Avast Free Antivirus: how to install, setup, turn off, and more

Want to learn how to install and setup Avast Free Antivirus without all the bloatware?

Want to know which components to install? How to add or remove components? Or how to turn Avast off?

Is Avast slowing down your computer or internet, or both?

Don't want the Avast email signature This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by Avast at the bottom of each email you send?

Is Avast blocking a program that's 100% safe?

Then you are on the right page because this tutorial will show you step by step how to install, setup, add or remove components, and turn off Avast Free Antivirus and also what to do when Avast is slowing down your computer or internet, or both.

Contents

Avast Free Antivirus:


Related article

Windows 10 security tips and is Windows Defender good enough?

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Free Antivirus is a popular free antivirus program created by the company AVAST Software s.r.o. (1)

The headquarters of Avast is located in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic and they also have offices in Germany, China, United States, South Korea, and Taiwan. (2)

The free version of Avast often get good results in av-tests like AV-Test, AV-Comparatives, and Simon Edwards Labs (the successor to Dennis Technology Labs) and therefore it's often a recommended free antivirus program.

Avast free edition is also a good virus protection for your Windows 10 PC.

Install and setup Avast Free Antivirus

Install Avast Free Antivirus

1. Go to www.avast.com (official website).

2. Click on the download button (DOWNLOAD FREE ANTIVIRUS).

3. If your browser asks where to save the installer file, then select a location on your computer where you want to save the installer and then click on the Save button.

4. Run the installation file.

Two ways to run the installation file:

5. Click on Customize located just below the INSTALL button.

Custom Install Avast Free Antivirus

6. Uncheck everything except File Shield, Behavior Shield, Web Shield, and if you are using an email client (software), then leave Mail Shield also checked.

uncheck avast free antivirus components

7. When you're ready you click on the Install button located at the bottom of the setup window.

Avast Free Antivirus will now be installed on your computer.

When the installation process is completed, it will open the next window.

8. Click on the CONTINUE button located at the bottom.

The next window will appear.

Here you can read about the data that Avast Free Antivirus will collect.

But:

Don't worry, because you can opt-out at any time.

Later in this article, I will show you how you can opt-out.

9. Click on the FINISH button located at the bottom.

The Avast user interface will now appear.

10. Restart your PC.

Activate Avast Free Antivirus

1. Open the Avast user interface.

2. Click on the ACTIVATE button located in the left sidebar of Avast.

3. Click on the SELECT button located underneath Avast Free Antivirus.

In the next screen, it will ask you to try the premium version of Avast.

4. If you don't want to try the premium version, then click on the No, thanks link located at the bottom.

Avast Free Antivirus is now activated.

Setup Avast Antivirus

1. Open Avast Free Antivirus.

2. Click on Settings located in the bottom left corner of Avast.

3. If you don't want the message: This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by Avast at the bottom of every email you send, then uncheck Enable Avast email signature.

disable avast email signature

4. Click on Sounds and uncheck Enable Avast sounds.

5. Click on Privacy and uncheck Participate in the Avast community and Participate in data sharing.

6. Click on Components located in the left sidebar.

7. Click on Customize located next to File Shield.

8. Click on Actions located in the left sidebar.

9. Select the following options at Virus, PUP and Suspicious:

Select action to be performed when a ... is found.

Note! you will need to change these settings within each tab separately (virus, pup and suspicious).

Avast Free Antivirus Actions Settings

10. Click on the OK button located at the bottom of the settings window to save the settings.

11. Click on the OK button located at the bottom of the first settings window to save the settings and to go back to the main user interface.

Avast account

Log into your Avast account or if you don't have one yet, then you will need to create one.

1. Click on Sign in located in the top right corner of Avast.

2. Now you will have the following options: LOGIN WITH FACEBOOK, LOGIN WITH GOOGLE or you can enter your email address and password and then click on the LOGIN button.

3. If you don't have an account yet, then click on Create a new account.

4. Now you will have the following options: LOGIN WITH FACEBOOK, LOGIN WITH GOOGLE or enter your email address and desired password (twice) and then click on the CREATE NEW ACCOUNT button.

Add or remove individual components in Avast Antivirus

Install / add components in Avast Antivirus (method 1)

1. Open Avast Free Antivirus.

2. Click on Settings located in the bottom left corner of Avast.

3. Click on Components located in the left sidebar.

4. Click on Install Component located at the right of the component you want to install.

5. After the installation is finished, you click on Restart computer.

6. Click on RESTART NOW.

Install / add components in Avast Antivirus (method 2)

1. Open Windows Control Panel.

2. Open Programs and Features.

3. Right-click on Avast and choose Change.

4. Click on Modify.

5. Check the component(s) you want to add (install).

6. Click on Change.

7. After the installation is finished, you will need to restart your computer.

Uninstall / remove components in Avast Antivirus (method 1)

I would uninstall everything except File Shield, Behavior Shield, Web Shield, and if you are using an email client (software), then leave Mail Shield installed also.

