How to disable Avast

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Judit Llordés
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Avast is one of the most trusted free antivirus tools available on the market. Since it is lightweight and very effective, it is extremely popular with antivirus users.

However, similar to other third-party antivirus tools, Avast can cause certain problems. Its security shields can interfere with other programs and prevent access to certain websites. This is why many users like to temporarily disable Avast until they finish using certain programs or browsers.

This article explains all possible ways to temporarily (or permanently) disable Avast Antivirus if such problems occur.

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Disable Avast from the system tray

The easiest way to disable Avast Antivirus is via the system tray or taskbar. It only takes a few clicks with this method.

  1. Find Avast at the bottom right of the taskbar. Sometimes the icon can be hidden, so you need to press the up arrow to see all the icons on the taskbar.
  2. Right-click on the Avast Antivirus icon.
  3. Hover over the “Avast Shield Control” menu. A new menu should appear.

You should see more options to disable antivirus. You can permanently disable it for 10 minutes, one hour, or until the next reboot. There is also an option to permanently disable it until you decide to re-enable it. Choose one of these options.

After choosing the option, Avast will ask you to confirm your choice. If you are sure, you should select the "Yes" button.

To check if Avast Antivirus is disabled, double-click the Avast icon. A window should appear with a warning that all protection is disabled. If you want to enable the protection again, click the “Resolve” button.

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Disable Avast from the UI

There is also a way to disable Avast Antivirus from its Settings menu. This option also allows you to disable specific shields, which can leave you partially protected. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Double-click the Avast icon.
  2. Click on the "Settings" button.
  3. Select the "Components" tab on the left side of the screen.
  4. Click on the shields you want to disable. All enabled shields will have a green check mark next to them.

Once this is done, you will have to choose the period until they are enabled again. The choices will be the same as in the previous section.

When done, go back to the main interface and click on the “Status” tab on the left. It should say that the file's shield is off and you should turn it back on.

Disabling shields from the "Security" tab

There is a faster way to disable all Avast shields. This method does not require you to enter the “Settings” menu. Instead, you should simply open the Avast user interface and follow these two steps:

  1. Click on the “Security” tab (lock icon) on the left of the interface. A 'Core Shields' menu should appear.
  2. Disable any shield by pressing the green 'On' switch.

Avast will also ask you to choose the length of time you want to disable the antivirus.

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Uninstall Avast Antivirus

Completely removing Avast Antivirus should be a last resort, but doing so will disable it forever. To uninstall Avast, you need to do the following:

  1. Click the Start button at the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Select the “Settings” menu (gear icon).
  3. Click on the “App” menu.
  4. Search the Avast list for the app.
  5. Select the app.
  6. Click the "Uninstall" button.
  7. Confirm if prompted.

This process will completely remove Avast from your system instead of disabling it. If you want to use this software again, you need to install it from scratch.

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Disabling Avast is risky

When you disable Avast Antivirus (or any other antivirus for that matter), you make your computer vulnerable. This means that your computer is susceptible to cyber attacks, data theft, viruses, malware and spyware.

Even if you disable some shields and leave some on, there is a possibility that your computer may be infected. That's why you should only disable Avast temporarily and for the shortest time possible. If you have transferred some external executable files or have surfed the Internet with a disabled antivirus, it is recommended that you run a quick scan of your computer.

Why do you disable your antivirus tools? Will you consider it risky to disable your antivirus software while browsing the Internet even if you are only visiting reputable websites? Post your views in the comments section below.

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Further Reading:

  • How to completely uninstall Avast on Mac
  • Avast won't open on Windows? 6 ways to solve
  • The best alternatives to Avast Antivirus
  • How to fix Avast won't open on Windows
  • How to fix Avast Web Shield won't turn on

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