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.

Installation and Licensing

Main options

Features

Settings

Troubleshooting and general questions

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. The app is compatible with all ARM Android devices. However, each vendor or manufacturer makes slight changes in their devices so that 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.

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. This app does not work on Nokia, iPhone or iPad devices.

How can I install Avast Mobile Security?

Avast Mobile Security is available for download at the Google Play Store. Follow these steps to install the app:

  1. 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:
  2. Select Install on the Avast Mobile Security screen, and if asked for permissions, select Accept.
  3. Once the download is complete, choose Open to start using the application.
  4. Select Continue to confirm that you have read and accept the terms of the AVAST End User License Agreement and Privacy Policy. 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:

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 can I uninstall Avast Mobile Security?

Before you start uninstalling Avast Mobile Security, ensure that you deactivated the Device Administrators permission granted for the app in your Android Settings. Go to Settings → Security → Device Administrators and untick Avast Mobile Security. Otherwise, you will not be able to complete the uninstallation process. Then follow these steps:

  1. From the main screen open your device Settings.
  2. Select the Apps, then Avast Mobile Security.
  3. Select Uninstall and then tap OK to confirm.
These steps can differ slightly depending on your device mode, Android version and vendor customizations.

For more information read the following article:

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.
  • App Locking: protect access to your apps with a PIN.
  • Anti-Theft: use three additional options that help you protect and locate your lost or stolen device.
    • Capture photo of the thief when incorrect PIN is entered.
    • Lock your device when SIM card is changed.
    • Secretly record the phone's surroundings at any time.
  • Avast Direct Support: receive fast (or prioritized) responses to your support inquiries.

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 disable third party ads, lock an unlimited number of apps with the App Locking feature and use additional options of the Anti-Theft feature. Avast Mobile Security Pro also ensures prioritized responses to your support inquiries. For instruction about purchase and activation, 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.

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.

What is the Scan option?

The Scan option enables you to scan all applications installed on your device and informs you about security risks caused by changes in default Android settings.

The virus definitions used by the scan are updated automatically. To manually update them, go to Settings → Updates → Check for update.

Avast Mobile Security automatically scans newly installed applications the first time they are run. If the app detects malware on your device, the system offers to uninstall the application or to delete the file. If the app incorrectly identifies an application or file as malware, report the false-positive detection directly to Avast Threat Lab.

To schedule automatic scans, go to Settings → Protection → Scheduled scan.

What is the Boost RAM option?

Tap Boost RAM to kill any apps running in the background of your device. This action prevents your apps from slowing down your device and draining your battery. When complete, the amount of freed space and number of killed apps is displayed.

What is the Clean Junk option?

When you tap Clean Junk, Avast Mobile Security analyzes the space on your device before displaying the percentage of used storage space or the amount of free storage space if you tap the percentage. You can then free space on your device by tapping Safe clean which removes unnecessary files from your device. To free further space, install the Avast Cleanup app directly from the Safe clean results screen.

What is the Check Speed option?

The Check Speed option checks the download and upload speed of the Wi-Fi network that you are connected to. To check the security of the network, use the Wi-Fi Security feature.

What is the Lock Apps option?

When you tap Lock Apps, you are directed to the App Locking section of the app. App Locking is a feature of Avast Mobile Security which enables you to protect the apps on your device by creating a PIN to access them.

What is App Locking?

App Locking is a paid feature in Avast Mobile Security Pro which enables you to create a PIN to protect the apps on your device. The PIN can be created or changed in Settings → App Locking 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 your device is configured to unlock the screen by using a fingerprint, you can also use this option for App Locking.

What is Anti-Theft?

Anti-Theft is designed to protect your private mobile data and help you recover your device in the case of loss or theft. You can configure Anti-Theft to automatically perform certain actions, for example, to sound an alarm if an untrusted SIM card is detected. When you upgrade your Avast Mobile Security to the Pro version, you can also use three additional options that help you protect and locate your lost or stolen device:

  • Capture photo of the thief when incorrect PIN is entered.
  • Lock your device when SIM card is changed.
  • Secretly record the phone's surroundings at any time.

For more information about Anti-Theft refer to the following article:

What is Call Blocker?

Call Blocker enables you to filter voice calls based on blacklisted numbers that can include all unknown numbers, hidden numbers, manually added numbers, and numbers from your 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 App Permissions?

The App Permissions feature is designed to give you insight into the level of permission required by each of your installed apps. App permissions determine an app's capabilities in terms of what the app can do and which information it can access on your device. For example, an app may require permission to see your device contacts or location.

When you tap App Permissions, a list of all apps installed on your device appears. Tap any app to see the following information about the app:

  • The version number of the app and amount of space it occupies on your device.
  • Details of the permissions required by the app.
  • Details of any known ad networks the app is connected with.

You can also uninstall apps from your device using this feature.

What is Firewall?

The Firewall allows you to manage internet access for your installed apps. Tap Firewall to see a list of apps installed on your device. Tap any app then select one of the following 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.

To specify if Firewall should Take highest priority, go to Settings. This setting is useful if this component does not work on your device when mobile data limit is enabled.

Avast Firewall only works on rooted devices.

What is Wi-Fi Security?

