How to install, configure and activate the latest version of the free Avast antivirus software. In our computer repair business we recommend buying a commercial Internet Security suite by companies such as Kaspersky or Norton as these include a software firewall and provide higher levels of security than a free antivirus package.
However, many people do not want to pay for antivirus protection so we will show you how to install and configure the free (for home use) version of the popular and effective Avast antivirus software.
How To Install Avast – First you need to uninstall any existing antivirus package – you should never have more than one antivirus on your computer as they may conflict with each other, causing system instability and/or reductions in computer speed.
Download the latest version of Avast from Filehippo here then double click the downloaded file to install it. Select your language and click Next then untick ‘Participate in Avast community’ and click Next.
Untick ‘Also install Google Chrome browser’ (unless you want it) and proceed with installation – Avast now creates a new system restore point which may take take a while on an older computer.
Avast then completes the installation and does a quick virus scan of your system – click ‘Finish’ once it is installed and you should see the registration message below:
If you are connected to the internet click on the ‘Register’ button and fill in the registration form details including your name and email address then click ‘Register for Free License’. If you are not connected to the internet you can close this window and do it later – you have 30 days to register. Registration lasts for 1 year – the program will remind you to re-register a couple of weeks before it expires.
Updates: Avast will check for updates every 4 hours and update itself if required. When it has updated itself a pop-up window appears as shown below – the message disappears on its own after a few seconds but you can click the cross to close it immediately if you prefer.
Avast Main Menu: Double click the new Avast shortcut on your desktop to open the Avast Main Menu. It will start at the Summary screen – any warnings about registration or a new version will appear in red in the right panel of the Summary screen.
Registration: If you did not register earlier, open the Avast Main Menu at the Summary tab and click Register to proceed with registration.
Sounds: Avast produces verbal sounds when certain actions occur e.g. when it is updated. If you wish to turn off all Avast sounds: open the Main Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tab at the top to open the Settings window. Now click on ‘Sounds’ in the left panel and untick ‘Enable avast sounds’ in the right panel then click the OK button to stop all Avast sounds.
Scan Computer: to scan your computer (recommended weekly), open the Main Menu and click the ‘Scan Computer’ tab then click on the Start button for the type of scan you want in the right hand panel e.g. Quick or Full scan.
WebRep: Avast v6 includes WebRep which is safe browsing software. It uses a warning system of red/yellow/green colored flags to let you easily see if a website in your search results is considered safe or dangerous before you visit that website. It works on major search engines like Google. As WebRep is so new, the ratings it uses are by no means perfect – we recommend using Web Of Trust (WOT) instead until Avast establishes better ratings. See our article on browsing more safely with WOT.
If you want to uninstall WebRep, open the Main Menu and click on the ‘Additional Protection’ tab then click the sub-option WebRep and click on ‘Uninstall’ beside any web browsers listed in the right hand panel. When you restart your web browser(s) WebRep will no longer appear. You can reinstall WebRep later if you wish by following the reverse of this process.
Avast Widget (Vista and Windows 7): You will notice the large Avast widget in your sidebar (if your sidebar is displayed). Many people hate the widget but if you just remove it from the sidebar it will reappear the next time you restart.
If you want to remove the widget permanently – click Start, Control Panel, Programs, Programs and Features to see all the programs installed on your computer. Double click on Avast to modify it and select ‘Change’ then untick the Avast ‘gadget’ from the change menu.
Now you have installed and configured Avast