1. Open Avast Free Antivirus.

2. Click on Settings located in the bottom left corner of Avast.

3. Click on Components located in the left sidebar.

4. Click on the small grey arrow down icon located at the right of the component you want to remove.

5. Click on Uninstall Component.

6. Click on OK to confirm.

7. After it's finished, click on Restart computer.

8. Click on RESTART NOW.

Uninstall / remove components in Avast Antivirus (method 2)

I would uninstall everything except File Shield, Behavior Shield, Web Shield, and if you are using an email client (software), then leave Mail Shield installed also.

1. Open Windows Control Panel.

2. Open Programs and Features.

3. Right-click on Avast and choose Change.

4. Click on Modify.

5. Uncheck the component(s) you want to remove (uninstall).

6. Click on Change.

7. After the uninstallation is finished, you will need to restart your computer.

Disable Avast email signature in Avast Antivirus

The Avast email signature is enabled by default and whenever you send an email the person who receives this email will see the following email signature This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by Avast at the bottom of every email you send.

If you don't want this email signature, then you can easily disable it.

1. Open Avast Free Antivirus.

2. Click on Settings located in the bottom left corner of Avast.

3. Uncheck Enable Avast email signature.

disable avast email signature

4. Click on the OK button located at the bottom of the settings window to save the setting and to go back to the main user interface.

The email signature is now disabled.

Free virus (malware) scanners

It's also a good idea to use second opinion virus (malware) scanners to get more complete detection coverage, because some programs may detect a computer virus (malware) that Avast might miss.

You can use the following free virus (malware) scanners together with Avast Antivirus without any problems:

Related: How to remove malware (virus) from your Windows 7, 8 or 10 PC

Additional security software

You can use the following programs alongside Avast antivirus.

How to turn off Avast Antivirus

There may come a time that you want to turn off Avast, because Avast is blocking your favorite website or program, or it's preventing you from installing software.

Fortunately, there is a way to easily disable Avast and I will show you step by step how to disable Avast Antivirus completely or temporarily.

Turn off Avast Antivirus completely (all shields)

1. Right-click on the small Avast icon located in the Windows system tray.

avast free antivirus system tray icon

2. Move your mouse cursor (pointer) to Avast shields control and choose one of the following options:

turn off avast antivirus

3. When the confirmation window appears, you click on Yes to stop Avast.

Turn Avast Antivirus On

1. Right-click on the small Avast icon located in the Windows system tray.

avast free antivirus system tray icon

2. Move your mouse cursor (pointer) to Avast shields control and choose Enable all shields or open the Avast user interface and click on the RESOLVE button.

Turn off Avast temporarily (specific shield(s)

1. Open the Avast user interface by clicking on the Avast icon located in the Windows system tray.

avast free antivirus system tray icon

2. Click on Protection located in the left sidebar.

3. Click on Core Shields.

4. Click on the green ON button located underneath to the shield you want to disable.

disable a avast antivirus shield

5. Choose one of the following options:

6. When the confirmation window appears, you click on Yes to disable the shield.

Now the button(s) will turn red and show OFF.

Turn on Avast Antivirus

1. Right-click on the small Avast icon located in the Windows system tray.

avast free antivirus system tray icon

2. Move your mouse cursor (pointer) to Avast shields control and choose Enable all shields or open the Avast user interface and click on the RESOLVE button.

Stop Avast Free Antivirus from blocking a program

It can happen that Avast Antivirus will block software that's 100% safe.

This can also happen with other antivirus programs.

If you know that a program is 100% safe, then you can add this program as an exception in the whitelist (exclusion list) of Avast. This will prevent Avast from blocking this program in the future.

Note! you must be 100% sure that the program that you want to exclude is 100% safe otherwise you might put your PC at risk.

1. Open Avast Antivirus.

2. Click on Settings located in the bottom left corner of Avast.

3. In the General tab, you click on Exclusions.

4. In the File paths tab, you click on the Browse button.

avast antivirus exclusions file paths browse button

A Select the areas window will appear.

5. Go to the folder (location) of the program you want to exclude from Avast (e.g., Local Disk (C:) > Program Files or Program Files (x86)).

6. Check (select) the folder of the program you want to exclude from Avast.

Add Program Avast Exclusions List 2

7. Click on the OK button located at the bottom of the Select the areas window.

8. Click on the OK button located at the bottom of the settings window to save the setting and to go back to the main user interface.

9. Restart your PC.

Uninstall Avast Free Antivirus

1. Open Windows Control Panel.

2. Open Programs and Features.

3. Right-click on Avast and choose Uninstall.

4. Click on Uninstall to uninstall (remove) Avast.

5. After the process is completed, you will need to restart your computer.


Maybe you're also interested in:

Important computer and internet security tips

Computer virus: types, symptoms, protection, and removal

Malware: types, protection, prevention, detection, and removal

Windows 10 security tips and is Windows Defender good enough?

How to remove malware (virus) from your Windows 7, 8 or 10 PC


References:

About Avast

Wikipedia: Avast (software company)

HowToGeek: Don't use your antivirus' browser extensions: they can actually make you less safe