Since AVG 8, Active Surf-Shield and Search-Shield, two Link Scanner based technologies which acquired by AVG from Exploit Prevention Labs have been implemented in most version 8.0 onwards AVG products, such as AVG 8.0 Free Edition, AVG Anti-Virus 8.0, AVG Internet Security 8.0 and AVG Security Toolbar.

AVG Search-Shield scans and evaluates Google, Yahoo! and MSN search results in real-time and places safety level ratings next to each link. And AVG Active Surf-Shield ensures safe surf by scanning each and every web page and every outgoing external link on each page before you open them to ensure they are safe. All search results and links can be rated from Safe to Dangerous in 4 scales.

However, the Search-Shield and Active Surf-Shield Link Scanner technologies are known to cause slow web pages loading or cannot cannot problem. Beside, Search-Shield and Surf-Shield may block certain websites, especially those related to warez, crack, torrent, and other underground security websites, with a warning page appears saying “Danger: AVG Search-Shield has detected active threats on this page and has blocked access for your protection.” even if user directly types in the URL into address bar or access from bookmarks/favorites.

For those who find that LinkScanner Search-Shield and, to lesser extend, Active Surf-Shield is less than welcoming annoying, it’s possible to disable to disable and turn off Search-Shield and Surf-Shield in AVG.

For user who has installed AVG Security Toolbar, the toolbar provides easy access to manage AVG Search-Shield and AVG Active Surf-Shield protections without having to open the AVG control center.

AVG Toolbar

To disable Search-Shield, just click on Search-Shield button on the AVG Toolbar (as circled in bold red in figure above) to make the button ‘flat’. Disabling Search-Shield will stop scanning of the search results links in Google, MSN and Yahoo! Web Search, and skip checking Internet addresses (URL link locations) that user directly types and enters into web browser’s location bar, selects from bookmarks or favorites, or follows a link on web pages or emails.

For user who does not install AVG Toolbar, there are other workaround to turn off AVG LinkScanner Search-Shield and Active Surf-Shield, of which user has to open and access through via AVG Control Center. Once in AVG Control Centre, then user can choose to disable Active Surf-Sheield and/or AVG Search Shield.

Double click on LinkScanner on Overview tab, or click Components from the menu bar and select LinkScanner. Uncheck Enable AVG Search-Shield (need web browser restart) and/or Enable AVG Active Surf-Shield. The LinkScanner configuration page can also be accessed by selecting Advanced Settings in Tools menu.

Disable and Turn Off AVG LinkScanner Search-Shield and Active Surf-Shield

When either Search-Shield or Active Surf-Shield or both is turned off and disabled, an exclamation mark in red color will be displayed on AVG system tray (notification area) icon to indicate that some security components has been disabled. User can opt to not install unwanted features of AVG instead.