How to Check If Antivirus Software Is Running Properly?

19 minutes read

To check if antivirus software is running properly, you can perform the following steps:

  1. Launch the antivirus software: Open the antivirus program on your computer. The icon for the program is usually located in the system tray or taskbar. Double-click or right-click on the icon to open the software’s user interface.
  2. Verify the real-time protection status: Look for a section or tab within the antivirus program that displays the real-time protection status. Real-time protection actively scans files and programs as they are accessed or run. Ensure that this feature is turned on and running correctly.
  3. Update virus definitions: Check for the latest updates to the antivirus software. Virus definitions contain the information needed to identify and remove new threats. Look for an option to update virus definitions within the software's interface and ensure that it is up to date.
  4. Perform a manual scan: Initiate a manual scan of your computer. This feature is usually located under the "Scan" or "Protection" section of the antivirus program. Choose to scan the entire system or specific files/folders. Allow the scan to complete and check for any detected threats.
  5. Monitor system performance: Pay attention to the overall performance of your computer. If your antivirus software is running properly, it should not cause significant system slowdowns or excessive use of system resources.
  6. Check for notifications: Keep an eye out for any notifications or alerts from the antivirus software. These may indicate that threats have been detected, quarantined, or resolved. Make sure to take appropriate action based on the notifications received.
  7. Consult the software's documentation: If you still have doubts about the proper functioning of your antivirus software, refer to the documentation or user manual provided by the software's manufacturer. It may offer additional troubleshooting steps or provide specific guidance to verify its functionality.


It is crucial to note that different antivirus software may have slight variations in their user interfaces and functionality. Therefore, it is recommended to refer to the specific documentation or support resources provided by your antivirus software's manufacturer for accurate guidance.

Best Antivirus Software in April 2024

1
McAfee Total Protection 2024 Ready | Unlimited Devices | Cybersecurity Software Includes Antivirus, Secure VPN, Password Manager, Dark Web Monitoring | Download

Rating is 5 out of 5

McAfee Total Protection 2024 Ready | Unlimited Devices | Cybersecurity Software Includes Antivirus, Secure VPN, Password Manager, Dark Web Monitoring | Download

  • MCAFEE TOTAL PROTECTION IS ALL-IN-ONE PROTECTION – antivirus, security, identity, and privacy protection for all your devices for one year​
  • SECURE VPN – Stay private and secure on public Wi-Fi with VPN that can connect automatically when you need it
  • PARENTAL CONTROLS - Help protect your kids from inappropriate online behavior, apps, and content, manage screen time, get location-based alerts, and guide them to build good digital habits
  • MONITOR UP TO 10 EMAILS ON THE DARK WEB - If your info is found we'll notify you so you can act before your info ends up in the wrong hands
  • CHECK THE HEALTH OF YOUR ONLINE PROTECTION – our industry-first Protection Score will identify weak spots and guide you to improve your security​
  • PASSWORD MANAGER - Secure your accounts by generating and storing complex passwords and auto-filling your info for faster logins across devices
  • AWARD WINNING ANTIVIRUS - Protect all your personal devices and the info on them from the latest threats
2
Norton 360 Premium, 2024 Ready, Antivirus software for 10 Devices with Auto Renewal - Includes VPN, PC Cloud Backup & Dark Web Monitoring [Download]

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Norton 360 Premium, 2024 Ready, Antivirus software for 10 Devices with Auto Renewal - Includes VPN, PC Cloud Backup & Dark Web Monitoring [Download]

  • ONGOING PROTECTION Download instantly & install protection for up to 10 PCs, Macs, iOS or Android devices in minutes!
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  • SECURE VPN Browse anonymously and securely with a no-log VPN while using public Wi-Fi Add bank-grade encryption to help keep your information like passwords and bank details secure and private
  • DARK WEB MONITORING will monitor and notify you if we find your personal information on the Dark Web**
  • 75GB SECURE PC CLOUD BACKUP store and help protect important files as a preventative measure to data loss due to hard drive failures, stolen devices and even ransomware***
  • PRE-PAID SUBSCRIPTION A payment method must be stored in your Norton account to activate* You won’t be charged until the prepaid term ends For new Norton subscriptions only at an introductory price
  • AUTO-RENEWAL Never have a service disruption since this subscription auto-renews annually If you do not wish to renew, you can cancel in your Norton account anytime
3
Kaspersky Total Security 2023 | 5 Devices | 1 Year | Antivirus, Secure VPN and Password Manager Included | PC/Mac/Android | Online Code

