Avira Rescue System v16

A Full Review of Avira Rescue System, a Free Bootable Antivirus Program

Screenshot of Avira Rescue System v15
Avira Rescue System v15. © Avira Operations GmbH & Co.

Among other utilities, Avira Rescue System provides a free bootable antivirus program that you can run from a disc before the operating system starts up.

Because Avira Rescue System is based on the Ubuntu operating system, it means their's a familiar, point-and-click desktop interface you can use to operate the programs.

Download Avira Rescue System
[Avira.com | Download Tips]

Note: This review is of Avira Rescue System version, released on September 19, 2016.

Please let me know if there's a newer version I need to review.

Avira Rescue System Pros & Cons

There's not much to dislike about Avira Rescue System:


  • Regular, graphical user interface
  • Updates are performed automatically before every scan
  • Scans compressed files
  • Includes other free tools


  • Large download (630 MB)
  • No custom scan options

Install Avira Rescue System

There are two ways you can install Avira Rescue System, but the first is the easiest and quickest method. On the download page is two links that look almost identical aside from the word "EXE" and "ISO."

Download the "EXE" version for the quicker install of the two. This version includes a built-in ISO burner, which means you don't have to run a separate program just to burn Avira Rescue System to a disc. 

The ISO version doesn't include the image burning software, which means you must use an image burner to put Avira Rescue System on a CD or DVD.

See How To Burn an ISO Image File to a DVD, CD, or BD if you need help.

No matter which method you use, you'll then need to boot to Avira Rescue System before the operating system starts. See How To Boot From a CD, DVD, or BD Disc for more information.

My Thoughts on Avira Rescue System

I love how easy it is to use Avira Rescue System even though more tools are included than in most similar bootable antivirus programs.

For example, the wizard walks you through the steps to start a scan without any issues. However, if you want more, there's a simple menu to the left that lets you access additional tools like a web browser, Windows Registry Editor, and disk partitioning tool.

Updates are important for all antivirus programs, and fortunately Avira Rescue System will update itself before running a scan, and do so automatically so you don't have to worry about it. While this is a handy feature, it's too bad there aren't any offline update options in case you don't have an active Internet connection, like there is with AVG Rescue CD.

While Avira Rescue System is scanning, you can see the number of viruses found in real time along with the number of files scanned and the elapsed time, much like an antivirus program you'd run on your desktop.

Some bootable antivirus programs let you scan particular parts of your computer, such as just the registry or particular folders. Avira Rescue System will scan the whole computer, though, without any custom options.

Download Avira Rescue System
[Avira.com | Download Tips]

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