EA’s Origin client was designed to provide a convenient hub to store all your EA published games from companies such as BioWare, DICE, and Maxis.
Over time, EA has tried to make their games more accessible on different platforms, but for the longest time, EA’s Origin client was a requirement to play their games, and as such, many people still use the Origin client today.
Unfortunately, Avast’s popular Antivirus and Firewall software is known for blocking the Origin client. This not only removes the in-game overlays from any Origin games but if a game requires Origin to load, it’s now rendered completely useless.
If this is happening to you, then you’re in the right place! We’re going to explain both why this happens and how to easily fix it so you can get Origin back up and running as normal.
Why is Avast blocking Origin?
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Video games that run through additional clients can be complicated processes. With the client needing access to the game in order to display its in-game overlay, you will oftentimes have multiple pieces of software requesting access to each other.
For many antivirus programs, this is a big no-no, as it may appear like a virus trying to access another piece of software.
This is why so many antivirus programs have issues with video games that are launched through an external gaming platform.
The Avast central hub
Originally, Avast used to use separate pieces of software for their Antivirus, Firewall, Network Inspector, etc.
Since Avast has now combined these into a suite, it’s easier than ever to have the Web Shield, File Shield, Behavior Shield, Antivirus, and Firewall start to have issues with any one of the programs associated with playing a game through a publisher’s platform.
Each of these modules has options that allow you to choose to ignore a particular piece of software if it’s being flagged as a potential threat but is actually just a false positive. Therefore, if one of these modules is blocking Origin, it’s easy enough to tell it to ignore the program.
The Avast Web Shield is designed to protect you from potentially harmful or malicious websites or file downloads as you browse a website.
This works fine if you’re just generally browsing the internet. However, Origin needs to communicate with the EA Origin website in order to display the most recent information (such as sales or store offers) on the front page of the Origin software.
This puts the Origin software under the watch of Avast Web Shield, and if it flags it as a false positive, it will block Origin.
While Origin itself may not be flagged as a virus or malware, there are often many additional downloads associated with running Origin that is very commonly flagged as potentially harmful.
This includes things like anti-cheat software for online games or any third-party modifications that need access to the client.
These kinds of things are commonly flagged by antivirus software as a false positive, and you may need to manually have these ignored by Avast.
Unexpected updates to Origin
This is something that the developers at Avast have recognized themselves. Video game platforms in general tend to update a lot. They will have almost daily client fixes and adjustments, as well as adding new games and offers to their in-built stores.
When an update is applied to a video game platform, that causes something within Avast to block it. The developers need some time to both ascertain what the issue is and then release an update to the Avast suite so that it no longer causes a problem.
This can often take several days to do, so you can easily find yourself with Origin suddenly being blocked with no real solution other than to wait.
One of the big benefits of using a game through a publisher platform is that you can call up a handy overlay while in-game that gives you access to things like your friends list so you can invite them to play with you.
But this overlay actually runs as a separate program within Origin, so having a program trying to access another program will very commonly flag as unwanted activity.
In this scenario, the overlay may need to be located as a separate process and allowed within the Avast software.
How to stop Avast from blocking Origin
Generally speaking, there’s no simple way to stop Avast from believing that Origin is a threat because even if it works temporarily, at some point they will issue an update, and it will cause issues again. This can also cause problems with lagging or disconnecting from your games.
The most surefire way to ensure Avast won’t block Origin in the future is to manually allow all software associated with the platform in each of the modules.
Here’s how to go about doing that.
Even though Origin is software that runs locally, it still pulls a lot of the data for its front page and stores it from the EA website. This makes it quite common for Web Shield to flag it as potentially harmful and blocks it.
We need to add an exception to the EA Origin website into Web Shield to ensure it doesn’t create any conflicts with the local Origin software.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Open the Avast security software and navigate to Core Shields.
- Click on Web Shield.
- Navigate to Menu, then Settings, then General.
- Click on the exceptions tab, and then click Add Exception.
- Type in the EA Origin store URL.
Add an antivirus exception
In a similar fashion, we need to also tell the Antivirus to ignore Origin, too. This time we are not adding a URL exception. We need to add two program exceptions (or more depending on how many games you play).
To do this, you can follow similar steps to the above section by navigating to Menu, Settings, General, and Exceptions, but this time we need to click “Add advanced exception,” which will allow us to target the .exe files we want specifically.
You will be given the three following choices:
We need to use the File/Folder option and then select the EA Origin client .exe itself and add that. By default, you will find it in C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin.
In addition to that, we need to add the .exe file for each game that we need to play. For example, if you want to play Battlefield 4, you will need to add the Battlefield4.exe file to the exception list.
Set up a firewall rule
If a game is multiplayer, or even single-player but has online connectivity perhaps due to a microtransaction store within the game, we need to tell the Avast Firewall to ignore it so it doesn’t intercept any online traffic.
- First, navigate to the Firewall section of the Avast software.
- Click on Settings in the top-right corner, indicated by the small gear icon.
- Click on View Firewall rules.
- Then, select the applications tab.
- Click “Add a new rule.”
- Fill in all the relevant data, such as giving the rule a name and then selecting the correct software.
Once again, you will need to add both the Origin client and each game that has some kind of online connectivity to it.
You may also want to add a similar rule through Windows Firewall and Windows Defender if you are using them, as well.
Overlay not working
Adding the exceptions to the Antivirus and Firewall should be enough to make these functional. However, one issue the Avast developers themselves have mentioned is that sometimes Origin launches an update that introduces a new process.
Essentially, any new processes will sit outside of the rules and exceptions we’ve previously added, meaning the overlay can still sometimes be blocked even though the game is otherwise running fine.
In this scenario, the best solution is to temporarily disable Avast until they issue an update to fix it. It’s not an ideal solution, but Avast is not told of Origin’s updates before they happen and can only react to them after the update has gone live.
Often, online multiplayer games will make use of anti-cheat software to make sure you aren’t using hacks or modifying the game when playing online.
It’s fine if you do this on a single-player game, but if you do this online, it will affect other people’s gaming experiences, so they are quite serious about stopping this from happening.
The way they enforce this is by using separate anti-cheat software that monitors your computer for any third-party programs. Because of this monitoring process, it can easily draw the ire of Avast Antivirus.
The exact anti-cheat software used for each game will vary. You might have to check with that specific game for what the software is called and add exceptions for it in both the firewall and antivirus accordingly.
One of the most common anti-cheat programs is Easy Anti Cheat, but there are many more out there.
Temporary disable Avast
Between the constant updates, anti-cheat software, and in-game overlays, there’s really a lot for Avast’s Shields, Antivirus, and Firewall programs to try and pick a fight with.
Sometimes the easiest option is to just turn Avast off temporarily while you are playing and then turn it back on when you are done.
This is not an ideal solution, but particularly when an update has just been issued and Avast hasn’t yet fixed the problem, this might be the only way to play a game in peace.