Every Avast antivirus (Free Antivirus, Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, Premier), even the free version, offers a great feature which can search for any viruses and malware on your computer before it even starts. It’s called a Boot-Time Scan and below are the steps how to perform it in the latest 2016 version. It works great even with the latest Windows 10 release.

Technically boot-time scan runs before the Windows are loaded, so it doesn’t give malware any chance to hide itself. From our experience we recommend running full boot-time scan at least once a month, to make sure your computer is clean.

1. Schedule a Boot-Time Scan

Open interface of your program and navigate to tab ‘Scan‘ » ‘Scan for viruses‘ in the top menu. From the drop down menu select ‘Boot-time scan‘ and click on ‘Start‘. The very next time your computer will be starting, the boot-time scan will be performed.

Performing a Boot-Time Scan in Avast Free Antivirus 2016 – Scan SchedulingPerforming a Boot-Time Scan in Avast Free Antivirus 2016 – Scan Scheduling

Also the message will change from ‘not scheduled‘ to ‘scheduled to run on next system restart‘. To cancel boot-time scan simply click on the ‘Unschedule‘ button.

2. Advanced Settings of the Boot-Time Scan

For more advanced options click on ‘Scan Settings‘ on the ‘Boot-time scan‘. In the boot-time scan settings you can select following options:

  • Areas to scan – All hard disks, only system drive, or auto-start programs
  • Heuristics sensitivity (analysis which detects not yet known viruses) – Off, low, normal, high (recommended though it may increase amount of false-positives found)
  • What do to do if a threat is found – Ask, move to chest, repair, delete, no action, or fix automatically
  • Others – Scan for potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), unpack archive files

Once you are done with the settings, simply click on ‘OK‘. Now the boot-time scan should be scheduled. That means it will automatically start the next time you will start your Windows again.

Performing a Boot-Time Scan in Avast Free Antivirus 2016 – Scan SettingsPerforming a Boot-Time Scan in Avast Free Antivirus 2016 – Scan Settings

Please note the boot-time scan isn’t happening in Windows but before Windows are loaded. Below you can see the example of how the boot-time scan looks in the Avast antivirus 2016.

Performing a Boot-Time Scan in Avast Free Antivirus 2016 – Scan In ProgressPerforming a Boot-Time Scan in Avast Free Antivirus 2016  Scan In Progress

Your Windows will boot automatically if there is no virus found. If Avast founds a virus, you can perform one of the actions below by pressing a relevant number on your keyboard

  • 1 – Fix automatically
  • 2 – Fix all automatically
  • 3 – Move to Chest
  • 4 – Move all to Chest
  • 5 – Delete
  • 6 – Delete all
  • 7 – Repair
  • 8 – Repair all
  • 9 – Ignore
  • 0 – Ignore all

If the infected file is in the folder you also need to confirm the action by pressing

  • 1 – Yes
  • 2 – Yes all
  • 3 – No

You can always press ‘Esc‘ key to cancel the scan and continue with the boot. After the boot-time scan is complete, you can find it’s report in ‘Scan‘ » ‘Scan for viruses‘ » ‘Scan history‘. Alternatively you can navigate to report by going to ‘C:\ProgramData\AVAST Software\Avast\report\aswBoot.txt‘.

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).

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 26 comments | Did we miss anything? Just let us know in the comments!

  1. Chris Rochester Reply

    Ran avast boot scan for first time on windows xp desktop. On boot up it said that it would take a long time to run so I chose escape. Computer is now hung up on Windows start up. Tried booting on safety mode and last successful start up mode. No luck. My computer is now useless. How can I get it back

  2. Daniel Reply

    I runned the boot-time scan..it starts and works for like 2 minutes then the system starts and the scan is cancelled..wtf,why the system starts from itself after 2 minutes of boot-time scan..?

  3. Anthony Odubiyi Reply

    I ran a boot scan on avast 2016 and it has taken over 2 day and it still going who much longer do I need to wait for it to finish?

  4. Jay Miller Reply

    I am running Windows 7 on an Acer pc. I used to be able to run the boot scan, but it does not show up anymore. Do I need to upgrade Avast or can I still use the free version and still get the “boot scan”.

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