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March 6th, 2013

How do I use the new Software Updater in avast 8?

How_toQuestion of the week:  I just updated my avast to version 8. The new look is great! There’s a feature called Software Updater that looks interesting. How do I use it?

Great question, and thanks for the compliment on avast! 8’s new look. To answer your question about the new avast! Software Updater, let me set the stage for you so you will understand why Software Updater is so useful for most users. You are a busy person juggling family and work, maybe even taking a few classes. You use your personal computer to pay bills, learn how to fix a leaky faucet, and email your child’s teacher. You are concerned with online security, but there are only so many hours in the day, right?

You heard about the latest Java exploit, but you’re not sure what it is, how to fix it, or if you even need it. Here’s some advice from Oracle, “In order to protect themselves, desktop users should only allow the execution of applets when they expect such applets and trust their origin.” Um…what?

And wasn’t there something about an Adobe Flash Player vulnerability?  Adobe says, “Users of Adobe Flash Player 11.5.502.135 and earlier versions for Windows should update to Adobe Flash Player 11.5.502.146.” Um, OK…which version do I have? Where do I find it? HELP!!

When it comes to your computer’s security, you can be guaranteed that this or that exploit, vulnerability or hack is taking place. How can a normal person be expected to stay on top of it all? You can’t, and that’s where avast! can help.

Here’s what we know:

  • One of the primary ways that malware spreads is by exploiting known security issues in commonly used software.
  • When your software is kept up to date, most malware will be unable to spread!
  • Busy people don’t have time to stay on top of every software update, so that’s why we added Software Updater in all four avast! 8 versions.

avast! Software Updater shows you an overview of all your outdated software applications, so you can keep them up to date and eliminate any security vulnerabilities. Here’s what I saw when I updated my spare laptop to avast! Free Antivirus today. Warning: I haven’t used this PC for a few weeks, so what you are about to see is shocking. ;-)


(When I took this screenshot, Software Updater had identified several programs that need updating including the Adobe programs and even my browsers and was checking for the Java updates.)

You can resolve any issues by just clicking the “Fix Now” button. The available updates will then be downloaded and your software can be updated. Once all updates are installed, your Software Updater status will be shown as “Good” and you will no longer be at risk of malware that targets out-dated software. If you have avast! Premier, you can select the option for updates to be downloaded and installed automatically whenever a new update is detected, which is even more convenient.

software-updater-fixedaPower users may not want to use the Software Updater feature. In that case, you can opt to turn it off when you do a Custom Installation of avast! 8.

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  • RejZoR

    I’ve seen greater confusion when local version is higher than the one listed by the Software Updater. I understand it perfectly but with everyone that i talked on forums they were so confused i couldn’t even explain it to them.

    They just can’t get past the fact that local version is higher than the Software Updater one and that it’s still listed as “Up to date”.

  • Major Slax

    Regarding Java, it works but it only considers JRE, and doesn’t remove older version. I use the JDK, it would nice if Avast handled it.

  • Ovation330

    Which directory(s) are the automatic downloads in Software Updater going by default in Windows 7/8? I’m wondering whether or not the setup file for these programs get deleted after the installs, or if they just stay on the hard drive in some hidden folder and increasingly take up disk space.

  • harv

    A very good idea. It is a bit of a shame that it is currently giving me three false positives (Java 32&64 and Foxit).

    I hope it’s a temporary glitch. Thank you.

  • Mark Roberts

    How do I REMOVE (or permanently shut off) the Software Updater? It’s the most annoying thing ever added to Avast.

  • hhickey

    I agree, the software updater is the most annoying thing ever added to Avast. If I can’t find a way of removing it permanently, Avast will no longer be my anti-virus of choice! If anyone can find how to remove this permanently, that would be great!

  • Mark Roberts

    I’ve found it’s possible to shut off the Software Updater, but the damn thing keeps switching itself back on again. Presumably at every re-boot. For now I’m switching it off manually every time I start my computer but it’s irritating, to put it mildly.

  • torqanvil

    I agree, very annoying that this keeps turning itself back on after every reboot. I’m going to try re-installing to see if there’s really a way to permanently disable this.

    Avast – please add the ability to turn this feature off!

  • wurstpeter

    Yupp, the Software Updater is a really really annonying feature. Updating Java regularly is important, yes. But who cares if say my IrfanView is up to date? Seriously Avast, this is annoying. Make it stop.

  • Mark Roberts

    What’s *most* annoying about it is that when I forget to shut it off at the beginning of the day and the warning pops up it offers two options: “Install now” or “No, remind me later”. There’s no “Never” or “Ignore for this application”. That’s software design from the Microsoft school :(

  • SteveH

    Does anyone know how to turn off the software updater? It is incredibly annoying and interferes with our work. I have three computers on which Avast has just expired. I’ll be switching to different software if there is no way to turn of the updater.

  • faranak
  • Chris

    I think it’s brilliant..

  • Vittalanand

    Up dater for Google is not listed in Avast software updater. Why? How to include Google updates also in avast soft ware updater?