Secret tips for Avast Free

Make pop-up notifications less annoying

Avast ( is our favourite free antivirus (See our cover feature, Issue 415) but every time you launch it, a pop-up will ask you to upgrade to the paid-for version. You can adjust the duration of this pop-up by changing Avast’s settings. Click Settings, Appearance and scroll down to Sounds.
Untick the box next to ‘Enable avast! sounds’ then scroll down to pop-ups.
Under ‘Info popups’, change ‘Duration in seconds’ from 20 to 1. This will ensure the pop-up will only be open on your screen for a second. Next, scroll down ev en further to Community Features and untick ‘Show avast! recommendation features’ and ‘Show social networking features’. This will disable most messages from Avast asking whether you want to upgrade to its paid version.

Boot Windows from a CD or USB stick

Avast lets you create a Rescue Disk so you can boot your PC from a CD or USB stick.
This is useful when things go horribly wrong and your PC fails to boot. To do this, click Tools, Rescue Disk, then insert a CD or connect an empty USB stick with a minimum capacity of 500MB. We recommend using a USB stick as it makes the process easier . With the USB stick inserted, click USB next to ‘Create on ’, select the USB stick you want to install the Rescue Disk on and click ‘Install on USB’. This process may take some time, depending on the speed of your internet connection and computer . For instructions on how to boot your computer from a disc or USB stick, visit

Keep all your software up to date

Ensuring all the programs on your computer are bang up to date can be a nightmare. One great feature hidden away in Avast lets you spot out-of-date software and update it from legitimate sources. Click Tools, Software Updater and you’ll see a list of the software you need to update. Click the grey Update button to the right of any entry you want to update and follow the instructions.

Get extra protection for inexperienced

PC users If you have a friend or family member who is a novice when it comes to computers, then Hardened Mode in Avast will ensure they sta y full y protected when they’re online. This mode works by blocking an y files from running unless they’re on a special Avast whit elist of safe software vetted by the compan y and its users, or are otherwise trusted as being safe. This mode also blocks unsafe internet downloads and will prev ent the user from accessing dangerous programs.
To enable Hardened Mode in Avast 2014, click Settings, Antivirus and tick the box next to ‘Enable Hardened mode’. Select Aggressive then click OK
Limit pop-ups, keep software updated and give help remotely.

Use Remote Assistance to get help

If you’ve got a PC problem you can ’t solve – or a friend or family member needs help with their computer – then use a hidden feature in Avast to receive or provide help. Both computers will need Avast installed for this to work. Click Help , then Remote Assistance. If you’re helping someone else with their computer , ask them to click Get Assistance and give you the code that appears.
Type this code in the box and click Connect. If you’re the person needing help, get the code and tell the other person what it is. Whichever person is providing the technical assistance will be able to see and control the other user’s PC.
Provide or receive PC help using Avast’s Remote Assistance tool.

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