Avast 2015: Frequently Asked Questions - General

Avast 2015 FAQ - General

System Requirements

Download, Installation and Upgrade

License and Registration

Features and Settings

Miscellaneous

What are the supported operating systems for Avast 2015?

The supported operating systems for Avast Premier 2015, Avast Internet Security 2015, Avast Pro Antivirus 2015 and Avast Free Antivirus 2015 are:

  • Microsoft Windows 8.1, any Edition except RT and Starter Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit;
  • Microsoft Windows 8, any Edition except RT and Starter Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit;
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or higher, any Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit;
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 2 or higher, any Edition except Starter Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit;
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2, any Edition.
Avast 2015 is not supported (is not compatible, cannot be installed and will not run) on DOS, Microsoft Windows editions earlier than XP, Microsoft Windows Server operating systems, or any others not specified as supported.

Using Microsoft Windows operating systems without the latest Service Pack might be no longer supported. For details please refer to the documentation on Microsoft's website:

Where can I download Avast 2015?

Download the latest multi-lingual version of Avast 2015 at the following direct links:

How do I install Avast 2015?

For step-by-step instructions on how to download, install and open your version of Avast Antivirus 2015 please read the following article:

How can I upgrade my current Avast program version to Avast 2015?

If you have a valid license for an older version of Avast Antivirus you can upgrade to Avast 2015 for free.

For detailed instructions to upgrade to Avast 2015 please read the following articles:

Is it necessary to uninstall a previous version of Avast antivirus before installing Avast 2015?

If you have Avast 7.x, Avast 8.x or Avast 2014 you do not need to uninstall your previous version of Avast, because Avast 2015 setup automatically detects and upgrades the existing installation.

If you still have Avast 6.x or older, you should uninstall it first by using the Avast Uninstall Utility, and then install Avast 2015 by following these instructions:

How do I activate my license for Avast Premier 2015, Avast Internet Security 2015 or Avast Pro Antivirus 2015?

Licenses for Avast Premier 2015, Avast Internet Security 2015 and Avast Pro Antivirus 2015 can be purchased via our website, www.avast.com.

After receiving your license file, you just need to double-click to open it and your license will be inserted into your program automatically.

Upon the completion of an Avast GrimeFighter scan you have the option to review and modify any of the recommended changes before performing the final system cleanup. You can view a list of all issues GrimeFighter has detected and apply an action for each item, before any changes are made.

Alternatively, save the license file on your computer, open the Avast Premier 2015, Avast Internet Security 2015 or Avast Pro Antivirus 2015 interface, from the main menu select 'Settings', then 'Subscription' and click 'Insert license file'. A dialog window will open where you can browse your computer to locate your license file. Once you have located it, double click on it and it will be automatically inserted into the program.

Avast Premier 2015, Avast Internet Security 2015 or Avast Pro Antivirus 2015 will receive updates to both the program version and virus definitions for the duration of your license period. At the end of that time, you must renew your subscription and insert a new license key.

For detailed step-by-step instructions please read the following articles:

How do I register Avast Free Antivirus 2015?

Open the Avast Free Antivirus 2015 interface from the main menu select Settings, then Registration and click Register now. A new window with the registration form will open. Enter the required details into the form fields and then click Register for free license.

Your registration is valid for 12 months during which time you will receive free updates to both the program and your virus definitions. After that time you may renew your free registration.

For detailed step-by-step instructions please read the following article:

What should I do if Avast 2015 rejects my purchased license as invalid?

Please follow these troubleshooting steps to insert your license successfully:

  1. Use our webform to resend your license to the e-mail address used for your purchase and try to insert the license into the program.
  2. If the license insertion fails, uninstall Avast 2015 using the Avast Uninstall Utility and restart your computer.
  3. Download and install the appropriate product version of Avast 2015 related to the purchased license.
  4. Once again try to insert the license into Avast 2015.

Can I get a copy of my purchased license?

If you did not receive your purchased license, you can request it via this webform using the e-mail address provided during the Avast product purchase.

Can I transfer a license for Avast antivirus to another computer?

Yes, you can. If you are no longer using your paid subscription on the previous computer, you can activate the license on another computer for the remainder of the subscription period. The only limitation is that you cannot use a single license simultaneously on more than one computer.

Can I use my license for Avast Antivirus 2015 to activate Avast SecureLine VPN?

Avast SecureLine is integrated in Avast 2015 as an extra service and requires a separate license. To activate the VPN service, please purchase a license for Avast SecureLine.

What is Avast Software Updater?

