In a very rare cases, Avast may detect and block some programs or website pages as a virus, although you know for sure it’s safe. These wrong detection are called false-positives. If such false-positive detection prevails after the virus definitions update, you may want to exclude the detected software or website from the Avast scan.

This is a perfect fix when Avast is blocking one of your favorite programs, but you still want to run/allow it. In the past Avast was blocking some of the most popular software (Steam for example) for a short period of time. To be fair false-positive detection happens basically to every antivirus on the market, it’s not just Avast.

Anyway we strongly recommend to scan the file/webpage also through some other virus engines to make sure it’s really clean. For this you can use a free online scanner VirusTotal. Sometimes you may think the file/URL are safe but they are actually infected and it’s not just Avast which is detecting them.

In this guide you will learn how, but we strongly suggest using exclusions only when you’re an advanced user. There are three basic types of exclusions/exceptions in the Avast Antivirus 2016:

  • Global exclusion list of the folder/file/program/application from being scanned at all
  • Global exclusion list of the website/URL from being scanned at all
  • Exclusions in the specific shield (File System Shield, Mail Shield, or Web Shield)

Global Whitelist – Exclude Specific Folder/File/Program/Application from All Avast Scans

If you want to add the exception for the specific website, domain, or URL from being scanned by Avast, follow these steps. This is so-called Global Whitelist or Exclusion List.

  1. Open the Avast user interface and go to ‘Settings‘ » ‘General
  2. Find the tab ‘EXCLUSIONS‘ and add specific programs to the ‘File paths‘ tab
  3. Added applications and/or paths will now be excluded from any Avast scanning

Adding File/Folder/Program Exception into Avast 2015Adding File/Folder/Program Exception into Avast 2015

On the screenshot above you can see that application ‘FileZilla FTP Client‘ and ‘DAEMON Tools Lite‘ are excluded. Such exceptions also apply to all sub-folders on these folders as we have used ‘/*’ in the path.

Global Whitelist – Exclude Specific Website/URL from All Avast Scans

If you want to add the exception for the specific Avast shield, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Avast user interface and go to ‘Settings‘ » ‘General
  2. Find the tab ‘EXCLUSIONS‘ and add specific websites or URLs in the ‘Urls‘ tab. Please note ‘http://’ will be added automatically, so if you want to exclude Yahoo, just type yahoo.com. Please note you need to differentiate between ‘http://’ and ‘https://’
  3. Added websites/URLs will now be excluded from any Avast scanning

Adding Website/Domain/URL Exception into Avast 2015Adding Website/Domain/URL Exception into Avast 2015

On the screenshot above you can see that URLs ‘http://www.yahoo.com‘ and ‘https://www.yahoo.com‘ are excluded. Such exception also applies to all pages on these domains as we have used ‘/*’ in the path.

Add Exception for Specific Avast Antivirus Shield (File System Shield, Mail Shield, or Web Shield)

If you want to add the exception for the specific Avast shield, follow the steps further.

  1. Open the Avast user interface and go to ‘Settings‘ » ‘Active Protection
  2. Select the shield (File System, Mail, or Web) for which you want to add the exception, and click on ‘Customize’ link
  3. Find the menu item ‘Exclusions‘ and add item you want to exclude from scanning by the specific Avast shield. You can also specify when the exclusion applies (for reading, writing, or executing)
  4. Please note that global exclusions are always applied although they aren’t listed in the specific shield. Also please note lot of items are listed there by default

Adding Specific Shield (File System, Mail, or Web) Exception into Avast 2015Adding Specific Shield (File System, Mail, or Web) Exception into Avast 2015

On the screenshot above, you can see many items are excluded from the File System Shield scan by default. We haven’t added any of them.

[IMPORTANT] Restart All Avast Shields to Make Exclusion Work

After you successfully add the file or webpage to exclusions you need to actually restart all Avast shields to make it work. Otherwise Avast will keep detecting and blocking it as threat.

  1. Find Avast icon in the Windows system tray (click on the top arrow)
  2. Go to ‘Avast shields control‘ » ‘Disable for 10 minutes‘ » confirm
  3. Go again back to ‘Avast shields control‘ » ‘Enable all shields

Restarting All Avast Shields From the Windows System TrayRestarting All Avast Shields From the Windows System Tray

Now Avast should stop detecting the added files/URLs in the exclusions. You can also simply just restart your Windows.

Report a False Positive Detection to Avast

We also strongly suggest to report the detection you believe is a false positive directly to Avast team. They will look into it and eventually confirm the reported file, software, or website is clean.

Link to report is included on every in-product pop-up displayed when the harmful webpage or file is blocked. Just click on ‘Report the file as a false positive‘.

Avast Web Shield Has Blocked a Harmful Webpage or File Pop-upAvast Web Shield Has Blocked a Harmful Webpage or File Pop-up

Then you need to fill-in following simple form. In the additional info you can add a link from VirusTotal scan. Don’t forget to check the option ‘I know what I’m doing‘ and click on ‘Submit‘.

Avast In-product Form for Reporting False Positive Detection of Files or WebsitesAvast In-product Form for Reporting False Positive Detection of Files or Websites

Alternatively you can use the official web form for reporting false positive detection.

Official Avast Web Form for Reporting False Positive Detection of Files or WebsitesOfficial Avast Web Form for Reporting False Positive Detection of Files or Websites

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.

Managing exceptions or 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 74 comments | Did we miss anything? Just let us know in the comments!

  1. Brent Snyder Reply

    Avast does not seem to rememember exceptions after a period of days. not sure if its after an avast update or what. My global exception for a folder just disspears.

  2. NotAnUserAnymore Reply

    This piece of crap AV ignores exceptions everywhere. uninstalled and using another one, good ridance.

  3. Jack Reply

    It doesn’t work. IT DOESN’T FREAKING WORK.I’ve Tried to add my Live2D Viewer program to the whitelist for DAYS. And no matter how many times I’ve listed it, no matter how many times I’ve managed to install it, that god damned “Threat Blocked” pop-up comes up and deletes my viewer. I’m a graphic designer, this program is fucking Important to me. AND I CAN’T EVEN FUCKING USE IT.

    Pardon my french, but I’m honestly desperate right now.

  4. Anne Reply

    I have had “D:\Program Files\ShowingDesk Web Edition\ShowingTime.DeskWE.Client.exe” on my computer for a long time that worked like a charm until I installed avast. I went through all the exclusions and it still won’t work.

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