World of Warcraft revolutionized the landscape of the MMORPG, making a genre that was previously quite niched open up to the masses with its accessible and approachable aesthetic and game mechanics.
For almost two decades, the game has consistently released content and is still played by millions of players worldwide.
However, it’s common for WoW players to run into the problem of their Avast Antivirus blocking the game.
If this is happening to you, you’re in the right place. We’re going to explain both why this happens and how you can go about fixing it.
Why is Avast blocking World of Warcraft?
MMOs are complicated pieces of software and, at times, can have thousands of lines of code being processed per second. Not to mention the additional software required to make them work, such as launchers, the Battle.net client, and third-party UI mods.
It’s easy to see how software like Avast might incorrectly flag something malicious when it shouldn’t.
Here’s a rundown of the main reasons that will cause Avast Antivirus to block World of Warcraft.
Battle.net cache issue
Activision Blizzard games need to use their proprietary multiplayer client known as Battlenet to function. This is mandatory for all of their games and generally works well.
However, some users have reported that the file associated with authenticating the Battle.net servers flags up as malicious; this file is called Gen32. It’s assumed that there is an issue with how Battle.net caches specific files, which will trigger Avast to block it.
Fortunately, the fix is easy, and the problematic cached files can be located and deleted.
World of Warcraft launcher
As with most MMORPGs, WoW needs to be started through a launcher, a small piece of software that will check that your game version is up to date and download any patches/hotfixes to the game and apply them automatically.
However, if this launcher becomes blocked by Avast, you will have no way to boot the game.
A few workarounds involve safe listing the launcher or updating the game manually and launching it without the launcher.
Blizzard games use a proprietary anti-cheat process named Warden to check people’s machines for third-party programs that could potentially alter or manipulate the game client to give them an unfair advantage.
Because of the access permission a process like Warden requires, it can quickly draw the attention of both Avast Antivirus and Avast Firewall. Therefore, you will need to make sure they are configured to allow Warden to work unimpeded, or Blizzard won’t allow you to log into their servers as they cannot confirm you are a legitimate player.
Antivirus damaging files
If Avast has intercepted a particular process, particularly during patching/updating, it may cause the install to fail and leave behind residually corrupted or damaged files.
This can be the source of much confusion for users, as even reinstalling the client won’t solve it.
In this scenario, we need to uninstall the client completely to ensure all damaged files are removed and then reinstall it.
When Avast Antivirus flags a file as being potentially malicious, it will encrypt it and send it to the Avast Chest for further inspection.
This will prevent the game from loading, as the file will not be allowed to function normally.
We can get around this by checking the Quarantine Chest, and if we can determine the file is safe, instructing Avast to ignore the file in the future will allow World of Warcraft to boot normally.
How to stop avast from blocking world of warcraft
Unfortunately, the nature of MMORPGs means that quite a few processes are happening here, all of which are potential targets for Avast to block.
However, the fixes for this are all pretty straightforward. Follow these suggestions in order, and you’ll be back in-game in no time!
Add exceptions within Avast Antivirus.
Within the Avast software, we can instruct it to ignore particular files or processes that we know are legitimate. By adding the client and launcher to the Avast Whitelist, the game will, in most cases, be able to launch without issue.
Here’s how to allow a program in Avast:
- Open the Avast Antivirus software and navigate to Menu and then Settings.
- Click the General tab at the top, and then click the third tab, called “exception.”
- Within this menu, we can add either a regular exception, as indicated by the green button, or an advanced exception, which is the white text just to the right. Click “add advanced exception.”
- You can select the executable you wish to allow, and Avast will add it to the whitelist.
The most important part here is to add both the game client and the Battle.net launcher. Both of these programs are mandatory for the game to launch.
Add rule within Avast Firewall.
Like Avast Antivirus, Avast Firewall will detect and intercept any data transfer that it deems as malicious and block it.
Therefore, we also need to add the launcher and game client to the firewall rules, so it knows that the server requests are legitimate and will let them work unimpeded.
Temporarily disable Avast
Avast issues an update will cause problems with software that otherwise works just fine. This has happened several times with World of Warcraft and will usually result in the forum being flooded with user reports and complaints.
Avast will generally confirm this problem and issue a hotfix reasonably quickly. Unfortunately, you cannot do much from a user’s perspective other than wait for the hotfix to be published.
If you are eager to play the game in the meantime, we recommend simply disabling Avast so you can play while they work on a patch and then re-enabling it once the patch has been released and applied.
Turn off the file system shield.
Not to be confused with Avast Antivirus, the file system shield acts as a real-time monitor that can block potentially harmful files from launching.
However, it’s been known to be too heavy-handed with World of Warcraft and needs to be loosened for the game to run.
- Open the Avast software and navigate to User Interface.
- Click on Real Time Shields.
- Next, click on File System Shield.
- Then, click Expert Settings.
- Add the following folder to the list: C:\ProgramData\Blizzard Entertainment\
You may need to swap out C:\ with something else if the game is installed in a different directory.
Launch WoW without the launcher
Provided the game is up to date, you can technically bypass the Battle.net launcher by clicking the client .exe file directly.
This game will still check your version and prevent you from logging in if it’s not up to date. However, you can manually download all patches and hotfixes directly from the Blizzard website and install them yourself, effectively bypassing the launcher.
This works as a temporary workaround if you want to play the game soon while you work on a more permanent solution.