Avast Antivirus: Updating Virus definitions and/or Program version

Updating Virus definitions and/or Program version

Any antivirus program is only as good as its database of known virus definitions. This is what the program uses to identify threats to your computer, which is why it is important to ensure the virus definitions are regularly updated. Updates to the program version provide bug fixes and general program improvements. By default, Avast Antivirus is set to:

  • Update the Engine and Virus Definitions (VPS) automatically whenever a new version is available.
  • Ask you for the Program update when a new version is released (because it usually requires a restart of the computer).

Read the instructions below:

How to perform manual Virus Definitions (VPS) update

The Engine is a part of the program that scans your computer for potential threats based on the Virus Definitions. To manually invoke the latest VPS update, please follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the Avast orange ball icon in the system tray, select Update from the menu and then Engine and virus definitions to launch a virus database update.
  2. The Update screen in the Avast user interace opens and shows you the overall progress of the VPS update.
  3. After the update finishes, a confirmation message that the VPS update has been completed appears in the results.

How to perform manual Program update

The Program is primarily the user interface which controls what the program does. To manually update the Program, please follow these steps:

The Program update also includes an update of Engine and Virus Definitions (VPS).
  1. Right-click on the Avast orange ball icon in the system tray, select Update from the menu and then Program to launch a program update.
  2. The Update screen in the Avast user interace opens and shows you the overall progress of the Program update.
  3. When asked to restart your computer, click Restart Now to reboot immediately.

How to configure automatic updates in Avast Antivirus

To access the Update Settings proceed as follows:

  1. Right-click on the Avast orange ball icon in the system tray and select Open Avast user interface from the menu, ...or double-click the desktop icon of installed Avast antivirus software to open the Avast user interface.
  2. From the main menu, select Settings.
  3. Click Update in the left pane, and then you can select how the updates are carried out.

Other available settings

By default, Virus Definitions are set to Automatically update and Program Version is set to Ask when an update is available. To ensure your security, updates should be done as soon as a new version is available. You can also choose manual updates, however this is not recommended.


Specify the level of control over the update process.

  • Update parameters
    Select whether you connect to the internet using a dial-up modem, or if your computer is permanantly connected to the internet. This optimizes the way that Avast Antivirus checks for new updates and makes the update process more reliable.
  • Auto-update interval
    Set the frequency of automatic updates.
  • Update options
    • Ask for reboot when needed - some updates require a system restart to take effect. If this box is ticked, the restart will not be automatic. You will be asked whether you want to restart the system now, or later.
    • Show notification box after automatic update - If this box is ticked, a small notification message will be displayed briefly above the system clock following an automatic update.
    • Show notification box if an error occurs - If this box is ticked and an error occurs during an automatic update, the error will be reported in a notification message above the system clock.

Proxy Settings

These settings are important when Avast Antivirus needs to access the Internet over a proxy server.

  • If you connect directly to the internet (not through a proxy), select Direct connection (no proxy). Please note that dial-up connections do not use a proxy.
  • If you connect to the internet through a proxy server and you know the proxy server details, select Specify proxy server and enter the proxy details:
    • Type - HTTP or SOCK4.
    • Address - Enter the address of your proxy server.
    • Port - Enter the port nuber that your proxy server uses.
    • Authentication type - specify here whether the proxy server requires authentication and if so, the type of authentication.
    • Username and Password - should be entered if required for authentication.
  • Avast Premier 12.x
  • Avast Internet Security 12.x
  • Avast Pro Antivirus 12.x
  • Avast Free Antivirus 12.x
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home / Pro / Enterprise / Education
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 / Pro /Enterprise
  • Microsoft Windows 8 / Pro / Enterprise
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic / Home Premium / Professional / Enterprise / Ultimate
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic / Home Premium / Business / Enterprise / Ultimate
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home / Professional / Media Center Edition)

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