Ad-Aware Pro

Internet Security:
Free security software provides good basic protection, but if you shop, pay bills, chat, or download files online, you need the extra layer of protection that Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security provides.

  • Essential Internet protection
  • Anti-virus + Anti-spyware
  • Expert Recommended

Buy Now for $29.95

My Serial Number/Registration Key/Activation Code is lost, how do I retrieve it?

If your serial number/registration key/activation code has been lost, there is a quick and easy way to get it back.

1. Log in to the Support center:

2. In the left menu, under 'Support Center', select 'Your Licenses'.

3. Here you will find your license info. Below your license you can find a letter icon: 'E-mail Serial Number' and clicking it will automatically send an email with the serial number to your registered email address.


Note: the 'E-mail Serial Number' notification email may be filtered as spam. Please, check your spambox/ junkmail

Does Ad-Aware support Windows 7?

Ad-Aware 8.1 and higher supports Windows 7 (32 & 64-bit)

Ad-Aware Total Security supports Windows 7 (32 & 64-bit)

Ad-Aware Game Edition supports Windows 7 (32 & 64-bit)

Can I activate Ad-Aware on more than one computer?

Yes, but only if you have a multi-seat license or separate licenses and serial numbers for each computer.

A license is valid for one computer only (unless you have chosen to purchase a multi-seat license). If you would like to migrate your license from one computer to another, please contact our Support Team.

If you follow the link below you will be able to buy a "Multipack" containing 3 or 5 licenses:


Why does Ad-Aware run as a service?

THE AD-AWARE ARCHITECTURE Ad-Aware consists of two main parts, the Service and the Graphical User Interface (GUI).

The GUI is the part of the program a user sees and needs in order to interact with the program itself; it contains menus, buttons and other controls that are necessary for a user to run the program. User action is passed from the GUI down to the Service, which contains the core functionality of the program.

The Service executes the action, and then reports the results back to the GUI, where it is presented to the user. What Is a Service? Services are Windows applications that are launched at system startup and then run in the background, not visible to the user.

What is the Benefit of a Service-Based Approach to Malware Removal? Malware that emerges today is increasingly complex, displaying wildly varying behavior and operating on many levels in the system. In order to stay a step ahead of these ever-changing security threats, an anti-spyware tool needs to be more powerful, multi-faceted and flexible than ever before.

The implementation of Ad-Aware as a Service facilitates this needed power and flexibility since a service runs with elevated rights on the system. This means that the user can work in user-mode while the Service maintains the elevated rights it needs in order to properly detect and remove malware infections.

How Does This Affect Resource Use? During a scan, the CPU use of the Service will vary parts of the scan are labor-intensive and require a lot of processing power, which can make the computer's performance sluggish. Other parts require less computing power and have little impact on the overall performance of the system. When the service is idle, virtually no CPU power is required, making the impact on system performance negligible.

As for memory use, the service does require a bit of memory, most of which is needed for storing the threats in the Detection Database. It is important to note, however, that when the Service is not in use, the lion's share of this memory is paged to the Swap file. In non-technical terms, this means that the hard drive is used to store data that is not currently in use, and then retrieves the data when needed, which makes the actual working memory (RAM) available for other applications.

What is ThreatWork?

Lavasoft ThreatWork is a feature of Ad-Aware that allows you to submit suspicious files for analysis via ThreatWork, an alliance of global anti-spyware security volunteers actively fighting online threats. After a scan, you can use ThreatWork to submit detected suspicious files directly to Lavasoft research analysts for an in-depth evaluation of a possible threat. After scanning using behavioral "Heuristics", the ThreatWork dialogue window will appear if an object selected for removal is not in Lavasoft?s Detection Database.

To submit a file via ThreatWork, in the ThreatWork dialogue window, select a suspicious file and select 'Submit'. You can also submit files via ThreatWork using drag and drop functionality. To submit a file, open ThreatWork through:

Ad-Aware (8.1, Anniversary Edition and later):

Ad-Aware's System Tray icon or from the Start menu / All programs / Ad-Aware / Toolbox / ThreatWork.

Ad-Aware 2008:

Start menu / All programs / Ad-Aware / ThreatWork.

