Avast Antivirus: FAQs - General

Avast 2016: Frequently Asked Questions - General

System Requirements

Download, Installation and Upgrade

License and Registration

Features and Settings


What are the system requirements for Avast 2016?

For Avast Premier 2016, Avast Internet Security 2016, Avast Pro Antivirus 2016 and Avast Free Antivirus 2016:

  • Windows 10 except Mobile and IoT Core Edition (32 or 64-bit); Windows 8.1 except RT and Starter Edition (32 or 64-bit); Windows 8 except RT and Starter Edition (32 or 64-bit); Windows 7 SP1 or higher, any Edition (32 or 64-bit); Windows Vista SP2 or higher, except Starter Edition (32 or 64-bit); Windows XP SP3, any Edition
  • Windows fully compatible PC with Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon 64 processor or above (must support SSE2 instructions)
  • 256 MB RAM or above
  • 2 GB free space on the hard disk
  • Internet connection (to download, activate and maintain updates of the program and antivirus database)
  • Screen resolution of at least 800 x 600 pixels
Avast 2016 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 may not be supported. For details please refer to the documentation on Microsoft's website:

Where can I download Avast 2016?

Download the latest multi-lingual version of Avast 2016 at the following direct links:

How do I install Avast 2016?

For step-by-step instructions to download, install and open your version of Avast 2016 please read the following article:

How can I upgrade my current Avast program version to Avast 2016?

If you have a valid license for an older version of Avast Antivirus you can upgrade to Avast 2016 for free.

For detailed instructions to upgrade to Avast 2016 please read the following articles:

Is it necessary to uninstall a previous version of Avast before installing Avast 2016?

If you have Avast 7.x or later, you do not need to uninstall your previous version, because Avast 2016 setup automatically detects and upgrades the existing installation.

If you have Avast 6.x or older, you should uninstall it first by using the Avast Uninstall Utility, and then install Avast 2016 by following these instructions:

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

Licenses for Avast Premier, Internet Security and Pro Antivirus can be purchased via the Avast Store.

  1. Open the e-mail containing your activation code and copy it.
  2. Right-click on the Avast icon in the system tray and select Subscription information from the menu.
  3. In the Your Subscription screen, click Insert activation code.
  4. Enter the activation code (or copy/paste it) from the confirmation email. Click Next.
  5. A confirmation will appear. Click OK.

For details please read the following articles:

  1. Open the e-mail containing your license file and open the attached file License.avastlic.
  2. When the file opens, a dialog box appears. Click Yes to insert the license file with the subscription details displayed.
  3. Click OK when the confirmation appears.

For details please read the following articles:

How do I register Avast Free Antivirus?

Registration of the latest version of Avast Free Antivirus is no longer necessary. To update Avast, read the following article:

  1. Right-click on the Avast orange ball icon in the system tray and select Registration information from the menu.
  2. In the Your Subscription screen, click Register now.
  3. A new window with the registration form will open. Enter the required details into the form fields and then click Register.

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 details please read the following article:

What should I do if Avast 2016 does not accept my purchased license?

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 2016 using the Avast Uninstall Utility and restart your computer.
  3. Download and install the appropriate product version of Avast 2016 related to the purchased license.
  4. Once again try to insert the license into Avast 2016.

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 to another computer?

Yes, you can. If you are no longer using your for Avast Antivirus 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 to activate SecureLine VPN and Cleanup?

SecureLine VPN and Cleanup are integrated in the Avast Antivirus 2016 user interface, but these are products which require a separate licenses. To activate these products please purchase a license from Avast Store.

What is Software Updater?

Software Updater is a feature in Avast 2016 which monitors version status of third 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.

With Avast Premier you can configure Software Updater to perform updates automatically. With Avast Internet Security, Pro Antivirus, or Free Antivirus you can maintain updates manually by clicking the Update button next to each application.

What is Browser Cleanup?

