How to Disable Avast in 5 Steps

How to Disable Avast in 5 Steps

Avast Antivirus
Photo credit by: PCMag.com

Avast is a popular, user-friendly antivirus program for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. But do you know how to disable Avast? The program was produced by the company Avast Software s.r.o. and is being used by millions of people worldwide to secure their computers or mobile devices and protect their private information from Cyber threats.  

Avast provides some free features including antivirus scanning, browser cleanup, a secure browser, password management, and network security features.  However, users must purchase the more-advanced protection options, such as a firewall, anti-spam, and online baking protection features.
 
Due to its advanced security shields, users may need to temporarily, or permanently, disable Avast while they install new software and drivers to their computer; or to access websites or applications that Avast views as malicious and blocks.  This article will discuss Avast’s role in computer security and provide a simple step-by-step guide on how to disable Avast from your computer from your computer’s system tray (on the bottom right corner of your computer’s desktop).  Please follow each of the steps you read carefully for best results.  
 
It’s important to note that disabling any features is not the same thing as uninstalling the software.  Though the program is inactive when it’s disabled, the software is still a part of your computer, and you can enable it when needed.  This article will only discuss how to disable Avast; it will not include instructions on how to uninstall Avast from your computer.  

The Role of Avast in Computer Security

Avast is a trusted program that uses computer security, browser security, antivirus software, firewall, anti-phishing, anti-spyware, and anti-spam, along with other services, to help protect millions of users against various Cyber threats.  It provides shields that analyze malicious content that may be stored on your computer and suspicious information that may come into or from your computer.  These shields help detect and block malicious files, suspicious websites, unauthorized connections, and other potential threats.  Below, is an overview of each of the shields Avast provides, to give you some insight into what they do.

File System Shield

File System Shield
Photo credit by: support.avast.com

The File System Shield is the main component of Avast’s real-time scanner.  It actively scans all programs and files running on your computer’s hard drive as it opens, runs, changes, or saves them.  If it detects any malware, this shield prevents the program or file from infecting your computer.  

Behavior Shield

Behavior Shield
Photo credit by: rapidtopic.com

The Behavior Shield is an additional level of protection that comes standard in 2017 and later versions of Avast.  It runs on real-time in the background, after installation, to protect from zero-second threats, ransomware, and other malicious programs. It detects, reports, and blocks any suspicious files, based on their similarity to known threats, even the files that the virus definitions database still needs to add.  It is recommended that you keep this shield enabled at all times.

Web Shield

Web Shield
Photo credit by: www.webshieldltd.com

The Web Shield is an additional level of protection for browsing the internet.  It works on real-time and actively scans data transferred to and from your computer when you browse the internet.  This shield detects and prevents malware, such as malicious scripts, from being downloaded and run on your computer.  

Mail Shield

Mail Shield
Photo credit by: support.avast.com

The Mail Shield is an additional level of protection that protects your email.  It works on real-time and actively scans for malicious content such as viruses in your incoming and outgoing email messages.  This shield also blocks dangerous email attachments from being opened or downloaded to your computer.  This feature only works for those who use mail management software (i.e., Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird).  

Why You May Need to Disable Avast

Avast’s advanced security features may block users from visiting certain websites, with invalid certificates, or downloading new applications, software, or drivers they may want or need.  As a result, users may need to temporarily, or permanently, disable the program so they can proceed with their task uninterrupted.  Fortunately, Avast makes it easy to disable and enable effortlessly right from your computer’s system tray (on the bottom right corner of your computer’s desktop).  You can turn off all the shields (not recommended) or you may select and turn off individual shields to complete certain tasks.  

What Shield Should I Disable?

File System Shield

If you are having difficulty installing a new program or driver you want or need, you may try to disable this shield.

Behavior Shield

It is recommended that you keep this shield enabled at all times

Web Shield

If you are having difficulty accessing websites you need or downloading files from websites, you may try to disable this shield

Mail Shield

If you use Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird and cannot send or receive important emails or are unable to open or download attachments, you may try to disable this shield and the web shield

How to Disable Avast in 9 Steps

Disabled Avast
Photo credit by: OnlinePrivacyTips.co

Before you proceed, make sure you know what you are doing.  By disabling Avast, you are disabling its protective shields which can make your computer vulnerable to Cyberattacks, if you don’t have alternative security installed.  If you are ready to proceed, follow the steps below.  

 If you need to disable Avast but are unsure which shield to turn off, you may disable all the shields simultaneously by following the steps in “How to Disable Avast from the System Tray.”  If you do not wish to disable all the features, only specific shield(s), you may skip ahead to “How to Disable Avast from its Settings.”

How to Disable from the System Tray (Disable All Shields)

If you are unsure which shield you need to disable, you may follow the steps listed below to disable all shields simultaneously either temporarily or permanently, depending on your needs.  Keep in mind that by disabling Avast, you are disabling its protective shields for your computer.  If you do not have another security program installed, turning off these features can make your computer vulnerable to Cyberattacks.

