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Ransomware Shield for macOS

This Article Applies to:

  • Avast Small Business Solutions
  • Avast Small Office Protection


Ransomware Shield helps secure your personal photos, documents, and other files from being modified, deleted, or encrypted by ransomware attacks. This feature scans for and automatically secures folders which may contain personal data, and allows you to specify which folders you want to protect from untrusted applications. Additionally, you can specify which applications are allowed to modify the files in your folders and which are not.

Note that Ransomware Shield is not a ransomware decryption tool - it is designed to prevent the infection by protecting your files and folders, but it cannot decrypt files already encrypted by ransomware. To get our free ransomware decryption tools, see this Avast page.


You can access the Ransomware Shield settings by going to Preferences, then selecting the Ransomware Shield tab:

Protected File Types: Use the checkboxes to select specific file types to be secured in your protected folders, and include additional file types if needed by clicking Add File Type and specifying the extension:

Specifying Allowed Applications

From the Ransomware Shield tab, you can also select which apps can always interact with your files. Just click the Allow an App button to open the Finder window, select the desired application, then click Open. All apps that you allow will be listed under the Allowed Apps section.

If you want to exclude an app from the list, simply click the trash icon next to it (note that the icon might not be visible until you hover over the app):

Specifying Protected Folders

By default, Ransomware Shield scans for and automatically secures folders where your personal data might be stored. To manually add another folder to the list, go to Ransomware Shield straight from the home screen:

Then, click Protect New Folder to open the Finder window, select the desired folder. and click Open. All folders that you add will be listed beneath the Protect New Folder button.

If you want to exclude a folder from the list, you can either click the X mark on the right of the folder or tick the box on the left and select Stop Protecting (note that both the X mark and the checkbox might not be visible until you hover over the folder):