Avast Antivirus - FAQs

With the launch of Avast Premium Security, we have made changes to some existing Avast Antivirus products for Windows. Refer to this article for information about any changes to your product.

System Requirements

What are the system requirements for Avast Antivirus?

For Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier), Avast Free Antivirus, and Avast Omni:

  • Windows 10; Windows 8/8.1 except RT and Starter Edition (32 or 64-bit); Windows 7 SP1 or higher, any Edition (32 or 64-bit).
  • Windows fully compatible PC with Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon 64 processor or above (must support SSE2 instructions).
  • 1 GB RAM or above.
  • 2 GB free space on the hard disk.
  • Internet connection to download, activate, and maintain program updates and antivirus database.
  • Optimally standard screen resolution no less than 1024 x 768 pixels.
Avast Antivirus is not supported (is not compatible, cannot be installed, and will not run) on DOS, Microsoft Windows editions earlier than Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Server operating systems, or any others not specified as supported.

Using Microsoft Windows operating systems without the latest Service Pack may not be supported. For details, refer to the documentation on Microsoft's website:

Download and Installation

How do I download Avast Antivirus?

Download your preferred Avast Antivirus product using the direct links below:

Latest Avast Antivirus products:

Older Avast Antivirus products:

You can download Avast Omni using the direct download link in your order confirmation email.

How do I install Avast Antivirus?

For instructions to download and install your Avast Antivirus product, refer to the following articles:

To install an older version of Avast Antivirus, refer to the links below:

How do I update my current Avast Antivirus program version to the latest version?

For detailed instructions to update Avast Antivirus to the latest program version, refer to the following article:

Is it necessary to uninstall a previous version of Avast Antivirus before installing a new version?

If you have Avast 7.x or later, you do not need to uninstall your previous version because Avast Antivirus setup automatically detects and upgrades the existing installation.

If you have Avast 6.x or older, you need to uninstall your version of Avast using the Avast Uninstall Utility, then install Avast Antivirus by following the instructions in the relevant article below:

To install an older version of Avast Antivirus, refer to the links below:

How do I uninstall Avast Antivirus?

For detailed instructions to uninstall your Avast Antivirus product, refer to the following article:

Subscription and registration

How do I activate my subscription for Avast Premium Security or Avast Omni?

You can purchase a subscription for Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier) or Avast Omni via the Avast Store. To activate your product:

  1. Open your Avast order confirmation email and copy the activation code.
  2. Right-click the Avast icon in the system tray and select Subscription information from the context menu.
  3. On the My Subscriptions screen, click Enter a valid activation code.
  4. Enter your activation code and click Enter.

For detailed instructions, refer to the relevant article below:

For detailed instructions to activate an older version of Avast Antivirus, refer to the relevant article below:

How do I register Avast Free Antivirus?

It is no longer necessary to register your Avast Free Antivirus, as your initial free subscription automatically activates after installation. When your free subscription expires, you can let the program automatically renew the subscription. Alternatively, you can manually activate your 1-year subscription by following these steps:

  1. Open the Avast user interface and go to MenuMy Subscriptions.
  2. Click Upgrade now next to Avast Free Antivirus in the list located under Subscriptions on this PC.
  3. Click Select in the Avast Free Antivirus column.
  4. Click the X icon on the new screen that appears to return to the My Subscriptions screen.

For details, refer to the following article:

What is the 30-day money back guarantee?

Avast offers a 30 day, money-back guarantee from the date of purchase for most products.

Restrictions apply to certain orders according to the terms and conditions presented at the time of purchase. For instance, for Avast mobile products purchased from Google Play or iTunes, the return policy of the vendor applies. For more information, contact Google Play or iTunes directly.

To request a refund for an Avast product for Windows or Mac, contact Avast Support and provide your name, order number, and the reason for your refund request.

For more information visit Orders, Subscriptions, and Refunds - FAQs

What should I do if Avast Antivirus does not accept my purchased subscription?

