Avast Antivirus: Overview

Getting started

When you open Avast Antivirus, the status of your PC's protection appears. The status You're protected indicates that all 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 MenuSettingsUpdate, and click Update in the Virus Definitions and Program sections. Read more...

How do I connect Avast Antivirus to my Avast Account?

Avast Account is a portal designed to help you manage your Avast licenses registered with the same email address you used to make the purchase.

To connect Avast Antivirus with your Avast Account:

  1. Go to MenuMy licenses.
  2. On the My licenses screen, click Log in to your Avast Account.
    Note: If you do not have an Avast Account yet, first click Create an account to open the registration webform in your default internet browser, then enter your email address you used to make the purchase, create your password, and click Create new account. Alternatively, click Log in with Facebook or Log in with Google to register your Avast Account using your existing Facebook or Google credentials.
  3. Enter your Avast Account credentials and click Log in. Alternatively, click Log in with Facebook or Log in with Google to log into your Avast Account using your existing Facebook or Google credentials.

Your Avast Antivirus is now connected to your Avast Account. If you have already purchased an Avast product, check your license details for the connected Avast Account. Then click Continue to activate the license and return to the My licenses screen.

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 ProtectionScans and select an option:
    • Full Virus Scan: performs an in-depth scan of your system which checks all harddisks, rootkits, and auto-start programs.
    • Targeted Scan: scans folders or external drives that you specify.
    • 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.
    • Custom scans: allows you to create and schedule your own scan or run a Quick Scan.
    Read more...

Where can I specify what to do with detected threats?

To specify what each scan does when it detects a threat:

  1. Go to ProtectionScans.
  2. Click Settings beneath the relevant scan to open the scan settings.
  3. Select the Actions tab from the left panel, then 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 ProtectionScans 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 unresolved issues. Read more...

Features

What are the key features of Avast Antivirus?

Avast Antivirus comes with several tools and features:

  • Scans: provides a range of scans to protect your PC from malware. Additionally, you can access Rescue Disk, which allows you to create a bootable version of the Avast Antivirus scanner on a USB or CD. Read more...
  • Core Shields: displays the main protection components in Avast Antivirus. Read more...
  • Virus Chest: allows you to isolate suspicious files and optionally send them to the Avast Threat Labs for analysis. Read more...
  • Firewall (Avast Ultimate, 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...
  • Ransomware Shield (Avast Ultimate, Avast Premier, and Avast Internet Security only): protects your personal photos, documents, and files from being modified, deleted, or encrypted by ransomware attacks. Read more...
  • Sensitive Data Shield (Avast Ultimate, Avast Premier, and Avast Internet Security only): scans and protects your personal sensitive documents against unauthorized access and malware. Read more...
  • Webcam Shield (Avast Ultimate and Avast Premier only): prevents applications and malware from accessing your PC's webcam without your consent. With Webcam Shield enabled, untrusted applications can not capture images or videos and send the content outside of your PC to compromise your privacy. 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...
  • 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...
  • Anti-spam (Avast Ultimate, Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security only): ensures that the inbox in your email management software is free from unwanted spam and junk emails. Read more...
  • Data Shredder (Avast Ultimate and Avast Premier only): enables you to irreversibly erase hard drive partitions or individual files with sensitive data (such as user data or licensed software) 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 is available as a paid product which 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. Read more...
    Note: Cleanup Premium, referred to as Cleanup, now includes the Browser Cleanup feature.
  • AntiTrack Premium keeps your identity safe from the latest online tracking techniques while you browse the web. Read more...
  • Driver Updater scans for and updates outdated drivers to prevent security vulnerabilities on your PC. Read more...

These enhancements, with the exception of AntiTrack Premium and Driver Updater, are included in Avast Ultimate. If you use a different version of Avast, the components require an additional paid license.

To activate your purchased product license, go to MenuMy licenses. Read more...

What is Avast Ultimate?

Avast Ultimate is a comprehensive product package that includes Avast Premier, the paid version of Passwords, SecureLine VPN, and Cleanup Premium. Read more...

