Adjusting settings for Avast Virus Scans

Avast Antivirus includes a range of Virus Scans to protect your PC against malware. Although customizable settings are available for some scans, we recommend you only modify settings for temporary troubleshooting purposes. Refer to the instructions in this article to adjust scan settings for the following Virus Scans:

  • Full Virus Scan: Performs an in-depth scan of your system, checking all hard drives, rootkits, and auto-start programs.
  • Targeted Scan: Performs a scan of folders or drives that you specify.
  • Explorer Scan: Scans files or folders, similar to a Targeted Scan, but is only available from the Windows context menu when you right-click a selected file or folder in File Explorer or on your Desktop.
  • Boot-Time Scan: Performs a scan of your PC for malware that is hard to reach after startup.

Open Virus Scans settings

  1. Open Avast Antivirus and go to MenuSettings. .
  2. Select ProtectionVirus Scans.

Manage scan settings

Select the Full Virus Scan tab, then refer to the sections below to adjust the scan settings:

 

Scan sensitivity

Scan sensitivity is set to Medium sensitivity by default, but can be adjusted to High sensitivity or Low sensitivity. The higher the sensitivity, the higher the protection and potential for false positive malware detections. Reducing the sensitivity reduces the chance of false positive detections, but may also reduce the effectiveness of the scans.

  • Click and hold the white marker, then slide it to your desired sensitivity setting.

Optionally, tick the box next to the following settings to increase sensitivity:

  • Scan for potentially unwanted programs (PUPs): Scan for programs that are stealthily downloaded with other programs and typically perform unwanted activity.
  • Follow links during scan: Scan other files used by the files being scanned for potentially harmful content.
  • Test whole files (very slow for big files): Scan entire files rather than only the parts typically affected by malicious code.

Use the drop-down menu to set your Scan priority (High priority by default).

Scan areas

Select or tick the box next to the following options to include them in the scan:

  • All Harddisks: Scan all hard drives on your PC.
  • System drive: Scan only the operating system drive.
  • All removable media: Scan applications that launch automatically when you insert a USB or other removable device into your PC.
  • Rootkits: Scan for hidden threats in the system.
  • UEFI BIOS: Scan for hidden threats in the UEFI BIOS boot-up process.
  • CD-ROM & DVD drives: Scan CD and DVD drives for malicious content.
  • Startup programs and modules loaded in memory: Scan applications and processes that launch after system startup or run in the background.
 

Packers and archives

Select the compressed file types you want unpacked during the scan:

  • Scan only common installers: Only scan the contents of executable files used to install apps.
  • Scan all archives: Scan the contents of all archive files (7-Zip, RAR, ZIP, installers, etc.). This results in slower scans.
  • Don't scan archives: Ignore all archive files during scans. This results in faster scans.
 

File types

Select the file types that are prioritized when scanning your PC for malware:

  • Content based types (slow): Scans files that are typically most vulnerable to malware attacks.
  • Name extension based types (fast): Only scans files with risky extensions, such as .exe, .com, .bat.
  • Scan all files (very slow): Scans all files on your PC for malware.
 

Automatic actions

Tick the box next to Perform automatic actions during this scan, then select one of the following options to define the automatic action when an infected file is found:

  • Fix automatically: Avast tries to repair the infected file. If repair is not possible, the file is moved to the Virus Chest, and if that fails, the file is deleted.
  • Move file to Virus Chest: The infected file is not repaired, and is instead moved to the Virus Chest.
  • Delete file: The infected file is not repaired or moved to the Virus Chest. Instead, the file is automatically deleted.

Optionally, tick the box next to the following settings:

  • Shut down computer after scan finishes: Avast shuts down your computer after the Full Virus Scan completes.
  • Generate report file: Avast automatically creates and stores a report file about the scan.

Select the Targeted Scan tab, then refer to the sections below to adjust the scan settings:

 

Scan sensitivity

Scan sensitivity is set to Medium sensitivity by default, but can be adjusted to High sensitivity or Low sensitivity. The higher the sensitivity, the higher the protection and potential for false positive malware detections. Reducing the sensitivity reduces the chance of false positive detections, but may also reduce the effectiveness of the scans.

  • Click and hold the white marker, then slide it to your desired sensitivity setting.

Optionally, tick the box next to the following settings to increase sensitivity:

  • Scan for potentially unwanted programs (PUPs): Scan for programs that are stealthily downloaded with other programs and typically perform unwanted activity.
  • Follow links during scan: Scan other files used by the files being scanned for potentially harmful content.
  • Test whole files (very slow for big files): Scan entire files rather than only the parts typically affected by malicious code.

Use the drop-down menu to set your Scan priority (Medium priority by default).

Packers and archives

Select the compressed file types you want unpacked during the scan:

  • Scan only common installers: Only scan the contents of executable files used to install apps.
  • Scan all archives: Scan the contents of all archive files (7-Zip, RAR, ZIP, installers, etc.). This results in slower scans.
  • Don't scan archives: Ignore all archive files during scans. This results in faster scans.
 