From the ThreatWork window, you can submit files by either dragging and dropping files for submission; or by selecting items using the 'Add' button.

What is TrackSweep and how do I use it?

TrackSweep is a privacy tool that allows you to remove traces of your Internet browsing from your system.

Check the options of your choice (see below), and click the 'Clean' button to clean your system.

You can choose to clean the following areas:

Cache: Clears your browser cache, or Temporary Internet Files

Cookies: Clears browser cookies, i.e. data that a website saves on your computer's hard drive and retrieves when you revisit the site

History: Clears your full history of visited websites

Last typed URLs: Clears the list of last accessed URLs from the web browser address bar

Browser tabs: If you use tabbed browsing, your browser tabs will be cleared.

I cannot update the Definitions File. What should I do?

Normally a problem updating Ad-Aware is caused by a temporary problem with your computer or an internet connection issue that will resolve "by itself".

If the update does not work after mutiple attempts at different times or the issue does not seem to resolve by itself, please read the following:

First of all, ensure you are using Ad-Aware version 8.1 or higher.

You can check this by clicking the "About" at the bottom right of the Ad-Aware mainscreen.

Ensure you have an active internet connection

Configure your firewall or any other security programs to allow Ad-Aware (aawservice.exe) network access. If necessary, you can temporarily turn off your firewall, but be sure to turn it on again after you have updated the Definitions File.

1. Open the Ad-Aware main screen
2. Click the 'Web Update' button to connect to the update server and download the latest software and definitions updates.
(if you're experiencing a 'connection error' when clicking web-update, click here.)

3. When the update is complete, click 'Ok'.

If you are operating behind a proxy server, you will need to have your proxy server settings correctly configured in order to perform updates.

Go to Settings -> Updates and click proxy settings.

Tick the box beside "Enable Proxy", enter your proxy server address (in the format,  proxyname:portnumber ) your username and password and click 'Ok'.


You can also manually download and update the definitions file.

1. Download from

2. Extract the file (core.aawdef) directly to the Ad-Aware folder, either:


* C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Lavasoft\Ad-Aware\Defs


* C:\Program Data\Lavasoft\Ad-Aware\Defs

(note: You can also go to, update->settings and click 'import' browse to where you have saved (core.aawdef), select this file then click 'open' and 'ok'.)

3. Close and restart Ad-Aware from the System Tray icon.


How do I activate the version of Ad-Aware I paid for?


1. Start Ad-Aware and then open the registration window by clicking the Register button at the bottom of the Ad-Aware main screen
2. Enter your Serial Number
3. Click 'Register'

Ad-Aware will connect to the Internet to validate your registration
"Thank you for registering Ad-Aware" will appear once successful, Click OK

5. Restart Ad-Aware to activate the Pro version of Ad-Aware. To find your license information click on the Manage License button on the main status screen.

Note: Make sure that you have configured your firewall or any other security programs to allow Ad-Aware network access. If necessary, you can temporarily turn off your firewall, but be sure to turn it on again after you have completed the registration procedure.


Please read the following if you did not perform a software update after initial installation which prompts for activation ("Register with server...") or if you are using Total Secuirty on a new computer, or if you have re-installed the software/ you are experiencing an error logging on to the update server.

To automatically get your username and password (Access Data) for the first time you need to register Total Security using your serial number. Your access data is then generated in the software and a copy sent to your registered e-mail address for future use.

To register Total Security using your serial number, please complete the following:

  • 1. Click the Updates button In the Total Security main interface. A window will now appear requesting the Access Data for Internet updates.
  • 2. Click the "Register with server..." button. A new window will open

  • 3. Enter your registration number (serial number) which you received with your purchase, then fill in your customer data (name etc.).

  • 4. Click the Login button to register. The Access Data will be generated on the Lavasoft Update Server.
  • 5. When the registration is successful, an information screen appears, click OK.
  • The Access Data will be entered and saved for future updates automatically and the update will start.

To stay protected you need to keep Ad-Aware Total Security up to date. To do so, you need to connect to our update server and get the Internet updates.

Upgrading your software to the latest version

If Ad-Aware has been activated previously, you won't have to register your serial number again when installing a newer version of Ad-Aware on the same computer.

