Updated at: 25-05-2023 - By: Leo Hall

This practical guide will show you how to disable Avast Antivirus completely, or turn off individual shields as needed.

Protecting your computer from malware and viruses requires installing an anti-virus program.

Most computer users will try out a trial version of an antivirus program before committing to buying the full version to give their system the best possible defense.

Avast Antivirus Overview

You can feel safe using any of the widely-available antivirus programs. However, due to their dependability and effectiveness, some antivirus programs enjoy widespread popularity.

Avast Antivirus is undeniably among those. This is why so many people have made this anti-virus software their go-to for the long haul. While antivirus software is generally reliable, there are times when it prevents users from accessing legitimate websites or installing or updating certain apps.

However, users take an unnecessary risk by ditching their entire antivirus suite for this one purpose.

Because Avast antivirus does not permit software installations from unknown service providers, you may run into serious difficulties in the future. Therefore, if you want to temporarily turn off Avast, you should know how to do so.

How To Disable Avast Antivirus | Turn Off Avast Antivirus

In contrast, this guide will show you how to disable individual Avast shields or turn off the program entirely.

Advantages and disadvantages of Avast antivirus software

Avast benefits:

  • Detects viruses in real time.
  • Potentially harmful websites are immediately blocked.
  • Disk drive data access independent of the OS.
  • The capacity to scan a remote machine (assuming Avast is installed there, too).
  • The antivirus software does not cost anything to use.

Disadvantages of Avast

  • The necessity of signing up.
  • Significant calls for computer facilities.
  • Repeatedly false positive results.
  • Insufficient verification of compressed and executable files.
  • The file cannot be “cleaned” (only deleted).
  • Bringing your Internet speed down to a crawl.

How To Disable Avast Antivirus

This should only be done if you intend to install additional antivirus software, as it may disable your current protection completely. Here’s how to disable Avast Antivirus entirely without removing it from your computer.

Ultimate System Defense – We are aware that some people may find Avast unappealing. This is probably why you want to turn it off. There is still a need for a reliable antivirus program, and we cannot think of a better option than System Mechanic Ultimate Defense.

Once you’ve installed System Mechanic, it immediately begins scanning your computer for problems. Because its “reputation database” is constantly being updated, it can identify threats that haven’t been seen before. Additionally, it employs AI and heuristic threat detection algorithms to accurately identify system issues.

System Mechanic can quickly and easily detect and eliminate any malware on your computer, from viruses to spyware and adware. As of this writing, System Mechanic has resolved over 30,000 problems. The tool provides full PC optimization and anti-virus protection, making it a great alternative to Avast.


  • Protection from Viruses in Real Time
  • High-Security Drive Erasing Software for the Military
  • Automatic Risk Assessment
  • Malware scanning and removal on demand.
  • The bloatware is removed, which speeds up the computer.

Pricing details: $63.94 per year.

Disabling All Shields At The Same Time

First, right-click the orange Avast icon in the Windows taskbar to access the program’s configuration options.

Step 2: Navigate to the Avast shields settings and choose to turn them off temporarily (10 minutes), permanently (until the computer is restarted), or permanently.

Step 3: Confirm your selection by clicking “OK,” and all shields will be temporarily disabled for the time period you specified.

Step 4: Return to Avast’s primary window to double-check that it has successfully turned off all protection layers. Now, stay on the status tab until the following prompt appears.

You have successfully disabled all shields if you see the above message.

In the unlikely event that you need to reactivate the shields, simply select “TURN ON” from the main window.

How To Disable Avast Shields, One At A Time

There will be no need to disable anti-virus software entirely. It’s possible that turning off selected shields will do the trick. This has an additional advantage in that you can finish your work while still having some level of protection in place if you disable Avast services individually.

First, locate the Avast icon in the system tray (the area at the bottom right of your screen). To access Avast’s interface, simply double-click the icon.

