Although Avast antivirus is one of the lightest on system resources which was confirmed in various independent tests, you can make it even more faster by adjusting a few settings. Some users also reported Avast is actually slowing down their computer or Internet connection. This guide will tell you how to increase/boost your system (Windows) performance and startup time with Avast antivirus 2017 installed.

These simple tips will decrease the boot-time and increase the performance of your computer running on Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista and XP. No matter what Avast solution you are using (Free Antivirus, Pro Antivirus, Internet Security or Premier).

1. Improve Your Computer Startup (Boot) Time by Loading Avast After Windows Services

This is a perfect solution if your computer (Windows) is starting very slow. By loading Avast services after system services you will basically turn on Avast after everything else in Windows is loaded. That will speed-up the Windows boot time but on the other hand there are also security risks because your system won’t be fully protected for a few seconds.

1.1 If you still want to try this just open your main interface and go to settings (last item in the left menu). Find menu item ‘Troubleshooting‘ and there is an option ‘Load Avast services only after loading other system services‘. By default it’s un-checked, so you have to just check it.

Speeding-up Computer Startup with Avast 2017 – Loading Avast After System Services

Speeding-up Computer Startup with Avast 2017 – Loading Avast After System Services

1.2 We suggest to test if this change got any notable impact on your computer boot time. If not, it’s better and more secure, to leave this option un-checked. Interesting is that this change doesn’t affect the protection status as the one below (you will still have a green one). But it’s definitely more dangerous in terms of security.

2. Improve Performance of Your Computer by Postponing Background Updates

Most of the Avast users know this story. When you need to turn on your computer and want to just quickly check something online. But what happens, Avast antivirus starts downloading the latest virus database update on background and everything seems to take ‘ages’. This can also happen when you are playing your favorite game and every FPS (frame per second) counts. Luckily there is a simple way how to disable these ‘startup’ updates and increase the performance of your computer after startup.

2.1 Open the main program interface and go to settings (last item in the left menu). There look for section ‘Update‘ and expand ‘Settings‘ in ‘VIRUS DEFINITIONS‘ tab. There are settings of how would you like your Avast to download the virus definitions – a) automatically; b) ask when available; c) manually.

Speeding-up Windows Start-up with Avast 2017 – Disabling Automatic Virus Definitions Update

Speeding-up Windows Start-up with Avast 2017 – Disabling Automatic Virus Definitions Update

2.2 By default option a) is selected which is causing the inconvenient background updates. So we suggest to choose option b) and have full control over when the update will be downloaded. You can keep streaming updates enabled, as they are very small and doesn’t slow your computer at all.

Every time the new virus definitions update will be available, you will get a following pop-up notification. To update the database simply click on ‘Update now‘. We definitely recommend to update your virus definitions as soon as possible.

Speeding-up Windows Start-up with Avast 2015 – New Virus Definitions Available Pop-up

2.3 However you have to note there is a low security risk related to this as you won’t always have the latest virus definitions in your Avast antivirus. Also it will change the green background on the main window to the yellow one as shown on the image below. Now your computer should run much faster after start-up. To turn on automatic updated simply click on ‘Turn on‘.

2.4 If you don’t like the ‘ATTENTION’ message on yellow background, you can adjust the settings and make it ‘YOU ARE PROTECTED’ again. Even if you have automatic virus definitions updates turned off and/or outdated virus definitions. Simply click on ‘IGNORE’ below the warning message and you shouldn’t see it again.

3. Other Performance and Speed Up Tips

3.1 Opt-out from Avast community and data sharing by going to settings » ‘General‘ » ‘Privacy‘ » un-check ‘Participate in the Avast community‘ and ‘Participate in data sharing‘. This means Avast won’t collect any data or information about your online behavior.

3.2 If you are not using any desktop e-mail client like Outlook or Thunderbird, feel free to disable the Mail Shield completely as it doesn’t work with online mails like Gmail or Yahoo!. Go to settings » ‘Components‘ » switch Mail Shield to ‘OFF‘ state by click on the switch and selecting ‘Stop permanently‘. Alternatively you can remove the whole Mail Shiled component from your computer (see 3.5).