When installing Ad-Aware, any previous version on the computer will be uninstalled and the license will be transfered to the new software version.

How can I view the Scan log file?

The scan log file is a detailed information log about the scan.There are two ways to create a scan log file.

From the Main Status screen click  'Statistics' and select the scan which you require the log file for from the scan statistics drop down menu.

Click on the "Export Scan Log" and save the scan log file as a text file to your computer.


After a scan is completed on the 'Scan Summary Screen',
Click on the "Export Scan Log" and save the scan log file as a text file to your computer.

How can I change or edit an Ad-Watch Live! rule?

With Ad-Watch Live! turned on you will be notified when a change is being made to a protected area of your computer.
You can choose to allow or block the event as required.

If you received a warning while installing a valid update or printer driver for example (or other software) and mistakenly chose to block it, you will need to change Ad-Watch's rules to allow the event.

To change or remove an Ad-Watch rule complete the following:

1. Click on the Ad-Watch icon in the Ad-Aware main screen

2. Under the Ad-Watch Module for Processes, Registry or Network, click Edit Rules

3. Find/ select the rule you want to change from the list and click on the drop down menu arrow on the right, change the action as required (i.e. Allow)

4. Click save, Ad-Watch will remember the setting.

What is a 'Recommended Action' in the scan results screen?

Detected objects are listed by family and are given a pre-selected SmartSet recommendation defined by Lavasoft experts. Lavasoft SmartSet makes scanning and cleaning as easy as possible by providing automatically configured settings for scans, and by providing recommended actions for found objects.

Why does my Ad-Aware Tray icon have a exclamation mark on it?

When the Ad-Aware Tray icon has an exclamation mark over it, this means that an Ad-Watch update has being downloaded but the computer has not being restarted for Ad-Watch to be fully updated.

Restart your computer to complete the update

How can I install the Ad-Watch driver manually?

(Important: Please make sure to install the correct driver for the operating system you are using!) 

For a 32bit operating system.
Go to, (the default installed location)
C:\Program Files\Lavasoft\Ad-Aware\drivers\32
Right click on the 'lbd.inf' file and choose install, reboot the computer.

For a 64bit operating system.
Go to, (the default installed location)
C:\Program Files(x86)\Lavasoft\Ad-Aware\drivers\64
Right click on the 'lbd.inf' file and choose install, reboot the computer.

How do I remove detected objects after a scan?

After a scan is finished the 'Scan Results' screen is shown, detected objects are listed by family and are given a pre-selected Lavasoft 'recommended action' defined by Lavasoft experts.
The infection type, total number of objects, their TAI rating and the action to perform are also shown.

To change an Action click on the drop-down menu under the Action heading.
The following actions are available.

Custom: You can change the Action by clicking on "Custom Action" or by clicking on the description menu at the end of that particular Family.

Remove all: Delete all objects for a particular family from your system.
Quarantine all: Add all objects for a particular family to Quarantine; isolate and back-up the object in quarantine, where it does not pose a threat to your system.
Add To Ignore List: Add the object to the Ignore List; keep the item on your system and make sure it is not detected in future scans.
Allow all Once: Allow the objects for a particular family to stay on the system. During the next scan, the objects will be detected again.
Repair all: Ad-Aware will attempt to repair all objects for a particular family.

Note: Selected action for a particular family will be applied only to objects that selected action can be applied to.

To change an Action for single detected object from the recommended action, choose custom and select one of the following custom actions.

Quarantine: Add the object to Quarantine; isolate and back-up the object in quarantine, where it does not pose a threat to your system.
Remove: Delete the object from your system.
Add To Ignore: Add the object to the Ignore List; keep the item on your system and make sure it is not detected in future scans.
Allow Once: Allow the object to stay on the system. During the next scan, the object will be detected again.
Repair: Repair detected object (available only for specific objects).

Select the required action for each object from the drop-down menu and then click "Perform Actions Now".
Ad-Aware will apply the required action for each detected object and present you with the "Scan Summary? screen.

Why does a background scan take a long time?

An Ad-Aware background scan is designed not to slow down your computer during scanning.