If you face issues activating Avast Antivirus, use the Avast webform to resend your subscription to the email address used for your purchase, then try to activate the program again. If activation is unsuccessful, follow these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Uninstall Avast Antivirus using the Avast Uninstall Utility and restart your computer.
  2. Download and install the version of Avast Antivirus connected to the purchased subscription.
  3. Try to activate Avast Antivirus again.

Can I get a copy of my purchased subscription?

If you did not receive your purchased subscription, you can request it via our webform using the email address provided for your purchase.

You can also find your activation code in your Avast Account. For more information, refer to the following article:

Can I transfer a subscription to another device?

Yes. You can activate an Avast Premium Security (Multi-Device) or Avast Omni subscription on up to 10 devices across multiple platforms, and easily transfer your protection from one device or platform to another.

You can activate an Avast Premium Security (Single-Device) subscription on one device at a time, and transfer this subscription to another device on the same platform. For more information, refer to the following article:

Check your Avast Account or a confirmation email to confirm which subscription type you purchased.

If you have a subscription for an older Avast Antivirus product, check your Avast Account or an order confirmation email to confirm how many devices your subscription protects.

Can I use my subscription on different platforms?

An Avast Premium Security (Single-Device) subscription protects on one device. The following Avast Premium Security (Single-Device) subscriptions are available:

  • Avast Premium Security (for PC)
  • Avast Premium Security (for Mac)
  • Avast Mobile Security Premium (for Android)
  • Avast Mobile Security Premium (for iOS)

An Avast Premium Security (Multi-Device) or Avast Omni subscription protects up to 10 devices regardless of platform, and allows you to freely transfer your subscription from one device or platform to another.

How do I activate my Avast Premium Security (Multi-Device) product on another platform?

After purchasing Avast Premium Security (Multi-Device), you can activate Avast Premium Security on your Windows, macOS, Android, or iOS devices using a valid activation code, or using your Avast Account credentials linked to the email provided during purchase.

For detailed instructions, refer to the following articles:

Can I use my subscription for Avast Antivirus to activate Avast SecureLine VPN and Avast Cleanup Premium?

No. Avast SecureLine VPN and Avast Cleanup Premium are integrated into the Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier) and Avast Omni user interface, but require separate, paid subscriptions to use. You can purchase a subscription for either product from the Avast Store.

How do I cancel my continuous subscription?

For instructions to disable your continuous Avast software subscription, refer to one of the following articles according to the distributor from which you purchased the subscription:

To cancel continuous subscriptions purchased via Allsoft (Softline Group company), AstroPay, or Cleverbridge, use the following form:

Features and Settings

What features are included in the different versions of Avast Antivirus?

You can check the features available in each version of Avast Antivirus on our product comparison chart.

  • Avast Free Antivirus: includes our intelligent antivirus features that detect viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware, phishing, and other threats in real-time. Avast Free Antivirus also includes extra free features such as Software Updater and Passwords.
  • Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier): comes with all the features included in Avast Free Antivirus, and additionally includes; Ransomware Shield, Real Site, Sandbox, Firewall, Sensitive Data Shield, Anti-spam, Webcam Shield, and Data Shredder.
  • Avast Premium Security (Multi-Device): comes with all the features included in Avast Premium Security, and additionally includes Avast Premium Security solutions for Mac, Android, and iOS.
  • Avast Omni: comes with all features included in Avast Premium Security (Multi-Device), and additionally includes home network security for all of the connected devices in your home.

Features available in older Avast Antivirus products:

Avast SecureLine VPN and Avast Cleanup Premium appear in the Avast Premium Security interface but require separate licenses.

What is Smart Scan?

Smart Scan is a comprehensive scan that detects the following:

  • Viruses: files containing malicious code which may impact the security and performance of your PC.
  • Vulnerable software: out-of-date software which hackers can use to access your system.
  • Bad browser add-ons: browser extensions that are usually installed without your knowledge and affect the performance of your system.
  • Poor search engines: default search providers that may offer poor search results or endanger your privacy.
  • Network issues: vulnerabilities in your network that may lead to attacks on your router and network devices.
  • Performance issues: items such as junk files and unnecessary apps, or settings issues that may interfere with the operation of your PC.

