New Avast version 2016 R1 SP1 has been released, and you may be wondering how to update your Avast Antivirus. Luckily, you can do the program update completely for free. With some other vendors, you would need to actually pay for the update, but not with Avast.

You can perform the update process using one of these two options:

1. Begin the Program Update Process

If your version is out-dated, or if you aren’t sure, you can easily check to see if there is a newer one available. Open your Avast and go to ‘Settings‘ » ‘Update.‘ In the tab ‘PROGRAM,‘ you can check if your Avast is outdated or not – if so, you will see a message ‘A new version of the program is available!’. To begin the actual update process, simply click on the ‘Update‘ button.

Updating Avast Version 2016 – Starting the Update Process from Program InterfaceUpdating Avast Version 2016 – Starting the Update Process from Program Interface

You can also perform the program update via the system tray. There, you will find the orange Avast icon, right-click on it, select ‘Update,‘ and then ‘Program.

Updating Avast Version 2016 – Starting the Update Process from Windows SystrayUpdating Avast Version 2016 – Starting the Update Process from Windows Systray

Sometimes, Avast will display a yellow pop-up message informing you about the new program version, and a direct ‘Update now‘ button.

Avast 2016 Update Pop-up NotificationAvast 2016 Update Pop-up Notification

2. Select the Update Type

Before the update process starts, you may get asked to select the type of the program update:

  • Essential update – Standard update of the Avast Free Antivirus with no product change
  • Essential update + Internet Security – Update which switches you to Avast Internet Security which you may try free for 20 days

It’s totally up to you which update you pick. However, it may be useful to checkout all the advanced features for secure shopping in Avast Internet Security, for free.

Updating Avast Version 2016 – Selecting Update TypeUpdating Avast Version 2016 – Selecting Update Type

3. Finish the Update Process and Restart Your Computer

Wait until program finishes the update, and after that just restart your computer. You can do it by yourself or by clicking on the button ‘Yes‘ after the program update is downloaded. Do not try to use Avast before you restart your computer.

Updating Avast Version 2016 – Downloading Program UpdateUpdating Avast Version 2016 – Downloading Program Update

Updating Avast Version 2016 – Restarting ComputerUpdating Avast Version 2016 – Restarting Computer

4. Complete the Update Process

After you restart the computer, following post-update screen will appear. It usually contains some additional offers for Avast products like Avast Cleanup and more information about the applied program update. To close this screen and start using Avast antivirus just click on the orange ‘Continue‘ button.

Completing Avast 2016 Update – Post-Update ScreenCompleting Avast 2016 Update – Post-Update Screen

5. Enjoy Peace of Mind with the Latest Version

That’s it, now you should be running on the latest version. You can check that by going to ‘Settings‘ » ‘Update,‘ where you shouldn’t see any message about new versions available, though you will always see the ‘Update‘ button.

Update of Avast Version 2016 Finished – No Newer Version is AvailableUpdate of Avast Version 2016 Finished – No Newer Version is Available

Free Download of Previous/Older Version of Avast

If for any reason you would like to go back to your previous version, you need to uninstall the program, get the installer for the previous version, and install Avast again. Getting the installer for your previous version may be quite hard as Avast officially offers only the latest version for download.

However, you can still find older versions on some servers like FileHippo (see right column called “Old Versions”). Older Avast version are still receiving the virus definitions updates, same as the latest one.

Here are the free download links for the popular older versions which are still working

Avast Program Update Release History

Cover every Avast program update which has been released would take many pages. But if you want to check it, you can find it on the official Avast forum. You will find there release dates and changes from 2012 (version 7) to the actual one.

The Difference Between Update and Upgrade Explained

Some users are confused with the terms update vs. upgrade. So here is the difference:

  • Update – Means actualization to the latest version of the same product. In the case of Avast products, it’s completely free.
  • Upgrade – Means migration to a better product from the same vendor. Obviously, upgrades are paid.

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 (including Anniversary Update).

Looking for information how to update Avast virus definitions (VPS) manually/offline? Check out our how-to guide on Avast virus definitions update – How to Manually/Offline Update Avast Virus Definitions (VPS) for Free.

If you’re looking for a guide on updating Avast older versions check the links below:

Written by Paul B. | Team

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. Wasyhun Bezabh Reply

    You are very organized.
    Every thing is simple to follow and practical.

    I admire it.

  2. justice Reply

    I am having difficulties updating my out-of-date free antivirus program. Any help available?

  3. Desmond Martin Reply

    Dear Sir,I have Windows 10 .And this what comes up for Avast , this app can’t run on this pc. The following programs are,
    Avast premier antivirus set up on line
    Avast antivirus installer .
    Avast free safe zone browser.
    The programs come into the pc but wont run, or start , help thanks.

  4. J Mangan Reply

    Using Avast Free version.

    Whenever I try to update my virus definitions or program, activity stops at “step 1/3” and nothing further happens. I’m not sure whether virus defs were updated or not, and the only thing I can do is hit the ‘X’ at top right to exit the panel.

    Same thing with updating the program – nothing is happening. Can anyone help?


  5. Biraue Neenalebari Togo Reply

    It is becoming difficult to update avast now. The producer have so made it stringent to update the product. On my pc, I could hardly update.

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