Plex is designed to be a one-stop shop for your media needs. It’s great if you want to stream third-party media such as movies, TV shows, and podcasts, or you can use it as your own personal media server and stream libraries to the Plex application from anywhere.
This makes it arguably far more versatile than things like Spotify or Netflix, but it’s not without its drawbacks.
Some users have reported that the Plex application is being blocked by Avast Antivirus and cannot stream the media they want.
If this is happening to you, then don’t worry! In this article, we will explain what causes this issue and then walk you through some simple steps so you can fix this problem once and for all.
Why is Avast blocking Plex?
Depending on how you view your media using the Plex service, several processes within the Avast software suite may interfere with the operation of the streamed media.
For example, if you are viewing Plex within a browser, Avast’s Web Shield can be overbearing and intercept the data transfer, effectively blocking Plex.
Alternatively, if you are streaming media to a TV via the app, Avast Firewall may not like this kind of network activity, falsely flagging it as malicious and blocking it.
The firewall is set to private.
When Avast Firewall is set to private, it will be very quick to clamp down on any activity it seems suspicious. Therefore, when large volumes of data, such as video files or TV shows, are being moved through the network, the Avast Firewall may decide to block it.
Fortunately, we can easily loosen Avast Firewall by changing the Network Profile of the Avast Firewall to the public, which many users have reported fixed this issue for them.
Residual cached files
Sometimes when Avast Premium security intercepts a process associated with Plex, it can damage or corrupt files that exist on the media server and will prevent the service from working correctly.
Users have found residual, corrupt data that they had to clean out manually after uninstalling the software. Then, when they reinstalled and relaunched Plex, everything was working fine.
Remote access disabled
If remote access to Plex is not enabled, you will encounter difficulties launching the app, as any third-party devices will not be granted access to the streaming server.
Fortunately, this is a straightforward thing to solve, and by enabling remote access, you may find Plex will work for you.
Browser security is too high.
The Avast Web Shield is a valuable tool to monitor browser-based activity and jump in should any suspicious files or URLs become detected.
However, it does tend to be a bit too heavy-handed, so if you are using Plex within the browser, Avast Web Shield may be quick to step in and block the process.
By loosening the security settings within Avast a bit, we can unblock the Plex service while still maintaining the security we need when using a web browser.
How to stop Avast from blocking Plex
Of course, you’re keen to get Plex up and running so you can enjoy streaming your media as soon as possible. We’ll walk you through step-by-step how you can fix these issues and ensure everything is running as smoothly as possible.
This seems like a straightforward solution, but with the frequency in which both Plex and Avast issue updates to their systems, you’ll very commonly find that something has been updated and needs a system reboot (this should always be performed with anything that updates Windows registry entries).
If this works, fantastic! If not, continue reading.
Change the firewall network to public.
Many users have become very frustrated that their firewall is blocking the Plex server and can’t figure out why.
One of the most common causes of this is the firewall network being set to public, making it clamp down on data transfer much harder due to the apparent increased risk associated with public networks.
To change your firewall settings to private, navigate to Internet Security within the Avast Premium security software. Then, go to Menu > Settings > Components > Firewall, and click Customize. Within this menu will be an option to customize your Network Profiles, which you should change to private.
Remove residual cached files
Some users who have experienced this issue noted that when trying to re-install Plex, they found cached AppData files left over that when deleted and Plex was reinstalled, allowed everything to work again.
You can find the folder you need to delete by default here: C:\Users*username*\AppData\Local\
Obviously, replace the username with the actual user name you have on your Windows PC.
Once you are here, you should locate the Plex Media Server folder and simply delete it.
Then, reinstall Plex normally.
Enable remote access
If you are using Plex via the app streaming to something like a TV, remote access should also be enabled in order for Avast to allow the software to work.
This is an essential step if you are away from your local network, as the firewall may intercept the data transfer if there is a request for local files from an outside location.
Web Shield settings are too tight.
Of course, Avast Web Shield is there to protect you as a user. However, by default, its settings are pretty tight and can very quickly interfere with the operation of Plex.
To disable some settings, open Avast and navigate the Web Shield menu.
From here, you can manage the blocked websites or possibly disable website blocking completely to ensure Web Shield can no longer block the Plex process.
You may also want to double-check the Avast Chest and make sure it hasn’t falsely placed any files it shouldn’t have there.
Whitelist Plex on Avast Antivirus and Firewall
Suppose you are using Plex locally and trust that all the files associated with it are safe. In that case, you can also tell Avast Antivirus and Avast Firewall to ignore the Plex process, which will often allow it to function uninterrupted.
In both scenarios, you can open up the Avast settings and navigate to the appropriate section.
You will want to add an exception within the antivirus rules to allow the Plex server/URL to be ignored by the antivirus process.
Similarly, you will want to add a new firewall rule that allows the plex URL to be reached.