A Guide On How To Turn Off Avast (Temporarily & Permanently)

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With the number of malicious cyber warfare attacks continuously rising in recent years, having an antivirus is a must. Avast antivirus houses plenty of options to protect your device, keeping potential malicious attacks on the internet at arm’s length. If you are using the full or even the free version of this software, you have one of the most robust antiviruses available on the market.

With so many features active in the background, however, Avast antivirus can interfere with your programs, reducing your productivity or even causing severe disruptions to your computer’s operating system. To avoid this scenario, you should know how to turn off Avast.

We will show you how to disable Avast antivirus temporarily or entirely. We’ll also explain why you shouldn’t give up on the antivirus for good and why turning off only certain parts of this complex protection system is a much better and safer solution.

Shields Control, You Are Dismissed

As we’ve mentioned, Avast might cause problems with your existing apps or prevent you from installing any new ones. If this starts happening, it means it’s high time to turn off Avast. Regardless of whether you want to disable it completely or just for a while, you will begin with the Avast Shields Control function, which can be accessed either directly from the taskbar or Avast’s user settings. Let’s start with the former option:

how to disable avast step 1
  • Go to the system tray. It’s usually on the right side of the taskbar.
  • Click on the arrow icon to expand the tray.
  • Locate and right-click on the Avast antivirus icon. It looks like a squashed orange with the letter “a” in the middle.
  • The Avast menu will appear. Hover your cursor over “Avast shields control” until a submenu shows up.how to disable avast step 2
  • “Disable permanently” will turn the shields off until you reactivate them manually. To disable Avast temporarily, select one of the other three actions.
  • A window titled “Component stop” will pop up. Click on the OK button to confirm your choice.

To take down Core Shields temporarily or permanently from the Avast user interface, follow these steps:

  • Locate the Avast antivirus in your system tray menu like in the previous walk-through.
  • Double-click on the icon to open the app.
  • In the main window, select the menu tab in the upper-right corner.
  • In the newly opened window, click on the gear icon to access settings.
how to disable avast step 3
  • To stop Avast’s shields, open the Protection tab and select “Core Shields” from the submenu.
avast virus scan
  • Click on the Core Shields toggle button to deactivate the feature.
  • Choose how long you want the shields deactivated (ten minutes or more).
  • In the final pop-up window, click on “OK” to confirm the deactivation.

If you decide to shut down Avast antivirus completely, we strongly recommend having another reliable antivirus ready to take its place, as surfing the internet without this kind of protection is very risky.

Keeping Avast on a Leash

Avast’s Core Shields are its primary defense mechanism. As the ‘central nervous system’ of this antivirus, they can affect its behavior in many ways – too many sometimes for your computer to handle. Therefore, you may find yourself wondering how to turn off the Avast antivirus.

As we’ve shown, you can temporarily stop all Core Shields’ functions if needed. However, you can instead just tweak them a bit, adjusting how thorough the file cleanup will be by turning off only those parts that are causing lags. That way, the antivirus will shift its focus to specific types of files and threats, burdening your OS much less.

Core Shields Sensitivity

One of the more valuable features the Core Shields section includes is adjusting the malware detection sensitivity. Suppose the antivirus repeatedly labels apps you use and trust as possible threats. The Sensitivity option takes care of that problem.

Avast Core Shields
  • Consult the previous section of our How To Turn Off Avast guide to get to the Avast Protection section.
  • Click on the Virus Scans button (above the Core Shields option).
  • Using the slider, select one of the three sensitivity levels. Medium sensitivity is set by default.
  • Setting the sensitivity to high will label files as malicious in case of any suspicious changes. It also increases the chances of detecting false positives – files or software wrongfully classified as threats.

Low sensitivity reduces the number of false positives even further but may leave your system more vulnerable to attacks. This can be particularly devastating for companies unless good network-monitoring software is in place as well.

Configuring Shield Preferences

Now that you know how to turn off the Avast web shield feature and adapt its responsiveness, we can move on to customizing the antivirus even further.

The Core Shield bundle includes Avast Web Shield, File Shield, Behavior Shield, and Mail Shield. The shields are very modular, so you can tweak every aspect to your liking, modifying their response to detected threats and unwanted programs:

configuring shield preferences
  • From the Core Shields menu, you can access the Viruses tab and the Potentially Unwanted Programs tab. Each contains several preference options.
  • “Fix Automatically” is recommended by the app and set as default. Selecting this will make the antivirus try and fix a corrupted file. If it doesn’t succeed, it will completely disable it with Avast Virus Chest – a quarantine where suspicious or infected files are detained for further analysis. If the quarantined file cannot be moved to Virus Chest, it will be automatically deleted.
  • Selecting “Ask” makes Avast check with you before taking any actions when a malicious file is detected.
  • Choose “Ignore potentially unwanted programs” if you want Avast to skip analyzing potentially harmful files.
  • Enable the CyberCapture feature to analyze unfamiliar files and block them if necessary.
  • Hardened Mode allows the Avast antivirus to communicate with its malware database while checking files’ security.
  • Enabling the rootkit and exploit detection options will let Avast begin the shutdown of system memory processes if such threats are uncovered.

Under the shield configuration settings, you can see and change how these protection systems behave.


File Shield will scan apps and files on your device whenever you open, execute, change, or save them. If it notices malware, it will stop the program or file from opening. You can turn it on by ticking the Enable File Shield box. You can also choose which types of files to scan – all or only those recommended by the antivirus.

Behavior Shield observes installed apps for any irregular or suspicious behavior that could be linked to the presence of harmful code. As with File Shield, you can activate Behavior Shield manually or temporarily turn it off in Avast.

Web Shield scans all online data transfers in real time to stop the ever-increasing malware attacks from reaching your system. Besides the main option to enable or disable this kind of protection, you’ll find several others, among which HTTPS and script scanning.

Mail Shield checks for malicious activity in your email inbox. However, it can only scan messages that go through an email client, such as Microsoft Outlook. Selecting “Scan inbound/outbound emails” will make the antivirus check all incoming and outgoing mails that use SSL/TLS encrypted connection.

Final Fine-Tuning

If you’re still on the fence about whether to disable Avast, here are some additional tricks that will make using the Avast antivirus more enjoyable.

Scans Tailored to Your Needs

Let’s start with how to stop Avast from rummaging through your files and apps excessively:

  • Open Avast and click on the menu.
  • Go to settings and select the General tab.
  • From the Exceptions menu, select “Add Exception” to name the files not to be scanned. You can either insert specific file locations or website URLs or select entire folders.
  • Alternatively, make a list of apps that should be allowed or denied access in the Blocked & Allowed apps section in Avast’s general menu.

Simple Math for Mac

If you are a macOS user, here is how to turn off Avast on Mac in a matter of seconds:

  • Open the Avast app and go to preferences.
  • Select the Disable option to shut down one or all Avast shields.

No More Email Signatures and Pop-Up Messages

Avast also leaves a signature on every mail you send to let your recipients know that the message is safe to open. To disable this option:

  • Click on the General tab from the settings menu.
  • Turn off the Enable Avast Email Signature option.

If you want to prevent annoying Avast antivirus messages and notifications from constantly appearing on your screen, but you don’t know how to turn off Avast pop-ups, perform the following steps:

  • Go to the General tab again.
  • Select Performances and locate the Software Updater option.
  • Deactivate “Notifications about new updates.”

The Avast antivirus becomes a very potent tool once you understand the inner workings and how to change them. If you tweak this protection system right, it can be your most valuable ally in conquering cyberspace.

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