3.3 Disable Software Update, Browser Cleanup and Cleanup background scans and pop-ups by going to settings » ‘Components’ » ‘Customize‘ and un-check ‘Enable Software Updater‘ for Software Update; ‘Check my browsers regularly for toolbars with bad user rating‘ for Browser Cleanup; ‘Always test this computer for performance issues‘ for Cleanup.

3.4 Disable Remote Assistance, unless you are regularly using it of course. Go to settings » Tools‘ » and change the switch for Remote Assistance to ‘OFF‘ state. Then go to ‘Troubleshooting‘ » and un-check ‘Allow remote control of this computer‘.

Removing Unused Avast 2017 Components and Tools to Increase Computer Performance and Speed Up

Removing Unused Avast 2017 Components and Tools to Increase Computer Performance and Speed Up

3.5 Remove any Avast tool/component you are not using. Go to Programs in Windows » Uninstall or change programs » select Avast and click on ‘Change‘. Once the Avast setup window will appear click on ‘Change‘ and un-check component you would like to remove. If you are looking for the pure Avast antivirus protection, you can basically deselect everything besides the shields and even a Mail Shield if you are not using desktop e-mail client.

3.6 Invest $20 a year and buy Avast Cleanup. Our last tip is actually not free, but we still believe it’s worthy. Avast Cleanup is the PC optimization and speed up tool which will keep your computer in a great shape by optimizing the system settings, cleaning the useless file and apps, and fixing registry issues.

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).

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

  1. Mark H. Reply

    I installed the latest version of Avast free edition about May 2017 on a Win 7 laptop purchased in 2010, 4 GB RAM, 2.13 Ghz. It’s an older PC but had run well enough with previous versions of Avast for many years.

    After the May 2017 upgrade, my PC slowed to a painful crawl. I’m talking circa 1988 Atari performance at the worst. CPU usage often close to 100% (didn’t happen before).

    Not wishing to get a new laptop, I did all the typical performance enhancing tricks. Finally, I decided to uninstall Avast and install AVG. WOW! What an incredible difference. The PC was faster than it’s ever been. At the same time, I deleted Malwarebytes and installed SpyBot.

    All was good — until I was stricken by a virus or malware. Horrifyingly, it had gained access to an email account and emailed business clients spam under my name (not my actual email account, by my name on an account at “servants of jesus dot org.”

    I immediately went back to Avast and Malwarebytes, along with changing passwords, doing some Microsoft updates, etc.

    Now, my computer is once again ridiculously sluggish. At the worst, it won’t even log all stroke on a keyboard sotypg asntnce cn lk ike his. Again, everything was fine performance-wise until the latest Avast version.

    If anyone has any tips, I’ve love to hear them. BTW I have free Avast on a Win 10 laptop with no problems whatsoever.

  2. Keith T Reply

    I just install the latest avast and it’s really slowed down my internet like crazy!

  3. marija christofer Reply

    The situation could be frustrating and can go a long way to slowing down your system’s speed. What do you do at this time? There is need to delete those unnecessary files.

  4. marija christofer Reply

    The situation could be frustrating and can go a long way to slowing down your system’s

    speed. What do you do at this time? There is need to delete those unnecessary files.

  5. Randy Reply

    How do you speedup boot time scan? It is way to slow and seems to choke. This is in Avast Premier 2016.

  6. mayman Reply

    looks like everything is about speed. If run fast, you can be hit hard against a sudden wall

  7. Charlie Reply

    Thank you. One of my only objections to Avast with Cleanup since going from Win 7 to Win 10 was how much it slowed my startup. I used your suggestions and it helped. Still not as fast as Defender was but I have much better protection.

  8. Santosh Reply

    Hi.
    I have just formatted my entire computer and i have freshly installed windows 7.
    Like always, i install avast version 6 or 7 (1 of these 2) which is pretty old.
    And then i update the virus definitions.
    This was, the application does not slow down my computer. At the same time i am fully protected.

    What do u say?

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