Hours and hours and hours later, I think it’s gone. MY GOD. WHY SO HARD. Here’s how I got rid of this malware antimalware.
NB. You can save a lot of hassle if you just Systems Restore to a point before you foolishly installed this awful program. Avira has an uninstaller they recommend you use. But there is no way I am going to download anything from them ever again. Some sites tout software-removal software. Nope. Not going to DL that either.
Practice safe computer protocols! Back everything up; and create a System Restore point before you begin and again when you’re done.
* Revo Uninstaller > DL this program (I like Revo because it deletes associated registry items); run it; and uninstall Avira
* If you don’t want to install Revo Uninstaller, just uninstall Avira through Windows: Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features
* You can also uninstall it from Avira itself: Press the Win key, highlight the Avira program name, right-click it, and choose Uninstall
Despite undeleting, Avira will still run Avira Connect/Avira Launcher/Online Essentials. Oh look! You sure can’t right-click the little red Avira icon while it’s in your system tray and either (a) dismiss it/kill the process or (b) alter the program within its own settings to not start on startup. So do these two things so Avira doesn’t run when Windows boots:
* Win-R > type “msconfig” and press Enter > Startup > Select anything with the word “Avira” and click the Disable button
* Task Manager > Startup > Disable Avira-related processes
This works for a week or two. Then, zombielike, Avira starts coming back; it will pop up as you are innocently browsing the Internet and download an update of some sort as you watch, horrified. But can you go to the Avira subdirectory you see in your Program Files (x86) and simply delete it? Ha ha! Of course not. It’s Admin protected (even if you’re logged in as an Admin). Next up! Delete the directories in Safe Mode.
* Boot in Safe Mode: Win-R > type in “config” and press Enter > Boot > Check “Safe boot” > OK > Restart
While in Safe Mode, you should be able to delete Admin-locked subdirectories. Visit the following and delete all relevant subdirectories with the word “Avira” in them:
* OS (C:) > Users > [You] > AppData > Roaming
* OS (C:) > ProgramData *** SEE BELOW ***
* OS (C:) > Program Files (x86)
While you’re in Safe Mode, edit the registry:
* Win-R > type in “regedit” and press Enter
* Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER > SOFTWARE > delete Avira
* Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > delete Avira
If you cannot delete all the files (as happened to me in ProgramData), change the name of the subdirectory, then delete it. I got out of Safe Mode first, changed the subdirectory’s name (to old_Avira), then got back into Safe Mode, where I was at long last able to delete it.
To get out of Safe Mode, reverse what you did before:
* Win-R > type in “config” and press Enter > Boot > Uncheck “Safe boot” > OK > Restart
Good luck. You’re going to need it. Hats off to the Avira folks for creating software that is absolutely impossible for mere humans to remove. I cursed you daily for 2 weeks, every time I saw the Avira Connect icon in my tray, before I spent 4 hours (that I do not have and that I will NEVER GET BACK) to research and delete this stupid program.
YES, I AM BITTER. THIS IS THE CAPSLOCK OF RAGE.