Avast Mobile Security: FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Avast Mobile Security is a security app for Android which secures devices against unwanted phishing, malware, and spyware, as well as malicious viruses such as trojans.
Why do I need security app for my mobile?
Most people do not realize how many threats are lurking in the world of mobile devices. We have registered thousands of unique apps that exhibit malicious behavior. Most of them are eventually removed from the market, but Avast Mobile Security can detect them when they hit, before they do any damage.
Some threats are a danger no matter which platform you use. For example, phishing scams are fraudulent websites that appear to be authentic. These sites lure users into entering sensitive details and have preyed on PC users for years. Unfortunately many people browse the web using their mobile devices without the taking the same safety measures that they would on PCs. When you install Avast Mobile Security, the Web Shield component protects you from these and other threats while browsing the web on your mobile device.
Installation and Activation
What are the system requirements for Avast Mobile Security?
You can install and run the latest version of Avast Mobile Security on any device capable of running operating systems Android 4.0.3 or later version.
Please note that the newest version of Avast Mobile Security is not supported on devices running Android 2.3, 2.3.x, 3.x. However if you are using an older version of Avast Mobile Security on those systems you can still receive updates to the virus database.
Avast Mobile Security supports both Android phones and tablets.
If you are using a custom ROM the app may not work as expected. Please report any feedback via our support pages.
Avast Mobile Security is not supported and cannot be installed or run on Symbian, iOS, Microsoft Windows Phone/Mobile, Bada, WebOS, or any mobile operating system other than Android.
Avast Mobile Security is not supported on Nokia, iPhone or iPad devices.
Is Avast Mobile Security compatible with all Android device vendors and manufacturers?
Yes, Avast Mobile Security is compatible with all ARM Android devices. However, each vendor or manufacturer makes slight changes in their devices, so some features may behave unexpectedly or, in rare cases, not work. Please note that Avast cannot cover all vendor customizations to the OS. However we gladly accept feedback if you experience any compatibility issue on your Android device.
How can I download Avast Mobile Security?
Avast Mobile Security is available for download at the Google Play Store.
How can I install Avast Mobile Security?
The easiest way to install Avast Mobile Security is on the Google Play Store:
- Open Play Store from the Apps screen on your Android device and search for Avast Mobile Security with the keyword
avast, or open a web browser and go to this page:
- Select Install on the Avast Mobile Security screen, and if asked for permissions, select Accept.
- Once the download is complete, choose Open to start using the application.
- Select Continue to confirm that you have read and accept the terms of the AVAST End User License Agreement. On the next screen tap Continue to set up the protection.
These steps can differ slightly depending on your device model, operating system version and its vendor customizations. For more information please read the following article:
How can I install Avast Mobile Security on a multi-user device?
Android version 4.2 supports multi-user devices, typically tablets. In this environment one user is an administrator and each user has data stored in separate places. All users can customize their Avast Mobile Security preferences. Avast Mobile Security only needs to be installed once on the device, but all users must set up the program for their login.
Only the user account which installed the app can uninstall the program.
How can I uninstall Avast Mobile Security?
To uninstall Avast Mobile Security, please follow these steps:
- From the main screen open your device Settings.
- Select the Apps, then Avast Mobile Security.
- Select Uninstall and then tap OK to confirm.
These steps can differ slightly depending on your device mode, Android version and vendor customizations.
How do I make a clean installation of Avast Mobile Security?
If you are experiencing issues with your current installation of Avast Mobile Security we recommend removing the application and its data before re-installing.
Go to Settings → Apps → Avast Mobile Security on your device, tap Clear cache, then Clear data, and finally uninstall.
Then you can install as usual.
How do I purchase and activate Avast Mobile Security Pro?
Avast Mobile Security is available as both a Free and Pro version. Upgrading to Pro allows you to lock an unlimited number of apps with the App Locking feature and disable third party ads. Avast Mobile Security Pro also ensures prioritized responses to your support inquiries. For instruction about purchase and activation please read the following article:
Is my license for Avast Mobile Security Pro also valid for other Avast Pro apps?
