It needs no telling that most of the antivirus software that we all use come in two variants – Free antivirus and Paid antivirus programs. Free antivirus programs offer decent protection and are well suited for normal home computer users most of the time unless you have very specific online security requirements that require paid protection. Free are just as good, if not better then their paid counterparts. However there is a trade off for using some of the good quality free antivirus programs like Avast and Avira. They come with ads and sometimes it annoys a regular user who doesn’t want to upgrade as they keep calling for upgrade all the time.
Thankfully, My Microsoft Security Essentials doesn’t display annoying advertisement pop ups or upgrade reminders. Save Live security essentials, there are only a few free choices available Avast Free and Avira AntiVir Personal being the two main programs.
For those who are looking to block those annoying ads and upgrade reminders, here’s how to do it.
The easiest way is to ditch your free antivirus and install Microsoft Security Essentials which offers robust protection for a normal home computer. See no ads!
Depending on your operating system in use, you’ll have to do different things to block Avira’s ads from popping up.
AVnotify.exe is the file that fetches ads from Avira server so if you can disable or block it from running, you’ll be good to go.
Windows 7: Open the control panel, then locate and run the Administrative Tools option. For those new to using the Administrative Tools, it is basically a folder shortcut, and the program we’re looking for is Local Security Policy. When you run it, go to the Software Restriction Policy, Click on Software Restriction Policy subfolder, and select the Additional Rules option, before right clicking on the second pane. Right-click on the right pane, and go to Additional Rules, then New Path Rule. Click Browse and navigate to C:\Program Files\Avira\AntiVir Desktop\ and double-click avnotify.exe, then set the security level to Disallowed, click Apply and then OK. Close out of the Administrative tools.
Windows Vista users can use the same tip that Windows 7 uses, or they can also direct themselves to C:\Program Files\Avira\AntiVir Desktop\ , right-click avnotify.exe and go to Properties, then under the Security tab, under the group or username SYSTEM, click edit. This will pop open with a new window where you can put a checkmark under the DENY comlumn for “read and execute”, thus making it impossible to run.
However, unlike Avira, Avast’s advertisement comes on it’s main screen, when you open it up to run a scan of your computer completely, it shows up there.
A simple edit of the HOSTS file on your computer blocks this ad entirely, while keeping your system fully protected.
The places to look for your host file in Windows Vista and 7 is:
C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\ or %systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc\
On Windows XP Pro and home, the same file is located in:
C:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts or C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts (this of course assumes your OS is installed in C drive)
All you need to do is open the HOSTS file as an administrator and add one line, which is:
You may also use Localhost in place of loopback address 127.0.0.1
and you are all set. This will effectively block the ads from appearing in your free antivirus program.
Another way to block this could be using your firewall to selectively block avnotify.exe from accessing internet. However, that might require you to create firewall rules or activate program control feature in your firewall and is a little bit tricky.