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Ransomware Shield

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.

If you are looking for information on Ransomware Shield management within the Business Hub, see Ransomware Shield.


You can access the Ransomware Shield settings by clicking on Menu > Settings, then navigating to Protection > Ransomware Shield.

Mode: Choose whether the Ransomware Shield mode is Smart (allows trusted and approved applications by default but needs your permission for allowing any untrusted ones) or Strict (requires your permission for all unapproved apps).

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 adding their extensions via the text box at the bottom.

Specifying Protected Folders

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

Once in, click on Protect New Folder, select the desired folder, and add it to the Protected Folders list.


If you ever wish to exclude a folder from the list, simply tick the checkbox next to it, select Stop Protecting and confirm your choice:

Specifying Trusted Apps

You can also select which apps can interact with your files by selecting the Block or Allow App option located next to the Protect New Folder button. Alternatively, you can go to Menu > Settings and navigate to General > Blocked & Allowed Apps. In both cases, you will arrive to the below screen:

To block or allow an app, click on the respective button and either locate the app among the listed ones or click on Select App Manually to browse to the application .exe file. Finally, select Add and confirm your choice.


If you want to exclude an app from either of the lists, click the three dots next to it and select Remove. However, if you only want to specify which components/shields can allow or block the selected app, choose the Change option.

Other than Ransomware Shield, the components you can select through this option are: Webcam Shield, Sensitive Data Shield, and Password Protection.