How to fix Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9860 Action Center warnings about AVG Antivirus FREE 2015

Hint: you’ll have to reinstall AVG. Excited yet?


UPDATE: This problem appears to be fixed in Build 9879, albeit not in the way one might expect. That build blows cripples AVG – and, presumably, all other 3rd party AV apps – away and replaces them with Windows Defender. AVG is still installed, but all its shortcuts have been removed. Given the issues I’ve had with 3rd party AV and Windows 8+ build updates, this may be the new normal for Windows. If that’s the case, hopefully that means MS is going back to making Windows Defender a best-in-class security solution.

I updated to Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9860 Action Center earlier and immediately ran into Windows Action Center telling me that my PC wasn’t protected and that I should turn antivirus and spyware protection on. Since I run AVG Antivirus FREE 2015 on it, I shouldn’t have seen that message.

Clicking Action Center’s own enabling options didn’t help.* AVG Antivirus FREE 2015 was showing that its Computer and Identity shields were down, which invoking its UI’s proffered single click solution did nothing to change.

Figuring this might be another case of a service failing to start in Windows 10 TP, I opened Services and found that AVGIDAgent wasn’t running. Trying to start it manually produced a long error. At my wits end, I decided that perhaps AVG and Windows 10 TP were incompatible and so I’d be better off just running Windows Defender. I tried uninstalling AVG, but the uninstall failed due to “insufficient privileges” despite me being on an admin account. Services showed no option for manually stopping  AVG WatchDog either.

A tale of 2 services. AVG WatchDog can't be manually stopped; AVGIDSAgent can't be manually started.
A tale of 2 services. AVG WatchDog can’t be manually stopped; AVGIDSAgent can’t be manually started.

If you run into this situation, here’s how to fix it:

  1. Download the AVG Remover that matches your OS (e.g. 64-bit for x64) here.
  2. Run AVG Remover, which along with removing AVG dumps 2 extensive log files – avgremover.log and avgremover_msilog.txt – in the folder from which it was launched. Your PC will reboot.**
  3. Download AVG.
  4. Reinstall AVG.

The above steps should clear Action Center’s warnings.

Everything's back to normal!
Everything’s back to normal!

I think a couple things are at work here. The first is that 3rd party antivirus and Windows OS updates don’t work perfectly well with each other. This is disappointing but not surprising, considering that the former has the deepest hooks possible into the latter for a client application but both are separately developed. The second is I suspect a significant under the hood change between Windows 10 TP and previous Windows versions in how client applications invoke services. I base this suspicion on the above complications with along with EMET 5.0 – a Microsoft security product!!! – being unable to start the service necessary to complete its installation without manual user intervention.

The above method also works if Identity protection suddenly stops working and refuses to be enabled.

*This happens occasionally with avast! on Windows 8.1, so it’s not shocking.

**Upon rebooting, you’ll see the same Action Center warnings again. You can try auto-enabling Windows Defender via them, but that didn’t work for me. Neither did trying to manually start Windows Defender’s UI, as the Windows apparently still thought 3rd party antivirus was installed. If this is the case for you too, just proceed to Steps 3 and 4.

Author: jdrch

ISTJ, Rice Owl, UF Gator, mechanical engineer. STEM, sports, music, movies, humor. Account mine only & unaffiliated.

10 thoughts on “How to fix Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9860 Action Center warnings about AVG Antivirus FREE 2015”

  1. I also encountered the same issue last night. That’s after 2 weeks of using Windows 10 TP. I’m thinking to change AVG with another anti-virus such as Avast.


  2. Had the same experience and could not remove AVG Free due to lack of privileges. Reinstalling AVG Free offers a repair option. That worked for me.


    1. I had the same experience with Build 9879, and this was the solution for it . . . until today. I booted up today and there was the message that AVG 2015 (Free version) could not be started, and Windows Defender was protecting me. My task bar icon for AVG says everything is just fine and that I am protected by it. When I look in Task Manager, all of the AVG services and background operations are running as they should, as is Defender.
      I haven’t noticed any slowness from having both AV programs running like one would expect, so I’m not certain if both or either are truly running :-O


      1. there was the message that AVG 2015 (Free version) could not be started, and Windows Defender was protecting me

        I saw the same message. AVG’s still listed under Programs and Features, but all the Start Menu and application list shortcuts are gone. At that point I gave up and completely removed AVG. Rolling with Windows Defender for now.


  3. Yes, I will up and completely remove AVG to see what Windows Defender can do (having never previously used it).

    I suspect the Windows 10 TP Feedback people were getting a bit irritated by complaints about having to do an AVG Repair (via AVG 2015 Free installer) after compulsory Windows Updates, until the beta testing period is over.

    Fair enough, I suppose.



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