Once in a while you’ll probably need to turn off your Avast Antivirus, or just pause some of its shields. Usually because you want to install some other party security software like firewall, or because Avast is blocking your favorite website or application.

OUR TIP If you want to disable Avast because it’s blocking program or website you trust, we suggest to use the Avast Exceptions/White-list instead.

Here’s the quick step-by-step guide on how to turn off/disable Avast 2016 – completely or temporarily. Steps are applicable for all Avast antivirus products (Free Antivirus, Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, or Avast Premier).

Quick Summary

  1. Right-click on the Avast orange icon in the Windows system tray
  2. Select Avast shields control and select for how long you want to disable it
  3. Confirm by clicking Yes on the dialog

Read more detailed steps and other options including screenshots below

1. Turn Off/Disable Avast Completely (All Shields)

Turning off all Avast shields basically means completely turning off the whole Avast Antivirus active protection. So be sure you know what you’re doing, although it’s actually quite simple.

Step #1 – Just navigate to the Windows task bar and find the orange Avast icon. By default it is hidden in some Windows systems, so click on the top arrow if you don’t see it. Once you find the icon, perform a right-click on it, look for the option ‘Avast shields control‘, and select one of the options there – disable for a) 10 minutes; b) 1 hour; c) until computer restart; d) permanently.

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2016 Completely via Windows System TrayDisabling Avast Antivirus 2016 Completely via Windows System Tray

Step #2 – Whatever option you will choose, Avast will ask you for a confirmation, which you have to confirm by selecting ‘Yes‘. And that’s it, Avast and all its shields should be disabled/paused for whatever time period you have selected.

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2016 Completely – Action ConfirmationDisabling Avast Antivirus 2016 Completely – Action Confirmation

Step #3 – If you want to make sure Avast is really disabled, just open its main window. It should be red and saying ‘YOU ARE UNPROTECTED‘. To re-enable it again, click on ‘Turn on‘ next to ‘All real-time shields are turned off‘, and it should turn green with the message ‘YOU ARE PROTECTED‘.

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2016 Completely - User InterfaceDisabling Avast Antivirus 2016 Completely – User Interface

2. Turn Off/Disable Avast Temporarily (Specific Shield(s))

Besides turning off all shields at once, Avast also offers an option to temporarily turn off/pause any specific shield. Again, be sure you know what and why you’re doing it.

Step #1 – If so, then open the main Avast user interface, and go to settings (cog-wheel icon in the top-right corner) » ‘Components’ (or ‘Active Protection‘ in the older version). There you will see all Avast shields (File System Shield, Mail Shield, Web Shield) listed. Just find the one you want to disable and click on the ‘ON‘ switch. Once you click on it, you will see four options – stop the shield for a) 10 minutes; b) 1 hour; c) until computer restart; d) permanently. Just select the period you want and click on it.

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2016 Specific Shields - Components OverviewDisabling Avast Antivirus 2016 Specific Shields – Components Overview

Step #2 – If the shield has been successfully disabled, you should see the switch change to ‘OFF‘ and the main window should be yellow with the message ‘YOU ARE AT RISK‘. To re-enable it again, simply click on Turn on‘ next to ‘Some of your real-time shields are turned off‘, and it should turn green with the message ‘YOU ARE PROTECTED.

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2016 Specific Shields - User InterfaceDisabling Avast Antivirus 2016 Specific Shields – User Interface

3. Uninstall Avast Antivirus Completely

If none of these steps solved your problem, then you can consider uninstalling Avast Antivirus completely. Although we strongly discourage it, as Avast is the best free Antivirus available.

If you’re sure you want to do it, follow our step-by-step guide ‘How to Uninstall/Remove Avast Antivirus 2016‘ or download the simple removal tool called Avast Uninstall Utility.

Additional Notes

Although we have used Avast Free Antivirus 2016 screenshots in this article, these steps are also applicable for all Avast Antivirus solutions (i.e. also for Avast Pro Antivirus, Avast Internet Security, or Avast Premier) running the latest version available.

Steps are relevant for all Windows versions – Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 (including Anniversary Update).

Turning off Avast protection may leave your computer at risk.

Written by Paul B. | Team GetAvast.net

My name is Paul and I love Avast since the Home Edition v4.8 (2008). I am recommending it to all my friends, but I realized they don't know how to use it. So I started this site in order to help others getting maximum from this awesome antivirus. Feel free to contact me via Facebook, comments below or this form.

This article has 89 comments | Did we miss anything? Just let us know in the comments!

  1. John Toolan Reply

    I would like to turn off “You are at risk” alert when the automatic updates are turned off or when the silent gaming control is turned on.

  2. John Reply

    This did not work. Even with avast ‘turned off’, it still insists that a particular website (www.youraccessone.com by First Data) is bad and will not let me proceed. I guess the only solution I have, since I have to have access, is to uninstall avast.

  3. Sally Reply

    I don’t get any option referring to “Shields” when I right-click.

  4. Pissed Reply

    I’m on a Mac and can’t get it to temporarily disable so I can finally install some updates to my fav apps. But nope, strange error comes up when I enter my mac’s password.

    WTF? Maybe Avast IS a Virus

  5. Ricky Reply

    Simply doesn’t work. It SHOULD work, yes! But it doesn’t. Even with all shields totally disabled, Avast STILL deletes a perfectly safe .exe file that I am trying to install. This is MY PC, when I disable a shield I expect it to be disabled! Are you listening Avast???

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