Officially Avast Antivirus 2016 is compatible with Windows 10 as well with both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. However, some users may have issues with running Avast on the latest Windows. This article covers the most known ones, as well as solutions for fixing them.

So far, this article covers three issues

  1. BSOD after Anniversary Update
  2. Cortana menu critical error
  3. Avast SecureDNS can’t run

General advise to avoid any compatibility issues between Windows and Avast antivirus is to keep both of them updated to the latest version. Make sure you are running the latest Avast version available. See more details in our article about updating Avast.

Issue #1 – BSOD After Installing Anniversary Update

Major issue which affected many Avast users and caused a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) after they installed latest Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Cause of the issue was incompatibility between one of the Avast drivers (aswvmm.sys) and Intel CPU from the Skylake family. However Avast has promptly identified the issue and released an emergency program update which fixed the issue.

Solution #1.1 – Update your Avast before installing Anniversary Update

Since the issue has been officially fixed by Avast, you just need to make sure you are running the latest compatible version.

  1. Make sure your Avast is updated to the latest program version by going to settings » Update » PROGRAM » click on ‘Update‘. For more information about the program update check our guide ‘How to Update Your Avast Antivirus 2016
  2. Download Windows 10 Anniversary Update from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12387/windows-10-update-history » click on ‘Get the Anniversary Update now
  3. Run the download file ‘Windows10Upgrade28084.exe‘ and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation

Installation of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Installation of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Solution #1.2 – Repaid your Avast before installing Anniversary Update

Another way how to get the latest version of Avast is to repair the current one. Internet connection is needed, of course.

  1. Repair your Avast by going to Programs and Features » select Avast » Uninstall/Change » Repair
  2. Once the repair process of Avast will finish, restart your computer
  3. Download Windows 10 Anniversary Update from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12387/windows-10-update-history » click on ‘Get the Anniversary Update now
  4. Run the download file ‘Windows10Upgrade28084.exe‘ and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation

Issue #2 – Critical Error: Start menu and Cortana aren’t working

This one is probably the most popular issue on Windows 10. It basically locks up the Start menu and Cortana so you can’t use them at all which is really painful.

Although many tech guys are saying it’s caused by Avast or any other antivirus, it’s not true. This issue is caused solely by Microsoft and a bug in Windows 10.

start-menu-and-cortana-arent-working

Just make sure you are running the latest version of Avast before trying any of the solutions below.

Solution #2.1 – Boot into Windows Safe Mode

If you are lucky the only thing you need to do is boot into Windows Safe Mode and then restart to the regular mode. If you are not sure how to do it, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open Windows Run dialog by simultaneously pressing Windows key on your keyboard and ‘R’
  2. Enter ‘msconfig’ into Windows Run dialog and confirm
  3. System Configuration dialog will open. Go to ‘Boot’ and tick the option ‘Safe boot’
  4. Confirm and restart you computer
  5. Once you are in the Safe Mode just restart again into regular mode and the critical error with Start menu and Cortana should be gone

Alternatively you can boot into Safe Mode using the Advanced start-up:

  1. Go to Power in the Windows Start menu, hold ‘Shift’ and click on ‘Restart’. This also works on the Sign-in window
  2. Your computer should reboot and display a Recovery options. Go to ‘Troubleshoot’ » ‘Advanced options’ » ‘Startup Settings’ » ‘Restart’
  3. Windows will reboot and the Startup Settings should display. Select Safe Mode by pressing F4 key on your keyboard
  4. Once you are in the Safe Mode just restart again into regular mode and the critical error with Start menu and Cortana should be gone

Solution #2.2 – Add new user account to Windows

Another solution which helped some users is creating a new local user account in Windows. If you are not sure how to do it, follow the instructions below:

  1. Right-click on the Start menu icon and select ‘Command Prompt (Admin)’
  2. Enter ‘net user [username] [password] /add’ where username and password is the name and password of the new account. For example ‘net user Paul P4ssw0rd! /add’

Alternatively you can create a new user from the Control Panel:

  1. Open Windows Run dialog by simultaneously pressing Windows key on your keyboard and ‘R’
  2. Enter ‘control userpasswords2’ into Windows Run dialog and confirm
  3. User Accounts window will open. Click on ‘Add…’
  4. Sign-in window will open. Click on ‘Sign in without a Microsoft account’ at the bottom of the screen
  5. Add a user window will open. Click on ‘Local account’ at the bottom of the screen
  6. Enter the user details for the new account, click on ‘Next’ and ‘Finish’

Solution #2.3 – Run the System File Checker tool to repair corrupted system files

You can try to repair the corrupted or missing system files using the Windows tool called System File Checker or SFC. It’s quite simple and apparently worked for lots of users:

  1. Right-click on the Start menu icon and select ‘Command Prompt (Admin)’
  2. Type down ‘sfc /scannow’ and hit ‘Enter’ and wait after it finishes
  3. Restart your computer the Start menu and Cortana should be working again

Issue #3 – Avast SecureDNS can’t run on this network

Recently many of the Avast users have reported the issue with Avast SecureDNS on the official forum. SecureDNS is premium feature which protects you from phishing attacks using fake DNS servers. It is available only in the paid products Avast Pro Antivirus, Avast Internet Security and Avast Premier.

When this issue happens Avast will display a message ‘SecureDNS can’t run on this network’ in the status monitor. Although it will stay in the ‘green’ state like on the screenshot below.

avast-securedns-cant-run-on-this-network

Solution #3.1 – There is no solution at the moment 🙁

So far there is no available solution, but Avast is aware about this issue. Also you don’t need to worry about your security, it doesn’t have any impact on Avast detection.

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.

We have also a similar guide for compatibility issues on Windows 8 / 8.1.

If you are having any different problems with Avast Antivirus and Windows 10, just let us know in the comments below. Same if the described solutions and fixes didn’t work for you.

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

  1. tony Reply

    i cant open avast at all with windows 10 it was ok
    i get a message ul failed to load this is really embarrassing AV service is not responding it then gives me the option of exiting or restarting the service which doesnt work
    last time i used the laptop was the first time this happened and i finally got it going bu uninstalling then reinstalling avast but next time i use it it wont work again, can you help or do i need an alternative antivirus?
    thnks in advance

    • dave Reply

      I had the same problem after reinstalling windows due to the BSOD problem listed above (that seemed to set off a bunch of other problems. My Fix? Uninstall Avast and install AVG.Good riddance- Avast was constantly bugging me and trying to sell me stuff with pop up notifications.

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