Avast has been providing free antivirus for many years and is significantly better at protecting your system than Windows Defender. I’ve used it on my own machines and clients computers without any real issues.
A common problem, or issue, when installing any “free” program or app, is that they’re often loaded with extra “premium” features that you’ll need to pay for.
In this guide to installing Avast One, I’ll guide you through the potential minefield and only install what really is free and that you really need.
Before You Install Avast One.
Before you install any new antivirus program onto your computer, make sure that you’ve removed the old one. You never want to have two AV’s on your computer at the same time.
Open APPS AND FEATURES on your computer and check down the list of installed programs for anything that looks like an antivirus.
If you find one, uninstall it. If you’re not sure, Google the name of it to find out.
If you’re already using the older version of Avast free, then I’d uninstall that as well. Start fresh.
The only exception would be Windows Defender. You will find Defender on your computer, but it’s a part of Windows itself and should be left alone.
Download Avast One Free Antivirus.
Now that you’ve got rid of any old antivirus programs, it’s time to get Avast.
You can use Google to search for Avast Free antivirus, or click the link below.
Click the DOWNLOAD FREE PROTECTION button.
The Avast One setup file will download to your computer. It only takes a few seconds.
In most web browsers, you’ll see the setup file appear in the bottom left corner of your screen. Left-click it once to start the set-up process.
If you’re using Microsoft Edge, you’ll see the set-up file appear in the top right corner. Again, left-click the file to get started.
The User Account Control window will most likely pop up.
Check that it refers to Avast and then click the YES button to proceed.
After allowing the Avast installer to run in the UAC window, you’ll see a series of screens as Avast One downloads and installs itself on your computer.
The only thing you need to do is to click the INSTALL AVAST ONE button and then the DONE button at the end of the process. All the rest is automatic.
After clicking the Done button, the installer will exit and Avast One will launch.
This may take a couple of minutes, so be patient.
When it finally does launch, you’ll need to choose whether you want the Essential (free) protection or upgrade to the Premium (paid for) protection.
Click whichever button is relevant to you.
Run A Smart Scan.
Now Avast One will open properly. From here on I’m going to assume that you went with the Essential (free) option.
Don’t be tempted to skip this step.
Click the RUN SMART SCAN button.
Whenever you install a new antivirus on your computer, it’s always a good idea to let it run through a first scan.
Avast One will then run its first Smart Scan of your computer. The smart Scan will check your computer for viruses and malware (obviously) but it’ll also check your web browser for any unwanted add-ons or extensions.
Avast One Advanced Issues.
When you get to this Advanced Issues page of the smart scan, STOP. This page is a bit of self-promotion for Avast Premium (the paid-for version).
All the Advanced Issues can be resolved by clicking the RESOLVE ALL WITH PREMIUM BUTTON. If you want to stay with the free antivirus protection, click the MAYBE LATER button.
After that, make sure that Avast One is set to scan your computer monthly and then click the DONE button to be returned to Avast One
You’ll see the option to create an account with Avast. The account is free and (assuming you’re staying with free protection) only requires your email address and a password. The choice is yours, so click the NOT NOW button.
Finally, after clicking Not Now, you’ll be given the opportunity to install the Avast Secure Browser. Let me give you a little advice. NO, don’t do it. Click the NOT NOW button.
Avast One Privacy And Data Settings.
Exactly what information Avast collects about its users I really can’t say, but I’m aware that it may be far more than you’d expect. There are reports all over the Internet about it, just try Googling it. How much of what you’ll find is the truth and how much is simply hype and scaremongering, I don’t know.
However, you can at least limit some of the data that they can collect by changing a few settings.
By default, all the options to share data and information with Avast will be pre-selected.
It’s entirely your choice which options you leave (if any) selected.
Installing Avast One Summary
Once you’ve got Avast One free antivirus installed and set up on your computer you’ll start to see the occasional advert for other Avast services and products appear as a pop up in the bottom right corner of your screen. Generally, these can safely be ignored. They don’t appear so often as to become a nuisance, but just be aware that they are advertisements.
Clicking on them will normally either install something new or upgrade your current version of Avast to the premium version. All of which will need to be paid for.