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File Shield

This Article Applies to:

  • Avast Small Business Solutions
  • Avast Small Office Protection


File Shield is the main layer of Antivirus active protection. It scans programs and files saved on the device for malicious threats as they are opened, run, modified, and saved. If malware is detected, File Shield prevents the program or file from infecting the system.

We strongly recommend you always keep this shield turned on and only make configuration changes if you have an advanced understanding of malware protection principles.


File Shield is part of the Core Shields of the Avast Business client.

From Protection > Core Shields, you can enable/disable this component using the dedicated toggle.

Note that it is not possible to individually enable/disable File Shield in managed devices - only all core shields can be disabled/enabled at once from the Advanced Settings. Unmanaged devices have free control over disabling/enabling these shields.

Configuring File Shield Settings

Advanced File Shield settings can be accessed by either clicking the gear icon on the Core Shields section or navigating to Menu > Settings > Protection > Core Shields, then selecting the File Shield tab under Configure shield settings.

The following options are available here:

  • Enable File Shield: Turns the shield on or off
  • Scan auto-run items when removable media is attached: When a removable drive is plugged to the device, File Shield will scan any auto-run items to protect against auto-run viruses
  • Choose types of files to scan: Files with recommended extension (internal list maintained by Avast development of the highest risk file types) or All files (all file types)
    • The selection here will have an impact on performance - all files being scanned will take more time, and more system resources
  • Scan programs when executing: Scans programs, scripts, and libraries each time they are run
  • Scan files when opening: Scans each time a file is opened
  • Scan file when writing: Scans when files are being created or modified
  • Generate report file: Logs the actions of the File Shield in C:\ProgramData\Avast Software\Avast\report

At the top of the Core Shields screen, you can also configure some general settings such as scan sensitivity and response to malware detections, as well as enable additional features like CyberCapture or Hardened Mode. Note that these settings apply to all Core Shields. For more information, see Core Shields Settings.

Additional Geek Area Settings

Within the Geek Area, there are several further settings for Mail Shield. To access these:

  1. Go to Menu, then select Settings
  2. Click Search in the top right corner
  1. Type geek:area in the search field, then hit Enter
  1. Scroll down to the File Shield section

There are four detection types you can configure here:

  • Action to be performed when a virus is found
  • Action to be performed when a potentially unwanted program is found
  • Action to be performed when a potentially unwanted tool is found
  • Action to be performed when a suspicious object is found

For each type, it is possible to configure three actions to perform, with the "if the action above fails, then" value. The following actions can be selected from each drop-down menu:

  • Fix automatically: Runs a sequence of actions (repair file; if not possible, then move to Quarantine; if not possible, then delete)
  • Move to Quarantine: Sends the threat to Quarantine, where it cannot harm your system
  • Repair: Removes only malicious code attached to an otherwise safe file — this is not possible for files that are entirely malware
  • Abort connection: If Avast detects that you are connected to a URL, game, or device that contains malware, the connection is stopped automatically
  • Ask: Avast asks what you want to do with a detected threat before any action is taken
  • Delete: Permanently remove the file from your computer
  • Nothing: No action is taken during the scan; the threat is listed in your scan results and you can decide what to do later

For example, you can set the first action to Move to Quarantine. If that fails, then Ask the user. If that then fails as well, the final action can be to Delete the file. If the final action also fails, nothing further will be performed (file will continue to be blocked).

Apart from these options, you can define whether File Shield will:

  • Show a notification window when action is taken: Choose whether a notification is displayed each time File Shield detects a threat on the device
  • Enable Antimalware Scan Interface (AMSI) scanner: This allows the user to disable/enable the AMSI integration
    • AMSI is a feature in Windows 10 and newer operating systems that allows the antivirus to have some close integration with the OS to enhance detection capabilities. More on AMSI can be found in this Microsoft article.

It is also possible to configure the report file here in order to enhance the reporting of the shield:

  • Report file name: Enter a name for the report file (default * will use the default file name)
    • The Generate report file option needs to be enabled for the report file to be created.
  • Report file type: Select the format of the report file:
    • Plain text (ANSI)
    • Plain text (Unicode)
    • XML
  • If report file exists: Select Append if you want new results to be added to the end of the previous report, or Overwrite if you want new results to replace the previous report
    • Using the Append option will gradually increase the size of the report file on the disk. Including informative events such as OK will also greatly increase the size on the disk as every clean file will be reported.
  • Reported items: Define which events appear in report files. Type any of the following events into the text box provided, ensuring entries are separated by semicolons:
    • Infected — Files and areas of the scanned environment that the virus scan identifies as containing malware
    • HardErrors — Unexpected errors that require further investigation
    • SoftErrors — Minor errors, such as a file being unable to be scanned because it was in use
    • OK — Files and areas that the virus scan identified as being clean
    • Skipped — Files and areas that the virus scan did not check because of the scan settings

Adding File Shield Exceptions

If needed, you can add exceptions to the File Shield scans through the Exceptions tab of the Settings > General section. This can speed up the scans and prevent false-positive detections. For detailed instructions, see Configuring Antivirus Exceptions.