A background scan will only use available resources while you are using other applications.

If there are a lot of applications running (less resources available), the background scan will take longer depending on your computer's capabilities.

Once you have closed other applications, scanning will run at full speed.

What is the current version of Ad-Aware?

The latest version of Ad-Aware is Ad-Aware, available here

How do I enter my proxy server settings.

If you are online behind a proxy server, you will need to have your proxy server settings correctly configured to update Ad-Aware.

Go to Settings -> Updates and click proxy settings.

Tick the box beside "Enable Proxy"

Enter your proxy server address (in the format, proxyaddress:portnumber ), your username and password and click 'Ok'

How do I upgrade from Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition to the latest version of Ad-Aware?

You can download Ad-Aware 8.2 Free at

 If you have a valid license for Plus/Pro versions, when you install this latest version your license will be automatically transfered to Ad-Aware 8.2 during installation.

Simply click on the 'update now' button and download the latest Ad-Aware installation file (Ad-AwareInstallation.exe).

The link will redirect to the Ad-Aware Free page on Note: The installation file for Ad-Aware Free (Ad-AwareInstallation.exe) is the same as for Plus and Pro.

Installation instructions:

Once downloaded double-click the Ad-AwareInstallation.exe file and follow the on-screen instructions in the Installation Wizard to install. Ad-Aware anniversary edition will be uninstalled during installation of Ad-Aware.

Your computer must be restarted to complete the installation. Click the option to "Restart now."  Click "Finish" to complete the installation process

The program will download any available updates.
Your computer will then restart and Latest version of Ad-Aware (Ad-Aware 8.2) will be completely installed.

Please Note: Your license will be transfered to this latest version on installation.


Alternative download locations:

Download the Ad-Aware Installation file: (Ad-AwareInstallation.exe) from the link sent to you via email shortly after your purchase had been processed.

Log-in to the support center and download a new copy of Ad-Aware (click) here, from the link in the 'My Downloads' section.

Where can I download the Latest version of Ad-Aware?

Ad-Aware Free users can download Ad-Aware at

If you are a Pro or Total Security license holder:

Log-in to the support center and download the latest version of Ad-Aware (click) here, from the link in the 'My Downloads' section.

You can otherwise download the software installation file from the link sent to you via email shortly after your purchase had been processed.

How can I access the Ad-Aware's settings?

Ad-Aware 8.1 (and higher)and Game Edition have two modes, Simple and Advanced Mode.

Ad-Aware 8.1 (and higher)-

To access the settings first change from Simple to Advanced mode, by clicking the icon at the bottom left of the screen.

In Advanced mode click the 'settings' button to customize all the settings.

In Game Edition, Advanced Mode is turned on as default


What is Do not Disturb mode?

Do Not Disturb Mode is a feature of Ad-Aware Pro. It is a non-intrusive, resource efficient mode designed to be used whenever you are using entertainment applications (e.g. games, movies) and do not want to be disturbed by notifications.

Choose this option (In Advanced mode go to Settings > Customize > Click Do Not Disturb ). To suppress notifications automatically. Scheduled scans and scheduled updates will be suspended. An Ad-Aware notification window (Events During Do Not Disturb Mode) will appear if events are detected while in Do Not Disturb Mode.

What is the diffence between Ad-Aware 8.1 and Game Edition?

Ad-Aware Game Edition starts in Advanced mode, whereas Ad-Aware 8.1 starts in Simple mode as default.

Game Edition includes "Game Mode" (the same as "Do Not Disturb Mode" found in Ad-Aware Pro) to free up system resources for other tasks such as games.
There are two unique skins in the Game edition:

"Game" skin:

"Fantasy" skin:

Ad-Aware 8.1 has a different set of skins.
The "Toolbox" features found in versions of Ad-Aware 8.1 are not included in Game edition.

What happens if I change the Ad-Aware skin?

Changing the skin in Ad-Aware will not affect the functionlity of the software.

Switching to a different skin will just change the graphical features like buttons and colours and the general appearance.
The skin setting can be accessed in "Advanced mode", via the "Settings" button and clicking on the "Customize" tab. Select your skin from the drop down menu list.

