Was an antivirus program one of the first applications you installed on your new computer? There is a wide range of free and paid security programs available on the Internet. Avast Free Antivirus is preferred by many. Avast protects your computer from any malicious attacks and safeguards your personal info. The paid version dials the security up a notch and includes additional features to scan the websites you visit and the emails sent to you.
Windows Defender is the built-in security program in the newer versions of Window. It has proven to be quite sufficient for most users, and has prompted them to uninstall other third-party security programs. Removing third-party antivirus programs is not that simple. Most security programs include features like Self-Defense to prevent malicious applications from removing them without alerting the user. Unfortunately, this means that users cannot get rid of the application by just uninstalling via Windows Settings or Programs and Features. Instead, they will need to perform a few additional steps before (or after) to thoroughly cleanse their computer of the antivirus and the associated files. In the case of Avast, if you do not properly uninstall it, you might continue to receive those irritating pop-ups requesting to update and, sometimes, threat alerts.
In this blog, you will find five different methods to completely uninstall Avast Free Antivirus from your Windows 10 computer.
Ways to remove Avast Antivirus
Now, if you have already uninstalled Avast and are looking for ways to remove its residual files, skip to method 3, 4, and 5. Or, follow methods 1 or 2 to start executing the correct removal procedure for Avast.
Method 1: Disable Avast Self-Defense and Uninstall Avast
If malware tries to uninstall Avast, the Self-Defense module displays a pop-up notifying the user that an uninstall attempt has been made. The uninstallation process will only start if the user clicks on the Yes button. To get rid of Avast altogether, you need to disable Self-Defense in Avast settings, and then proceed to uninstallation.
- Double-click on Avast’s shortcut icon on your desktop to open it. Or search for Avast in the start search bar (Windows key + S) and click on Open.
- When the application interface opens up, click on the hamburger icon (three horizontal dashes) present at the top-right corner, from the menu that slides in, select Settings.
- In the following Settings window, switch to the General tab using the left navigation menu, and then click on Troubleshooting.
- Finally, disable Self-Defense by unticking the box next to ‘Enable Self-Defense’.
- A pop-up message alerting you of an attempt to disable Self-Defense will appear. Click on Ok to confirm the action.
- Now that we have turned off the Self-Defense module, we can move forward to uninstalling Avast itself.
- Press the Windows key and start typing Control Panel, click on Open when search results arrive.
- Click on Programs and Features.
- Locate Avast Free Antivirus in the following window, right-click on it and select Uninstall.
- Avast Antivirus Setup window will appear when you click on Uninstall. The setup window lets you update, repair, or modify the application. An uninstall button can be found at the bottom of the window. Click on it to continue.
- You will again receive a pop-up requesting for confirmation; click on Yes to start the uninstallation process.
- The uninstallation process will take a few minutes to finish. Upon completion, you will receive a confirmation message, ‘The product was successfully uninstalled’ with options to Restart your computer now or later to remove all Avast files.
Restart immediately after uninstalling Avast. But if you are in the middle of some critical work, continuing later does the job.
Method 2: Use Avast’s Uninstall Utility
Avast Clear is an uninstall utility by Avast to remove any of their applications from Windows 10 PC. Sort out any immediate work before using Avast Clear, as it requires you to boot the system in safe mode. While using Avastclear, you might encounter a pop-up ‘Self-Defense module is preventing uninstallation’. Follow steps 1 through 5 of the above method to disable the Self-Defense module and complete uninstallation.
- Head over to Uninstall Utility for Avast Removal and click on the avastcleaner.exe hyperlink to download the tool.
- Open the Downloads folder (or the location where you saved the file), right-click on avastcleaner.exe, and select Run as Administrator.
- Click on Yes in the following User Account Control pop-up to grant the necessary permission.
- You will receive a message recommending you to run the tool in Windows Safe Mode. Click on Yes to boot into Safe Mode.
- Once your computer boots in Safe Mode, find the file again and run it.
- In the following window, click on Change to select the Avast installation folder. The removal tool selects the default installation path automatically. Do you have Avast installed in a custom folder? Navigate to it and select the Avast version you have installed using the drop-down list.
- Finally, click on Uninstall to get rid of Avast and its associated files.
Uninstall Avast Clear after the residual files have been removed and the computer restarts.
Method 3: Remove Avast OS
During uninstallation, Avast Antivirus installs a temporary Avast OS. The OS is installed to support in the deletion of associated files. Once the files are removed, the Avast OS does not uninstall itself. The OS removes the residual Avast files. It gets set as the computer’s default OS. Therefore, it is not automatically removed/deleted. Re-select Windows as the default OS, and then delete Avast OS manually to stop receiving the Avast pop-ups.
- Launch the Run Command box by pressing Windows key + R, type sysdm.cpl, and press enter to open the System Properties window.
- Switch to the Advanced tab and click on the Settings button under the Startup and Recovery section.
- In the following window, ensure the Default operating system is set as Windows 10. If it is not, expand the drop-down list and select Windows 10. Click on OK to exit.
- One can also set Windows as the default operating system from the boot selection menu. Recurrently press Esc or F12 when your computer boots on to access the selection menu.
- Once again, open the Run command box, type msconfig, and press enter.
- Move to the Boot tab of the following System Configuration window.
- Select the Avast Operating System and click on the Delete button. Approve any confirmation messages you might receive.
Method 4: Use a third-party remover software
A few remover tools for Windows are CCleaner and Revo Uninstaller. ESET AV Remover is a remover tool specially designed to remove antivirus programs and can entirely remove every available security program. In this case, use ESET AV Remover to uninstall Avast antivirus in Windows 10 completely.
- Visit Download ESET AV Remover and download the installation file suitable for your system architecture (32 bit or 64 bit).
- Click on the .exe file to launch the installation wizard. To install ESET AV Remover, follow all the on-screen instructions.
- Once installed, open ESET AV Remover and click on Continue followed by Accept to let the application scan your computer for traces of any previously installed antivirus program.
- Select Avast and all related programs from the scan list and click on Remove.
- Click on Remove again in the confirmation/warning pop-up.
Check the Programs and Features list to make sure there are no Avast programs left behind on your PC. You can get rid of ESET AV Remover.
Method 5: Delete all Avast related files manually
None of the aforementioned methods got rid of the Avast pop-ups? It is time to delete all Avast files manually. All antivirus files can only be deleted/removed by a trusted installer.
- Press Windows Key + E to open Windows File Explorer and copy-paste the following location in the address bar.
- Find the files you wish to delete, right-click on one of them, and select Properties.
- Move to the Security tab and click on the Advanced button.
- In the following window, click on the Change hyperlink to set yourself as the owner.
- Set your account or an administrator account as the Owner and click on OK to save & exit. Close all the windows.
- Right-click on the file with the changed properties and select Delete.
For all the files and folders you wish to delete, repeat the aforementioned steps. Some Avast files can be found at %windir%\WinSxS\ and %windir%\WinSxS\Manifests\. Change their ownership as well and delete them. Be cautious of what files you are deleting, as trusted installer files should not be messed with.
You might also want to check the Windows Registry Editor for residual Avast files.
- Type regedit in the Run command box and press enter.
- Copy-paste the below path in the address bar or navigate your way there using the navigation menu on the left.
- Right-click on the Avast Software folder and select Delete.
- Also delete the folder present at Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Avast Software
You need not worry if you are not able to install and uninstall Avast Antivirus; you can get computer services from QuickTech. Our expert computer technician can provide computer support and computer help.
For further enquiries and queries on PC support, you can reach us at 1300 016 017.