Step 1: Find the orange Avast icon on your Windows System Tray (on the bottom right corner of your computer).  If you cannot see it, click on the top arrow “^” at the far left of your system tray to see the various icons that your Windows system may have hid by default.  

Step 2: Once you locate the icon, double-click on it using your mouse, finger or stylus (for touchscreens), or laptop touchpad pointing device

Step 3: Look for the option “Avast shields control,” and select the desired option from the list:
  • Disable for ten minutes
  • Disable for one hour
  • Disable until computer restart
  • Disable permanently
 
Step 4: Confirm your selection by clicking “yes” on the pop-up window. Avast will now be disabled according to your selection.   If you selected to only disable for a certain amount of time, Avast will be enabled again automatically after that time lapses.  

How to Disable Avast from its Settings (Disable All Shields)

If you don’t want to disable Avast completely, you may select specific shields from the main user interface by following the steps below.  Keep in mind that by disabling an Avast shield, you are turning off the protection that the shield(s) provided for your computer.  If you do not have another security program installed, turning off these features can make your computer vulnerable to Cyberattacks.

Step 1: Find the orange Avast icon on your Windows System Tray (on the bottom right corner of your computer).  If you cannot see it, click on the top arrow “^” at the far left of your system tray to see the various icons that your Windows system may have hid by default.
 
Step 2: Once you locate the icon, double-click on it using your mouse, finger (for touchscreens), or laptop touchpad pointing device

Step 3: Go to “Protection” (on the side menu)

Step 4: Click on “Core Shields.” You will see the different shield options with a toggle switch.  If the switch is green with a check mark, that shield is enabled, active, or on; if the switch is red with an “X,” it is disabled, inactive, or off.
 
Step 5: Select the active shield(s) you want to disable by clicking the toggle switch.  After you click the switch, it will prompt you to confirm you want to make this change by having you select how long you want to disable those features for:
  • Disable for ten minutes
  • Disable for one hour
  • Disable until computer restart
  • Disable indefinitely (or permanently)

If you successfully disabled the shield, you will see the switch change from green to red.  It will highlight the “Status” field on the side menu yellow, showing that there is a message.  When you click on “Status,” you will see a message confirming that the “[Type of Shield] Shield is Off.”  Avast will now be disabled according to your selection.   If you selected to only disable for a certain amount of time, Avast will be enabled again automatically after that time lapses.

Alternatively, you may follow these steps:

If you don’t want to disable Avast completely, you may select specific shields from the main user interface by following the steps below.  Keep in mind that by disabling an Avast shield, you are turning off the protection that the shield(s) provided for your computer.  If you do not have another security program installed, disabling these features can make your computer vulnerable to Cyberattacks.

Step 1: Find the orange Avast icon on your Windows System Tray (on the bottom right corner of your computer).  If you cannot see it, click on the top arrow “^” at the far left of your system tray to see the various icons that your Windows system may have hid by default.

Step 2: Once you locate the icon, double-click on it using your mouse, finger or stylus (for touchscreens), or laptop touchpad pointing device

Step 3: Go to Settings (the gear icon in the right corner)
 
Step 4: Click on the “Components Tab” (called “Active Protection” in older versions). You will see the different shield options with a toggle switch.  If the switch is green with a check mark, that shield is enabled, active, or on; if the switch is red with an “X,” it is disabled, inactive, or off.  
Step 5: Select the active shield(s) you want to disable by clicking the toggle switch.  After you click the switch, it will prompt you to confirm you want to make this change by having you select how long you want to disable those features for:
  • Disable for ten minutes
  • Disable for one hour
  • Disable until computer restart
  • Disable indefinitely (or permanently)

If you successfully disabled the shield, you will see the switch change from green to red.  It will highlight the “Status” field on the side menu yellow, showing that there is a message.  When you click on “Status,” you will see a message confirming that the “[Type of Shield] Shield is Off.”  Avast will now be disabled according to your selection.   If you selected to only disable for a certain amount of time, Avast will be enabled again automatically after that time lapses.

Conclusion

Conclusion Stamp
Photo credit by: 123RF.com

Avast’s popularity could be due to its free, user-friendly, and effective cybersecurity features for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices.  In the digital age, antivirus software is a necessity to help protect users’ personal information.  The advanced security features, while necessary, can lead to frustration if it prevents users from accessing materials they want or need.  Some websites and applications users want or need to access, and software, drivers, and attachments they need to download are often blocked by their antivirus software.  

The blocking of certain websites, applications, and software installations is the main reason people disable or uninstall their antivirus programs.  Fortunately, Avast recognizes this and allows its users the option to temporarily or permanently disable shields without uninstalling it completely.  Users can easily disable and enable by following the series of steps discussed in this article.  

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