To run a Smart Scan, open the Avast user interface and go to ProtectionVirus Scans, then click Run Smart Scan.

For more information, refer to the following article:

What are Core Shields?

Core Shields displays the main protection components in Avast Antivirus. By default, all Core Shields are enabled to provide optimal protection. The Core Shields are:

  • File Shield: scans programs and files saved on your PC 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 PC.
  • Behavior Shield: monitors all processes on your PC in real-time for suspicious behavior that may indicate the presence of malicious code. Behavior Shield works by detecting and blocking suspicious files based on their similarity to other known threats, even if the files are not yet added to the virus definitions database.
  • Web Shield: 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 PC.
  • Mail Shield: 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 PC is protected by other Avast shields.

For more information, refer to the following article:

What is Virus Chest?

Virus Chest is an isolated space where you can safely store potentially dangerous files or send them to the Avast Threat Lab for analysis. Files in the Virus Chest cannot run or access your system and data, so any malicious code contained within a file is unable to harm your PC.

For more information, refer to the following article:

What is CyberCapture?

CyberCapture is a feature that detects and analyzes rare, suspicious files. If you attempt to run such a file, CyberCapture locks the file from your PC and sends it to the Avast Threat Lab where it is analyzed in a safe, virtual environment.

For more information, refer to the following article:

What is Rescue Disk?

Rescue Disk is a feature which allows you to create a bootable version of the Avast Antivirus scanner on a USB or CD.

For more information, refer to the following article:

What is Firewall?

Firewall is a feature available in Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier) and Avast Omni. Firewall monitors all network traffic between your PC and the outside world to protect you from unauthorized communication and intrusions. Firewall can prevent sensitive data from leaving your PC and can block attempted intrusions by hackers.

You can also set the application rules to control network and internet communication for specific software applications. Firewall applies these rules whenever a particular application tries to establish a connection to the internet or with another network.

For more information, refer to the following articles:

What is Real Site?

Real Site, formerly known as Secure DNS, is a feature in Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier) and Avast Omni. Real Site secures you against DNS (Domain Name System) hijacking. Some malicious programs can stealthily redirect you from an authentic URL to an inauthentic website to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.

Every time you enter the URL (address) of a website, such as www.example.com, into the address bar of your browser, the URL is translated to the IP address (Internet Protocol address) of the web server where the web page that you want to access is stored. Real Site provides an encrypted connection between your web browser and Avast's own DNS server to ensure that the displayed website is the authentic one.

For more information, refer to the following articles:

What is Ransomware Shield?

Ransomware Shield is available in the latest version of Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier) and Avast Omni. Ransomware Shield secures your personal photos, documents, and files from being modified, deleted, or encrypted by ransomware attacks. This feature scans for and automatically secures folders which may contain personal data 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 folders and which applications are always blocked.

For more information, refer to the following articles:

What is Sensitive Data Shield?

Sensitive Data Shield, available in the latest version of Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier) and Avast Omni, scans and protects your personal sensitive documents against unauthorized access and malware. The files considered sensitive contain your personal information which, if revealed, can compromise your privacy and identity. Sensitive Data Shield controls which applications and users have access to your files to secure your private data.

For more information, refer to the following articles:

What is Webcam Shield?

Webcam Shield, available in the latest version of Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier) and Avast Omni, prevents applications and malware from accessing your PC's webcam without your consent. With Webcam Shield enabled, untrusted applications cannot capture images or videos and send the content outside of your PC to compromise your privacy.

For more information, refer to the following articles:

What is Wi-Fi Inspector?

Wi-Fi Inspector, formerly known as Home Network Security, scans your network for vulnerabilities and identifies potential security issues that open the door to threats. This feature checks the status of your network, devices connected to the network, and router settings. Wi-Fi Inspector helps you secure your network to prevent attackers from accessing it and misusing your personal data.

What is Passive Mode?

