Avast Antivirus: General Settings

General Settings

Manage these settings from: MenuSettingsGeneral

The General screen allows you to customize various settings of Avast Antivirus behavior. After making any changes, click OK to save your settings.

Change interface language

The Avast user interface is displayed in the language recognized during installation according to your system's regional settings, or the language manually selected during installation. To change the language of the Avast user interface once the installation is complete, follow these steps:

  1. Click Install additional languages.
  2. Select your preferred language on the screen which appears, then click OK.
  3. Confirm the action if prompted by User Account Control and when complete, click Done.
  4. Select the installed language from the drop-down list and click OK.

Manage main settings

  • Show Avast tray icon: adds the Avast icon to the system tray on your Windows taskbar. When you click the Avast tray icon, you can quickly access useful actions, such as opening the Avast user interface or updating the program version and virus definitions. The warning triangle on the icon indicates that you are not fully protected. The Avast icon is enabled by default.
  • Animate the icon when scanning: animates the Avast tray icon on your Windows taskbar to notify you when a scan is running. This option is disabled by default.
  • Show SecureLine VPN tray icon: adds the SecureLine VPN icon to the system tray on your Windows taskbar. The SecureLine icon is enabled by default.
  • Enable reputation services: allows you to anonymously contribute technical information based on the prevalence of risky files which helps us to better identify malware threats. This option is enabled by default. For more information, read Avast Privacy Policy.
  • Enable CyberCapture: uses the CyberCapture feature to detect and analyze rare, suspicious files. If you attempt to run such a file, CyberCapture locks the file from your PC and sends it to the Avast Threat Labs where it's analyzed in a safe, virtual environment. You are notified when the analysis is complete. This option is enabled by default.
    • Always block it: immediately blocks potentially malicious files and sends the files to Avast Threat Labs. This option is selected by default.
    • Allow me to decide: sends you a notification before a file is submitted to Avast Threat Labs.
    Note: We recommend to keep the default settings enabled unless you are aware of the potential risks.
  • Enable Hardened mode: uses information based on reputation services to determine which executable files are safe to open. You can choose between two modes:
    • Moderate: blocks only files which have bad ratings or no rating at all. All other files are allowed to run.
    • Aggressive: only chosen files with known high ratings are allowed. All other files are prevented from running.
    Note: Hardened mode is disabled by default. We recommend that only novice users tick this option.
  • Scan for potentially unwanted programs (PUPs): scans for PUPs and sends a notification if any are detected. PUPs are stealthily downloaded with other programs and typically perform unwanted activity. When you receive a notification, you can decide what to do with the detected program. This option is disabled by default.
  • Silent Mode: prevents Avast popups (including critical alerts) from interrupting full screen applications. This option is disabled by default. We recommend to enable it only temporarily while running an application in full screen.
  • Enable Avast email signature: enables the Avast email signature at the bottom of your outgoing emails to inform your recipients that the email has been scanned for malware. This option is enabled by default and applies only to mail clients (such as Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird).

Adjust sounds

Tick Enable Avast sounds to select event(s) during which you want to be alerted with a sound or voice message.

  • Threat detected
  • Suspicious item detected
  • Potentially unwanted program (PUP) detected
  • Scan complete
  • Firewall query (for Avast Internet Security and Avast Premier only)

Tick Use voiceover sounds (when available) to play a voice message notification for events, for example when a threat is detected or virus definitions are updated.

Note: All sound settings are enabled by default.

Manage popups

You can manage the behavior of Avast popups using the options below.

  • Show popup offers for other Avast products: sends notifications about others ways you can improve your protection. You can disable this option only if you use a paid version of Avast Antivirus.
  • Set the length of time that the following types of popup messages are displayed:
    • Info popups: displays notifications about general Avast activity.
    • Update popups: displays information about program and virus definitions updates.
    • Warning popups: displays warnings about possible risks, such as opening an unknown file.
    • Alert popups: notifies you about threats detections and other important incidents.

All popups in the above list are set to 20 seconds by default. If you do not want to see popup messages from the above list, you can set the duration time to 0 for each popup type or enable Silent Mode in the main settings section.

Set password for interface or settings

You can create a password to restrict access to the Avast user interface or specific program settings.

Note: This password is not related to the Avast Account password or Master password for the Avast Passwords feature.

Follow these steps to set a password:

  1. Tick Protect Avast with a password.
  2. Type your password in the text box. Then type it again below to confirm.
  3. Specify which areas you want to protect with a password:
    • General program access: for opening the Avast user interface.
    • Program settings: for access to all program settings opened by clicking MenuSettings on the main screen of Avast Antivirus.
    • Protection control: for turning on/off the active protection (antivirus shields).
    • Protection settings: for access to active protection settings (antivirus shields).
    • Scan control: for access to the controls used to start or stop a scan.
    • Scan settings: for access to the settings that determine the various scan parameters.
    • Update control: for updating the program and virus definitions and for changing update settings.
    • Virus Chest control: for controlling the files in the Virus Chest.
    • Backup/Restore of Avast settings: for backing up or restoring your Avast settings.
    • Firewall settings: for access to all Firewall settings.
  4. Click OK.

