Beginners Setup Guide for Avast! Free AntiVirus – Full
Configuring Avast! Free AntiVirus
So you’ve installed Avast! Free AntiVirus based on our recommendation (found here and if you haven’t, you MUST!), and you’re ready to get setup and start utilizing it to protect your PC. Follow this guide to make sure you’ve registered your software (free), set up automated scans, etc.
We’ll cover these in 4 Easy Sections:
1. Register the software.
2. Setup automated virus scans.
3. Run a high level scan.
4. Run a low level scan.
First thing you should do after installing Avast! Free Antivirus is to register the product. You receive 30 days of using the product before it starts nagging you to register. Good thing you can still choose the free version, register it, and get rid of the nagging messages!
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1. Register the Software
Open Avast! Free Antivirus, either from the Start menu, desktop shortcut or from the Task Bar (down on the bottom right near the Time).
Once you open the program, there will be an option to Register at the top, selecting that option will pull up this screen, choose the gray Select button under the Standard Protection column on the left.
Next, you will be prompted with a choice to register via your Facebook account or by an email address. I would suggest using an email address. They don’t need access to your Facebook information (personal info, friend lists, etc). I prefer to keep access to that to a minimum. With an email, they only get the first/last name you enter, and your email address.
Enter your First & Last Name in the appropriate boxes, and then your email address, like it is shown below. Then select the green Register with Email Address button at the bottom. Note: a confirmation email WILL be sent to your email address, so keep an eye out for it and make sure to use a valid email address and not a fake one.
The next screen will attempt to get you to use the full version for a trial. I prefer NOT to do this, as after the trial is up, you’ll get nagged to upgrade, and have to remember. So I would suggest choosing the small Stay with Basic Protection link BELOW the big green button.
After that, you’ll be brought back to the main Avast! Free Antivirus screen. Notice it has your email address noted at the upper right corner.
Don’t forget to check your email. You will be required to confirm your account by clicking on a link within the confirmation email from Avast!
2. Setup Scheduled Scans
After you have registered the product, you’ll want to setup the program to automatically scan your PC on a periodic basis. I would recommend a daily scan (or at the very minimum, weekly). You can set it to automatically fix issues that are found as well. Below, we’ll walk you through setting up your scheduled/automated scans.
First, from the Settings menu, choose the Scan and then Scan for viruses option on the menu.
Then locate the Create Custom Scan option at the bottom right corner of the screen and click on it.
Now, let’s begin filling out the details. In the Scan Name box, enter a name to identify this scan as. Since I’m going to do a Daily scan, I’m going to name it accordingly. Then enter a comment if you’d like, as I did in the example below. Then locate the Scan All Files checkbox, and select it.
Next, click on the Actions menu item on the left of the screen. This will allow us to set up the scan to automatically attempt to fix the viruses it may find. Make sure the Automatically apply actions during scan option is selected, and then choose the Virus tab. Under that tab, select the first dropdown box and choose Fix Automatically. Locate the Options section below, and make sure the box labeled If necessary, perform the selected action at the next system restart, and make sure it is selected.
Now, choose the Scheduling tab on the left menu. This will allow us to tell the system how often we want this to run. Since we’re doing a daily scan in this example, we will make sure the Schedule this scan box is enabled, and next to the Schedule Type box we will select Daily from the drop down list. I also suggest (if using a laptop) you choose the Do not start the scan if running on batteries and Pause the scan if batteries mode begins options. As a scan will drain your battery faster. Do make sure you always choose Wake up the system to start the scan (if in sleep mode) option is always enabled. Then, select a time of day your computer is normally ON, as well as when you might be using it least, and enter that in the Launch Time field using a 24hr/Military time format. Once complete, choose the OK button located at the bottom of the screen to save all the settings.
Now you should see the Daily Scan showing on the Scan page, as shown below. If you need to modify anything, choose the Settings… option to the right of the Daily Scan.
If you’d like to run the scan now, make sure Daily Scan is selected in the drop-down box next to the Start button, and then click on Start. Note: If you do this, you can skip the Step 3: High Level Scan for Viruses section below, as you just started a high level scan.
3. High Level Scan for Viruses
Once you have your scheduled scans setup, you’ll want to scan your PC for viruses. You can either run the Daily Scan you created above in step 2, or Avast’s Smart Scan (which is faster, but not as thorough). To run the Daily Scan you created, just got to Scan > Scan for Viruses (same place as in step 2), choose your scan from the dropdown and hit the start button. To run Avast’s Smart Scan, you simply need to:
First, select the Scan menu on the left-hand side of the Settings screen. Then choose the Smart Scan option.
This will automatically launch you into the scanning routine. No extra steps necessary.
Once completed, and no viruses are found, you’ll see the following screen indicating the scan is complete:
4. Low Level Scan for Viruses
If the high level scan found some viruses, or you just want to be precautionary, you can run a low level virus scan. This is a very deep, thorough scan. You can set Avast! Free AntiVirus to do a “Bootscan” the next time your system is restarted.
First, select the Scan menu on the left-hand side of the Settings screen. Then choose the Scan for Viruses option.
Next, from the Scan screen, locate the scan type drop down menu in the upper left. Select the little down arrow to show the list of choices and choose the Boot-time Scan option.
Then select the blue Start button to the left. This will schedule the boot time scan to automatically run after your next restart.
After you press the Start button, Avast! will instantly ask if you want to restart now. It is up to you if you want to run the scan now (choose Yes to the prompt) or run it next time you reboot (choose No to the prompt).
When you do end up running the boot-time scan, the scan will be performed before Windows even opens. So it will be in a DOS (black screen, all white text) type mode. If it finds something you will be prompted to select an option to fix it by pressing that key on your keyboard. Once the scan is complete it will load you up into Windows like normal.
This concludes the setup section for Avast! Free AntiVirus. You’re now on your way to protecting and automatically fixing issues, and hopefully save you some time and money by not having to call your local tech friend to help fix your PC!
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