Browser - gHacks Tech News

How to uninstall Avast SafeZone Browser

Avast SafeZone Browser is one of the components that may gets added to your Windows machine when you install the antivirus solution.

It is selected by default and if you don't select the customize option in the installer to pick the modules that you want installed, will be installed on your system.

Avast users on sites like Reddit reported recently that Avast SafeZone Browser was installed on their system afterwards as well, which they noticed immediately as Avast put a SafeZone Browser icon on the desktop of the system.

Avast SafeZone Browser

avast free setup

According to Avast, SafeZone Browser has been designed with "built-in privacy features" that promises better privacy and safety while on the Internet.

While it includes features such as ad-blocking or filters that block pages with poor reputation, and specialized browsing modes for "safe transactions", it ships with a price comparison component as well.

At its core, Avast SafeZone Browser is a forked version of Chromium.

Google researcher Travis Ormandy revealed in February 2016 that the program put users at risk simply by being installed on the system. While the issue has been resolved in the meantime, serious security issues like the one discovered are not helping Avast make the case that their browser should be used for better security and privacy online.

Block the installation of Avast SafeZone Browser

uninstall avast safezone browser

If you are installing Avast anew, and don't have any need for the web browser to be installed on your system, then you should block its installation outright.

While that won't help you if Avast later on decides to push the browser anyway on your system, you can at least make certain that it is not installed directly by you.

To block the installation of the web browser while you are installing Avast Antivirus on a machine, do the following:

  1. When the first setup page appears, hit the customize button right away. You find it below the big orange install button on the page.
  2. The next page displays all the additional components that Avast will install on the computer.
  3. Locate the Avast SafeZone Browser entry and uncheck it.
  4. While you are at it, uncheck any component that you don't require, e.g. SecureLine or Mail Shield.

Remove Avast SafeZone Browser

If the web browser is already installed on the system, then you can remove it from the Windows PC in the following way:

Step 1: Hit Windows-Pause to open the Control Panel of the operating system.

Step 2: Select "Control Panel Home", and on the screen that opens "uninstall a program".

Step 3: Right-click on Avast Free Antivirus (your version may have a different name), and select the change option from the context menu. Alternatively, left-click on the Avast entry and pick change from the menu at the top.

avast change programs

Step 4: On the page that opens, select change again. You find it listed next to update and repair.

avast setup remove safezone

Step 5: Locate SafeZone Browser and uncheck the box next to it. Do the same for any of the other components that you may not require. All components will be removed from the PC if they are installed. Click on change afterwards to start the removal process. You will receive a "the product was updated successfully" message afterwards.

avast setup remove safezone 2

A restart of the computer may be required to complete the process.

 

Summary
How to uninstall Avast SafeZone Browser
Article Name
How to uninstall Avast SafeZone Browser
Description
Find out how to block or uninstall Avast SafeZone Browser, a web browser component of Avast Free Antivirus, from your Windows computer.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
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    Comments

    1. viking teacher said on March 24, 2016 at 9:27 am
      Reply

      I’m getting royally fed up with such things appearing on my PC; I switched to Avast from AVG a while back, but have been getting increasingly fed up with all its confusing pop-ups. What with this and Windows 10 nagging, the day is approaching when I clear the decks for a shift to Linux full-time.

      1. Andrew said on March 24, 2016 at 5:06 pm
        Reply

        uh huh… easier said than done

    2. Tom Hawack said on March 24, 2016 at 11:13 am
      Reply

      Forcing users seems to be a trend nowadays. Should I encounter such a practice that I’d uninstall such a piece of junkware, whatever the other qualities of the software. Of course I’m referring to Avast’s ‘SafeZone Browser’ component if indeed it is installed beyond the user’s choice not to when installing Avast. As ‘viking teacher’ above I am getting royally fed up : one-way ticket to garbage if I encounter this enforcement, and U-turn if I read about it.

