How to Set Up and Use avast! Anti-Theft on Android

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thiefFew days back while I was discussing the best Android security apps to use on your Android, I emphasized on avast! Anti-Theft’s (that that’s how they like to write their name) features. I have used and reviewed many free and paid anti-theft apps available on the Play Store, but I must say that no one seems to do it better than avast!.

Lately, I have been getting complaints that setting up avast! Anti-Theft is very complicated but when I used the app, I realized that people take avast!’s eye for detail as complexity. So today I am going to talk about the process to set up and use the avast! Anti-Theft feature on your mobile easily. This is the Android app we are talking about so the tutorial is limited to Android devices.

Setting up Anti-Theft on avast! in Android

When you launch avast! Mobile Security for the first time you will be asked to configure the anti-theft module. Once you accept and start the setup process, your phone will be checked for system dependencies like internet connection, etc. Having succeeded in the test, the process will start.

setup anti-thetcheck phone

The next thing the app will ask you is whether you would like to run the app as a root user or not. If you have root access on your device, put a check against the option Root Installation to get some extra perks from the app. For the guide I will stick to non-rooted installation, but we will talk about root features time to time.

root or non root

Now here’s the cool thing: the app will ask you the name of a dummy app to download for your mobile. It will be the avast! Anti-Theft app itself but with a dummy name and icon to fool prying eyes. You can give a name yourself or ask avast! to assist you. Once you confirm to it, the app will download and install the customized app for your phone.

choose alias namecow race

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After you have installed the customized app, you can close the avast! Mobile Securities and open the dummy app to control the Anti-Theft features. You can now go ahead and set up some basic settings like your device name, the password that will be used for security and authentication in remote commands, phone number of friends for notifications etc. After you set up these settings you can go ahead and turn on the anti-theft feature.

avast Anti theft (1)avast Anti theft (2)

In the advanced settings you can configure the behavior of the phone when it gets lost or stolen. You can configure the lock screen message, USB debugging settings, GPS behavior. Root users will get some additional settings here like full wipe and factory reset. Root users can also install the app as a system partition.

avast Anti theft (3)

So that was all about setting up the phone. Now let us see how to use it in the unfortunate event of your phone getting lost or stolen.

Using avast! Anti-Theft to Recover Your Lost Android Phone

Using avast! after the phone is stolen is a bit tricky as you will no longer have access to your phone, and you will have to control it using some SMS commands. The first thing the phone will do when it detects a SIM change is that it will lock the phone and SMS all the details to two of the friends numbers configured in the app.

avast! has a long list of commands that can be used to control the device remotely and the best thing to do is to remember them. They aren’t very difficult to remember actually. All of them begin with your avast! password (the one you set up while configuring the app) and are followed by simple words like LOST, TRACK etc. You can find all the SMS commands on avast!’s official product page. Bookmarking the page will be a prudent thing to do.


Obviously, we’d all hope that there never comes a time when we’d have to use this app. But then, life’s not always hunky dory, is it? When it isn’t, apps like these are a silver lining amidst of the dark clouds.

Top Image Credits: Microsoft Images

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Show archived comments (15)

Archived Comments

  1. Brent says:

    Hi Many thanks for the explanation, however when you mentioned in the opening of your article that you had received complaints about setting up the antivirus.

    I can assure you the main concerns where revolving around the setup. You have touched on this very quickly and basically, but therein lies the confusion for us uninformed android users:

    In setup we have to deal with references to “Administrators”, “Rooted”, “Recovery phone numbers” “Password” and “Remote control”, these sections have been completed left out.

    So after reading the article, I still don’t have any idea on what the “Recovery phone number” is, whether I am the phone administrator or not (this seems important since if as my limited understanding goes, I could lock my entire phone up). Must I send the avast pin and command from one of the phones which I put down, (by the way you mention that I can put in more than one number??? If so I don’t see this option). What happens if my wifes number is the recovery number and both our phones are stolen?

    The avast account, can it be the same as my desktop account?

    Otherwise the article was very nicely worded, I just feel you missed the most important sections in “settingup” the app for the uninitiated.

    • anas says:

      its should be obvious i dont get it whats confusing in it.

      rrecovery phone number is a phone number that u need to provide on which(in case ur phone is lost) it communicates with you. like if there is a sim change it will detect that n send the information as a sms on the number you provided

      yes you are the phone administrator.however you have to grant administrator access to antitheft program in order to prevent it from uninstallation and have better access to your phone. to do this goto settings>security>device administrators.and check your antitheft programme(whatever disguiised name you gave it)

      password is obviously what u need to setup to stop others accessingyour anti theft. plus it will also be required to send sms commands

      remote control. this feature u can control you device using sms commadns. u can find these commands in anti theft help section.

      hope this helped

      • Stephen says:

        My experience with avast was disasterous. Got up this morning looked at my phone……..apparently it is lost or stolen and became a brick!
        typed in my security code to no avail. Went to the site and tried to recover my password or change it. Typed in my email address said I did not exist (I only have one email address) Big question……why did avast consider my mobile was stolen? I had to get it back to factory settings lost all my contacts. Had a similar thing happen about 2 weeks ago sent a support request from avast at that time no reply. Think very carefully before installing this product. Do a google search I am not the only one with this problem. Avast caused me a problem greater than the threat anticipated.

  2. Ridhi says:

    Hello sir, I would like to know how to install the avast! Anti Theft ‘rooted’ as that is the only thing I have difficulty with.
    Many thanks in advance.

    • marianne says:

      Instructions for rooting your phone/tablet are different for every device, and you really need to google the correct procedure according to your make/model. If you’ve already rooted the phone/tablet (but installed avast before you rooted), then you need to go to avast’s settings, remove the anti-theft protection, and reinstall it.

      • sataniccrow says:

        in the case, if you’re having hard time removing the anti-theft package, try using Titanium Backup app to uninstall it.
        Another tip is: install avast directly from the app store on your mobile (avoid accessing the app installation through the web store)

  3. vivek v nair says:

    thank you very much

    this has helped me a lot

  4. oen marcos says:

    thanks for the article. unfortunately it turns out the antitheft wasn’t installed on my phone. i clearly remembering installing it, and it even had the disguised app name. but I didn’t know you had to access the app to activate it. now my phone’s stolen.

  5. regbs says:

    I love authors who start at step 10 without any path of how to get there. Is it deliberate contempt for the audience or an author who lacks the brain power to consider his audience’s perspective? Really pathetically useless.

  6. khan says:

    how to enter the oin to enter the settings again? i am trying but can’t get to the main menu

    • The app works in stealth mode. So to open the app settings you need to open your dialler, dial the 4-6 digit security pin you have used for Avast and tap the dial button. If the code is correct the Avast settings will open up.

  7. Amit Chauhan says:

    Sir I’ve Lost My Phone And In My Phone I’ve Installed Avast Anti Theft So What Should I Do…..Plz Help Me Sir..

  8. khaliq says:

    Sir,which number will i send the SMS command to

  9. OZ says:

    Hello sir, plz how can I track my lost phone using avast anti theft when the SIM card has not been changed but the phone is switched off?

  10. judza says:

    hie…how do i get my phone to send me the 4 – 6 digit security pin? everytime i request for it an error message pops up?