Getting started

When you open Avast Antivirus, the status of your PC's protection appears. The status You're protected indicates that all Shields and protection components are enabled, and Avast is actively securing your PC. If critical issues need your attention, Avast may display an alert status and prompt you to resolve any issues. Read more...

Click Run Smart Scan to begin a comprehensive scan of your PC. Smart Scan merges Avast scan tools to detect malware and other issues, such as outdated software and poorly rated browser add-ons. Read more...

General

How do I keep my PC secure?

Avast Antivirus actively scans your PC for malware and other threats and prompts you if an action is required. By default, Avast automatically updates virus definitions and notifies you if a program update is required.

If you have changed the default settings, ensure your PC's security by keeping Avast up to date. Go to Settings ▸ Update, and click Update in the Virus Definitions and Program sections. Read more...

How do I scan my PC for potential threats?

You can select from the following scan options:

  • Smart Scan
    To perform a comprehensive scan of your PC, click Run Smart Scan on the main screen of the Avast Antivirus. Smart Scan merges Avast scan tools to detect malware and other issues, such as outdated software and poorly rated browser add-ons. Read more...
  • Predefined Antivirus scans
    If you suspect suspicious activity on your PC, you can apply a predefined scan. Go to Protection ▸ Antivirus. Select Full Virus Scan to perform an in-depth scan of your system which checks all harddisks, rootkits, and auto-start programs.

    Alternatively, click Other scans to access the following scans:
    • Quick Scan: scans the areas on your PC that are most susceptible to malware infection.
    • USB/DVD Scan: scans all removable media that is currently attached to your PC, such as USB flash drives and external hard drives.
    • Folder Scan: scans a custom folder which you select when the scan begins.
    • Boot-time Scan: performs a scan at bootup to detect and remove malware which is hard to reach after startup. The system drive and all auto-start programs are scanned, and all found archive files are unpacked.
    Read more...

Where can I specify what to do with detected threats?

To specify what each scan does when it detects a threat, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Protection ▸ Antivirus.
  2. Click the gear icon on the tile of the relevant scan to open the scan settings.
  3. Select the Actions tab from the left panel, and tick the box next to Automatically apply actions during scan.
  4. Select a detection type (Virus, PUP, or Suspicious), then select an action:
    • Fix automatically: attempts to repair the file. If unsuccessful, moves the file to the Virus Chest or deletes the file if neither action is successful.
    • Move to Chest: sends the file to the Virus Chest where the file cannot harm your system.
    • Repair: removes malicious code if the file is only partially infected. This action is not possible if the entire code is malware.
    • Delete: permanently removes the file from your PC.
    • No action: makes no changes to the contents or location of the file (not recommended as an automatic action).
  5. Click OK.

Read more...

Where is the history of my scan results?

To view your scan history, go to Protection ▸ Antivirus and click Scan History.

You can view a list of performed scans, including the name of each scan, the date it was run, and the result. If a scan detects an issue, you can view a detailed report and apply actions to resolve the issue. Read more...

Features

What are the key features of Avast Antivirus?

Avast Antivirus comes with several tools and features:

  • Antivirus: provides a range of scans and Shields to protect your PC from malware. In addition, you can access a space called the Virus Chest where you can isolate suspicious files and optionally send them to the Avast Threat Labs for analysis. Read more...
  • Firewall (Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security only): monitors all communication between your PC and outside networks and blocks unauthorized communication. Read more...
  • Wi-Fi Inspector: scans your network for vulnerabilities and identifies potential security issues that open the door to threats. This feature checks the status of your network, devices connected to the network, and router settings. Read more...
  • Real Site (paid Avast Antivirus only): protects against DNS (Domain Name System) hijacking to ensure you get to the actual website you want to visit. Read more...
  • SafeZone Browser: allows you to browse the web in a secure browser with built-in privacy features from Avast. Read more...
  • Sandbox (paid Avast Antivirus only): allows you to run an application or browse the web in a completely isolated, safe environment. Read more...
  • Software Updater: keeps commonly used third party software up to date to eliminate potential security risks. This feature is available in all paid versions of Avast Antivirus, but has full functionality only in Avast Premier. Read more...
  • Passwords: stores your passwords securely while you only need to remember one main password. Read more...
  • Rescue Disk: allows you to create a bootable version of the Avast Antivirus scanner on a USB or CD. This tool is especially useful to recover a PC hijacked by malware. Read more...
  • Anti-spam (Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security only): ensures that the inbox in your mail management software is free from unwanted spam and junk emails. Read more...
  • Data Shredder (Avast Premier only): enables you to irreversibly erase hard drive partitions or individual files with sensitive data (user data, licensed software, and so on), so that the data cannot be restored. Read more...
  • Game Mode: improves the performance of your PC while you use gaming applications by adjusting system settings and disabling unnecessary apps from running in the background. Read more...

