How to Fix: Disable Avast 'Software Updater' Notifications

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Peter F. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Thanks so much for your newsletter. I've been a long time subscriber (about 10 years now) and enjoy reading your Windows tips. I took your advice some time ago regarding antivirus software, and have been using Avast antivirus (free) ever since. I have never had an issue with it - except for today when Avast popped up with an 'Avast Software Updater' notification in the bottom right hand corner near the clock. I have never seen this notification before. When I clicked on it, Avast opened up with a new window with the title 'Software Updater' and then proceeded to tell me that my Firefox, WinRAR and Adobe Flash were out of date. There is also an orange button near the top which says 'Activate automatic updates'. If I click the button, it then asks me to pay for Avast. Is there any way I can disable these notifications? "

My response:

I have personally not seen these notifications before and suspected this may be some sort of scam, so I asked Peter if he would like me to look into the issue using my remote desktop support service. Upon connecting I did not see the notification, but rebooting the system prompted it to pop up again. I did a bit of research online, and found out it is possible to disable these "notifications", though the instructions I came across were not at all accurate because the Avast! user interface has changed. As such, I'll provide my own instructions for the latest version of Avast! (which is 12.3.2280 as of November 28, 2016).

How to Fix: Disable Avast Software Updater Notifications

Over the past few years, the Avast! user interface has gone through many changes. Some of these changes were made to accommodate the integration of non-antivirus related subcomponents of the program (otherwise known as "bundled goodies"), including: the "Software Updater", "Browser Cleanup", and "Safe Price" to name a few. Some of these components are free, while others (including the Avast! Software Updater) require you to pay for the premium edition of Avast!. Personally I don't see any need to pay for antivirus as free antivirus - especially Avast! free - works great on its own, minus the bundled junk.

As of Avast! version 12.3.2280, you can disable the Avast! Software Updater notifications by doing the following:

  1. Locate the Avast! icon in the tray bar. For most users, clicking on the up arrow near the clock will expand a list of programs running in the system tray. You should be able to see the orange "A" icon after expanding the system tray. Double click the orange "A" to open the Avast! main window.
  2. The Avast! main window should now appear. Click on the cog wheel near the top right of the window to open the Avast! Settings.
  3. The Avast! Settings window should now appear. Near the top left, you should see menu options including: General, Components, Update, Registration, Troubleshooting, and About Avast. Click the option that says "Components".
  4. The Avast! Settings > Components window should now be displayed. Locate the "Software Updater" option (which is fourth from the top of the Window) and click the "Off" switch. Alternatively, you can click the "Customize" link and completely uninstall the component so it will no longer be apart of your Avast! installation. I suggest you do the latter, as there will be no way for any future Avast! Software Updaters to "accidentally" toggle the switch back on by mistake. You will most likely need to reboot the machine after that.

I hope that helps.

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About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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tonyy@bell's picture

Hi Dennis,
Despite the nag button the software updater works in the free version but is a bit more manual. There is no need to pay. I use both the Avast Pro version at work and the Free version at home and both "nag" to pay for the extension.
What more surprised me is that this updater extension has been running for more than a year and so why have you only just seen it?
It is a cleaner way to update some of these apps as there is NO PAYLOAD of bundled apps or toolbars or browser reassignments to dodge. For some apps the updater isn't needed - Chrome and Firefox auto-updaters work very well, but the other apps update with a single mouse click.

Dennis Faas's picture

I did not notice the Software Updater because I only have the "real time file scanning" component enabled - everything else is shut off. In my opinion the real time file scanning is the only protection most people need. For example: if you visit a malicious website and download a malicious file, the real time file scanning runs. If the file is malicious, you are alerted. The same thing happens with emails, locally stored and malicious .EXE files, etc. Any additional "protection" is overhead and slows the computer down. If I do get infected I run a full system scan, then run malwarebytes free and that gets about 99.99% of everything. If I still have issues then I restore a backup. It doesn't get any easier than that.

lgitschlag_3159's picture

I am also fed up with the Avast pop-ups. I followed your instructions and now wait to see what happens.