This step-by-step manual guide explains how to install Avast Free Antivirus 2018 (version 12) software on all major Windows versions running on your PC or laptop – Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7, Vista and XP (32-bit or 64-bit). It assumes you have the software already downloaded and ready to install on your hard drive or external device like a flash drive. For those who like videos, there is a fantastic commentated ‘Video Manual‘ on this page.

Avast antivirus system requirements are nothing special, and really everyone meets them these days, but if you’re not sure you can check them here.

The whole installation process is really simple and even non technical users will be able to finish. Before you start please make sure you have the administrator access to Windows, without it’s not possible to start the installation process. If you don’t have you need to ask your IT guy to do it for you (it can be also done remotely via TeamViewer for example).

Even though this guide is focused on the Avast Free Antivirus, you may also use it when installing other Avast products like Pro Antivirus, Internet Security or Premier.

1. Run the Avast Setup File (Installer) and Select Installation Type

Locate the installer file called ‘avast_free_antivirus_setup_offline.exe,‘ or ‘avast_free_antivirus_setup_online.exe,‘ on your computer and start the three-step installation. Before the installation wizard is launched you will see a following loading screen for a few seconds:

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 – Loading Installation Wizard

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 – Loading Installation Wizard

If the install wizard is not in your language, you can change it in the top-right corner. Your selected language will also be the one in which you will have the Avast user interface, though you can change the language anytime later in the program settings.
On the first screen you have to choose the type of installation:

  • Regular installation (recommended) – Avast will be installed with the default set of components (including SecureLine VPN, Cleanup, Browser Cleanup, SafeZone Browser, Passwords, and Software Updater).
  • Custom installation (for advanced users) – You can select which components, shields, and languages you want to install. This is useful when you don’t want to install some specific component like SecureLine VPN or Cleanup.

Full list of Avast 2018 components includes (all are installed by default with the regular installation):

  • Security – File Shield, Behavior Shield, Web Shield, Mail Shield, Software Updater, Browser Cleanup, Rescue Disc, Wi-Fi Inspector, SafeZone Browser, Avast Online Security, SafePrice
  • Privacy – SecureLine VPN, Passwords
  • Performance – Cleanup, Game Mode

Unless you are an advanced user, we recommend to go with the regular installation.

At the bottom of the first step, Avast usually offers some additional products like Google Chrome, Dropbox, or Avast Passwords. So be sure to check this option as well and decide whether or not you want that product to be installed.

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 Installation Step 1/3 – Choosing the Type of Installation

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 Installation Step 1/3 – Choosing the Type of Installation

2. Actual Avast Installation Process

During the second step, you actually do not have to do anything. You can just sit and watch the progress bar show Avast being downloaded, creating a system restore point, and the Avast files being copied onto your computer. The installation process will take around 2-3 minutes, depending on your Internet connection, but you can use your computer and do any other activity.

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 Installation Step 2/3 – Actual Installation Process

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 Installation Step 2/3 – Actual Installation Process

3. Avast Installation Finished (Now You Are Protected)

Congratulations, now you should have Avast antivirus 2018 completely installed on your computer. In the last step just click on ‘Continue‘ and finish the installation process.

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 Installation Step 3/3 – Installation Finished

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 Installation Step 3/3 – Installation Finished

4. Read and Accept Avast Privacy Policy

In the next step, you have to accept the Avast Privacy Policy. You may read it in the full version, but in short – AVAST collects information from your computer and may share it with a third party; on the other hand, this information can’t be used for targeting or identifying your person. So really no big deal. If you agree and accept the new EULA, just click on the blue button ‘Continue’.

OUR TIP If you care about your privacy you can opt-out from any data collection by going to Avast settings » ‘Privacy‘ and un-checking options ‘Participate in the Avast community‘ and ‘Participate in data sharing‘.

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 Post Installation – Accepting Privacy Policy

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 Post Installation – Accepting Privacy Policy

5. Review Additional Avast Products

In the last step of the installation process, you can review additional Avast products. Typically the Avast Free Mobile Security for Android. To close the windows click on the link ‘No, I don’t want to protect my Android phone‘.

