How do I use Avira Rescue System?

Avira Rescue System is a free product that can scan and repair an infected operating system. Additionally, it offers the opportunity to edit various registry configuration settings of your System. The program includes a wizard which guides with ease any unskilled user through the scan and repair process.

Once the Avira Rescue System file has been downloaded, a CD/DVD or a bootable USB drive should be created. Thereafter, the infected computer has to boot from the created medium in order to perform the clean-up process.

The product does not support multi-boot scenarios and does not repair:

  • Boot sectors
  • Encrypted files
  • Partitions

Linux operating systems can only be searched and sanitized, but not repaired.

I. Download Avira Rescue System

Download ISO file

An ISO file (image file) is a copy of an entire CD as a single file.
If you create a new disk from an ISO file, the created disk will contain the same properties as the ISO file.

II. Create an Avira Rescue System data medium

If the infected computer possesses an optical drive, burn a bootable CD/DVD from the downloaded ISO file. Otherwise, create a bootable USB drive.

  • Burn a bootable CD/DVD

    Use any burning tool or the common Windows burner to create a CD/DVD from the downloaded ISO file.

    1. Insert a writable CD/DVD in the drive.
    2. Double-click the downloaded ISO file.
    3. Select the CD/DVD burner.
    4. Click Burn.

    If you do not possess any burning tool, it is recommended to download the Avira Rescue System as EXE file. The file includes a burning tool that helps you to create with ease the required bootable CD/DVD. Insert a blank CD/DVD into your optical drive and double-click the downloaded rescue-system.exe file to create your Avira Rescue System CD/DVD. grey-line

  • Create a bootable USB stick

    Create a bootable USB drive if the infected computer has no optical drive.
    This article explains how to create a USB drive out of the downloaded ISO file.

III. Start the computer from the Avira Rescue CD/USB

Avira Rescue System is based on a customized Ubuntu desktop system and runs on this platform as a standalone application. Once the bootable media are created, the infected computer has to be started from the Avira Rescue System.

If possible, backup your important files on an external device before using Avira Rescue System.

1. Adjust the startup sequence of your computer

In order to start the computer via Avira Rescue System, the startup sequence of the operating system needs to be changed in the BIOS.
Further information on how to change the startup sequence of an operating system is described in this article.

64-bit computers with Windows 8 and later support the new UEFI Secure Boot. This option is enabled by default. Therefore, it is not possible to start the computer from an alternative operating system.
Further information on how to disable UEFI Secure Boot is described in this article.

2. Start Avira Rescue System

Due to the previous change of the startup sequence, the infected computer will start now from the Avira Rescue System Ubuntu platform.

  1. Insert the Avira Rescue System CD/DVD into the drive or connect the bootable USB drive and restart the computer.
  2. The user interface of Avira Rescue System will be automatically displayed.
    Use the F2 key to select the user language and confirm with Enter.


  3. Accept the EULA (End User License Agreement).
  4. The welcome page of Avira Rescue System is displayed.
    Start the clean-up and repair process by clicking Start Wizard.

    avira-rescue system_start-wizard

  5. Select the affected partition and click Next.
  6. The Avira scanner connects to the internet to perform VDF (Virus Definition Files) and engine updates. In case there is no internet connection available, the existing VDF and engine signatures from the ISO file will be used for scanning.
    Suspicious files will be automatically renamed during the scan in .rend files, to prevent any further damage.


  7. The “Result Summary” indicates that the system has been completely cleaned and repaired.


  8. Click Shut Down.
  9. Remove the Avira Rescue System CD from the drive, respectively the Avira Rescue System USB drive from the computer.
  10. Restart the computer.

Affected products

  • Created : Wednesday, February 13, 2008
  • Last updated: Friday, February 15, 2019
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