No. If you purchase a license for Avast Mobile Security Pro, your license is only valid for this app. This license does not work for any other Avast Pro app, even if these apps are installed on the same mobile device. For example, if you want to use Avast Cleanup Pro in addition to Avast Mobile Security Pro, you need to purchase a separate license directly from the Avast Cleanup app.
What is Smart Scan?
Avast Mobile Security includes Smart Scan which scans all installed applications. It also informs you about security risks caused by changes in default Android settings.
Virus definitions are updated automatically. The user can also manually update them in Tools → Settings → Updates → Check for update.
Mobile Security scans all newly installed applications the first time the application is run. When malware is detected, the system offers to uninstall the application or to delete the file. You can report false positives directly to our virus lab when they are detected.
You can also plan your further scans. Go to Tools → Settings → Protection → Scheduled scan to set a schedule.
What is Storage?
In the Storage section, Avast Mobile Security shows you the percentage of used storage space on your device. If you tap on the Open Cleanup button, you will be redirected to the Avast Cleanup app that may help you in removing unnecessary files and freeing up some space for new files.
What is Wi-Fi Check?
Wi-Fi Check is a feature of Avast Mobile Security which checks security of a Wi-Fi network.
You can connect to a network from Wi-Fi Check and run a scan, or scan a network that your device is already connected to. The scan checks the network for problems with the router, encryption, Wi-Fi, and connection. When complete, the app advises if the network is safe, and notifies you of potential threats. Wi-Fi Check describes the issue in detail and offers a solution.
What is App Locking?
App Locking enables you to create a PIN to protect your device apps. The PIN can be created or changed in Tools → Settings → Change PIN. App Locking requires you to enable the Usage Access permission in the Security Settings of your device (on Android 5 and higher). If you only have a free version of the app, you can lock your device Settings, the Play Store app, and one app of your choice. With Avast Mobile Security Pro you can lock an unlimited number of apps.
What is Call Blocker?
Call Blocker allows you to filter voice calls based on blacklisted numbers that can include all unknown numbers, hidden numbers, manually added numbers, and numbers from the contact list. When a call is blocked, the caller is automatically redirected to voice mail.
Blocked calls appear in the log that is accessible from the main screen of Call Blocker.
What is Privacy Advisor?
Privacy Advisor displays a list of the apps installed on your device. Tap any app to see the ad networks and other required permissions. You can also remove apps directly with this feature.
What is Firewall?
This feature allows you to manage Internet access for installed apps. Tap on the Firewall feature to see a list of apps installed on your device. Tap any app and select between two options:
- Block all - the app is completely blocked, regardless of the type of connection.
- Block mobile data - the app only works if the device is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi.
Go to Settings to specify if Firewall should Take highest priority. This setting is useful if this component does not work on your device, when mobile data limit is enabled.
Firewall is accessible in Tools → Firewall.
only works on rooted
What is Activity log?
The Activity log allows you to see all activity by Avast Mobile Security. This mainly includes updates and scans. Clear the Activity log by tapping on the icon.
The Activity log is available in Tools → Settings → Activity log options.
What is the Protection section?
Protection components observe and scan the device to detect suspicious activity and protect against malware and viruses.
The following shields and components are included:
- Scheduled scan - allows you to set a schedule for scanning. Select a day of the week and time for the app to scan your device automatically.
- Ignored Threats - shows the list of ignored threats, if you did not fix and ignored them after the scan.
- App Install Shield - scans apps during installation and when executed.
- File Shield - scans all files from internal and external sources, when saved or opened on your device. By default, File Shield detects infected files as they download, before you open them.
- Web Shield - scans each URL that loads and warns you when the browser loads a malware-infected URL. It requires accessibility permission to secure your device while browsing the web. Enable it in Android System Settings. This shield supports the native Android browser, Chrome, Amazon Silk, Boat Browser Mini, and provides experimental support for Dolphin Browser Mini.
- Internal storage scanning - scans files that are stored in your internal storage.
