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Following Microsoft Defender, Avira now freezing Windows at boot with 100% CPU / RAM usage

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Just a few days ago we published AV-TEST's and AV-Comparatives' findings regarding system performance impact by various anti-malware products. In the article, we covered how Microsoft Defender, AVG, McAfee, and Norton, among others, can hog Windows PCs under different circumstances.

This was just a couple of days after we covered an issue with Microsoft Defender causing performance loss on Windows 11 23H2, where the workaround was to reset Defender. However, if you think third-party anti-virus solutions work flawlessly, you will be quite incorrect.

According to multiple reports online, a recent Avira update is leading to the entire system freezing right at startup when the anti-virus app kicks off, and this is seemingly happening on Windows 10 as well as Windows 11. Most of the complaints online testify that a similar thing is happening. While the system is responsive immediately when it boots up and gets into Windows, it freezes up and becomes unusable and unresponsive as soon as the Avira application loads up. This is happening on SSDs too, whether NVMe or SATA, and the situation is likely worse on hard disks (HDDs).

Some users were able to launch Task Manager in the small window of time they got when the system booted, which led them to notice that the CPU and RAM usage were seemingly both pegged at 100% as the system came to a total standstill.

The issue has been pretty much confirmed to be something related to Avira as more and more users were able to fix the problem by uninstalling Avira. If you are one of those affected too, you can do so by rebooting Windows into Safe mode and then uninstalling the Avira antivirus program from the Control Panel app > Programs and Features > Uninstall a program.

In case you are worried about malware protection, Microsoft Defender should take over from there when Windows notices you don't have an anti-virus enabled.

The Avira Support X (Twiiter) handle has yet to publish any update and the latest Avira module release note also does not say anything about the issue yet:

Avira Security 1.1.96

  • Bugfixes
  • Stability Improvements

Avira Browser Safety 4.2.7

  • Bugfixes

Avira Phantom VPN 2.43.1

  • Bugfixes

Avira Password Manager 2.19.13

  • Bugfixes

Avira Speedup for Windows

  • Maintenance

Stability Improvements

  • Avira Secure Browser x86(32-bit) 118.0.22916.118
  • Avira Secure Browser x64(64-bit) 118.0.22914.118


  • Stability Improvements

The issue happened over the weekend which is likely why Avira has not been able to get to the root of it yet. And in case you are thinking of switching over to something else, you certainly could, though bear in mind that in the latest malware protection ranking, It was amongst the best performers.

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