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 2017:

  • 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 2017

Adding File/Folder/Program Exception into Avast 2017

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 2017

Adding Website/Domain/URL Exception into Avast 2017

On the screenshot above you can see that URLs ‘https://www.gmail.com‘ and ‘http(s)://.gmail.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 2017

Adding Specific Shield (File System, Mail, or Web) Exception into Avast 2017

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 Tray

Restarting 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-up

Avast 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 2017 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).

Managing exceptions or turning off Avast protection may leave your computer at risk.

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

  1. jraju Reply

    Hi, I tried but without success. Is there any missing on my part? Pleases give correct advice how to add urls to website. It is not file path. I also wish to state, that those sites are confirmed false positive. I did not write this fp to avast, as their scan results are correct, but to me, it is false positive. Hope to get reply

  2. jraju Reply

    Hi, Found a site helping avast users . I want to add exceptions to web https sites.
    Is it enough, if i just inpute xx.com,yy.com in the url list in avast general settings to globally exclude those items. Or should i include another http(s)://xx.com and http(s)://xx.com,yy.com separately. Will that work for https: protocal

  3. Helen A Aveling Reply

    These instructions are for PC users, not Mac users. The Mac UI is radically different to the PC – there is no way to do what the article/instructions say.

  4. Kevin Reply

    I’m trying to open “OpenOffice” and I think Avast has blocked it. It was blocking the program under “cybercasper” and I did disable it, turned off shields for 10 min, and restarted the program. Still Open office wont open :/

    Can someone help?

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