If you have a file that you suspect is housing a virus but your antivirus software does not detect it, you can submit it for further analysis online. This guide shows you the best online virus scanners available today. If you’d like to scan one file, follow the instructions under Scan Individual Files for Viruses. If you’d like to scan your entire PC, follow the instructions under Scan Your Entire PC for Viruses.
Scan Individual Files for Viruses
Most of the major players in the anti-virus software industry provide some kind of web tool to scan files for viruses, which means there’s a lot of choice. You can access many of these tools in one go by using either Jotti’s malware scan or VirusTotal:
Jotti’s malware scan
Jotti’s malware scan lets you to upload a file of up to 25 MB in size for analysis by many of the leading virus scanners including Avast!, AVG, and ESET (note: These are the Linux versions but should have nearly identical detection ability.) Just go to the home page and upload the file you wish to test:
You’ll get near instant feedback from the following scanners:
Like Jotti’s malware scan, VirusTotal submits your file to a variety of virus scanning engines. Go the Virus Total homepage, upload your file (up to 32MB) and wait for the results to come in:
If you’d like test your file with just one scanning engine, here are some links to the best/most reputable versions:
- avast! Online Scanner
- ESET free online scanner (Requires either Internet Explorer plugin or install of a browser plugin for Chrome/Firefox)
- Microsoft Safety Scanner (Requires download of ~70 MB definitions file)
Scan Your whole PC for Viruses
If you’d like to scan your whole PC for viruses using an online tool, you have two good options Panda Activescan and Bitdefender QuickScan.
1. Open Internet Explorer and browse to the Panda Activescan home page and click Scan your PC
2. Select either Full Scan or Quick Scan and click Scan Now
3. When prompted, install the Active X plugin by clicking Install:
4. Click Install
5. If Panda attempts to update, click Allow when prompted:
Panda will now scan your PC for malicious software:
Another great tool to scan your whole PC is Bitdefender QuickScan. This tool also plays nicely with other browsers including Google Chrome.
1. Go to the Bitdefender QuickScan page and click Scan Now
2. When prompted, install the plugin
3. Wait for the scan to complete
Note: If a virus is detected, you may be instructed to call a toll-free number for help. At this point, I recommend you download a good virus scanner and clean the infection from your PC.
Do you use any online tools to check files you suspect are malicious? If we didn’t list them above, let us know about them in the comments below.