Browser Cleanup is a tool which scans your browsers for poorly rated add-ons.

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.
  • Toolbars are difficult to remove.

Browser Cleanup detects all add-ons for the 3 major Internet Browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome) and allows you 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.

For more details please read the following article:

What is Data Shredder?

Data Shredder is a feature in Avast Premier 2016 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 Data Shredder does.

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

What is SecureLine VPN?

SecureLine VPN 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.

SecureLine VPN:

  • Protects your data on unsecure Wi-Fi connections
  • Anonymizes your IP address while browsing
  • Allows unrestricted access to the Internet from countries with censorship
  • Accesses geo-restricted web content (when connected to a server in the authorized region)

SecureLine VPN is integrated in Avast 2016 as an extra service and requires a separate license.

For more details please read the following article:

What is SafeZone Browser?

SafeZone Browser is a web browser with built-in privacy features from Avast. SafeZone Browser includes Bank Mode, formerly known as Pay Mode.

Bank Mode creates a virtual desktop which acts as a clean and safe computer within your real computer. This virtual desktop isolates your activity from possible key loggers and allows you to perform financial transactions without fear of your personal data being stolen.

SafeZone Browser also includes several useful extensions: Ad Blocker, Passwords, Video-Downloader, and Safe-Price.

For more details please read the following article:

What is the Sandbox?

The Sandbox is a virtualization tool in Avast Premier 2016, Avast Internet Security 2016 and Avast Pro Antivirus 2016 which allows you to browse the web or run an application in a completely isolated, safe environment.

Within the Sandbox the application activity or web content is completely contained, preventing any damage to your computer. This is especially useful when visiting high-risk web sites.

What is the Firewall?

Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security include a firewall which is integrated into the Avast user interface.

The Firewall monitors all communication between your computer and outside networks and blocks unauthorized communication. In this way, the firewall can prevent sensitive data from leaving your computer and can also block attempted intrusions by hackers.

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

What is Antispam?

Antispam is no longer installed in Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security by default. To install Antispam manually via the control panel, please read the following article:

Antispam is an optional feauture of Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security that detects unwanted emails and spam.

Spam 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.

Antispam analyzes each incoming e-mail to determine whether it's legitimate or not. This analysis is based partly on a Blacklist of senders whose emails are marked as spam, and a Whitelist which identifies known and trusted senders. These lists can be found in the antispam settings. For e-mails from other senders, content is analyzed to identify e-mails that should be treated as spam.

Antispam filters messages delivered to e-mail accounts connected with the Mail Client installed on your computer such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, etc. Antispam cannot filter messages which are accessed only via a web-based mailbox such as Yahoo!, Gmail, etc.

What is 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. The Silent/Gaming Mode option allows you to prevent full-screen application from being interrupted when these messages appear. The option is available from the Avast user interface in Settings → General.

What is Secure DNS?

Secure DNS is a feature in Avast Premier, Avast Internet Security and Avast Pro Antivirus 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. Secure DNS 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, Secure DNS ensures that the displayed web page is the authentic one.

What is 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 reveals 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.
  • Cleanup looks for ways to optimize your system as needed. It removes unnecessary files to save disk space and makes system adjustments to keep your computer running smoothly.
  • Passwords checks your current passwords for security.

What is Home Network Security?

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.

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

What is Cleanup?

Avast Cleanup is an optimization tool to clean and speed up your system as needed. It removes unnecessary files to save disk space and makes system adjustments to keep your computer running smoothly.

For details please read the following article:

What is Passwords?

Avast Passwords is a password manager. It stores your passwords securely while you only need to remember one Main Password. With browser extensions you can use Passwords to fill in forms quickly. Additionally, it can generate strong passwords for you.

For details please read the following article:

What is Passive Mode?

