Avast Antivirus 2016: scanning Windows and Mac for viruses


Avast! is one of the best security software available in the market till date. The application has seen worldwide favor for its undeniable security features and advanced functioning. That’s the reason Avast Antivirus is regarded as a one-stop shop to ensure that your private data and system are safe. To do so, you need to scan your system, be it Windows or Mac, for viruses that may affect performance.

The system security tool comes as a life saver by offering reliable protection against such infections. For years, users have relied upon the application to keep their PC and Mac working. Here in this post, we will try to understand how you can use the software to scan for viruses and potential threats.

Before starting, let’s discuss the types of scans you can perform.

Types of Scans Avast offers

Apart from the active protection of the Web Shield, File Shield, and Mail Shield, Avast also offers multiple on-demand virus scans. If you want, you can even create a custom scan with the parameters of your choice. By default, these virus scans are offered:

Quick Scan: To scan the vulnerable areas for malware infection. It scans entire drive where system files are located, apart from rootkits and auto-start programs based on their extensions.

Full System Scan: To completely scan the Windows or Mac, including hard drives, rootkits, auto-start programs, and other areas susceptible to infections. Scanning is based on their content.

Removable Media Scan: To scan any removable media currently connected to the computer or Macintosh, including external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc.

Custom Scan: To scan a particular folder or multiple folders.

Boot-time Scan: To scan at bootup and remove viruses that can’t be identified after startup. It scans complete system drive and auto-start programs, along with archive files. Once you click the Start button, your scan is scheduled and will run automatically the next time you restart the system.

How to run a virus scan?

To run a scan, you will need to,

  • Launch Avast AntiVirus by double-clicking the icon. You can also right-click the icon in your system tray and then select open Avast User Interface
  • Go to Scan > Scan for viruses
  • Select a scan from the Scan screen menu and click Start. All scans will begin automatically, except boot-time scan (which begins only the next time you restart the system/Mac)
  • Once the scanning is finished, you will see a notification
  • Click on Show results to see if there’s any threat or to view any action performed automatically as per the scan settings. You can also take action manually on the threats detected. Click on View History at the bottom of the scan screen to access scan reports.
  • And you are done!

How to schedule a virus scan in Avast

The software also lets you schedule a scan to run at the time and date manually set. You can schedule the scan to run Once, or you can perform the scans Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. Here’s how to do so,

  • Open Avast user interface and go to Scan > Scan for viruses
  • Select the scan from the Scan screen drop-down menu
  • Click on Scan Settings at the bottom of the scan screen
  • Select Scheduling
  • Tick the box named Schedule this scan
  • Mention the time, date, and frequency for the scan
  • Once done, click OK

If you aren’t satisfied with what the default scans offer, then you can create your own custom scan. To do so, follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Go to Scan > Scan for viruses
  • Select Create a custom scan
  • Enter the name of scan according to your preference in the scan name
  • Once done, click OK. The new custom scan will appear in the menu on scan screen. If you do not need a custom scan in future, you just need to select it from the list and choose Delete scan option next to its name

How to adjust scan settings

It is ideal to not change or edit the scan settings already set up for default scans. For the users who are not happy, they can choose the Custom Scan option and set all the parameters as per their need. Even if you need to access the scan settings and modify or change them like you want to set exclusion, here’s how to adjust scan settings:

  • Launch Avast and go to Scan > Scan for viruses
  • Choose the scan from the menu. Once selected, click on Scan Settings at the bottom of the screen
  • Click on the tabs the left to view and customize the settings and parameters for the selected scan
  • To set an exception, select Exclusions tab the left and enter/browse the file locations you want to be excluded from the scan

How to Process Scan Results

To process scan results, you can use the following options from the drop-down menu in the Action column:

Fix automatically: To run a series of actions (repair, if not possible then move the file to virus chest, otherwise delete)

Move to chest (recommended): To send the threat to the virus chest so that it can’t harm other locations in your system

Repair: To remove only the affected code from the otherwise secure file. This feature does not apply to files that are completely hit by malware

Delete: To permanently delete the file from your PC

No action: To command Avast to do nothing to the infected file

To make changes in all the files,

  • Select the action of your choice from the list in the Action column
  • Click on Apply to perform the action selected. You will see the complete action down in the Result column
  • To access the reports later, you will need to click on Scan History and then select the scan you want to know the history of and finally click on Detailed Report

Some exceptions

In some cases, you may find some files in the Results column that were not scanned. It could be a password-protected file or a corrupted archive file. It may also show that some suspicious files were detected in a memory file. Though this does not mean the file listed is infected, but you may look for the details to know more.

Password-protected archive file: Some programs make use of password-protection archives to store data, no matter you don’t set any password. The scan will not consider the archive, though the “wrapper” file will be scanned.

Corrupted archive file: A file may become corrupted if its download is interrupted or a special file. Avast will scan the “wrapper” file.

Memory detections: Any detection in process X, Memory block Y, and block size Z implies that only a virus signature was found in the system memory, not the file.

So, this was all about scanning your system for viruses with Avast antivirus application. You can download Avast Antivirus for Windows and Mac from softwarevilla. We hope you find these guides easy the next time you prefer safeguarding your PC.


Source by Ankita Gairola