How do I upgrade to the latest version of Ad-Aware?

The latest version of Ad-Aware is 9.x

It's easy to upgrade. If you have the Ad-Aware 8.x version installed, a splash screen will be opened when you start Ad-Aware. Click "Update now" to start the process.

Once the update has started, the latest software version will be automatically downloaded and updated. The Ad-Aware interface, tray icon and update manager will close during the process to apply all updates and reinitiate its services. Please be patient since this may take a few minutes. At the end of the process Ad-Aware will restart.

Other download options:

You can also download the latest version and install it directly. The installation file is available here or by logging in to the Lavasoft Support Center. Download and run the installation file to upgrade Ad-Aware to the latest version.

Note: The installation file for Ad-Aware (Ad-Aware90Install.exe) is the same for Free and Pro.

What is AAWService.exe?

This is the main Ad-Aware service that runs in the background, and is considered the "central hub" of the program. It runs the Real-time Protection (RP) engine, as well as maintaining the Definitions, Whitelists and Blacklists.

It also makes sure that all the other parts of the system are kept up-to-date with the whole Ad-Aware application. For example, when a user changes a setting in the Ad-Aware interface, AAWService "echoes" this change to everything else so they know about it immediately.

AAWService.exe normally runs as a Windows Service (but can be run interactively in a terminal for development or Support reasons). When started, it also starts the Tray Application for Ad-Aware.

What is AAWTray.exe?

AAWTray.exe maintains that little icon that sits in the System Tray close to the Windows Clock.

However, it does a lot more than this. It is also responsible for bringing up the MiniMessages and shows the status of the Ad-Watch Live! system by changing what the icon looks like.

The user can also start the Ad-Aware interface from the Tray application by double clicking the icon.

What is Ad-Aware.exe?

This is the front-end for the Ad-Aware system. Ad-Aware.exe manages all the interface features that you see when working with Ad-Aware; It provides the user interaction with the Service.

In the background it is communicating with AAWService.exe, asking it to perform tasks like Scan the system, change settings, etc.

In return, AAWService keeps the GUI up to date with the latest Real-time Protection status, license information, scan progress, statistics and so forth.

Why has the Plus version been changed to Pro?

Lavasoft has discontinued the Plus version of Ad-Aware.  If you hold a plus license you can upgrade from Ad-Aware Plus to the higher protection of Ad-Aware Pro free of charge.

The Pro version of Ad-Aware has all of the features found in Plus but also offers Ad-Watch Live! Expert, the Lavasoft Toolbox, advanced rootkit removal, Do Not Disturb Mode, and network drive scanning.

The Plus software will be upgraded to Pro when you run an Ad-Aware web-update.

If you are experiencing a problem upgrading your Plus version to Pro, you can download the latest installer for Ad-Aware from the Support Center from the 'My Downloads' section and use that to install the Pro version:

Ad-Aware Free now includes anti-virus protection

Ad-Aware Free Internet Security now includes anti-virus: complete malware protection that now combines Lavasoft's pioneer technology for anti-spyware with traditional anti-virus protection.

With the addition of anti-virus, Ad-Aware Free is not be just a complimentary security tool - it can be used as a complete malware solution to protect your system from spyware and viruses (as well as rootkits, blended malware, and other online security threats.)

You have the option to "turn off" the anti-virus detection if necessary

There is always a chance of compatibility issues when running concurrent security software. It is not recommended that you run more than one anti-virus product on a computer at the same time.

Why is File Protection turned off?

Ad-Aware will disable File-Protection if you already have software installed that is doing a similar job, this is in order to avoid conflicts.

Turning on File protection after Ad-Aware has disabled it may result in a problem which Ad-Aware has tried to avoid by initially disabling the File-Protection module.

I want to move my Ad-Aware license to a different computer

You can 'reset' your Ad-Aware serial number for a new computer or a new installation as follows:

  • Log-in to your Support Center account here (top left menu)
  • Go to My Licenses section
  • Expand your license and click the 'reset serial' button
  • Please allow our server some moments to reset the serial in the background
  • Once the serial is 'reset' you will be able to reactivate Ad-Aware on the new PC