How do I install the Anti-spam component?

Anti-spam is only available as an additional installable component in Avast Ultimate, Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security.

To install Anti-spam, go to MenuSettingsComponents, then click Install Component in the Anti-spam row.

This 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 Core 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 license?

If you purchased any product via Avast Antivirus, your license is activated automatically. Otherwise, if you install Avast Antivirus after purchase, you need to select MenuMy licenses and manually activate the license via your Avast Account registered for the email address you used to make the purchase, or using your valid activation code from the order confirmation email.

Avast Antivirus automatically recognizes that the inserted license is for Avast Antivirus, the paid version of Passwords, SecureLine VPN, or Cleanup Premium. Read more...

Can I use a paid version of Avast Antivirus for a trial period?

Paid versions of Avast Antivirus can be used for a trial period. After the trial period, you can purchase a license to continue program service.

To purchase a license, click Buy Now on the main screen of Avast Antivirus, or visit the official Avast Store.

Note: Avast premium products, such as extra Passwords features, SecureLine VPN, and Cleanup Premium, are available in Avast Ultimate or require a separate, paid license.

How do I register Avast Free Antivirus?

Avast Free Antivirus can be used free of charge for home and non-commercial use. It is no longer necessary to register your Avast Free Antivirus as your initial free license automatically activates after installation. When your free license expires, you can let the program automatically renew itself.

Alternatively, you can go to MenuMy licenses and manually activate your 1-year free license. Read more...

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

If you activated the auto-renewal service, your current license is automatically renewed upon expiration. You are notified in advance via email.

You can manage the auto-renewal option for your order by contacting Avast Customer Support directly, or by following the instructions in the relevant article according to the license distributor:

How do I obtain a copy of my purchased license?

If you did not receive your purchased license or if you experience issues with inserting your license, you can request that your license be re-sent via our webform with the email address you used during purchase, or download it from your Avast Account registered to the same email address.

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

If Avast Antivirus does not accept your activation code:

  1. Use our webform or your Avast Account to re-send your license to the e-mail address used for your purchase, then activate the license again. Read more...
  2. If the license activation fails, uninstall Avast Antivirus using the Avast Uninstall Utility and restart your PC.
  3. Download and install the Avast Antivirus product version related to your purchased license.
  4. Go to MenuMy licenses in Avast Antivirus, and activate the license.

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 green status You're protected indicates that all protection components are enabled, and Avast is actively securing your PC. When this status appears, no actions are required.

A red status indicates a critical issue with core antivirus components, which require your immediate attention, while a yellow status indicates an urgent issue. If a red or yellow status is displayed, click the relevant action displayed below the status to ensure your PC is fully protected:

  • Resolve: resolves an issue with active protection components, such as Core Shields.
  • Turn On: enables components which help to ensure maximum protection, such as Firewall or automatic updates.
  • Update: updates your Avast Antivirus to the latest program version.
  • Activate / Reactivate: prompts you to select a subscription plan to activate Avast Antivirus.
  • Restart Now: reboots your PC to complete an update of all Avast Antivirus components.

Note: If more than one issue needs your attention, you can click View All Issues. Then, select an action for each issue using the relevant drop-down menu.

How do I turn Avast Antivirus components on or off?

To manage Avast Antivirus components, such as a Core Shield or Firewall, go to MenuSettingsComponents.

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 MenuSettings 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 MenuSettingsComponentsMail ShieldCustomizeBehavior. 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 MenuSettingsTroubleshooting. 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.
  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...

Why can't I save files when using my editing application?

The latest versions of Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security include a new feature called Ransomware Shield. When Ransomware Shield is enabled, unknown applications are blocked from modifying files in folders where your personal data might be stored. Read more...

If you receive a notification that you cannot save a file while using an editing application, ensure the application is not in your Blocked Apps list in Ransomware Shield. Go to ProtectionRansomware Shield and click Blocked / allowed apps. If the application is not in the Blocked Apps list, try adding it to the Allowed Apps list. Click Allow an App, select the application, then click Open.