Step 2: Select ‘Core Shields’ from the Protection submenu once you get there. Now choose the option labeled “Core Shields.”

Step 3: The core shields contain four distinct types of protection, each with its own on/off switch.

The fourth step is to turn off a shield by using the on-off switch. Once again, you’ll be given the option to disable the shields at a specific time.

Restarting the inoperable defenses

When you’re done, flip the switch to “ON” to activate the shields and give yourself full protection.

Switching Off HTTPS Scanning In The Web Shield Of The Antivirus

Antivirus software with HTTPS scanning is your best defense against malicious software you might pick up from visiting websites that secretly transmit it in the form of infected traffic disguised as secure TLS and SSL connections.

Read this =>> Top Antivirus Programs

You should only proceed with this if absolutely necessary, and if you trust the other site, as disabling HTTPS scanning leaves your system vulnerable to malware delivery via unsafe sites.

To learn how to disable HTTPS scanning, read on.

First, launch Avast’s primary interface.

The second step is to click the MENU button in the upper right.

Third, go to the settings menu like in the picture below.

Fourth, go to the “Core Shields” section and look for the “Configure shield settings” option.

The final step is to disable HTTPS scanning by unchecking the corresponding box. You need only activate this option by performing steps 1–4 to begin scanning.

The Best Free Antivirus Software in 2022

Avast One

Since 1988, we at Avast have been dedicated to ensuring your safety online. Since the days of floppy disks, we’ve been fighting viruses and have since risen to the top of our field. Because of this, millions of people around the world rely on our antivirus program.

Avast’s primary threat-detection engine routinely achieves better results than its rivals in industry-standard security benchmarks. AV-Comparatives has named our free security solution the Best of 2018 and the Best of 2019 and the Best of 2020. Avast One has been recognized by third-party reviewers; in 2021, PCMag awarded it the prestigious Editors’ Choice award for demonstrating “all the powerful virus-fighting technology that has made Avast famous.” In addition, we regularly release new versions of our software to ensure your continued safety from any new threats.

CNet calls our robust anti-malware protection “the best protection you’ll find that comes without a price tag,” so you know it must be good. With “many excellent antivirus lab scores” and “very good scores in our hands-on tests,” PCMag highlights the superiority of Avast One’s security engine.

To protect our millions of users, if Avast One discovers a new threat to your device (a zero-day threat), it will send the relevant files to our threat labs for analysis and then release a patch (cure). Avast One is among the best antivirus programs for both Windows 10 and Windows 7, even though Microsoft has stopped releasing security updates for Windows 7.

You’ll get antivirus, ransomware protection, anti-phishing, and a simple firewall, plus apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, according to TechRadar. According to PCMag, Avast One “incorporates all the powerful virus-fighting technology that has made Avast famous, and adds many components drawn from the feature-rich Avast One suite.”

Avast One provides more than just antivirus protection. You’ll have access to a virtual private network (VPN), protection against data breaches, tools to boost performance, and much more.

It has everything you need to keep your devices secure, private, and fast, and it’s free with Avast One, a comprehensive and free cybersecurity solution designed to keep you safe against a wide range of internet threats, not just viruses. In addition, we regularly release new versions of our software to counteract any new vulnerabilities.

Try not to rely on us so much: Mashable, while praising Avast’s excellent virus detection score, also notes that the security suite “completely ignores the concept of you get what you pay for.” And this is truer than ever with Avast One. Avast One provides top-notch anti-virus protection at no cost.

AVG AntiVirus FREE

AVG is another well-known name in the cybersecurity industry; it began as a provider of free antivirus software but has since expanded into other areas, such as privacy, security, and performance. AV-Comparatives has recognized AVG AntiVirus FREE, the company’s flagship product, as a Top-Rated Product of 2019 and a Top-Rated Product of 2020.

Similarly to Avast, AVG continues to support PCs running Windows 7 even though Microsoft no longer updates the OS with security patches. Avast and AVG, two of the best free antivirus programs available, offer backwards compatibility with previous versions of Windows.