      Junkware, bloatware often go together. A so-called “package” meant to be installed and forgotten, quietly protecting the user. You bet! — No such package here, no universal this, universal that but always a specific task-oriented application for this and another for that. Partitioning tasks, like in a submarine, limits the risks as well.

    3. Pete said on March 24, 2016 at 12:41 pm
      Reply

      The SafeZone Browser was installed through “avast virus definition updates”!!

      I’ve ask for new updates to program -> the program does not upgrade automatically. Only virus definition updates are set to automatic, and still this crap got into my PC.

      I uninstalled the module and during it, a “uninstalling kernel driver” message showed up, and restart is needed! Why does SafeZone Browser need kernel driver? What does it do?!?!

      Also people report on Avast forums that the unistalling doesn’t work properly and some files/folders are left on machine which can’t be even accessed. Plus, some registry left-overs which need to be manually fixed (some which left a not-working explorer/browser context menu behind).

      This is very very shady! They are flipping mad.

      The day of “forced to move to linux” is getting closer and closer by each stunt Windows and Windows software does.

    4. Dan82 said on March 24, 2016 at 1:08 pm
      Reply

      God! First Avast that kept annoying me, that I should install the Chrome browser (I had a working version of Chromium already, ffs) and now they’re shipping their own with the anti-virus.

      You just need to take a look at the whole Chromodo mess ( see progression here: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/project-zero/issues/detail?id=704&redir=1 ) to realize how amateurish these companies tend to work. I can only advise anyone reading this to PLEASE IMMEDIATELY UNINSTALL ANY FORKED BROWSER VERSION BY ANTIVIRUS OR SECURITY COMPANIES!!!

      I’m usually not the kind of person to shout in my posts or flood the reader with a series of exclamation marks, mostly because it’s impolite, but this deserves an exception. Security on the web is difficult enough already with a proper team of developers doing their very best to make and keep a browser secure. Some of those forks are created by a very small group of people (if not a developer) who can only be described as hacks, because they appear to have only a limited amount of knowledge about the application they are trying to fork. Don’t get suckered in by their reputation as a developer of security software, it makes them in no way qualified to provide their users with a piece of software that is at least as secure as the original. It would be far more preferable if companies like Avast or Comodo were to write a browser extension instead, at least that way they could profit from the hard-earned experience browser developers have collected over the years.

    5. Sukhen said on March 24, 2016 at 1:22 pm
      Reply

      Why get in to the trouble of Avast at all … there are plenty of other choice available. If you install any program with an uninstaller viz free revo uninstaller at monitoring mode, you can clean up the damn thing pretty smoothly and again try to install the same program if you direly need with proper ticking and unticking.

      Avast is really sticky, I do hate it. If I have not monitored during installation, I also uninstall from Control Panel and then search for its traces with ‘everything’ like software and also use Glary, CCleaner and RegCleaner to completely get rid of this type stupid software.

      I completely understand that this is tedious but, I don’t mind the extra toil for a clean machine. It’s not a overkill, the trash is out of the box.

    6. Disappointed said on March 24, 2016 at 3:10 pm
      Reply

      The Avast SafeZone Browser installed itself on my laptop this morning without my knowledge. Laptop booted normally and all was well for a few minutes. Then my internet access was blocked. Then my laptop totally froze up. I had to force a shutdown several times (by unplugging laptop and removing battery) before it would reboot normally. I lost two hours from my workday searching for the problem and how to solve it. During this time I had no antivirus protection as Avast wasn’t working!!! It’s very disturbing and completely unacceptable that my antivirus program put my computer at risk in this manner without my permission. I am extremely shocked. I’ve trusted Avast for years and never had a problem with it.

      1. Finvana said on March 24, 2016 at 3:52 pm
        Reply

        Last night my firewall started asking about an installer trying to start this browser. After a little search I found this:

        https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=184577.msg1301715#msg1301715

        I’m amazed they didn’t think people would be pissed off because Avast tried to install software silently and without users permission.