Note: If you lose or forget your password, you can regain access to the Avast user interface or settings by reinstalling Avast Antivirus.

Manage maintenance settings

In the Maintenance panel, you can optimize space on your hard disk by limiting the size of the logs and removing those which are no longer needed. Additionally, you can limit the amount of space used by Virus Chest.

  • Auto-cleanup: allows you to specify how often Avast should delete the scan logs by selecting the following option(s).
    • Delete scan logs older than: type the amount of days (30 days by default).
    • Delete temporary scan logs older than: type the amount of days (1 day by default).
    • Clean scan history: click to delete all currently stored scan logs immediately.
  • Logs: allows you to specify the maximum size (4096 KB by default) for each log file. If the log exceeds the maximum size limit, the oldest records are removed to create space for the most recent records.
    • Enable debug logging: allows Avast to create a special log file when an error occurs while the program is running. Avast Support representatives may request that you send this file to help identify the cause of the error.
  • Virus Chest: allows you to specify the maximum amount of space (in MB) the Virus Chest uses on your PC, and the maximum size of any file (in KB) that is sent to the Avast Threat Labs.
    • Maximum size of chest: Files that exceed this limit (256 MB by default) or the remaining space cannot be added to the Virus Chest.
    • Maximum size of file to be sent: Files that exceed this limit (16384 KB by default) cannot be submitted to the Avast Threat Labs.

Exclude files or websites from scanning

In the Exclusions panel, you can exclude certain files, folders, or URLs from scanning. While it is generally not recommended, you may want to exclude certain files or websites from scanning, for example if you want to speed up your scans or to avoid false positive detections.

  1. Select an appropriate tab to specify what actions an exclusion applies to.
  2. Click on the text box to provide details:
    • File paths: type the file or folder location manually into the text box or click Browse, and tick the relevant folder.
    • Urls: type the website address.
    • CyberCapture: type the file location manually into the text box or click Browse, and select a file (.exe).
    • Hardened mode: type the file location manually into the text box or click Browse, and select a file (.exe).
  3. Click OK.

To add another item to the list, select the appropriate tab and click Add. To remove an item, click the relevant row in the appropriate tab then click Delete.

Exclusions created in the File paths and URLs sections apply globally to all antivirus scans and shields. To exclude files only from a specific antivirus scan or shield, use the Exclusions section in the settings of that particular antivirus scan or shield.

Note: Set exclusions only if you know that the files and websites you want to exclude are not infected.

Select Smart Scan tools

Smart Scan combines scanning methods from several Avast components to check your PC for malware and other security issues. All available scanning methods are enabled by default. If you want to disable a scan, click the ON slider next to the relevant scan so that it changes to OFF.

  • Scan for viruses: refers to the quick scan for malware. Click Customize to adjust scan parameters.
  • Scan for outdated software: refers to Software Updater.
  • Scan for browser add-ons: refers to Avast Cleanup.
  • Scan for network threats: refers to Wi-Fi Inspector.
  • Scan for compatibility issues: refers to Passive mode.
  • Scan for performance issues: refers to Avast Cleanup.
  • Scan for weak passwords: refers to Avast Passwords.

Adjust special scans

The Explorer Scan enables you to scan individual files or folders by right-clicking the icon of the file or folder you want to scan in Windows and selecting Scan from the context menu. Click Settings to adjust scan parameters.

Manage alerts

By default, a popup alert appears on the screen of your PC when a virus is detected. If you are a network administrator, you can configure Avast to send notifications by email, to a printer, or to another PC in the network.

To manage alert notifications, follow these steps:

  1. Select a notification method from the drop-down menu under the Send via option:
    • Email (SMTP): sends alert to the email specified in the Send To text box using SMTP protocol. You also need to type the SMTP server details into the SMTP Settings section below.
    • Email (MAPI): sends alert to the email specified in the Send To text box using MAPI protocol. You also need to type the MAPI server details into the MAPI Settings section below.
    • Printers: sends alert to the printer specified by its name in the Send To text box.
    • Network Message (WinPopup): sends alert as a network message to the PC specified by its IP address in the Send to text box.
  2. Click OK.

To add another item to the list, click Add. To remove an item, click the relevant row, then click Delete.

Note: All of the above settings depend on your network configuration. If you are unsure about these settings, contact your network administrator.

Adjust your privacy settings

In the Privacy panel, you can specify if you want to participate in the following activities:

  • Participate in the Avast community: tick to contribute to generic security-related information, such as malware attacks detected on your PC, which helps us immediately identify and react to the latest security threats. Your participation does not compromise any of your personal information.
  • Participate in data sharing: tick to contribute to unidentifiable statistical data that may be shared with third parties but always anonymously.

For more information, read Avast Privacy Policy.

Back up and restore settings

This section allows you to back up and restore your customized Avast settings of components, such as Core Shields and Firewall. This is useful if you need to reinstall Avast, or to copy your settings to another PC where Avast Antivirus is installed.

Click Back up settings to create a backup of your customized Avast settings:

  1. Select which component settings to save and click Continue.
  2. Select a location to save your back up file, and click Save.

Click Restore settings to restore previously saved settings:

  1. Locate the backup file you previously saved and click Open.
  2. Select which saved component settings to restore and click Continue.