Avast! 4 setup hints
Avast free version registration or annual re-registration
Go to here and register,
they will email you a license key. If you have
registered before, there is no way to "renew" your key, if you lose
it or it expires, just register again, and get a new key.
A tutorial slide show is available
with extremely detailed instructions on how to update the license key.
Alternately, the following instructions should work.
Copy the key out of the email into the clipboard, and start up the
Avast! antivirus program. During the initial memory scan, there is
an option to install a new registration key. Click that link,
and paste in the key from the clipboard.
Be sure to preserve the key for future re-installations and include
the date you obtained it, so you'll know when you need a new key.
Elimination of popups when mail server times out
Click the Avast icon in the system tray. If there is a button
labeled "Details" at the bottom of the dialog, click it.
Choose "Internet Mail" from the icons at the left edge of the
"Details" dialog. Then click the "Customize" button which
brings up the "Resident task settings" dialog. From there,
choose the "Advanced" tab. Look for the "Timeout for Internet
communication(s)". It should be checked, and 120 seconds is a
good timeout, usually. But from the radio buttons just below,
choose "shutdown connection" rather than the default "ask" choice,
to avoid dialog boxes popping when the the mail server(s) cannot be
reached (which is usually a transient condition). OK out of
all the dialogs.
Avast can update its virus database automatically when an internet
connection is available. This is the default setting.
It checks every 4 hours, when an internet connection is
available, and if it is not, as soon afterwards as possible, when a
connection becomes available.
Avast can also update the program itself automatically. This
is not the default setting (because it could take a fair amount of
time on a dialup connection). Rather the default is to detect
the availability of an update, and ask the user if it should be
done now or later. If you like things to be automatic, and
especially if you use an always-on connection, you should set this
setting to automatic also.
Both the above settings can be found by running the Avast user
interface program (right click the Avast system tray icon, and
choose "Start Avast! Antivirus"), on the Settings menu, choose
Settings, then Update (Basic). On that dialog, there are the
3 choices for each of the above settings, and also a link to
perform updates immediately (manually). The details
button shows the date of the last update performed (and provides
It is important to update the virus database regularly, but if you
use a slow dialup, and frequently check email only, you might not
want to get "stuck" doing an update. If you choose to set
these options to "manual", be sure to perform the manual updates on
a regular schedule, no less than weekly if you use Internet
Explorer, Outlook Express, and/or Outlook, and no less than monthly
if you never use those programs.
Avast places two icons in the system tray, both circular, one
contains an "a" and one contains an "i". You can right click
on the one that contains an "i" and choose "merge icon" which will
put its menu into a submenu on the "a" icon. Generally you
never use the "i" icon anyway, so making it go away is good.
Zone Alarm settings for Avast
Avast may report, during installations, that it is incompatible
with ZoneAlarm. However, it is really just incompatible with
ZoneAlarm Pro, not Free ZoneAlarm, so you can ignore that
When ZoneAlarm notices that Avast! has updated itself, it will show
security alerts such as this. These should always be responded to
by checking the "remember this" box, and then clicking "Allow".
Not checking "remember this" will result in the alert showing up
repeatedly, and not clicking "Allow" will cause Avast! to quit working,
which will also cause email to quit working.
But if email seems not to be working, and you think maybe it was a result of accidentally telling ZoneAlarm to block Avast, you can check, by:
1) double click the ZA icon in the system tray to open
2) click on "Program Control" on the left edge of the ZA
3) click on "Programs" tab on the top right of the ZA window
4) likely Avast stuff will be close to the top of the sorted list
of programs there, and the following programs should all have two
green checkmarks in the "Access" column, and blue question marks in
the Server column:
avast! antivirus service
avast! antivirus Update
avast! e-Mail Scanner Service
avast! Web Scanner
The avast! service GUI component should have 4 blue question marks.
That should be all of the entries for avast! (On Windows 9x,
there might be fewer Avast processes, but the idea is the same;
this list is from Windows 2000 but seems to be the same on XP