    7. Valrobex said on March 24, 2016 at 3:50 pm
      Reply

      I used Avast for several years and even though opted out from having Avast’s browser installed the damn thing appeared on my machine anyway. I immediately disposed of it, akin to how Sukhen handled things, and uninstalled Avast from both machines, never to be used again. I also let Avast know in blistering terms why I got rid of them, (as if that will have any effect upon their decision to track my web habits…)

      I’m experimenting with Avira on one machine (Win 7) and Panda on my Linux Virtual Box machine, also Win 7. The only criticism is every so often Panda drops a small ad to upgrade. It’s only a minor inconvenience because it doesn’t always pop up and nag and one click removes it. Avira – so far so good.

      1. Matt said on March 25, 2016 at 11:07 am
        Reply

        read avira’s privacy policy, you will know what’s not good about it too!

    8. Andrew said on March 24, 2016 at 5:09 pm
      Reply

      To everyone posting complaints… Well, you get what you pay for (and sometimes not even). Companies want to make money somehow. Plus, there’s plenty of alternatives out there.

      1. Tom Hawack said on March 24, 2016 at 5:32 pm
        Reply

        I believe that complaining with arguments may hep those who weren’t aware of an application’s/software’s deficiencies to avoid falling in the trap themselves. On the opposite positive comments can be an incentive to try a new product. Nothing bad about complaining when of course it’s not in the wake of a fashion, when the complaint describes a user’s experience.

        When I read the problems of this anti-virus described in the article and confirmed by users’ comments I’d be a fool to try this ultimate inconsistency daring state itself as software, protective moreover. We know the rock-attitude, and its opposite, the business-attitude. With software like Avast welcome to the incompetent-attitude, lost in the infinity of cosmos :)

    9. Gabe said on March 24, 2016 at 6:10 pm
      Reply

      Thanks, I hadn’t thought of modifying avast itself and was instead looking for the browser in the program list…

    10. Jed said on March 24, 2016 at 6:48 pm
      Reply

      When SafeZone Browser appeared on my PC yesterday, that was the last straw, removed Avast and put Security Essentials on. It may have have a lower detection rate than the others but providing I use common sense and keep my adblocker and script blocker on, and don’t download dodgy stuff I should be fine. I still use Comodo Firewall (for now) and will still do a scan on occasion with Malwarebytes.

    11. Ken Saunders said on March 25, 2016 at 3:55 am
      Reply

      I was annoyed but not enough to drop Avast after a decade of using it.
      They now know how badly that they screwed up and I highly doubt that they’ll do it again.
      Of course if they do, I’ll find something else but for now I still like and trust the core tools like the shields.

      About switching to Linux, “uh huh… easier said than done”.
      So true. The learning curve is sharp and extremely time consuming.
      I used Fedora for a while and liked it a lot, but I was spending more time learning things than getting things done. Now that I have an older PC to mess with, I’ll get back into it but it won’t be a full time gig anytime soon.
      But, if you have kids or know of those new to computing, getting them to start with and use Linux is a good thing to do. They should be familiar with Windows too, but not live and die by it.
      Using open source software before using Linux was helpful as I got into it since I didn’t have to find a ton of replacements.

    12. Dwight Stegall said on March 25, 2016 at 9:45 pm
      Reply

      In the latest version of Avast free Safezone Browser has been removed. But it still tried to install it browser extension. But I removed it.

      1. Pete said on March 25, 2016 at 11:03 pm
        Reply

        Safezone Browser has never been in Avast Free installer. According to Avast: “We decided to make the SafeZone browser available to a portion of our free users for a limited time.” That meaning that it was installed (silently) for some already installed Avast Free users.

    13. aware said on March 26, 2016 at 6:43 pm
      Reply

      be aware that it does not actually remove the browser from the computer.
      there’s still a folder called ‘SZBrowser’ in program files/Avast directory, the size is around 300mb and I can’t delete that. I’ve already restarted but it’s still not possible to delete that

      1. Hate Chrome said on March 27, 2016 at 1:15 am
        Reply

        You can delete it.

