Avast Security for Mac - FAQs

Setup

What are the system requirements for Avast Security?

The system requirements for Avast Security and Avast Security Pro are:

  • 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), Apple Mac OS X 10.9.x (Mavericks).
  • Intel based Mac computer with 64-bit processor.
  • 512 MB RAM or above (1 GB RAM or higher preferred).
  • 256 MB minimum hard disk free space.
  • Internet connection (to download and register the product, for automatic updates of the program and virus database).
  • Optimally standard screen resolution not less than 1024 x 768 pixels.
Avast Security does not run properly if you have any other antivirus software installed.

How do I download and install Avast Security?

To download and install Avast Security:

  1. Click the link below to download the Avast Security setup file:
  2. Double-click the downloaded file avast...setup.dmg.
  3. In the dialog that appears, double-click the Avast setup option and follow the on-screen instructions, then click Install to complete the installation.
  4. Click Close.

If you have an Avast Security Pro subscription, you can activate it from PreferencesSubscription.

For detailed installation instructions, read the following articles:

License and Registration

Do I need to register for an Avast Security license?

No, registration is not necessary for the free version of Avast Security. After installation, Avast Security is ready to use. You can connect Avast Security to your Avast Account to benefit from the device management feature.

Avast Security Pro requires you to activate the product with a paid activation code.

How do I upgrade to Avast Security Pro from Avast Security?

To upgrade to Avast Security Pro:

  1. Click the Avast Menu bar icon and select Open Avast from the context menu.
  2. Click Upgrade on the main Avast Security screen.
  3. Follow the on-screen purchase instructions.

After purchase, Avast Security Pro automatically activates. If necessary, you can manually activate the product from PreferencesSubscription.

How do I activate Avast Security Pro?

To manually activate Avast Security Pro:

  1. Open the order confirmation email you received after purchasing Avast Security Pro.
  2. Locate and copy the activation code from the confirmation email.
  3. Click the Avast Menu bar icon and select Open Avast from the context menu.
  4. Go to PreferencesSubscription and click Insert activation code.
  5. Type or paste the activation code into the text boxes, then click Activate.

You can view the duration of your subscription in the Your current subscription section. For detailed activation instructions, read the following article:

How do I connect Avast Security to my Avast Account?

After you download and install Avast Security, you can connect the product to your Avast Account in the Account section.

To connect Avast Security to your Avast Account:

  1. Click the Avast Menu bar icon and select Open Avast.
  2. Select Account from the left side panel.
  3. Enter your Avast Account credentials, then click Login.
  4. If prompted, enter your system credentials and click Install helper.

For details, read the following article:

What is the difference between Avast Security and Avast Security Pro?

Avast Security is a free product which does not require a paid license to use.

Avast Security Pro requires a paid subscription to use. The product includes the same features as Avast Security and additionally includes Ransomware Shield and Wi-Fi Inspector.

Features

What is File Shield?

File Shield is the main layer of active protection in Avast Security. It scans programs and files saved on your Mac for malicious threats in real-time before allowing them to be opened, run, modified, or saved. If malware is detected, File Shield prevents the program or file from infecting your Mac.

What is Web Shield?

Web Shield is an additional layer of active protection in Avast Security. It scans data that is transferred when you browse the internet in real-time to prevent malware, such as malicious scripts, from being downloaded and run on your Mac.

What is Mail Shield?

Mail Shield is an additional layer of active protection in Avast Security. It scans your incoming and outgoing email messages in real-time for malicious content such as viruses. Scanning applies only to messages sent or received using a mail management software (email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird). If you access your web based email account via an internet browser, your Mac is protected by other Avast Security shields.

What is Ransomware Shield?

Ransomware Shield, available in Avast Security Pro, secures your personal photos, documents, and files from being modified, deleted, or encrypted by ransomware attacks. This feature automatically secures your Pictures and Documents folders and allows you to specify which other folders you want to protect from untrusted applications. Additionally, you can specify which applications are allowed to modify the files in your protected folders.

What is Wi-Fi Inspector?

Wi-Fi Inspector, available in Avast Security Pro, is an active protection component which continuously monitors your network and connected devices for threats.

What is the Virus Chest?

The Virus Chest is a safe place for storing potentially harmful files, completely isolated from the rest of the operating system. Files inside the Virus Chest are not accessible to any outside process, software application, or virus.

For more information about the Virus Chest including how to upload files, read the following article:

What is Avast Passwords?

Avast Passwords is an easy to use password manager. This feature securely stores your sensitive information and enables you to quickly log into your online accounts and complete web forms.

To access or manage Passwords, open Avast Security and select Tools. Under Passwords, click Open. Alternatively, open Applications and double-click the orange Avast Passwords icon.

For more information about how to set up and use Passwords, read the following article:

What is Avast Online Security?