How can I enhance my Avast Antivirus product?

Avast Antivirus offers premium features and tools that further enhance your product.

  • Passwords Premium is an enhanced version of the Passwords manager in Avast. It includes extra features such as One Touch Login and Password Guardian. Read more...
  • SecureLine VPN is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which allows you to connect to the internet via an encrypted tunnel to protect data you download and upload from eavesdropping. Read more...
  • Cleanup Premium is an optimization tool that clears disk space and speeds up your PC. Scanning to see if your system needs a cleanup is free, but performing a system cleanup requires a paid activation code. Note: Cleanup Premium, referred to as Cleanup, now includes the Browser Cleanup feature. Read more...

These enhancements require an additional paid license. To purchase or activate any of the above products, go to Settings ▸ Subscription. Read more...

How do I install the Anti-spam component?

To install this feature, go to Settings ▸ Components, then click Install Component in the Anti-spam row.

The Anti-spam component keeps your inbox clean from unwanted spam and junk emails when you use an email management software, such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird. If you only access your web based email account via an internet browser, you can keep Anti-spam disabled. To check the anti-spam options of your email service provider, consult the provider directly. Read more...

What is Passive Mode?

Passive Mode disables all active protection, such as Shields and Firewall, so that you can use more than one antivirus program at a time without interfering with the performance of your PC or the reliability of antivirus detections. In Passive Mode, Avast Antivirus receives all virus definition and program updates which allows you to manually run scans to check for issues on your PC, however, Avast does not actively protect you. Read more...

Licensing and Registration

How do I activate a paid Avast subscription?

You can activate your program manually with an activation code or a license file which you receive in the confirmation email after your Avast purchase. Go to Settings ▸ Subscription, and follow these steps:

  • An activation code: (for Avast Antivirus, Passwords, and Cleanup)
    1. Scroll to the section of the product you want to activate, and click Insert activation code.
    2. Enter the activation code that you received in the purchase confirmation email when you purchased your product.
    3. Click Activate to confirm the activation.
  • A license file (for older versions of Avast Antivirus and SecureLine VPN):
    • For older versions of Avast Antivirus:
      1. Click Insert license file in the section of your Avast Antivirus.
      2. Locate the license file that you received in the purchase confirmation email when you purchased your product, and click Open.
      3. Click Activate to confirm activation.
    • For Avast SecureLine VPN:
      1. Scroll down to the SecureLine VPN section, and click Insert it here.
      2. Locate the license file that you received in the purchase confirmation email when you purchased your product, and click Open.
      3. Click Yes to confirm activation.

Read more...

How do I register Avast Free Antivirus?

Avast Free Antivirus can be used free of charge for home and non-commercial use. To register your Avast Free Antivirus, go to Settings ▸ Subscription and click Register now. You may be offered to select a trial version of a paid Avast Antivirus product. By selecting to continue with Avast Free Antivirus, your registration is complete. Registration in the latest version of Avast does not require you to enter your contact information.

To get the latest version of Avast, update your program version in Settings ▸ Update. If you are unsure which version of Avast you have, you can go to Settings ▸ About to verify this information.