Passive Mode disables all active protection, such as Shields and Firewall, so that you can use more than one antivirus program at a time without interfering with the performance of your PC or the reliability of antivirus detections. In Passive Mode, Avast Antivirus receives all virus definition and program updates which allows you to manually run scans to check for issues on your PC, however, Avast does not actively protect you.

If you want Avast to actively protect you from malware and other security threats, ensure that Passive Mode is not turned on and the following conditions are met:
  • All third party antivirus programs are uninstalled.
  • The main screen of Avast indicates You're protected.

For more information, refer to the following article:

What is Software Updater?

Software Updater is a feature in Avast Antivirus that keeps commonly used third party software up to date to eliminate potential security risks. Malicious threats or attackers often use leaks in outdated software to access your PC. Software Updater displays the most popular programs installed on your PC and allows you to easily update them.

For more information, refer to the following article:

What is Sandbox?

Sandbox is available in Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier) and Avast Omni. Sandbox is a virtualization tool which allows you to browse the web or run an application in a completely isolated, safe environment. When you run an application in Sandbox, your activity and web content is contained, which prevents damage to your PC. This is useful when you want to run suspicious or untrusted applications without risk.

What is Data Shredder?

Data Shredder is a feature in Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier) and Avast Omni that allows you to irreversibly erase your files or whole drives, so that there is no way for anyone to restore and misuse your data.

When you erase a hard drive, or delete a file using standard tools, only a reference to its data is removed from the file system. Simply deleting sensitive files, such as user data or licensed software, may not be safe as there are tools capable of restoring deleted files. Data Shredder overwrites files with meaningless data multiple times before deleting them which prevents data from being recovered. Data Shredder is especially useful when selling/donating your computers or hard drives.

For more information, refer to the following articles:

What is Anti-spam?

Anti-spam is an additional installable component available in Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier) and Avast Omni. Anti-spam ensures that the inbox in your mail management software is free from unwanted spam and junk emails. This feature applies to mail clients installed on your PC, such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.

Anti-spam is no longer installed by default. To install Anti-spam manually via the control panel, refer to the following article:

What is Do Not Disturb Mode?

Do Not Disturb Mode is a new feature in Avast Antivirus, and an upgrade to the previous Game Mode feature. Do Not Disturb Mode works to silence unnecessary notifications while you run almost any application in fullscreen. Each time you open an application in fullscreen, Do Not Disturb Mode automatically detects it and adds it to a list of applications. When you run applications from this list of entries, Do Not Disturb Mode automatically launches to silence notifications from Windows, Avast Antivirus, and other applications. In the Do Not Disturb Mode applications list, you can also select (three dots) next to the relevant application, then tick the Maximize performance box, which will allow the application to run at highest priority and boost the performance of your PC.

For more information, refer to the following articles:

What is Browser Cleanup?

Browser Cleanup is a feature now integrated into Smart Scan and Avast Cleanup Premium.

When you run Smart Scan, your PC is scanned for various elements, including poorly rated browser add-ons. If such add-ons are detected, you can follow on-screen instructions to remove them.

If you use Avast Cleanup Premium, the Clean option scans for and identifies poorly rated browser add-ons. You can select which add-ons to remove, as well as view reputable add-ons.

What is Passwords?

Passwords is a password manager that allows you to use one Master Password to quickly and safely log into your online accounts and complete web forms. Passwords encrypts and securely stores your sensitive information, and enables you to synchronize your data across all your devices.

For details, refer to the following articles:

What is SecureLine VPN?

SecureLine VPN is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN functions as a private tunnel through the internet which encrypts your data and secures your connection when using public Wi-Fi connections such as those in cafes or airports. SecureLine VPN has servers in several locations which means you can bypass geolocation restrictions as well as access your favorite content while traveling.

SecureLine VPN is integrated into the Avast user interface, but requires a separate, paid license to use. For more information about SecureLine VPN, refer to the following article:

What is Cleanup Premium?

Cleanup Premium scans for unnecessary items and performance issues to create space on your PC and improve the speed of your system. After a scan, Avast offers to remove or resolve any found issues.

