Once in a while, you’ll probably need to turn off your Avast Antivirus, or just pause some of its shields. Usually, because you want to install some other party security software like a firewall, or because Avast is blocking your favorite website or application.

OUR TIP If you want to disable Avast because it’s blocking program or website you trust, we suggest using the Avast Exceptions/White-list instead.

Here’s the quick step-by-step guide on how to turn off/disable Avast 2019 – completely or temporarily. Steps are applicable to all Avast antivirus products (Free Antivirus, Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, or Avast Premier).

Quick Summary

  1. Right-click on the Avast orange icon in the Windows system tray
  2. Select Avast shields control and select for how long you want to disable it
  3. Confirm by clicking Yes on the dialog

Read more detailed steps and other options including screenshots below

1. Turn Off/Disable Avast Completely (All Shields)

Turning off all Avast shields basically means completely turning off the whole Avast Antivirus active protection. So be sure you know what you’re doing, although it’s actually quite simple.

Step #1 – Just navigate to the Windows taskbar and find the orange Avast icon. By default it is hidden in some Windows systems, so click on the top arrow if you don’t see it. Once you find the icon, perform a right-click on it, look for the option ‘Avast shields control‘, and select one of the options there – disable for a) 10 minutes; b) 1 hour; c) until computer restart; d) permanently.

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2019 Completely via Windows System Tray

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2019 Completely via Windows System Tray

Step #2 – Whatever option you will choose, Avast will ask you for a confirmation, which you have to confirm by selecting ‘Yes‘. And that’s it, Avast and all its shields should be disabled/paused for whatever time period you have selected.

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2019 Completely – Action Confirmation

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2019 Completely – Action Confirmation

Step #3 – If you want to make sure Avast is really disabled, just open its main window. It should be red and saying ‘All antivirus shields are off‘. To re-enable it again, click on the green button ‘RESOLVE‘, and it should turn green with the message ‘You’re protected‘.

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2019 Completely – User Interface

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2019 Completely – User Interface

2. Turn Off/Disable Avast Temporarily (Specific Shield(s))

Besides turning off all shields at once, Avast also offers an option to temporarily turn off/pause any specific shield. Again, be sure you know what and why you’re doing it.

Step #1 – If so, then open the main Avast user interface, and go to Protection » Core Shields. Alternatively, you can go to Settings (in the bottom left corner in the main Avast interface) » ‘Components’ (or ‘Active Protection‘ in the older version). There you will see all Avast shields (File System Shield, Behavior ShieldMail Shield, Web Shield) listed.

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2019 Specific Shields – Shields Overview

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2019 Specific Shields – Shields Overview

Just find the one you want to disable and click on the switcher. Once you click on it, you will see four options – stop the shield for a) 10 minutes; b) 1 hour; c) until computer restart; d) permanently. Just select the period you want and click on it.

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2019 Specific Shields

Disabling Avast Antivirus 2019 Specific Shields

Step #2 – If the shield has been successfully disabled, you should see the switch change to ‘OFF‘ and the main window should be yellow with the message ‘File Shield is now off‘. To re-enable it again, simply click on the green ‘Turn on‘ button, and it should turn green with the message ‘You’re protected‘.

Avast Antivirus 2019 File Shield Turned Off

Avast Antivirus 2019 File Shield Turned Off

3. Uninstall Avast Antivirus Completely

If none of these steps solved your problem, then you can consider uninstalling Avast Antivirus completely. Although we strongly discourage it, as Avast is the best free Antivirus available.

If you’re sure you want to do it, follow our step-by-step guide ‘How to Uninstall/Remove Avast Antivirus 2019‘ or download the simple removal tool called Avast Uninstall Utility.

Additional Notes

Although we have used Avast Free Antivirus 2019 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).

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

  1. zlloyd1 Reply

    I have checked in Force Quit, and in the Activity Monitor, but no matter how many time I click to stop this process from running on my laptop, when I try to move it to Trash, I get an error saying that avastcleanup.app cannot be deleted because it is open….
    To explain, I downloaded this security suite because it said ‘Free’ everywhere it was advertised, but instead all it did was spend an hour doing a scan of my computer, just to come back with mr needing to purchase a Premium Account in order to actually clean anything up.
    I have seen this a LOT with online products that claim to be free, all they mean is free to download, and scan, but the ‘Free’ version does not allow fixing the problems found during the scan. Do these people even understand what the word ‘Free’ means?? It means ‘NO CHARGE’, not just waste 30 – 90 minutes doing a scan, and then come back and tell me that I am limited use, and cannot change any of the problems found. So far, the only truly ‘Free’ security application out there, and it is depressing!!

  2. Oliver Reply

    I uninstalled avast but the avast.exe is still there how cani remove it? please help me

  3. Robert Reply

    mIRC Chat software has a problem running on windows 8.1 that Windows defender cures. I add an exception to the process mirc.exe in defender and then mirc writes to files at the normal rate it would have on any other OS. Without this exception it writes to files 10x slower as something is checking every file write. Your software disables windows defender without integrating its existing process exceptions and has no similar service, i tried all exception adds your free version offered, so this cure that only 8.1 needs has no equivalent in your software. Additionally, you have no off button, which is very rude! Only a disable, with no ability to return to my former setting. So i must uninstall it. I liked your software but without this fix, likely I’ll never be back.

  4. Naitala Reply

    Hey , whenever i try to disable avast free antivirus it is usually asking for the password and my version is 11.1.2253…..and typed in the password that i used to create an account but it says wrong password….

    please help me out

  5. John Toolan Reply

    I would like to turn off “You are at risk” alert when the automatic updates are turned off or when the silent gaming control is turned on.

  6. John Reply

    This did not work. Even with avast ‘turned off’, it still insists that a particular website (www.youraccessone.com by First Data) is bad and will not let me proceed. I guess the only solution I have, since I have to have access, is to uninstall avast.

  7. Sally Reply

    I don’t get any option referring to “Shields” when I right-click.

  8. Pissed Reply

    I’m on a Mac and can’t get it to temporarily disable so I can finally install some updates to my fav apps. But nope, strange error comes up when I enter my mac’s password.

    WTF? Maybe Avast IS a Virus

  9. Ricky Reply

    Simply doesn’t work. It SHOULD work, yes! But it doesn’t. Even with all shields totally disabled, Avast STILL deletes a perfectly safe .exe file that I am trying to install. This is MY PC, when I disable a shield I expect it to be disabled! Are you listening Avast???

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