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I recently was asked by a user (a person with no large technological background) a basic question: how he can disable an antivirus. When I asked why would he want to disable it, the person explained that this was requested when installing an application.

Further questions made it appear that it is a malware disguised as an ordinary freeware product. From what I've seen, this is not the only malware which invites the user to disable an antivirus or to ignore warnings which may be shown by the antivirus.


Still, I remember a few cases where legit applications required to disable an antivirus during installation. I don't remember which ones, but there were well-known products from large companies (Adobe CS, maybe?)

Why would they, given that this gives a very bad habit to the users?

What could be a problem for the legitimate application to be installed in a context where an antivirus is on?

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I would argue that an application inviting users to disable their antivirus software is illegitimate for exactly that reason. That's terrible advice regardless of who's giving it. – Marcks Thomas Nov 25 '12 at 15:14
@MarcksThomas not any of AV is perfect, there are some who don't report about virus in a file and some do. The same way app maker check them and if there AV finds any potential harmful code (you can say its a bug in AV) then they advise to user's to turn off their AV's to let install the program safely. AV warned you due to the DLL files t the installation time because some AV find some code/dll harmful while they are not. – avirk Nov 25 '12 at 15:49
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Antivirus programs will sometimes detect false positives, and some antivirus programs will automatically quarantine or delete files that they suspect are malware.

If the antivirus accidentally deletes a legitimate file that is being used by the installer, it could interrupt the installer and leave the software that is being installed in a broken state.

When this happens, the end-user is likely to place the blame on the software that is being installed, not on the antivirus. Some software developers may ask users to disable their antivirus software to avoid this sort of situation.

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In which case they should report specific problems to the AV writer so they can be corrected. NOT ask for all the safeties to be disabled. If people take that easy way out then do not trust their programming either. Ditch it, get another product. – Hennes Nov 25 '12 at 15:20
In corporate environment we are asked to disable antivirus software all the time; performance reasons being the largest reason. A compromise, and most legitimate software vendors have this, is to provide a list of files to th AV to exclude. – Johnnie Nov 25 '12 at 15:21
"should report specific problems to the AV writer" have you ever done this? Not as easy as it sounds to get a false positive removed unless you are a large software company requesting it. – Moab Nov 25 '12 at 16:27
I completely agree with Moab's comment above. If you've never tried this, you have no idea just how laborious the process is, and how obtuse the support staff of some AV vendors can be. – Karan Nov 25 '12 at 18:09

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