File types

Select the file types that are prioritized when scanning your PC for malware:

  • Content based types (slow): Scans files that are typically most vulnerable to malware attacks.
  • Name extension based types (fast): Only scans files with risky extensions, such as .exe, .com, .bat.
  • Scan all files (very slow): Scans all files on your PC for malware.
 

Automatic actions

Tick the box next to Perform automatic actions during this scan, then select one of the following options to define the automatic action when an infected file is found:

  • Fix automatically: Avast tries to repair the infected file. If repair is not possible, the file is moved to the Virus Chest, and if that fails, the file is deleted.
  • Move file to Virus Chest: The infected file is not repaired, and is instead moved to the Virus Chest.
  • Delete file: The infected file is not repaired or moved to the Virus Chest. Instead, the file is automatically deleted.

Optionally, tick the box next to the following settings:

  • Shut down computer after scan finishes: Avast shuts down your computer after the Targeted Scan completes.
  • Generate report file: Avast automatically creates and stores a report file about the scan.

Select the Explorer Scan tab, then refer to the sections below to adjust the scan settings:

 

Scan sensitivity

Scan sensitivity is set to Medium sensitivity by default, but can be adjusted to High sensitivity or Low sensitivity. The higher the sensitivity, the higher the protection and potential for false positive malware detections. Reducing the sensitivity reduces the chance of false positive detections, but may also reduce the effectiveness of the scans.

  • Click and hold the white marker, then slide it to your desired sensitivity setting.

Optionally, tick the box next to the following settings to increase sensitivity:

  • Scan for potentially unwanted programs (PUPs): Scan for programs that are stealthily downloaded with other programs and typically perform unwanted activity.
  • Follow links during scan: Scan other files used by the files being scanned for potentially harmful content.
  • Test whole files (very slow for big files): Scan entire files rather than only the parts typically affected by malicious code.

Use the drop-down menu to set your Scan priority (High priority by default).

Packers and archives

Select the compressed file types you want unpacked during the scan:

  • Scan only common installers: Only scan the contents of executable files used to install apps.
  • Scan all archives: Scan the contents of all archive files (7-Zip, RAR, ZIP, installers, etc.). This results in slower scans.
  • Don't scan archives: Ignore all archive files during scans. This results in faster scans.
 

File types

Select the file types that are prioritized when scanning your PC for malware:

  • Content based types (slow): Scans files that are typically most vulnerable to malware attacks.
  • Name extension based types (fast): Only scans files with risky extensions, such as .exe, .com, .bat.
  • Scan all files (very slow): Scans all files on your PC for malware.
 

Automatic actions

Tick the box next to Perform automatic actions during this scan, then select one of the following options to define the automatic action when an infected file is found:

  • Fix automatically: Avast tries to repair the infected file. If repair is not possible, the file is moved to the Virus Chest, and if that fails, the file is deleted.
  • Move file to Virus Chest: The infected file is not repaired, and is instead moved to the Virus Chest.
  • Delete file: The infected file is not repaired or moved to the Virus Chest. Instead, the file is automatically deleted.

Optionally, tick the box next to the following settings:

  • Shut down computer after scan finishes: Avast to shuts down your computer after the Explorer Scan completes.
  • General report file: Avast automatically creates and stores a report file about the scan.

Select the Boot-Time Scan tab, then refer to the sections below to adjust the scan settings:

 

Scan sensitivity

Scan sensitivity is set to Medium sensitivity by default, but can be adjusted to High sensitivity or Low sensitivity. The higher the sensitivity, the higher the protection and potential for false positive malware detections. Reducing the sensitivity reduces the chance of false positive detections, but may also reduce the effectiveness of the scans.

  • Click and hold the white marker, then slide it to your desired sensitivity setting.

Optionally, tick the box next to the following settings to increase sensitivity:

  • Scan for potentially unwanted programs (PUPs): Scan for programs that are stealthily downloaded with other programs and typically perform unwanted activity.
  • Unpack archive files: Scan the contents of all archive files (7-Zip, RAR, ZIP, installers, etc.).
 

Scan areas

Select or tick the box next to the following options to include them in the scan:

  • All Harddisks: Scan all hard drives on your PC.
  • System drive: Scan only the operating system drive.
  • Auto start programs: Scan all programs that start automatically.
 

Automatic actions

Tick the box next to Perform automatic actions during this scan, then select one of the following options to define the automatic action when an infected file is found:

  • Fix automatically: Avast tries to repair the infected file. If repair is not possible, the file is moved to the Virus Chest, and if that fails, the file is deleted.
  • Move file to Virus Chest: The infected file is not repaired, and is instead moved to the Virus Chest.
  • Delete file: The infected file is not repaired or moved to the Virus Chest. Instead, the file is automatically deleted.
  • Avast Omni 1.x
  • Avast Premium Security 20.x
  • Avast Free Antivirus 20.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 2, 32 / 64-bit

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