Wi-Fi Security enables you to scan your network for problems with the router, encryption, Wi-Fi, and connection. When this action is complete, the app advises if the network is safe and notifies you of potential threats. Wi-Fi Security describes the issue in detail and offers a solution. You can connect to a network from Wi-Fi Security and run a scan, or scan a network that your device is already connected to.

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 the complete protection by preventing Android from stopping Avast 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 screen: prompts to turn on the charging screen when you plug in a charging cable.
  • Sensitive app notification: prompts to protect access to the sensitive app with App Locking.
  • 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 Settings → Notifications to disable any of the notifications.

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, we recommend enabling the Permanent notification to remain on 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 is the charging screen?

The charging screen shows you useful information while charging. When this screen is active, you can check what time your device will finish charging and see the percentage of battery charge.

Tap the gear icon in the top-right corner of the charging screen to configure or disable this feature. You can perform the following actions:

  • Tap a slider next to the ON option to disable the charging screen completely. You can then enable it back in the main Avast Mobile Security settings.
  • Tick Activate any time charging begins or Activate when charging with the screen off according to your preferences. By default, this screen appears each time you begin charging your device.
  • Optionally, you can also kill background tasks automatically when you plug in. Tap a slider next to Boost automatically when charging begins option.

If Avast Battery Saver is installed on your device, you need to manage your charging screen settings in Battery Saver. Otherwise, you can manage this feature in your Mobile Security settings.

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. This option is disabled by default. Go to Settings → Protection to enable it. Please note that enabling this option may prolong the scanning process.
  • 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 App Locking settings section?

In the App Locking settings section, you can set a PIN code or a pattern to protect access to your apps by using the App Locking feature. If your device is configured to unlock the screen by using a fingerprint, you can also use this option for App Locking.

What is the Updates section?

The Updates section displays the Virus definition version and allows you to update virus definitions manually by tapping Check for update option. You can also tick Update over Wi-Fi only to prevent Avast Mobile Security from updating when you use mobile data to connect to the internet. We do not recommend to have this option ticked at all times.

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 the trash icon.

The Activity log is available in Settings → Activity log.

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 Settings → Community.

What is the Avast Account?

The Avast Account is a portal where you can manage all Avast licenses that are registered to your email address. These licenses can be for any Avast product across all of your devices.

What is Clipboard Cleaner?

Clipboard Cleaner is a feature that can easily clear your clipboard to prevent possible privacy leaks. This feature is available on the main screen of the app under the main options. If you are not interested in using ui>Clipboard Cleaner, you can disable it inSettings → Notifications → Clipboard cleaner notification.

Why does Avast show advertisements in Avast Mobile Security?

Avast is pleased to offer both a free and premium version (Avast Mobile Security Pro) of the app. Although we're confident you'll find both versions of the app highly advantageous to the performance of your device, Avast Mobile Security Pro is ad-free and includes a range of additional features and benefits. To support the ongoing development of the app, the free version includes ads only at the end of each cleaning process which we believe are unobtrusive and do not interfere with app usage.

How can I disable third party ads in Avast Mobile Security?

If you'd prefer to use Avast Mobile Security without third party ads, we recommend upgrading to the Pro version. To upgrade, go to Settings → Disable ads, select your subscription plan and follow the on-screen instructions. 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 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:

  1. Tap the Phone Manager icon on the main screen of your device to open the app.
  2. Go to Settings and select the Protected apps tab.
  3. Turn on the protection for Avast Battery Saver.
  1. Open your device Settings.
  2. Select Background app management from the list.
  3. Deselect Avast Mobile Security.
  1. Open your device Settings, tap Power management, then tap Auto-start Manager.
  2. On the Downloaded tab, tap Deny next to Avast Mobile Security to change this setting to Allow.
  3. Tap Allow to confirm the setting change.
  1. Open your device Settings and tap Battery.
  2. Tap the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner, then tap Battery optimization.
  3. Tap the Apps tab and tick Avast Mobile Security.

How can I stop App Locking from repeatedly asking for a PIN?

Ensure that the Permanent notification is enabled. When this notification is disabled, Android may cause issues with App Locking or kill the Avast Mobile Security process.

What can I do if I forget my PIN and cannot access my locked apps?

If you forget your App Locking PIN, reset it by following these steps:

  1. Go to Settings → App Locking settings → Change PIN.
  2. Tap the three dot menu icon in the top-right corner, then tap Reset PIN.
  3. Type your Google Account credentials and create a new PIN.

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.

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:

  1. Tap the three dots icon next to the file that you want to report.
  2. Select the Report as false positive option.
  3. Type the description of the issue and enter your e-mail address (if you want to be notified when the file analysis is finished).
  4. Tap Send.

How can I check if my virus definitions are updated?

Virus definitions are updated automatically. Go to 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.

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. 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 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).

Why doesn't the Firewall feature work on my device?

If Firewall does not work on your device, you may be using an unrooted device. Unfortunately, the 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.

What is "rooting" on Android and do I have to root my device to use your product?

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.

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. For most of the functionality within Avast Mobile Security rooting is NOT required. In fact, rooting your device is 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.

Does Avast Mobile Security report different malware detections than Avast Antivirus for desktop computers?

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 6.x
  • Android 4.0.3 and later
  • Android 3.x (Avast Mobile Security deprecated)
  • Android 2.3.x (Avast Mobile Security deprecated)

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