Author Topic: Avast Free Antivirus Arbitrarily Blocking Websites  (Read 2537 times)

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Offline macii61

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Avast Free Antivirus Arbitrarily Blocking Websites
« on: February 18, 2019, 03:31:53 AM »
Hello All,
 
I'm currently running Avast Free Antivirus program version 19.2.2364 (build 19.2.4186.431), virus def ver 190217-0.

The initial issue I was trying to fix was that all the websites I had entered into the Blocked Website list in the Webshield had disappeared and was empty after the last program update. Then if I entered a website into the Blocked Website list, exited to the main screen and went back, it was still empty. I found out that pages I had previously entered were still being blocked though there was nothing in the list.

I finally had some time I could work on the issue. Per suggestions I found on this forum, I ran the Repair App in the troubleshooting section. After it ran, the issue persisted. I then uninstalled and reinstalled Avast Free, rebooting between each time. After the reinstall, I could add websites to the blocked list and it would retain it if I exited though the old websites did not show. The old sites were still being blocked as I verified by trying to go to a few. The newly entered sites were also being blocked.

Now the current issue is that there are other arbitrary sites that are now being blocked that were not blocked previously, even the Avast password reset link that I was sent to reset my forum password was blocked.  If I turn off the Enable Site Blocking feature, all websites are accessible.

I again uninstalled Avast, then downloaded the avastclear application and successfully ran it while booted into Safe Mode per its instructions. I also deleted all Avast folders on the hard drive and went through the registry and deleted all instances of any Avast listing.

I reinstalled Avast Free and it continues to block safe websites at random.

Does anyone know where Avast stores the blocked website list or how to clear the list completely? I'm at a loss of why it will block some sites and not others.
 
Thanks in advance.


Offline HK

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus Arbitrarily Blocking Websites
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 05:06:09 PM »
Hi macii61,

there is a bug in current Avast release causing too long list of blocked websites to not be displayed in the UI, should be fixed soon. Complete list of blocked websites is stored in webshield.ini file located in c:\ProgramData\AVAST Software\Avast\ folder. By uninstalling Avast you also deleted this file so now your list should contain only sites that were added after Avast was installed again.

When the website is blocked do you see Avast Webshield Warning?

What happens if you try to reload by pressing Ctrl+F5 ?

Regards,
HK
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 05:09:15 PM by HK »

Offline macii61

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus Arbitrarily Blocking Websites
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2019, 08:44:36 PM »
HK,
 
Thanks so much for your reply on the issue with the UI and size of the blocked website list.
 
Yes, I was seeing the Avast Webshield Warning when the website was blocked. If I pressed CNTL+F5 to reload, the warning continued to be displayed.
 
I understand what you're saying about uninstalling Avast and the webshield.ini file being deleted as part of the process. It was strange that it was blocking sites that were never entered into the webshield initially i.e., various restaurant websites, retail websites and as I mentioned previously, even the Avast password reset link I was sent via email.
 
As an update, I again uninstalled Avast this time turning on view hidden files and folders in Windows, then deleted the AVAST Software folder under c:\ProgramData\ manually as it was still there. After reinstalling and running all updates, it seemed to be working properly again.

One strange thing was that in the UI, if I selected the Menu from the main page, it displayed like the previous version of the application with the white background with white lettering. I could then go into any of the settings and it looked like the previous version UI where I could set the sensitivity of each shield individually.

If I selected a menu item on the left of the main screen, Protection or Privacy for instance and selected a menu item from within, the small settings gear would appear on the upper right of the UI. If I clicked on the gear, I'd get the new setting menu when you could change the sensitivity of the Core Shields globally.

After a couple of days that issue went away and now it's just the new UI.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. It's appreciated.
 
AC

Offline macii61

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus Arbitrarily Blocking Websites
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2019, 08:47:08 PM »
Typo in the prior response.

......white background with black lettering.....

Offline Pondus

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus Arbitrarily Blocking Websites
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2019, 08:51:42 PM »
Typo in the prior response.

......white background with black lettering.....
You can edit previous post(s) .... top right corner modify