Avast Software Updater is a feature in Avast 2015 which monitors version status of 3rd party applications you are running and assists you to keep them up-to-date. It provides a simple way to protect your PC from known vulnerabilities, in an easy-to-use form suited for small office and home office environments.

This feature informs you whenever any of your 3rd party applications is out of date. You can maintain all updates manually by clicking the Fix now button next to each conflicting application. With Avast Premier 2015 you can additionally enable Software Updater to perform these updates automatically.

What is Avast Browser Cleanup?

Many free software applications downloaded from the Internet include hidden add-ons or toolbars for your Internet browser. In general these are used to analyze user preferences and behavior and send the data to other vendors for marketing purposes. These add-ons and toolbars are rarely useful and can cause many unwanted side effects:

  • Tracking data is being sent to some backend servers.
  • Annoying ads are displayed, search results are manipulated.
  • Browser homepage or search engine is changed.
  • Multiple toolbars take up space inside the Internet Browser.
  • Difficult to get rid of the toolbars.

Avast Browser Cleanup detects all add-ons for the 3 major Internet Browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome) and allows the user to immediately see how other users rate an add-on. Browser Cleanup also makes it easy to get rid of unwanted add-ons with a single click.

What is Avast Data Shredder?

Avast Data Shredder is a feature in Avast Premier 2015 which allows you to irreversibly erase hard drive partitions or individual files with sensitive data (user data, licensed software, etc.), so that there is no way to restore data. This is especially useful when selling/donating your computers or hard drives.

When you format a hard drive partition, or delete a file using standard tools, only a reference to its data is removed from system allocation tables and the file's clusters are marked as unused, but no actual erasing is performed until another file overwrites the area on the disk where the original file resided. There are utilities capable of tracing and restoring deleted files, therefore you should never delete files containing sensitive information in a regular way.

The best solution is to overwrite such hard drive partition or the file with meaningless data before deleting it, which is exactly what Avast Data Shredder does.

Even if you already deleted sensitive data by standard means, Avast Data Shredder can still prevent file recovery by cleaning disk free space.

What is Avast SecureLine?

Avast SecureLine is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which allows you to connect to the Internet via an encrypted tunnel to protect data you download and upload from eavesdropping. Antivirus software protects you from malware, and firewall protects data on your computer from intruders. However, when you connect to the Internet and send data on an unsecured network, the information you send can be seen by others. Only a VPN provides security and privacy once data leaves your computer and anonymizes your Internet activity. There are several advantages of using a VPN:

  • Protection on unsecure Wi-Fi connections. With other people connected to the same public network, attackers are able to capture each and every packet and impersonate another user, for example by stealing logon cookies. Since a VPN connection is encrypted, it provides an efficient protection against these types of attacks.
  • Anonymization. With broadband connections, many people have fixed IP addresses and are afraid to browse some sensitive sites because of the possibility of being tracked back. With a VPN connection, the browsing session is effectively anonymized as the IP address the remote server sees is the address of the VPN server, not the user.
  • Unrestricted access to the Internet from countries with censorship.

In addition to this, using a VPN also gives you access to geo-restricted web content. To view content only available from the US, for example, you can connect to a VPN server in the US and access the web content as if you were connecting from that location.

Avast SecureLine is integrated in Avast 2015 as an extra service and requires a separate license.

What is the Avast SafeZone?

The Avast SafeZone is an additional security feature in Avast Premier 2015, Avast Internet Security 2015 and Avast Pro Antivirus 2015, which allows you to browse the web in a private, secure environment, invisible to the rest of your system.

If you do your banking or shopping on-line, or other security-sensitive transactions, you can be sure that your personal data cannot be monitored by spyware or key-logging software.

What is the Avast Sandbox?

This is a feature in Avast Premier 2015, Avast Internet Security 2015 and Avast Pro Antivirus 2015 which allows you to browse the web or run another application in a completely safe environment. This is especially useful when visiting high-risk web sites, whether accidentally or deliberately, as the Web browser will be completely contained within the Avast Sandbox, preventing any damage to your computer.

The Avast Sandbox can also be used to run any other applications which you think may be suspect - you can run the program inside the sandbox to determine whether or not it is safe while remaining completely protected against any malicious actions that it may try to carry out.

To run an application or to browse the web using the Avast Sandbox, just browse the files on your computer to find the required application e.g. Internet Explorer. The Web browser or other application will then open in a special window with a red border, indicating that it is being run inside the sandbox.

What is the Avast Firewall?

Avast Premier 2015 and Avast Internet Security 2015 include a fully integrated firewall which can be controlled directly from the Avast user interface.

