Core Shields are the main protection components in Avast Antivirus. The Core Shields are: File Shield, Behavior Shield, Web Shield, and Mail Shield. Refer to the sections in this article to manage the settings of your Avast Antivirus Core Shields.
Enable or disable all Core Shields
All Core Shields are enabled by default for your protection, but they can be instantly disabled for troubleshooting purposes. To temporarily disable all Core Shields:
- Open Avast Antivirus and go to
☰Menu ▸ Settings.
- Select Protection ▸ Core Shields.
- Click the green (ON) slider, then select a time duration to disable Core Shields.
- Click OK, Stop.
All Core Shields are now temporarily disabled. The Core Shields automatically enable again when the specified time duration elapses. To manually enable all Core Shields, follow steps 1-2 above, then click the red (OFF) slider so that it changes to green (ON).
You can change the sensitivity of the Core Shields from the default Medium sensitivity. High sensitivity increases the protection and potential for false positive malware detections. Low sensitivity reduces the chance of false positive detections, but may also reduce the effectiveness of the Core Shields. To change the sensitivity of your Core Shields:
Click and hold the white marker, then slide it to your desired sensitivity setting.
Configure behavior settings
Specify what you want the Core Shields to do when they detect viruses and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).
- Select either the Malware tab or the Potentially unwanted programs & tools tab.
- Select your preferred option:
- Fix automatically (recommended): Avast tries to repair the file. If repair is not possible, the file moves to Quarantine. If that fails, the file is deleted from your PC.
- Ask: Avast asks you to decide what to do each time a threat is detected.
Additional behavior settings
Optionally, tick (enable) or untick (disable) the following additional behavior settings:
- Enable CyberCapture: Additional protection that analyzes unrecognized files.
- Automatically send files to Threat Labs: Sends all threats to Threat Labs automatically.
- Ask me to send files to Threat Labs: You are prompted to decide what to do each time a threat is detected.
- Enable Hardened Mode: Recommended for inexperienced computer users who want to further secure their PC. Hardened Mode uses information based on reputation services to determine which executable files are safe to open.
- Enable Rootkit detection: Monitors hidden malicious threats in your system. Unticking this option may resolve potential compatibility issues that can cause system crashes.
- Enable Exploit detection: Detect and block attempts to run malicious threats or processes in the system memory that can exploit vulnerable applications on your PC. Unticking this option may result in potential compatibility issues that can cause system crashes.
Manage individual shield settings
For information about advanced settings for each of the Core Shields, refer to the following article:
- Avast Free Antivirus 21.x
- Avast Premium Security 21.x
- Microsoft Windows 11 Home / Pro / Enterprise / Education
- Microsoft Windows 10 Home / Pro / Enterprise / Education - 32 / 64-bit
- Microsoft Windows 8.1 / Pro / Enterprise - 32 / 64-bit
- Microsoft Windows 8 / Pro / Enterprise - 32 / 64-bit
- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic / Home Premium / Professional / Enterprise / Ultimate - Service Pack 1 with Convenient Rollup Update, 32 / 64-bit