Passive Mode is available on PCs running Windows 7 or above. This feature disables real-time protection by Avast so that you can run more than one antivirus program at a time without conflict. When Passive Mode is on, you still receive all virus definition and program updates so Avast can perform effective on-demand scans but Avast does not actively check for threats in between these scans.

If you install Avast Antivirus on a PC where another antivirus program is installed, Passive Mode is switched on by default. You can turn Passive Mode on or off in the Troubleshooting section of Settings.

If you want Avast to actively protect you from malware and other security threats, ensure that Passive Mode is not turned on and the following conditions are met:

For more information, read the following article:

What is CyberCapture?

CyberCapture is a feature of Avast that detects and analyzes rare, suspicious files. If you attempt to run such a file, the file is locked from your PC and sent to the Avast Threat Labs where it's analyzed in a safe, virtual environment. You are notified when the analysis is complete.

For more information about CyberCapture, read the following article:

Can I set Software Updater to automatically update my applications?

Avast 2016 informs you when Software Updater detects updates for third-party applications. With Avast Premier you can configure Software Updater to perform updates automatically.

With Avast Internet Security, Pro Antivirus, or Free Antivirus you can maintain updates manually by clicking the Update button next to each application.

We aim to cover third-party products whose updates are essential for computer security. The products included may change over time.

What happens when you Remove or Ignore an add-on in Browser Cleanup?

Browser Cleanup allows you to remove known toolbars. Remove means here to uninstall and completely remove the toolbar and all its components from your computer. This action cannot be undone.

If you want to keep the add-on and you want Browser Cleanup to stop offering to remove it, you can select Ignore. Ignore means that the add-on will be disregarded and kept in the browser, no matter what its rating is. If you want to stop ignoring the add-on, just click Stop Ignoring and the Remove option appears again.

Where can I find Remote Assistance?

Remote Assistance is no longer available in Avast version 12.x.

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 labeled 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 2016 with a 3rd party firewall running?

The 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 SecureLine VPN?

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 SecureLine VPN with any type of Internet connection?

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

Does my system performance slow down during a virus scan?

Avast 2016 comes with several pre-defined scans by default. You can also create your own custom scans. Generally, running a scan does not noticeably affect system performance. However performance may be affected somewhat depending on your system configurations, especially if you execute multiple scans simultaneously.

Does Avast 2016 secure webmail accounts (such as Yahoo!, Gmail, etc.)?

When you access your e-mail account via a local console, such as MS Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird, Avast Mail Shield uses special scanning technology designed especially for e-mail and messaging. If you access your e-mail account via a web-based mailbox such as Yahoo!, Gmail etc., Avast Mail Shield will not be involved.

Therefore you should not expect to see any scan history in the Mail Shield screen when you access webmail services.

The reason is that when you access a webmail account, you are remotely accessing files which are stored on the remote Mail Server and not your PC.

However, this does not mean that you are unprotected when you access your email online. Avast treats webmail services like any other website. When you save, download or run a file from your webmail account, it is scanned by the Avast Web Shield. This way any potential threats are blocked.

Avast cannot protect an online mail account itself - that is the responsibility of the mail service provider whose mail servers store your account information and files.

Can I adjust the sensitivity of Antispam?

You can adjust the sensitivity of Antispam from the Avast user interface in Settings → Active Protection → Antispam. Avast Antispam 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 sensitivity reduces the chance of false positive detections, but may also reduce the effectiveness of the Antispam filter.

Can I turn off the Microsoft Windows Firewall when using the Firewall in Avast Premier 2016 or Avast Internet Security 2016?

Yes - Avast Premier 2016 and Avast Internet Security 2016 include a full-featured Firewall. The Avast Firewall monitors all communication between your computer and outside networks and blocks unauthorized communication. It is highly recommended to keep all Avast protection components enabled at all times for reliable computer protection.

  • Avast Premier 2016
  • Avast Internet Security 2016
  • Avast Pro Antivirus 2016
  • Avast Free Antivirus 2016
  • 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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