We’ve heard you: Goodbye “Expert mode” !

Some years ago, it was common practice to hide options that are most likely not going to be used by everyone. This is how the few advanced options were kept away from the what we call “average user” and made available only to tech-savvy users.

On the product’s side, the further development of the technology required us to add more and more options in the product. Some of them, we considered to be for the tech-savvy user, some others for the average user.

This is why at some point in time the configuration options of all Avira for Windows products has been split into “Expert mode” and non-expert mode.

The signals from the market at that time made us to go so far as to signal the user that using the “Expert mode” can be dangerous. So, we showed the status yellow (warning) when the options was enabled and status green (all OK) when it was disabled.

expertmode-off     expertmode-on

“Expert mode” OFF                      ”Expert mode” ON

Observe that the height of the menu changed between the two modes because more options were made available.


But, things have changed in the meanwhile.

More and more people during these years have increased their knowledge in using computers and have a better understanding how antivirus software is helping them to be safe. The difference between the “average user” and the tech-savvy user has started to disappear.

Because of this, our users were forced to enable “Expert mode” as the very first thing they did when they opened the configuration center. This had as a consequence that the “Expert mode” was actually almost always activated.

At some point in time you, our customers, have started to ask us why do we still need that separation between Expert and non-Expert mode and have requested us to remove it.

As you can imagine, having over a 100 million users is hard to make everyone happy. We still have many options that are complex to understand. From this point of view, such a separation could still make sense. That’s why we have started to investigate which options still make sense and which don’t. Don’t worry, we will ask your opinion on this as well.

Now we are confident that we can reach a compromise regarding the “Expert mode”:

1. We remove now the switch “Expert mode” from the Configuration and display all the options as if this mode would be always activated. This way no option gets lost and you have to make a click less. Not to say the many Support calls from users who didn’t understand what this warning signal means.

2. We start a step-by-step process to remove from the user interface those options which we think are obsolete, not used by anyone anymore or are active by default and it makes no sense to deactivate them.


I am glad to inform you that the first step of these changes is happening today:

We removed the “Expert mode” in the Update 13 which we start to roll-out today, 24.06.2013, 10 AM CET+1. 

The update will take about a week to roll-out to all users, all products, all supported languages. So, don’t worry if you can’t see this change immediately.



Thanks for your continuous feedback all this time, and please keep sending us your feedback as a beta tester or as a customer.


Sorin Mustaca

Product Manager


via Avira – TechBlog http://techblog.avira.com/2013/06/24/weve-heard-you-goodbye-expert-mode/en/

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About the Author

Sorin Mustaca
Sorin Mustaca, (ISC)2 CSSLP, CompTIA Security+ and Project+, is working since over 20 years in the IT Security industry and worked between 2003-2014 for Avira as Product Manager for the known products used by over 100 million users world-wide. Today he is CEO and owner of Endpoint Cybersecurity GmbH focusing on Cybersecurity, secure software development and security for IoT and Automotive. He is also running his personal blog Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity and is the author of the free eBook Improve your security .

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