Friday, August 29, 2008

How Avast! Antivirus can be Temporarily Disabled

NOTE: Disabling your anti-virus software is a risky affair. I'm only posting this for my personal reference. Do the procedure at your own risk. (It does however, free up your system resources while gaming and will greatly improve performance. I promptly undo the procedure everytime I finish gaming however. )

I have posted the following in the Avast! forums, trying to determine if there's a better way of going about the procedure.


I am a PC first-person shooter gamer (well actually, I am an RPG nut who really likes games that have great interactivity with the NPCs like Golden Sun and Zelda but all that went out the window ever since office work became hectic) and as such, do not like any AV to be running in the background/consuming memory when I play my games for optimal performance.

I've been using AVG 7.5 for years now as it was simple to disable/enable when I play games. Sadly, with AVG 8.0, that feature was eliminated.

I did some research and opted for Avast! instead of AVG 8.0 and so far it's good. I haven't any problems with my rig. The question is, how Avast can be temporarily disabled since simply pushing "Terminate" leaves several processes still running, particularly "ashServ.exe," which consumes 9-22Mb of memory.

This is how Avast! can be temporarily disabled in my system:

1. I click on "Less Details" on the "Resident Protection" interface. (Accessible by left-clicking on the blue Avast! ball in the system tray.)

2. With the Avast! Resident Protection interface fused into one, I click on "Terminate."

(UPDATE: According to Vladimyr, a 500-post member in the Avast! forums, the first two procedures can be simplified. Simply right click on the blue Avast! ball and click on "Stop On-Access Protection" This is more convenient.)

This shuts down the resident shield activities of Avast! However...

3. When you check "Processes" in the Windows Task Manager (accessible by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del), you will still see Avast! processes still running. While the other ones are negligible, the 18-22Mb consumed by "ashServ.exe" bothers me.

4. To disable this, I go right-click on the blue Avast! ball again, click "Program Settings" and then in the interface that pops up, click on "Troubleshooting."

5. Under "Troubleshooting," I check "Disable Avast! self-defense module" and click "OK."

6. A window will pop up to confirm your action. I simply click "Yes."

7. I go back to the Windows Task Manager and terminate the "ashServ.exe" process.

8. I game.

Note: After gaming, I restart my PC, which will cause Avast! to run again. I then go back to Avast!'s Program Settings and uncheck "Disable Avast! self-defense module." I never forget to do this as it's dangerous to leave it checked. Also, I do not surf the Net if Avast! is in any way disabled.

How Avast! is disabled/enabled may not be as easy as that of AVG 7.5 but it can be done without the various registry hacks that AVG 8.0 requires.

So far I have no problems with my system. I've also installed various on-demand anti-spyware software.