The Avast Firewall monitors all communication between your computer and the outside world and blocks unauthorized communication based on a number of 'Allow' and 'Deny' rules. In this way, the firewall can prevent sensitive data from leaving your computer and can also block attempted intrusions by external hackers.

You can also set the application rules governing the network and Internet communication for specific software applications. The firewall will then follow these rules whenever a particular application tries to establish a connection to the Internet or with another network.

What is Avast Antispam?

Avast Premier 2015 and Avast Internet Security 2015 include a fully integrated antispam module to detect unwanted e-mail.

Spam delivered to your mailbox can result in your mailbox quickly becoming full, and as a result legitimate e-mails may not be received. It can also unnecessarily increase the load on the Mail Server, internet connection, local networks etc.

The Avast Antispam module analyses every incoming e-mail based on various criteria to determine whether is it legitimate. This analysis is based partly on a 'Blacklist' containing the addresses of senders from whom e-mails should always be marked as spam, and a 'Whitelist' which contains the addresses of known and trusted senders. These lists can be found in the antispam settings. For e-mails from senders that are not on either list, a content analysis is also carried out based on the specified scan sensitivity to identify e-mails that should be treated as spam.

In the antispam settings you can also specify how spam e-mails should be marked. This can then be used to create a new rule in your Mail Client, for example to automatically move the marked e-mails to another folder. The Avast Antispam module is effective for messages delivered to e-mail accounts in combination with the Mail Client installed on your computer such as Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express etc. but not for web based e-mail accounts such as Yahoo!, Gmail etc. which usually have their own antispam options.

What is Avast Silent/Gaming Mode?

At various times while your computer is running, messages may be displayed on your screen e.g. when the virus definitions have been updated, when an incoming e-mail is being scanned etc. This can result in full-screen applications (e.g. games) being interrupted as Windows switches from full-screen mode to normal mode when the message appears. You can specify that messages will never be displayed, or will not be displayed if a full-screen application is running.

What is Avast Secure DNS?

Avast SecureDNS is a feature in Avast Premier 2015, Avast Internet Security 2015 and Avast Pro Antivirus 2015 which secures you against DNS (Domain Name System) hijacking. Some malicious programs can stealthily redirect you from an authentic URL to an inauthentic website to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details you enter.

Every time you enter the URL of any web site to address box (like www.avast.com) in your web browser, it must be translated to the IP address of the web server where the target web page is stored. Avast SecureDNS provides an encrypted connection between your web browser and Avast's own DNS server to be sure the translation is not hijacked. In other words, Avast SecureDNS ensures that the displayed web page is the authentic one.

What is Avast Smart Scan?

Use Avast Smart Scan to perform several scans of your computer with one click.

  • Antivirus scans your computer for viruses and malware.
  • Software Updater checks for software updates to eliminate common security risks which can be easily fixed.
  • Browser Cleanup exposes and helps remove undesirable browser add-ons to keep your Internet browser safe and streamlined.
  • Home Network Security searches your home network for weak points. It can detect hijackers, weak administrator passwords, unsecured networks, and vulnerable routers.
  • GrimeFighter looks for ways to optimize your system as needed. This includes obsolete temp files, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), and other "grime" which may be slowing your computer down.

What is Avast Home Network Security?

Avast Home Network Security scans your home network for vulnerabilities. It checks wireless network status, devices connected to the network, and router settings. Routers are commonly weak points in home networks and need special attention.

Avast Home Network Security can detect hijackers, weak administrator passwords, unsecured networks, and vulnerable routers.

What is Avast GrimeFighter?

Avast GrimeFighter is an optimization tool to clean and speed up your system as needed. It scans and removes unnecessary files to keep your computer running in its optimal state. Avast GrimeFighter boots in a custom environment to easily remove unwanted files and software that cannot be accessed while Windows is running. This includes obsolete temp files, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), and other "grime" which may be slowing your computer down.

Can I set Avast Software Updater to automatically update my applications?

Avast Premier 2015 allows you to configure Avast Software Updater in order to perform automatic updates. All other Avast 2015 products only inform you whenever any of your 3rd party applications is out of date and you need to maintain all updates manually by clicking the Fix now button next to each conflicting application.

The number of 3rd party applications supported by Avast Software Updater is limited and they might not be supported in all languages. We aim to cover products which are essential for computer security, which may change over time.

What is the difference between the buttons Remove and Disable in Avast Browser Cleanup?