At this point we strongly recommend to restart computer so Avast is fully integrated and configured for your system.

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 Post Installation – Additional Avast Products (Avast Free Mobile Security)

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 Post Installation – Additional Avast Products (Avast Free Mobile Security)

6. Avast Installation Completed – Register for a Free 1-Year License Key (Activation Code)

Once the installation is complete and system is restarted, we recommend to do a free registration so you can use the product for one year. Check our guide here – ‘Register for Free and Get License Key (Activation Code) for Your Avast Antivirus 2018‘.

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 is Completely Installed and Ready to Use

Avast Free Antivirus 2018 is Completely Installed and Ready to Use

Video Manual – How to Install & Register a Free License for Avast Free Antivirus 2018

Known Avast Installation Errors/Problems

Here we will list all known errors/problems occurring during the Avast installation process and solutions how to fix them. If you are having any troubles with the installation, please let us know in the comments below.

System Requirements for Avast Antivirus 2018 on PC or laptop

  • Operating system Microsoft Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 SP1 or higher / Vista / XP SP2 or higher (any Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Processor Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon 64 or above
  • 256 MB RAM memory or above
  • 1.5 GB of free hard disk space
  • Please note that Avast antivirus 2016 (version 11) won’t work on Microsoft Windows 95 / 98 / ME / 2000 / Server, or any other operating system which isn’t specified above
  • These system requirements are relevant for all Avast core products (Free Antivirus, Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, and Premier)

Additional Notes

Although we have used Avast Free Antivirus 2018 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.

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

  1. Mike Staunton Reply


    I have paid the 1 year fee to get full access to the tools. When I add the license key the ‘Upgrade’ option is still showing as an option and when I run the Performance Cleaner it never completes. Any ideas?

  2. C Reply

    Hi. Thanks for the great site. I just tried to run Avast antivirus installation today and I keep getting an error message. Any advice? I have Windows 10.

  3. James Reply

    Please whenever i try to run the avast on my desktop ..its showing me this


    How can i get this error fix pls


    • Jim Karlson Reply

      Hey, I get the same error message, also running Windows 10 here. Never had a problem with Win7 but just upgraded and very frustrated that I cannot install Avast Free edition on W10 now… please fix!

      • Jim Karlson Reply

        Forgot to mention the error message states “An error occured during setup, you must restart your pc in order to continue setup” ( or something very similar, going from my faulty memory here ). I rebooted many times, always the setup never completes in Windows 10…. argh…

      • Jim Karlson Reply

        Also, I replied to the wrong post here, I meant to reply to “C” who posted on August 28, 2017 above… Avast Free refuses to install on W10 is the issue. Must one have the latest “Creators Update” in order for it to install properly or something??

  4. Michael R Cook Reply

    I have already purchased Avast Premier. One day my Avast Safe Browser icon disappeared, so I removed the program from my computer. Can I reinstall it and not have to pay again?

  5. MH Reply

    Dear Avast, what happened? As of about 2 weeks ago, the speed of all net browsers is horribly low, and I managed to find out that it returns to normal after turning off Avast WWW shield. I’m on Vista SP2.

  6. Steve Felde Reply

    I have downloaded and installed Avast twice today. Both times the Web shield has failed to be on and I cannot move the slide over. How can only one component not work? Looking for answer today or I get my virus protection somewhere else.

  7. Josip Reply

    Love this avast but sometnih is wrong here….it stuck on start,even i lket him work for fwe h it’s the some position.looks like when i put mause on it he is working on but nothing more.

  8. Mona Reply

    Just had to completely reinstall Windows Vista. I tried to download and install Avast for Vista. the installation file progress worked fine until it got to the last 5% remaining and has been hung there for an hour. Of course the panel says not to turn off your computer. Recommendations?

  9. pvs Reply

    dear sir,
    i cant do inserting the license file of avast antivirus which is already installed in my pc.the license file is kept as note pad txt file.when i trying to insert this fie showing invalid.what can i do sir? in which folder i can paste it? can you help me to find the folder in the program file?

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