Ransomware Shield - Getting Started

Ransomware Shield secures personal photos, documents, and other files from being modified, deleted, or encrypted by ransomware attacks. This feature allows you to protect specific files from untrusted applications and specify which applications are allowed or blocked access to your protected folders.

Modify your protected folders

By default, Ransomware Shield scans your PC and automatically secures folders where your personal data might be stored. To add or remove folders from the Protected folders list:

  1. Open the Avast user interface, then select ProtectionRansomware Shield.
  2. Add or remove a selected folder:
    • To add a folder: Click Protect New Folder, select the folder you want to protect, then click OK.
    • To remove a folder: Hover your cursor over the folder's panel, click the X icon, then click Stop Protecting.

Specify protected file types

Select which file types to secure in your protected folders:

  1. Open the Avast user interface, then select ProtectionRansomware Shield.
  2. Click Settings (the gear icon) in the top-right corner.
  3. Scroll to File types to view the file types secured in your protected folders. All listed file types are selected by default. Untick the box next to a file type to deselect it. Additionally, you can add a file type not listed, by typing it into the box below the default list.

Manage Ransomware Shield behavior

You can adjust how sensitively Ransomware Shield monitors applications that attempt to access files in your protected folders. To configure Ransomware Shield's behavior:

  1. Open the Avast user interface, then select ProtectionRansomware Shield.
  2. Click Settings (the gear icon) in the top right corner.
  3. Select one of the following mode options:
    • Smart Mode (default and recommended setting): Ransomware Shield refers to a list of commonly used and trusted applications to determine which applications can modify files in your protected folders. If any applications that are not in this list attempt to modify files in your protected folders, you are notified and asked for permission.
    • Strict Mode: If any applications attempt to modify files in your protected folders, you are notified and asked for permission every time (excluding those you have already added to the Blocked & Allowed apps lists). Selecting this option may result in frequent and potentially obtrusive alerts.
  4. When a Ransomware Shield pop-up notification appears, click Allow app to add the application to your Allowed apps list, or click Block app to always block it from accessing your protected folders.

For more information about managing Blocked & Allowed apps, refer to the following article:

Disable Ransomware Shield

Ransomware Shield is enabled by default, but can be disabled for troubleshooting purposes by following the steps below:

  1. Open the Avast user interface, then select ProtectionRansomware Shield.
  2. Click the green (ON) slider so that it changes to red (OFF), then select a time duration to disable Ransomware Shield.
  3. Click OK, Stop to confirm.

Ransomware Shield is now disabled. To enable it, click the red (OFF) slider so that it changes to green (ON).

Troubleshoot issues

Refer to the information below to troubleshoot common issues:

  • Ransomware Shield does not appear in the main menu: Ensure you are using the latest version of your Avast Antivirus. To update Avast Antivirus, go to MenuSettingsUpdate, and click Check for Updates in the application section.
  • Ransomware Shield displays pop-ups too frequently: Ensure that Ransomware Shield behavior is set to Smart Mode. If Ransomware Shield is set to Strict Mode, Avast Antivirus notifies you every time any application attempts to modify files in your protected folders (excluding those you have already added to the Blocked & Allowed apps lists).
  • You cannot save files using an editing application: Ensure the application you are using is not in your Blocked Apps list. Alternatively, you can add the application to your Allowed Apps list.
  • Avast Free Antivirus 20.x
  • Avast Premium Security 20.x
  • Avast Omni 1.x
  • 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, 32 / 64-bit

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