Uninstallation comes to every app, sooner or later. But like certain horror movie stalwarts, some software just doesn't want to say goodbye. Antivirus tools are among the most reluctant to be removed, and Avast! is no exception. While we've installed and uninstalled Avast! many times through the built-in Add/Remove Programs utility on the Control Panel with no problems, we sympathize with those who do experience issues. Avast! developer Alwil has provided a solution in the form of a free uninstaller, the Alwil Software Uninstall Utility, aka AswClear, which works in Safe Mode. Some folks will stop reading right there, but not to worry--it's not called Safe Mode for nothing. If you're not sure about Safe Mode, the Windows Help file explains it all, and Alwil's simple instructions make this tool easy enough for even novices to run without fear.
The Alwil Software Uninstall Utility is a standalone executable that runs when clicked, but only in Safe Mode. We think this is a wise precaution against accidentally uninstalling your antivirus protection. We downloaded the AswClear executable file to our desktop, per Alwil's advice; this makes it easy to click and run in Safe Mode. We shut down our PC, booted back up in Safe Mode, and clicked the AswClear executable. The only thing to note is that if you've installed Avast! in a directory other than the default location. In that case, you'll need to browse to the correct folder. Since ours was a standard installation, we simply clicked Remove and let the tool do its thing. When we rebooted, our system was free of any lingering traces of Avast! and ready for a fresh reinstallation or the installation of a totally different antivirus program.
We like Avast! and plan to keep using it. However, we've uninstalled and reinstalled it for various reasons, and though we've never had any problems with the process, we're sure that the Alwil Software Uninstall Utility can do the job, if and when we need it.