AVG’s award-winning security engine scans your device to detect and remove malware like viruses and worms, as well as less obvious spyware and annoying ransomware. AVG AntiVirus FREE was named “the best free-of-charge protection” by TechNadu, which praised the program for its “incredibly effective malware protection” and general ease of use.

AVG AntiVirus FREE is much more than just an antivirus program because it scans for performance issues in addition to malware, zero-day threats, unwanted browser add-ons, and other risks.

The perks you’ll enjoy: DigitalTrends praises the “impressively broad reach” of AVG AntiVirus FREE’s features in their roundup of the best free antivirus tools for 2021. You will be protected from malicious links and files that may be concealed in emails and on websites, in addition to receiving world-class anti-malware protection.

A home network scanner is useful for keeping tabs on new devices connecting to your network and for identifying any security flaws that could be exploited by hackers. The premium version of AVG AntiVirus used to include ransomware protection, but now even the free version does.

Don’t just take our word for it; TechRadar says the “AVG antivirus user interface could hardly be easier.” For complete control over their security, they also like AVG AntiVirus FREE because of the “great scan customization options” available in the Schedule Scan feature. Use the top free antivirus software to keep your devices safe.

How To Disable Avast Antivirus | Turn Off Avast Antivirus

Avira Antivirus

Avira is yet another industry veteran; the company has been working on its antivirus software since 1986. In the latest round of AV-Tests, conducted in December 2020, Avira Antivirus scored a perfect 100 percent.

Avira has “one of the best anti-malware engines on the market,” according to safety testing firm SafetyDetectives, so it is clearly capable of providing essential security. Somewhat less enthusiastic is Tom’s Guide, which says that Avira “eats up too much of your system’s performance without delivering top-shelf malware protection.”

Advantages include: The Firefox and Chrome version of Avira’s Safe Shopping browser extension is recommended by the Safety Detectives because it protects users from phishing sites, web trackers, and advertisements while also revealing exclusive discounts. TechNadu notes that Avira’s “comprehensive manual protection options and scans” provide a high degree of flexibility, but they also note that many of Avira’s additional features are only available to paying customers.

Don’t take our word for it; PCMag laments Avira’s failure to match the performance of the independent labs that have tested it. TechRadar notes that while Avira has a powerful detection engine, its protections don’t extend to email attachments or web downloads, whereas this is a standard feature for several of the other products on this list.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free

Bitdefender was named AV-Comparatives’ Outstanding Product for 2020 and the best free antivirus for 2019. Although it has effective anti-malware protection, it lacks many other features.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free’s primary safeguarding feature is that it is an efficient malware scanner that stays out of the way unless it detects a problem. Safety Detectives calls Bitdefender’s antivirus scanner “one of the best on the market” because it is “both thorough and lightweight.”

While the free version of Bitdefender Antivirus lacks some of the bells and whistles found in its paid counterpart, it still provides the same essential antivirus engine, as noted by Tom’s Guide. According to Safety Detectives, ransomware detection is now available in the free version of Bitdefender Antivirus after previously being a paid add-on.

Don’t just take our word for it though; Cloudwards recommends “[Bitdefender’s] free version is a good option if you just need the basic security capabilities.” While the security it provides is “almost bulletproof,” using it requires navigating “confusing pricing tiers” if you need more advanced features than simple malware detection.

Kaspersky Security Cloud – Free

Note to readers: Some governments have issued warnings against using (or outright banned) the Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky due to concerns that the Russian government may be able to exploit the company’s network. Kaspersky has denied these allegations, and concrete proof has yet to emerge publicly; however, if you are concerned about the security risks associated with using Kaspersky, you may wish to switch to a reliable Kaspersky alternative.

Kaspersky is AV-Comparatives’ 2020 Product of the Year and one of the Top-Rated Products of 2019, alongside Avast and AVG. Kaspersky also performed well in tests conducted by AV-Test.

