Scanning your Mac with Avast Security or Avast Premium Security

Avast Security and Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Security Pro) provide a range of scans to protect your Mac from malware and network threats. You can also create your own scans with parameters you specify. The following virus scans are available:

  • Smart Scan: quickly scans the most vulnerable areas of your Mac.
  • Deep Scan: performs an in-depth scan of your system, including checking your storage drives and memory for malware.
  • Targeted Scan: scans specific files or folders on your Mac.
  • USB/DVD Scan: scans any removable storage devices connected to your Mac.
  • Custom Scans: allows you to create a scan and set your own scan parameters, including scheduling your custom scans to run regularly and automatically.

Run a scan

All scans can be run from the Scan Central screen. Follow the steps below to open Scan Central and run a scan:

Deep Scan may take several minutes or more to complete, depending on the number of files and the performance of your system.
  1. Click Go in the Apple menu bar, select Applications, then double-click the Avast Security icon to open the application.
  2. Click the More scans icon.
  3. To start your preferred scan:
    1. Smart Scan: Click Run Smart Scan.
    2. Deep Scan: Click Scan Now.
    3. Targeted Scan: Click Scan Now, then select the files or folders you would like to scan, and click Open.
    4. USB/DVD Scan: Click Scan Now, then select the removable drives you would like to scan and click Start.
    5. Custom Scans: Click Open Now, then click the play button (start scan now) on the panel for the scan you want to run.
  4. Wait while Avast Security scans your Mac for threats.

When the scan completes, refer to the section below to learn how to process the scan results.

Process scan results

After running a virus scan, details of any detected threats are displayed on the screen. To process your scan results, we recommend moving detected files to Quarantine:

  1. Select from the following options:
    • To move individual files to Quarantine, hover the cursor over a listed threat, then click Resolve.
    • To move multiple files to Quarantine, use the check boxes to select each file, then click Resolve Selected.
    • To move all files to Quarantine, click the check box at the top of the list, then click Resolve Selected.
  2. After resolving the detected threats, or if no threats are found, click Done to return to Scan Central. Alternatively, click the back arrow, then Ignore, to ignore detected threats and return to Scan Central.

To learn more about Quarantine, refer to the following article:

Schedule a scan

Custom Scans allow you to create and schedule your own scans to run regularly and automatically. To set your own scan parameters:

  1. Click Open now on the Custom Scans tile.
  2. Click New Custom Scan.
  3. Enter a Scan Name, then use the drop-down menus to select Type of Scan and Frequency. You can select from the following options:
    • Type of scan: Targeted Scan, Deep Scan, or Mac Scan.
    • Frequency: Once, daily, weekly, or monthly.
    Click the up or down arrows to change the Day and the Start Time for your custom scan.
  4. Review the Advanced settings list and tick or untick the box next to any items you want to include or exclude from your scan.
  5. If you want to exclude any files or folders from the scan, click Add Exceptions, then select the relevant file or folder and click Open.
  6. Click Save.

Your custom scan is set up and appears in the Custom Scans list. To edit or delete the scan, hover your cursor over the scan details and click (three dots), then select Edit scan or Remove scan.

Manage scan settings

To access settings for predefined scans:

  1. Click the Preferences (the gear icon) on the Scan Central screen, or go to MenuPreferences, and select the Scans tab.
  2. Tick or untick the box next to each setting to specify your preferred options for each of the predefined scans.
  3. To exclude a file or folder from a scan, click Add Exceptions, then select the relevant file or folder, and click Open.

Your scan settings are now updated.

  • Avast Security 14.x for Mac
  • Avast Premium Security 14.x for Mac
  • Apple macOS 11.x (Big Sur)
  • Apple macOS 10.15.x (Catalina)
  • Apple macOS 10.14.x (Mojave)
  • Apple macOS 10.13.x (High Sierra)
  • Apple macOS 10.12.x (Sierra)
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.11.x (El Capitan)
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.10.x (Yosemite)

Was this article helpful?

Need additional help?

Contact us