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How to repair a broken Avast Antivirus uninstallation

In rare cases Avast Antivirus won’t be removed properly by standard uninstallation or may become otherwise corrupted, leaving you with unwanted files and non-functional antivirus. Here’s how to rescue your PC without reinstalling Windows.

The worst case scenario is that your PC ends up in a state where Microsoft Defender won’t activate in Avast’s place. It’s an edge case, but it’s previously happened to me on two systems, both times following a major Windows update.

Fortunately, Avast has you covered for even this eventuality, with the avastclear software removal tool.

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What we used

  • Any Windows 10 or 11 computer with Avast installed

The Short Version

  1. Download avastclear
  2. Prepare to reboot in safe mode
  3. Navigate to advanced reboot options
  4. Enable Safe Mode
  5. Run avastclear
  6. Select your Avast install directory and version
  7. Reboot
  1. Step
    1

    Download avastclear

    Visit https://www.avast.com/uninstall-utility and download avastclear.exe using the link in the instructions. Once’s you have it, drag it from your Downloads folder to your desktop for convenience.

  2. Step
    2

    Prepare to reboot in safe mode

    Click the Start menu, then your user profile at the far left. Click Sign out in the sub-menu that appears. You’ll be taken to the Windows login screen. Click anywhere and then click the power button symbol at the bottom right. Hold the shift key and click Restart.Windows sign-in screen shows the reboot options

  3. Step
    3

    A blue screen will give you a few reboot options. Click Troubleshoot, then Advanced options. Click Startup Settings, and then press the Restart button.advances options for Windows reboot

  4. Step
    4

    Enable Safe Mode

    Your PC will reboot and you’ll be presented with a Startup Settings options list. Press F5 to Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Windows will boot into safe mode.A list of startup settings for a troubleshooting reboot of Windows

  5. Step
    5

    Run avastclear

    Log in and double-click on the avastclear executable we copied to the desktop earlier. If a Microsoft SmartScreen warning appears (which may be the case if you’ve booted safe mode without networking) select Run. The Avast Antivirus Clear application will load.Windows 10 booted to safe mode with avastclear on desktop

  6. Step
    6

    Select your Avast install directory and version

    If you installed Avast at default settings, you won’t need to change much for the uninstall tool to work, but if you installed Avast or its data in a custom directory, you must click change and browse to these. If in doubt, leave these path settings at their defaults, as the contents of any directory you put here will be deleted. Now select the version you have installed – Premium Security is the default, and click Uninstall.Select Avast removal options

  7. Step
    7

    Reboot

    An uninstallation screen will show a progress bar then report on your uninstallation. Click Done, then manually reboot your PC from the start menu to exit safe mode.Avast removal complete

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Our 5-star rated anti-virus blocks malware and viruses in real time and stops hackers, now 50% off at just £12.49 per year

  • 50% off
  • Was £24.99
  • £12.49 per year
Buy now

Troubleshooting

Is avastclear always a necessary tool to use?

The method detailed above is not required for a standard uninstallation of Avast Antivirus, where everything’s working as it should.

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