        Turns out Avast protects the folder from being deleted in normal Windows mode. The fact there is no uninstall for Safe Zone, the way Avast hides how to remove it and the way they keep you from deleting the folder suggests there is something highly suspicious about this program. I know Avast is pushing Google Chrome as their browser of choice but to disguise it as Safe Zone, to force it on people so aggressively and try to prevent the removal of this junk is stupid.

        Start in Safe Mode (F8) on boot up. Then you can delete the folder.

        1. Pete said on March 27, 2016 at 1:06 pm
          Reply

          Some have reported that temporarily disabling Avast self-protection allows you to delete the files.

        2. Sukhen said on March 27, 2016 at 5:08 pm
          Reply

          For avast, what a Shame! No uninstaller – a trick?

          Not worth trying Avast even.

    14. Hate Chrome said on March 26, 2016 at 10:08 pm
      Reply

      Thanks. For some reason Google Chrome seems to screw up my PC whenever it enters it. My CPU usage jumped to 100% after Safe Zone was installed and nothing I did would drop my usage below 100%. I only hope removing this garbage allows my computer to function again. Safe Zone is a modified Chrome program. And Google Chrome seems to be more virus then browser. Don’t know how anyone can trust a program that seems to be attached to so many programs. From my experience, whenever some company seems to push their product on you in so many hidden ways, the safest thing to do is never use it. Google Chrome seems to be attached to almost every program I download lately to install. This makes it a highly questionable program in my opinion. How safe can a program be if it keeps trying to sneak install itself on your PC?

      1. Sukhen said on April 20, 2016 at 3:15 pm
        Reply

        Bro- Chrome doesn’t look that bad to me. Unfortunately, its RAM requirement rises with extensions (I avoid apps), still its memory hunger is not as bad as Edge with number of tabs. Somehow, other chromium browsers like Superbird and Yandex seem to be faster than Chrome. Try Superbird once, plz. Chromium engine’s performance is not that bad, plz visit these 2 links 1) http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/speed-up-chrome-by-changing-these-8-flags/ and 2) http://www.viralberg.com/hack/speed-up-google-chrome-now-possible/

    15. illuminouz said on April 9, 2016 at 2:29 am
      Reply

      i found this is really helpful.. got my avast updated and the browser just appeared on my desktop.

    16. Maria said on April 19, 2016 at 7:11 pm
      Reply

      Thank you!!!

    17. Georg Wissen said on April 26, 2016 at 3:32 am
      Reply

      You can delete the SZ Browser in Safe Mode

    18. Jay said on May 6, 2016 at 4:05 am
      Reply

      Avast Safe Zone Browser is NOT UNINSTALLED ! It runs continuously in the background in the Windows\Temp folder and those files are locked. I assiduously use Bleach Bit to clean my machine just after boot up and before I shutdown. There are 17 solid files that Bleach Bit reports as undeleteable initially…After using ANY Other Browser, there are now 8 MORE files that appear and apparently are updated(collecting God knows WHAT), and those files disappear just prior to shutdown. The fancy little component deletion seems to just rename an .exe file and remove the desktop icon only. I smell collecting ‘stuff’ and passing it on, dynamically…Somewhere.

      I too, have installed Avast on countless machines as a Tech…And now I am so disappointed.

      Martin B. could you please go a little deeper and check this out?

      jpat

    19. fahed hassen said on September 22, 2016 at 7:55 pm
      Reply

      thank you

    20. bryan armstrong said on January 28, 2017 at 11:26 am
      Reply

      i have asked to have avast safe zone removed from my pc but fed up i am 81 and not a computer buff please helm if you can

    21. Big Steve said on July 12, 2017 at 4:41 pm
      Reply

      What the hell does this mean: Hit Windows-pause?

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 12, 2017 at 5:45 pm
        Reply

        It means use the shortcut Windows-key and Pause-key.

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