How do I cancel the automatic renewal service for my Avast subscription?

To disable the auto-renewal of an Avast software subscription, follow the steps according to your license distributor:

How can I obtain a copy of my purchased license?

If you did not receive your purchased license, you can request it via our webform with the email address you used during purchase. Read more...

What should I do if my purchased license or activation code does not work?

If Avast does not accept your license, follow these steps:

  1. Use our webform or your Avast Account to resend your license to the e-mail address used for your purchase and try to insert the license into the program again.
  2. If the license insertion fails, uninstall Avast using the Avast Uninstall Utility and restart your PC.
  3. Download and install the appropriate product version of Avast related to the purchased license.
  4. Once again go to Settings ▸ Subscription try to insert the license into Avast.

If these steps do not work, contact Avast Customer Support for further assistance.

Troubleshooting

How do I resolve my protection status?

You can view the status of your PC's protection on the main screen of the Avast Antivirus user interface. The status You're protected indicates that all Shields and protection components are enabled, and Avast is actively securing your PC.

When an issue needs your attention, one of the following statuses appears:

  • You're vulnerable: indicates that one or more of the Avast active protection components is disabled, or your product is not up to date. Click Fix All to resolve your protection status immediately, or resolve individual issues.
  • You're in danger: indicates that critical Avast protection components may be turned off, or your Avast subscription is expired or not yet activated. Click Fix All to resolve your protection status immediately, or resolve individual issues. If your license is expired or not yet activated, you need to purchase and activate your license. Read more...
  • Avast is down: indicates that some issue in your system is preventing Avast Antivirus core services from running. Click Restart now to resolve this issue. If the issue persists, we recommend the following:
    • Create Rescue Disk on a working PC with Avast Antivirus installed, then use Rescue Disk to check your current PC for malware. Read more...
    • Reinstall Avast Antivirus on your current PC. Read more...

How do I turn Avast Antivirus components on or off?

To manage Avast Antivirus components, such as a Shield or Firewall, go to Settings ▸ Components.

To turn a component on, click the OFF slider in the relevant row so that it changes to ON. To turn a component off, click the ON slider in the relevant row and select a time duration, then click Yes to confirm the action. The slider then switches to OFF. You may be required to restart your PC. We do not recommend disabling any component indefinitely by selecting Stop permanently. Read more...

Note: Some components are not installed by default. Click Install component next to any component you want to install. You may be required to restart your PC.

How do I disable the Avast email signature?

By default, Avast Antivirus attaches an email signature to outgoing messages from mail clients, such as Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird. The signature informs your recipients that the email has been scanned for malware.

To disable the Avast email signature, go to Settings and ensure the General tab is selected from the left panel. Then, untick the box next to Enable Avast email signature.

To manage more settings related to email scanning, go to Settings ▸ Components ▸ Mail Shield ▸ Customize ▸ Behavior. Read more...

How do I turn Passive Mode off?

To turn Passive Mode off and allow Avast Antivirus to actively protect your PC from malware and other threats, uninstall all third party antivirus software and go to Settings ▸ Troubleshooting. Click the Passive Mode panel to expand it, then click the ON slider so that it changes to OFF. You may be required to restart your PC.

Passive Mode disables all active protection so that you can use more than one antivirus program at a time without interfering with the performance of your PC. In Passive Mode, you can manually run scans to check for issues on your PC, however, Avast Antivirus does not actively protect you.

How do I reinstall Avast Antivirus?

To resolve certain issues with Avast Antivirus, you may need to uninstall and reinstall your product.

To uninstall Avast Antivirus:

  1. Download and run the Avast Uninstall Utility setup file.
  2. Start your PC in Safe Mode, and run the avastclear.exe file as an administrator.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions in the Avast Uninstall Utility window.
  4. Restart your PC, then delete the avastclear.exe file.

To reinstall Avast Antivirus:

  1. Download the relevant installation file from the link below:
  2. Run the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. Restart your PC to complete the installation.
  4. Activate your Avast Antivirus product. Read more...