This document should show you how to install the FREE version of Avast and optimally tweak it to give you good protection without annoying popups and interruptions.  (You may get a random popup once a month about upgrading)

Avast is all about encouraging you to buy their products.  So when you upgrade or register avast ignore those offers.  Most of the time choosing the “gray” option is the route to go.  You may have a need for the extra products they are suggesting so take the time to find out what they are and decide if you want to pay for those products.

Note: If you are going to monkey with Avast directly or disable the services directly or from MS Config you must first turn off the “Self-Defense Module” from: “Settings” -> “Trouble Shooting”


This is a direct link to their homepage.
This is the direct link to their download page.
Once the install has started, do the following..

  • Uncheck any items on the intro page that it tries to install with it.
  • Choose Custom install.
  • Where do you want to install avast?
    • Change “C:\Program Files\AVAST Software\Avast” to “C:\Program Files\Avast” because redundancy annoys me.
  • Which components do you want to install (Tools)?
    • Browser Protection (in chrome also see WOT under extensions)
    • Software Updater (My config will turn off prompting for this so you can run it manually if you like)
    • Rescue Disk
    • (Uncheck everything else in this column and leave the other columns the way they are)
  • Once installed reboot if prompted if necessary and wait for the security scan to complete.
  • In the computers notification (system tray where the clock is) expand it out (with the little arrow on the left side) and drag the orange Avast bubble to the open visible notification area so that it is always visible.  (You can alsu use the “Customize” button and set Avast to “Show Icon and notifications”.
  • Import THIS configuration file by downloading it and running/opening it.  (If you get an error then restart the computer and try again)
  • Note: When done be sure to look at the partial list of setting changes I have made for you with the configuration import.
  • Be sure to click the “Register” button on the top.  All you need to supply them with is your eMail address.  And close any resulting dialogs after registering.  A year later you will need to repeat this process.
  • Under “Settings” -> “General” -> “Alerts”: You can configure Avast to eMail you when it detects a problem.  This can be very handy even to just go back and see what it was.  You can also forward to your SMS eMail gateway and get a text on your cellphone.



Some of the settings to note that I have adjusted in the custom configuration…

  • For the most part these settings are designed to make Avast run quit and unobtrusively, unless it finds something wrong.
  • eMail Scanning is problematic at best.  If your servers use Encryption you will have certificate issues.  I turn off the SSL Scanning from: “Settings” -> “Active Protection” -> “SSL scanning”
  • Avast will tagline its self in your eMails.  Turn that off too from: “Settings” -> “Active Protection” -> “Behavior”
  • Boot Time Scan: Defaults to “Move to Chest”
  • Alerts to the user about updates and other background stuff no one cares to know about.
  • Hardened Mode is set to “Aggressive”.  (This means you may have to set exclusions for some files to be allowed to run and DISABLE AVAST WHEN INSTALLING SOFTWARE FOR 10 MINUTES. (Right click on tray icon: Avast Shields Control).
  • Under “Settings” -> “Active Protection”-> “Web Shield / Customize”: HTTPS Scanning is disabled.  This has a habit of breaking some sites without notification or explanation confusing the user but also could open you up to viruses on a hacked secured site.  By default this option is on.
  • Under “Settings” -> “Active Protection”-> “Web Shield / Customize” -> “Exclusions”: There are exclusions for the Desktop Masters Tech Tools Updater app and the desktopmasters website.  You can remove these if you do not plan on using our tools.
  • Under “Settings” -> “Active Protection”-> “File System Shield / Customize” -> “Exclusions”: Two *.exe exclusions as we have some tools the run off the public desktop.  By default we restrict the public desktop to our clients with restricted profiles so this is not much of a threat.  If you need to hard code exclusions for some of your custom apps this is the place to do it.
  • “Tools” -> “Software Updater”: Notifications have been turned off.

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