Kaspersky’s security products have been heralded for their dependable malware prevention, earning the company the title of “one of the best malware-detection engines of any consumer antivirus maker” from Tom’s Guide. Safety Detectives warns that if you want to contribute to Kaspersky’s cloud-based malware research, you’ll have to hand over a surprising amount of data, including the websites you visit and the apps you’ve installed.

According to TechRadar, while Kaspersky’s premium security products include features like privacy protection and secure payments, the free version of their software lacks these options. And as PCMag points out, the phishing protection doesn’t work unless you agree to share data with Kaspersky’s Security Network. You do not get everything you’d like, but you do get a VPN (200 MB daily limit), a password manager, and a basic dark web scanner.

If you don’t want to take our word for it, Lifewire says that Kaspersky is great for users with older or less powerful computers because you can delay scans and adjust settings to minimize the program’s impact on your system’s resources. According to Lifewire, “it’s easy to use and offers many advanced options,” and it’s compatible with Windows 7 and later.

Microsoft Defender Antivirus (Windows Defender)

Microsoft Defender, the built-in antivirus program that ships with every Windows 10 PC, has come a long way since its days as Windows Defender. Its anti-malware protection is on par with that of other free third-party tools, and it has recently received high marks from AV-Test.

PCMag praises Windows Defender’s stellar performance in anti-malware tests, but criticizes the software for having insufficient safeguards against phishing attacks. It has several options for scanning for malware and can block unauthorized access to certain folders and files. The malware protection provided by Windows Defender is now on par with that provided by nearly any free or paid antivirus program, according to Tom’s Guide.

Many experts agree that Microsoft Defender provides adequate security to shield you from common threats, but they also recommend supplementing it with a more powerful third-party tool. And Windows 7 users will be disappointed to learn that they can’t use it.

Included features include firewall configuration, file restoration from corruption, and the ability to implement parental controls, all of which are also accessible through the standard Windows 10 interface. However, as Lifewire notes, these capabilities are currently only available in the Microsoft Edge browser.

And whether you like it or not, Windows users are protected by Windows Defender by default, unless they choose to install an alternative solution.

If you don’t believe us, take it from TechRadar: “Microsoft Defender isn’t as accurate as the top antivirus competition, but it still outperforms some big-name commercial products.”

Sophos Home Free

When compared to the other options here, Sophos takes a slightly different tack. Instead of manually configuring Sophos on each individual device, you can do so from a centralized management app. Given Sophos’s standing as an enterprise cybersecurity provider, the solution becomes much more compelling. The question is, how does it compare to the alternatives?

Sophos has not recently submitted their products to independent testing with AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, or the other premier testing agencies, so it is difficult to find actual third-party evaluations of their core protection capabilities. Despite this, SafetyDetectives’ internal test revealed that the Sophos browser extension correctly identified and blocked all phishing websites. PCMag’s internal tests also showed promising results.

The remote administration features provided by Sophos are ideal for helping parents or those with limited technical expertise. Up to three additional devices can be protected by Sophos Home Free with a single free subscription. TechRadar, however, notes that the parental controls are “basic [and] easy to bypass” and that many of the additional features, such as ransomware protection, aren’t available to free users.

Sophos Home Free is a great option for those who prefer to “set it and forget it” because it requires very little maintenance, according to DigitalTrends. However, according to Cloudwards, “Sophos Home Free is lacking too many features” to be an effective security system. Also, Lifewire is not happy because “the number of missed malware threats Sophos allowed onto our system” and “the lack of independent testing.”

Other options

If you’re not convinced that one of the aforementioned products is the best free antivirus for Windows, the following options are still formidable foes when it comes to stopping malware in general, not just viruses.

Malwarebytes Free

When it comes to cybersecurity, Malwarebytes Free is more of a malware scanner and remover than a comprehensive solution. Therefore, Malwarebytes Free is recommended only as a secondary layer of protection alongside your primary antivirus software.