- Low reputation apps - scans apps and compares them to Avast user ratings, and warns you about apps with a low reputation.
- PUP detection - marks Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUP) as malware and handles them accordingly.
What is the Notifications section?
The Notifications section allows you to customize all notifications from Mobile Security to keep you informed and ensure the highest protection level. Notifications are divided into several sections:
- Permanent notification - ensures complete protection by preventing Android from stopping Mobile Security processes as Android may disable the apps running only in the background. It also ensures that App Locking works properly. You can easily adjust Permanent notification in the Settings → Notifications → Permanent notification section.
- Potential Wi-Fi issues - notifies you if the Wi-Fi network that you're connected to has never been scanned before. It refers to Check security button on the Permanent notification bar.
- Charging booster - prompts to turn on charging booster when you plug in a charging cable.
- Clipboard cleaner notification - notifies you if you have content copied to your clipboard and offers you to clear it to prevent privacy leaks.
- Wi-Fi speed check - offers to check the speed of the Wi-Fi network that you are currently connected to. It refers to Test speed button on the Permanent notification bar.
- Task killing notification - notifies you about apps running in the background and offers to stop them. This feature is disabled if the Battery Saver app is installed on your device. It refers to Boost RAM button on the Permanent notification bar.
- Avast products notifications - keeps you updated about interesting Avast products and services.
- App Shield notification - informs you if the app you are installing or updating is safe.
- Alert me about SPAM calls - informs you when you receive a call from a number that calls you frequently and offers you to block this number with Call Blocker.
- Scan complete popups - displays a popup to inform you immediately when a scan completes and results are ready to show.
Go to Tools → Settings → Notifications to disable any of the notifications.
What is Charging Booster?
Charging Booster is a feature that helps your device recharge faster by killing all background tasks. When Charging Booster is active, you can:
- Check what time your device will finish charging.
- See the voltage of your charging connection.
- Access a range of other performance-boosting options.
By default, this feature activates each time you begin charging your device, and automatically kills all tasks that are running in the background. Alternatively, you can disable the feature or configure it to only activate while your device is not in use. You can also turn off automatic task killing.
If Avast Battery Saver is installed on your device, you need to manage your Charging Booster settings in Battery Saver. Otherwise, you can manage this feature in your Mobile Security settings.
What is the Community section?
The Community section helps us to understand your needs better and to improve our product based on the data that you agree to share with us. It includes the Community IQ and Data sharing options that you can disable easily. Go to Tools → Settings → Community.
What additional features does Avast Mobile Security offer?
Avast Mobile Security offers also a few additional features that are available on the main screen of the app under the Smart scan section:
- Task killer - thanks to this feature you can stop all your running apps at once to save your time and the battery of your device.
- Wi-Fi speed test - allows you to test the speed of the network you are currently connected to, and provides you with the download and upload speed results.
- Clipboard cleaner - this feature can easily clear your clipboard to prevent possible privacy leaks. If you are not interested in using this option, you can disable it in the Tools → Settings → Notifications → Clipboard cleaner notification section.
What should I do if the Accessibility permission is disabled repeatedly?
To improve performance, some Android devices proactively force apps to stop when your device screen turns off. Due to issues with the Android system, stopped apps with the Accessibility permission automatically lose this permission. In this case, you need to manually re-enable the permission to maintain full functionality of the app.
To re-enable the Accessibility permission, go to Settings → Accessibility on your device and grant the permission to Avast Mobile Security.
Additionally, on Huawei, Lenovo, Asus and Sony Xperia devices, you can use default system features to prevent the app from continually losing the permission. Follow the steps for your device:
How can I disable or customize Permanent notification?
To prevent Android from killing the Avast Mobile Security app and inhibiting the app's ability to protect your device, the Permanent notification needs to be enabled at all times. If you disable the notification in the Settings → Notifications → Permanent notification section, Avast Mobile Security may switch off automatically if, for example, too many energy-consuming apps are running on your device at once.
You can adjust the Permanent notification in the app settings. The following options are available:
- Light theme: displays a light background with four widgets corresponding to different notifications.
