How to scan files with multiple antivirus apps all at once

Scan your files for safety without needing to download any more applications.

Ensure your files are safe by scanning them with multiple antivirus programs all at once.

Antivirus programs work in a similar way to the human immune system--unfortunately it is necessary to get sick before you can become immune. Luckily, in the case of antivirus software, YOU (or your computer) doesn't have to be the first one to get infected. It's the job of someone else to identify harmful code and tell the software how to detect it. What this means in the grand scheme of things is that when new malware and viruses begin circulating, it might be a while before your antivirus program of choice is able to detect/handle it, and alternative software may offer protection before yours does.

For added peace of mind, you can scan a file using VirusTotal to get infection reports from several different antivirus programs all at once. Read on to learn more.

What you'll need:

  • A file you want scanned
  • Connection to the internet

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 1: Navigate to http://www.virustotal.com/ in your favorite Web browser.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 2: To upload a file for scanning, click the Browse button and locate the file. Once the file is selected, click the Send file button.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Alternative Step 2: To submit a Web site for scanning, click on the Submit a URL tab. Enter the website's address and click the Submit URL button.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

If the file or URL you're submitting is already found in the VirusTotal database, you'll be alerted on the next page. You can choose to view the last report generated about your file/URL (generally a clean report), or resubmit the file/URL if you think there is still an issue to be addressed.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 3: View the report page. The data in the Result column will tell you how many (if any) antivirus programs were able to locate infection. The table below this will show more detailed information on what each program found.

The only downside to using this utility is the file size limit of 20Mb. If this limitation isn't too big of a deal for you, this can make detection of infection several times easier. Trying to install multiple antivirus programs on your personal computer to get the same level or security can lead to some really bad issues that are simply not worth it.

 

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