The core protection features are lacking in Malwarebytes Free because it does not use real-time detection. To counteract this, “the free version of Malwarebytes is effective at rooting out all types of malware that have already infected your system,” as Lifewire puts it.

Unfortunately, ransomware is not protected against by Malwarebytes Free. Malwarebytes Free will not protect you from ransomware infections before they even reach your computer. Furthermore, a cleanup program will be useless after ransomware has already infiltrated your system and encrypted your data. DigitalTrends states that Malwarebytes Free is “more of a remediation tool than a live, protective shield.”

Malwarebytes is not the right product for you if you need a suite of security tools, such as real-time malware detection, network protection, password management, and parental controls. Tom’s Guide recommends using it as a secondary line of defense because it can detect PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) that your primary antivirus might miss.

Take it from PCMag: “With ransomware on the rise, a cleanup-only antivirus tool like Malwarebytes Free can’t possibly be your first line of malware defense.” However, it is advisable to have a backup plan, such as: When your regular antivirus program misses something, pull out Malwarebytes.

Panda Free Antivirus

Panda’s free antivirus software has a sleek interface and provides continuous scanning and protection. However, it won’t offer the best security when compared to other free alternatives.

When it comes to fundamental security features, Panda did well enough in tests conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, but it lagged behind the competition. In addition, an AV-Test report hasn’t included it since 2018. The download button on Panda’s website takes users to CNET rather than the developer’s own site.

“It’s a likeable product, but some recent testing lab scores suggest it offers only average accuracy,” TechRadar says. However, Panda’s antivirus scanner “detected significantly more adware, spyware, and ransomware files than Windows Defender,” according to safety detection software.

While Panda’s anti-malware protection may be questionable, its other features are commendable. The USB “vaccination” feature stands out because it provides proactive protection against any malware that may be loaded from a USB drive. And if malware has rendered your computer unusable, the Rescue Kit will help you get it up and running again. There’s also a free VPN, but with a 150 MB limit.

Tom’s Guide points out that privacy advocates will be disappointed to learn that there is no way to prevent Panda from collecting data. Whether you like it or not, Panda will track and record how much data your computer uses.

Don’t take our word for it; despite a number of novel additions, Panda’s security measures fall short. When it comes to online safety, Panda Free Antivirus falls short. According to Neil J. Rubenking of PCMag, “you can do a lot better” when it comes to free antivirus software.

ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus

ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus is an antivirus and firewall tool based on Kaspersky Lab’s reputable malware detection engine that boasts a “world’s best firewall” claim.

Kaspersky’s malware protection is top-notch, and this is just one of the company’s core protection features. Don’t think for a second that ZoneAlarm offers the same level of protection as Kaspersky. Neither real-time cloud protection nor the blocking of Web threats are provided by ZoneAlarm, as noted by PCMag.

With only daily updates, ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus doesn’t provide the same level of security as more up-to-date alternatives. The premium version of ZoneAlarm, for instance, receives updates every hour.

Advantages include: ZoneAlarm’s firewall is the main attraction, as you might expect. ZoneAlarm has been around for a while as a firewall provider, and their product lives up to expectations. In addition, there is secure cloud-based data storage and anti-phishing and identity theft protection basics. DigitalTrends recommends this service “if you don’t already have a service that helps protect your identity and data,” meaning that you could use it instead.

Don’t just take our word for it; use ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus as a secondary layer of protection; it will automatically disable itself if it detects any other antivirus software running in the background. With the exception of phishing, Cloudwards claims, “its protection is excellent for all purposes,” and it excels at preventing zero-day exploits.

How to manage pop-up notifications in Avast Antivirus | Avast

Frequently Asked Questions

Q #1) How do I turn off Avast?

By following the aforementioned procedures, you can turn off antivirus protection until such time as you see fit.

Q #2) How do I disable Avast Antivirus on startup?

