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. Mr.G Reply

    Periodically Avast gets stuck running disk at 100%, typically after opening up my web browser, or maybe when doing nothing in particular. When this happens, after it becomes obvious it has stalled out, I restart it in Services. Now however Avast can no longer be stopped or restarted in services! Is there another way to pause the service itself, rather than trying to disable components that may not even stop the 100% disk usage?

  2. dave Reply

    Since installing on HP laptop windows 10, i cant even access the laptop anymore..cant do system repair, restore or anything..can’t boot from safe mode..in-fact..the only non acceptable solution so far is a clean install which i refuse to do..so someone needs to provide a solution to this issue.. I had no issues before installation other than laptop running slow which regrettably promoted me to purchase this software in the hope of a promised solution (big mistake). If you can offer a solution, then that would be great..Feel free to personally email me with the solution because the product developers have failed so far..thanks

  3. Bob Reply

    I disable as stated above. Then I start a specific program. Then I start Windows Task Manager. I find that in the processes tab Avast still accesses the processor every few seconds. When I close the program Avast stops accessing the processor. I think Acast is interferring with the program but even with all shields off it keeps doing it.
    For other applications Avast doesn’t behave like this! What’s going on?

  4. Rob Reply

    Have Avast Premier installed on laptop and desktop pc.
    When i right click on the Avast logo on the taskbar on laptop ,it only displays Avast Premier & Unpin from taskbar, no other options,yet on the desktop pc it displays the usual Shield Control,Update,Virus chest,etc. Have tried the Reapir option but no go, do not want the hassle of a re-instal so any quick fixes ?

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