Avast Cleanup Premium is not covered by an Avast Antivirus subscription and is a separate product that requires a separate, paid subscription to use. Before purchasing Avast Cleanup Premium, you can click Scan Now to run an initial scan of your system and review any issues.

For details, refer to the following article:

Miscellaneous

How will the launch of Avast Premium Security affect my current Avast products?

With the launch of Avast Premium Security, we have made changes to some existing Avast products. Refer to the information below according to your Antivirus product:

  • Avast Premier: This product continues as Avast Premium Security.
  • Avast Pro Antivirus and Avast Internet Security: These products are no longer sold from the Avast website. We are in the process of discontinuing them and upgrading existing users to Avast Premium Security.

For more information about the change to Avast Premium Security, refer to the article below:

If you use Avast Pro Antivirus or Avast Internet Security, you can manually upgrade your application to Avast Premium Security by clicking MenuSettingsGeneralUpdateUpdate Now.

Can I set Software Updater to automatically update my applications?

Avast Antivirus informs you when Software Updater detects updates for third-party applications. In Avast Premium Security and Avast Omni, you can configure Software Updater to perform updates automatically.

In Avast Free Antivirus, you can maintain updates manually by clicking Update Now next to each application.

Avast aims to cover third-party products whose updates are essential for PC security. The products included may change over time.

Does my PC's performance slow down during an Avast scan?

Avast Antivirus comes with several pre-defined scans as well as the option to create your own custom scans. Generally, running a scan does not noticeably affect system performance. However, performance may be affected somewhat depending on your system configurations, especially if you execute multiple scans simultaneously.

Does Avast Antivirus scan webmail accounts?

If you use a web based email account, such as Yahoo or Gmail, Avast does not directly scan your emails. However, Web Shield and File Shield actively protect your PC from malware which could be contained in your email messages.

If you use a mail management software, such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird, Mail Shield scans for threats in your incoming and outgoing email messages.

Can I adjust the sensitivity of Anti-spam?

Yes. If you want to adjust the sensitivity of the Anti-spam filter go to MenuSettingsPrivacyAnti-spam. The following sensitivity options are available:

  • Relaxed: use this setting if too many legitimate emails are being marked as spam.
  • Strict (default and recommended setting): keep this setting enabled to maintain optimal spam filtering.
  • No mercy: use this setting if too many spam emails are getting into your inbox.
The higher the sensitivity, the higher the potential for false positive spam detections. Reducing the sensitivity reduces the chance of false positive detections, but may also reduce the effectiveness of the Anti-spam filter.

Can I turn off the Microsoft Windows Firewall when using the Firewall in Avast Premium Security or Avast Omni?

Yes. Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Premier) and Avast Omni include a built-in firewall. The Avast Firewall monitors all communication between your PC and outside networks and blocks unauthorized communication. It is highly recommended to keep all Avast protection components enabled at all times for reliable PC protection.

Can I turn off the antivirus protection?

Yes, but we do not recommend doing this permanently. If you need to disable Avast Antivirus, right click the Avast icon in the system tray and select Avast shields control. Select one of the following options:

  • Disable for 10 minutes
  • Disable for 1 hour
  • Disable until computer is restarted
  • Disable permanently (not recommended)

Can I exclude files, folders, or websites from being scanned?

Yes. You can exclude specific files, folders, or websites from being scanned by all Avast shields and scans. To set an exclusion:

  1. Go to MenuSettingsGeneralExceptions.
  2. Click Add Exception.
  3. Type a file path, folder path, or URL, then click Add Exception. Alternatively, click Browse, then select a file or folder path, and click OK.

Your specified file, folder, or website is now listed on the Exceptions screen. To remove an exception, hover your mouse over the listed exception, then click the trash can icon that appears on the right.

  • Avast Premium Security 19.x
  • Avast Free Antivirus 19.x
  • Avast Omni 1.x
  • Avast Premier 19.x
  • Avast Internet Security 19.x
  • Avast Pro Antivirus 19.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

Was this article helpful?

Yes No

Need additional help?

Contact us

Avast Premium Tech Support

Solve any issue
for any device
Call now for free consultation 0800-203-620