- Dark theme: displays a dark background with four widgets corresponding to different notifications.
- Classic design: displays the current protection-state of your device (similar to the earlier version of the app).
- Hidden (not recommended): turns the notification off completely which inhibits the app's ability to protect your device.
When an action is required, the relevant widget changes to red. Tap the widget for further instructions. For example, when the Check security (Wi-Fi icon) widget is red, tap it to scan your Wi-Fi for potential security issues. To prevent a widget from changing to the alert-state, disable the corresponding notification in Settings → Notifications.
What can cause Avast Mobile Security to stop running?
Ensure that your Permanent notification is enabled. If it is disabled, Android may kill the Avast Mobile Security process and stop the app.
How can I stop App Locking from repeatedly asking for a PIN?
Ensure that Permanent notification is enabled. If it is disabled, Android may cause issues with App Locking or kill the Avast Mobile Security process.
What can I do if I forgot my PIN and cannot access the app I locked?
You can reset the PIN you set for the App Locking feature. Go to Tools → Settings → Change PIN, tap on the three dots icon in the top-right corner and tap Reset PIN. Enter your Google Account credentials and create a new PIN.
Why can't I use Firewall without root access?
Unfortunately the Avast Firewall included in Avast Mobile Security is only available on rooted devices running operating systems Android 4.0.3 or higher. Avast Firewall's functionality depends on access to several system features which require root privileges.
Why did you reintroduce a paid version of Avast Mobile Security after previously announcing the app would remain free?
After countless requests for Mobile Security to be ad-free, we decided to provide the Pro version of the app which enables ads to be disabled. To support ongoing development, the free version includes ads which we believe are unobtrusive and do not interfere with app usage. Despite this, we are pleased to now offer two versions of the app so that you can select the version which best meets your needs. To broaden our ability to protect users, we plan to continue developing new features for both the free and paid versions of Mobile Security.
What are the benefits of upgrading to Avast Mobile Security Pro?
When you upgrade to Mobile Security Pro, you can take advantage of the following features and enhancements:
- Remove ads: eliminate the third party ads from your Mobile Security experience.
- Advanced App Locking: lock an unlimited number of apps.
- Avast Direct support: receive fast (or prioritized) responses to your support inquiries.
My Avast Mobile Security Premium subscription was cancelled last year. Do I have to purchase a new subscription for the Pro version?
If you purchased a license through Google Play and it is still valid, reactivate it in Settings. Go Tools → Settings → Subscription, then tap Restore previous purchase.
If your license has already expired, tap Upgrade on the main screen of the app to go to the purchase page.
How can I cancel my subscription for Avast Mobile Security Pro?
If you have a Pro version of Avast Mobile Security on your mobile device, and you want to cancel automatic renewal of your subscription, you need to do it via Google Play Store. For more information please read the following article:
Please note that uninstalling an app from your device does not cancel your subscription, and you will continue to be charged for the subscription until you cancel it.
How can I disable third party ads in Avast Mobile Security?
If you'd prefer to use Mobile Security without third party ads, we recommend upgrading to the Pro version. To upgrade, go to Tools → Settings → Disable ads, then select your subscription plan. After upgrading, ads concerning products and services unrelated to Avast will no longer appear in the app. However, we will continue to inform you about other Avast products which are designed to improve the protection and performance of your device.
What happened to features from the previous version?
We have decided to focus on the app's most commonly used features and cancel others - for example, Network Meter was used by only a few users. We have put these features aside in exchange for smoother, increased functionality.
Can Avast Mobile Security protect me against all possible threats?
When configured correctly, Avast Mobile Security protects your device from known malware and threats and monitors data going in and out according to your preferences. We do our best to protect your device against all possible threats, but no solution is 100% effective. Like all products on the Android market, it is subject to limitations imposed by the operating system version which is running on the device. It cannot protect against exploits targeting specific vulnerabilities in the OS kernel, the network stack and other fundamental parts of the system. However we take our role in the security industry seriously, and continuously work with Android vendors to develop future solutions to minimize the risk of attacks.