Avast Online Security is a browser extension that is automatically downloaded when you install Avast Security.

Avast Online Security is designed to improve your online security and overall experience when browsing the internet. This extension detects and warns you of phishing attempts or bad reputation websites.

To learn more about Avast Online Security, read the following article:

What is Avast SecureLine VPN?

Avast SecureLine VPN is an application which enables you to connect to the internet via secure Avast VPN servers using an encrypted tunnel to protect your online activity from eavesdropping.

SecureLine VPN is a premium feature and requires a paid license to use.

To access SecureLine VPN, open Avast Security and select Tools. Under Avast SecureLine VPN, click Open. Alternatively, open Applications and double-click the orange Avast SecureLine VPN icon. For more information, read the following article:

General

How do I run a scan?

To run an Avast Security scan:

  1. Click the Avast menu bar icon and select Open Avast.
  2. Select Scan from the left panel.
  3. Click Start next to the scan you want to run.

You can run a thorough scan of the whole system, quickly scan a particular folder or removable drive, drag and drop specific files to be scanned, or run a scan of network devices. Additionally, you can schedule automatic scans.

For more information about each type of scan as well as scan settings, read the following article:

How do I check which version of Avast Security is installed?

To check which version of Avast Security is installed on your Mac, click the Avast Menu bar icon and select Show program info. A popup displays your Program version and Virus definitions.

How do I exclude files or websites from scanning by Avast shields?

To set an exclusion for an Avast shield:

  1. Click the Avast Menu bar icon and select Open Avast.
  2. Select Preferences from the left panel and ensure the Shields tab is selected in the new window that appears.
  3. Click Settings under the shield you want to set an exclusion for.
  4. Click the plus (+) icon in the table.
  5. If you are adding an exclusion for File Shield, select the file and click Choose. For Web Shield and Mail Shield, specify the server and service, then click Add.

For detailed instructions on how to set exclusions, read the following article:

How do I exclude files or folders from manual scanning?

To set an exclusion for manual scans:

  1. Click the Avast Menu bar icon and select Open Avast.
  2. Select Scan from the left panel, then click Settings in the section of the relevant scan.
  3. Click the plus (+) icon in the table.
  4. Select a file or folder, then click Choose.

For detailed instructions on how to set exclusions for Avast scans, read the following article:

Troubleshooting

What does the status message 'Unable to scan' mean in scan results?

The status message 'Unable to scan' means that the file could not be scanned, possibly due to an encrypted ZIP archive or because the files are currently in use. The status does not mean that there is anything wrong with the file, only that it is not available for scanning.

To view details of unscanned files:

  1. Click the Avast Menu bar icon and select Open Avast.
  2. Select Reports from the left panel.
  3. Click the downward-facing arrow next to Virus Scan Reports to expand the section.
  4. Click Open next to the scan with the unable to scan status.
  5. Right click in the scan results window and select Non-scanned.

The filenames and paths to files marked Unable to scan are displayed.

What should I do if I'm unable to send or receive emails after installing Avast Security?

If you are unable to send or receive emails after installing Avast Security, you can disable IPv6 in Mail Shield preferences. To disable IPv6:

  1. Click the Avast Menu bar icon and select Open Avast.
  2. Select Preferences from the left panel and ensure the Shields tab is selected in the new window that appears.
  3. Click Settings next to Mail Shield.
  4. Untick the box next to Enable IPv6.
  5. If prompted, enter your administrator credentials and click Install helper.

What should I do if I'm unable to browse the web or use other software on my Mac?

Avast Security shields detect and block suspicious files, dangerous websites, and unauthorized connections. In some cases, an Avast shield may cause connectivity issues. If you are unable to use online software or browse certain sites, use the troubleshooting steps below to determine if a shield is causing the issue:

  1. Click the Avast Menu bar icon and select Open Avast.
  2. Select Preferences from the left panel and ensure the Shields tab is selected in the new window that appears.
  3. Click Disable next to File Shield and perform your original action (for example, if you were unable to access a certain site, try to access the site again).
  4. If the connectivity issue persists, click Enable to turn the shield on again, then repeat the above steps for each shield.

When you determine which shield is causing the connectivity issue, you can set an exclusion for a certain file, site, or mail server by using the steps in the following article:

How do I uninstall Avast Security?

Avast Security cannot be fully uninstalled by dragging the application to Trash. To uninstall Avast Security:

  1. Click the Avast Menu bar icon and select Open Avast.
  2. Click Avast Security on the menu bar, then select Uninstall Avast from the context menu.
  3. Click Uninstall.

For detailed uninstallation instructions, read the following article:

  • Avast Security 13.x for Mac
  • Avast Security Pro 13.x for Mac
  • 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)
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.9.x (Mavericks)

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