Avast Browser Cleanup allows you to remove well-known annoying toolbars or to disable them in the Browser specific tabs on the list. Remove means here uninstall and remove the toolbar and all its components completely from your computer. This action cannot be undone. However, removing an add-on sometimes might not be desired always as you might not be sure what’s really behind this add-on. For this reason Avast Browser Cleanup also offers a button Disable. Disable just switches off the functionality of the add-ons. The add-on itself persists on disk. You can undo this action just by clicking Enable. This will re-enable the add-on and all functionality is back (you may need to restart your browser).

How can I use Avast Remote Assistance?

Avast Remote Assistance is a remote control feature available via Avast Accoumt. This feature can help you manage several devices, either for personal use or to assist friends and family. Remote connections are available only between computers connected to the same Avast Account. To start an Avast Remote Assistance session you must have someone at each computer: one to initiate the session, and another to accept the connection.

Can I configure Avast to enable/disable remote access to my computer?

The setting to enable or disable remote access can be found in Settings → Troubleshooting. Then you can tick or untick the box labelled Allow remote control of this computer. When the box is ticked, your computer is accessible for remote sessions from computers connected to the same Avast Account only if you accept the connection. When the box is unticked, your computer is not available for remote assistance sessions.

How can I establish a remote desktop session in Avast 2015 with a 3rd party firewall running?

The Avast Remote Assistance work as a network client/server architecture. Remote desktop connection between controlling and controlled computers is negotiated through our intermediary server, and therefore you have to enable only outgoing ports on controlling as well as controlled computer if any 3rd party firewall is used:

  • Outgoing TCP connection on port 8010 for SSL Control Connections.
  • Outgoing TCP connection on port 8011 for Data connections.

What are the benefits of using Avast SecureLine VPN?

Avast SecureLine VPN can be used any time you want to connect to the Internet with extra security and privacy. There are several advantages of using a VPN:

  • Protection on unsecure Wi-Fi connections. With other people connected to the same public network, attackers are able to capture each and every packet and impersonate another user, for example by stealing his logon cookies. Since a VPN connection is encrypted, it provides an efficient protection against these types of attacks.
  • Anonymization. With broadband connections, many people have fixed IP addresses and are afraid to browse some sensitive sites because of the possibility of being tracked back. With a VPN connection, the browsing session is effectively anonymized as the IP address the remote server sees is the address of the VPN server, not the user.
  • Unrestricted access to the Internet from countries with censorship.

Additionally, using a VPN also gives you access to geo-restricted web content. To view content only available from the US, for example, you can connect to a VPN server in the US and access the web content as if you were connecting from that location.

Can I use Avast SecureLine with any type of Internet connection?

Yes, you can connect Avast SecureLine VPN over any wired or wireless Internet connection.

Does my system performance slow down during a virus scan?

Avast 2015 comes with a number of pre-defined scans installed by default, but you can also create your own custom defined scans. All these scans can be performed simultaneously. But, if you execute too many pre-defined and/or custom defined scans at the same time, depending on your computer configuration you may notice some effect on your system performance.

Does Avast 2015 secure web based e-mail services (such as Yahoo!, Gmail, etc.)?

Web based e-mail services such as Yahoo!, Gmail etc. usually have their own security options, because e-mails are received and stored on the remote Mail Server and users access their e-mail accounts remotely via their Web browser. In other words, web based e-mail services are like any other website, and if you try to save, download or run a suspicious file from a web based e-mail account, it will be detected by the web shield built into Avast 2015.

As a result you should not expect to see any scan history in the Mail Shield screen if using a web-based email service. If you have any doubts about the security of your web based e-mail service provider, you can alternatively launch your Web browser within the Avast Sandbox and then access your web based e-mail account within this secure virtualized environment.

Can I adjust the sensitivity of Avast Antispam?

You can adjust the heuristic sensitivity in Antispam settings. Avast performs a heuristic analysis of all incoming e-mails to identify potential spam. The higher the sensitivity, the higher the potential for false positive spam detections. Reducing the heuristic sensitivity may reduce the number of emails being sent to your spam folder, but a result of this may be an increase in the number of spam emails in your inbox.

Can I turn off the Microsoft Windows Firewall when using the Firewall in Avast Premier 2015 or Avast Internet Security 2015?

Yes - Avast Premier 2015 and Avast Internet Security 2015 include a full-featured Firewall and together with the other Real-Time Shields is able to completely protect your computer (i.e. Avast Premier 2015 and Avast Internet Security 2015 must have everything turned on for reliable computer protection).

  • Avast Premier 2015
  • Avast Internet Security 2015
  • Avast Pro Antivirus 2015
  • Avast Free Antivirus 2015
  • 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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