How can I report a false positive detection to Avast Virus Lab?
In some cases, Avast Mobile Security may detect and mark a clean file as malware. You can report false detections to Avast Virus Lab directly from the scan results screen:
- Tap the three dots icon next to the file that you want to report.
- Select the Report as false positive option.
- Type the description of the issue and enter your e-mail address (if you want to be notified when the file analysis is finished).
- Tap Send.
How can I check if my virus definitions are updated?
Virus definitions are updated automatically. Go to Tools → Settings → Updates to check the virus definitions version and the date when it was installed. You can also tap on Check for update to make sure that you have the latest version installed or tap on Update over Wi-Fi only to prevent updating when the device uses mobile data transfer.
What is "rooting" on Android?
Rooting is a process which allows Android users to attain privileged control of their devices (known as root access) within the Android system. Rooting the device allows the user to override limitations that carriers and hardware manufacturers put on some devices. This makes it possible to alter or replace system applications and settings, and run specialized apps that require administrator-level permissions.
These root privileges are needed for Avast Firewall within Avast Mobile Security.
For most of the functionality within Avast Mobile Security rooting is NOT required.
Some features of the product are "root-only". Do I have to root my device to use your product?
No, it is not necessary to root your device to use Avast Mobile Security. While some features of Avast Mobile Security do require root access, most features are available on non-rooted devices. In fact, rooting your phone is generally not as secure and therefore not recommended. However, users who choose to root their devices are exposed to higher risks, and that is why we include features to provide additional protection.
The main advantage of a root installation is the Avast Firewall, which allows you to control network access on a per-app basis. This improves security, blocks unwanted ads, and even preserves battery life. Unfortunately this feature is not available for non-rooted devices due to some limitations of the Android platform.
How can I change the language in Avast Mobile Security?
There is no option to change the language directly in Avast Mobile Security settings. The default language of the app is based on the system language. To change the system language, go to Android settings and select your preferred language in the Language and keyboard/input tab. The name of this section can differ slightly depending on your device model and operating system version. This change applies to the entire system, including other apps installed on your device.
Why does Avast Mobile Security need so many permissions?
When you install Avast Mobile Security on your device, it requires many permissions that may seem unnecessary at first glance. For example, the permission to directly call phone numbers.
To understand the reason for granting these permissions, you have to understand that the permission classifications in Android are not very specific. Permissions control which API groups can be used by the application and each group is assigned a name based on its most common use case. For example the Directly call phone numbers permission is needed to implement the Call Blocker functionality, not to make any phone calls. Another example is that full Internet access permission is required to receive updates to malware definitions. Smart Scan and Web Shield need the permission to read phone data so the data can be scanned for threats.
We take your privacy very seriously. The permissions requested are the minimum set that is needed to implement the functionality of Avast Mobile Security.
How much battery does Avast Mobile Security use?
Avast Mobile Security is designed to have minimal impact on battery life.
Testing across multiple devices shows that all services by this app generally take up less than 5% of battery consumption. (By comparison, the Launcher can take up about 15% and Gmail about 8%.) During a few operations Avast Mobile Security can reach at maximum 20% of battery use at the peak of CPU use (about 30-60 seconds).
Does Avast Mobile Security report different malware detections than Avast Antivirus for desktop computers?
Smart Scan and Shields included in Avast Mobile Security use different definitions than the ones used in our antivirus software for PCs. The application is customized to run on mobile devices, and so the definitions are specific to malware which attacks mobile platforms. This saves your device from being overloaded by our PC antivirus engine, which includes an enormous amount of malware data which is not relevant to your mobile device.
How can I give my feedback about the app?
There are many ways you can show your appreciation and support Avast mobile products. For example:
- Write a positive review on Google Play.
- Tell your friends about our software on Facebook or Twitter.
- Post reviews in Android related forums.
- Avast Mobile Security 5.x
- Android 4.0.3 and later
- Android 3.x (Avast Mobile Security deprecated)
- Android 2.3.x (Avast Mobile Security deprecated)