To access the ‘Run’ dialogue box, press the Windows key plus R. In the console, type “msconfig.exe” and hit enter to launch the program.

Follow the below screenshot’s instructions for selecting the startup option.

To prevent Avast from loading at startup, launch Task Manager, locate the program in the list, right-click it, and choose “Disable.”

Q #3) How do I temporarily disable Avast Antivirus on Android?

The steps below will show you how to disable the Avast antivirus app on your Android device.

  • Select the “Apps” menu item (or use the search bar if necessary).
  • Choose Avast Mobile Security from the list of available options.
  • The ‘Force Stop’ button can be found at the very bottom of the display.
  • If you turn off your mobile device’s Avast antivirus protection by tapping the “Force Stop” button, it won’t start up again until you tap it again.

The Best Antivirus Apps for Android Devices is Suggested Reading

Q #4) How do I turn on my Avast Antivirus?

The answer is to make sure of the following first:

  • You now have Avast running on your computer.
  • Both the program and its virus database have been brought up to date.
  • Your antivirus protection is currently active.

Once these three things are covered, you can proceed to the antivirus’s user interface and click “Resolve” to check if it has activated.

Q #5) Why can’t I uninstall Avast Antivirus?

The standard uninstall process may fail when attempting to remove the Avast antivirus program. Use the program’s built-in uninstaller in the system settings to remove it properly. Only the Avastclear program, made by the Avast developers, can be used in such a scenario.

To uninstall Avast from your PC, download the avastclear.exe file, restart Windows in Safe Mode, and then run the.exe file. When you’re finished, it’s time to reboot.

Q #6) How do I disable Avast free antivirus in Windows 10?

The answer is that you should do what was described above.

Q #7) Is Avast malware?

Avast, like other antivirus software, is prone to spying on its users’ private information and web activity.

Q #8) Does Avast slow down the computer?

Yes, but this is standard procedure for antivirus software. In order to perform their intended functions—constantly scanning your files and monitoring your system data—they consume a lot of processing power.

Q #9) Is McAfee better than Avast?

The answer is that McAfee offers superior functionality, security, and user friendliness compared to Avast. McAfee’s paid version is less expensive than Avast’s paid version.

The article How to Uninstall McAfee Completely from Windows is recommended.

Q #10) How to disable Avast antivirus and firewall?

Clicking on the antivirus program’s icon in the system tray will temporarily disable it. After pausing antivirus protection, you can resume it from the main console.

You can disable the firewall by clicking the clog wheel icon in the Windows system tray and then selecting Settings. Select Windows Security, and then Firewall and Network Protection, under the Update and Security menu.

Activate Windows’ network profile by opening its security settings. You should turn off the firewall now.

Q #11) How much does Avast antivirus cost?

The following table details Avast’s three available subscription tiers.

  • One device, one year, $30.
  • One device, $55 per year for two years.
  • Cost of one device for three years is $80.

Q #12) How do I disable antivirus without an administrator?

To disable antivirus protection without elevated privileges, follow these steps:

  • Pressing the F8 key during boot up will put you into safe mode.
  • Safe mode boot can be selected from this menu.
  • To turn off your computer’s firewall, click “Start,” then “Control Panel,” then “Security,” as explained above.

Q #13) Is free antivirus good enough?

When it comes to protecting highly sensitive data, the answer is yes, as free versions of reputable antivirus programs provide adequate protection.

Q #14) Is Avast Antivirus free forever?

The short answer is yes, the antivirus software will always be available for free. If you don’t want to spend money, you can stick with the free version.


This tutorial has taught you how to temporarily disable all of Avast’s antivirus protections, or to disable them one by one.

Avast vs. Windows Defender => More Reading

Disabling an antivirus program is easy, but you should only do it if you’ve exhausted all other options. That’s why this whole guide with all the steps should come in handy.

I trust this tutorial has helped you understand how to turn off Avast.