Access this feature from: Protection ▸ Scans ▸ Boot-Time Scan
If you suspect that your PC contains malware, you can schedule a Boot-time Scan to run the next time your computer boots up. Boot-time Scan looks for known types of malware and removes threats before the operating system and other services are running. Scanning during startup improves the chances of detecting and removing malware before it can counteract.
Boot-time Scan is an advanced and purposeful feature designed to use when you suspect a threat in the system, and usually takes some time to run. It is scheduled to run only as needed, not on a regular basis.
Schedule and run Boot-Time Scan
To run a Boot-Time Scan:
- Click Install specialized definitions.
Note: This step allows Avast to download all the latest virus definitions from a cloud database. If you skip installing specialized definitions, Boot-time Scan scans your PC based only on the virus definitions that were previously downloaded. After clicking Install specialized definitions, you are not offered this option again.
- Click Run on Next PC Reboot to run the scan during the next system restart.
- Restart your PC. When your system restarts, a Boot-Time scan progress screen appears as Windows loads.
- For any detected threat, select which action to take unless you have previously specified automatic actions in Boot-time Scan settings.
The scan usually takes several minutes, but the duration varies depending on the speed of your system and the number of files to be scanned. When the scan is completed or skipped, Windows continues with start-up.
Adjust Boot-Time Scan settings
To access Boot-Time Scan settings, go to the Scans screen (Protection ▸ Scans) and click Settings beneath the Boot-Time Scan tile.
Manage different aspects of your Boot-Time Scan
- Areas to scan: use the drop-down menu to specify which data space you want the scan to analyze. To add another area to the list, click Add. To remove an area, click the row to select it and click Delete.
- Heuristics sensitivity: use the orange bars to indicate your preferred level of heuristic sensitivity. Heuristics enable Avast to detect unknown malware by analyzing code for commands which may indicate malicious intent.
- Scan for potentially unwanted programs (PUPs): ensure this box is ticked if you want Boot-time Scan to look for programs that are stealthily downloaded with other programs and typically perform unwanted activity.
- Unpack archive files: ensure this box is ticked if you want Avast to unpack compressed files during the scan.
- Actions: use the drop-down menu under When a threat is found, apply the following action to configure automatic responses to any threats detected by the scan:
- 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.
- Ask: notifies you and allows you to select a specific action for the file.
- 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).