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Kaspersky Total Security 2023 | 5 Devices | 1 Year | Antivirus, Secure VPN and Password Manager Included | PC/Mac/Android | Online Code

  • PROTECTS MULTIPLE DEVICES: Stay safe at home and on the go with a single license for your PCs, Macs, and Android and iOS devices.
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  • SAFEGUARDS YOUR IDENTITY: Stop phishing, identify dangerous files and websites, and shred important personal files.
4
Bitdefender Total Security 2024 – Complete Antivirus and Internet Security Suite – 5 Devices | 1 Year Subscription | PC/Mac | Activation Code by Mail

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Bitdefender Total Security 2024 – Complete Antivirus and Internet Security Suite – 5 Devices | 1 Year Subscription | PC/Mac | Activation Code by Mail

  • SPEED-OPTIMIZED, CROSS-PLATFORM PROTECTION: World-class antivirus security and cyber protection for Windows (Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 11), Mac OS (Yosemite 10.10 or later), iOS (11.2 or later), and Android (5.0 or later). Organize and keep your digital life safe from hackers
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  • ADVANCED THREAT DEFENSE: Real-Time Data Protection, Multi-Layer Malware and Ransomware Protection, Social Network Protection, Game/Movie/Work Modes, Microphone Monitor, Webcam Protection, Anti-Tracker, Phishing, Fraud, and Spam Protection, File Shredder, Parental Controls, and more
  • ECO-FRIENDLY PACKAGING: Your product-specific code is printed on a card and shipped inside a protective cardboard sleeve. Simply open packaging and scratch off security ink on the card to reveal your activation code. No more bulky box or hard-to-recycle discs
5
Malwarebytes | Amazon Exclusive | 18 Months, 2 Devices | PC, Mac, Android [Online Code]

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Malwarebytes | Amazon Exclusive | 18 Months, 2 Devices | PC, Mac, Android [Online Code]

  • Protects your identity and privacy from hackers
  • Prevents virus, spyware, and malware infections (PC and Mac only)
  • Detects and removes malware and potentially unwanted programs from a device that has already been infected
  • Protects your documents, financial files, and photos from ransomware
  • Keeps you safe from malicious and fraudulent websites (PC and Android only)
6
ESET NOD32 Antivirus | 2024 Edition | 1 Device | 1 Year | Antivirus Software | Gamer Mode | Small System Footprint | Official Download with License

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

ESET NOD32 Antivirus | 2024 Edition | 1 Device | 1 Year | Antivirus Software | Gamer Mode | Small System Footprint | Official Download with License

  • Protects you against all types of malware, including viruses, ransomware, rootkits, worms and spyware.
  • Simple reliable protection. Protects your private data from ransomware and phishing with easy-to-use internet security.
  • Light footprint & won't slow you down. Enjoy the full power of your computer. Play, work and browse the internet without slowdowns.
7
AVG Ultimate 2022 | Antivirus+Cleaner+VPN | 10 Devices, 2 Years [PC/Mac/Mobile Download]

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

AVG Ultimate 2022 | Antivirus+Cleaner+VPN | 10 Devices, 2 Years [PC/Mac/Mobile Download]

  • AVG ULTIMATE: Your all-in-one antivirus, VPN, and tuneup combo.
  • OUR BEST SECURITY: Enjoy our advanced, real-time security for your computers, tablets, and phones.
  • OUR BEST PRIVACY: Secure your privacy with powerful encryption so no one can see what you do online.
  • OUR BEST PERFORMANCE: Improve the performance of all your devices with our specialized tools.
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What is the best antivirus software for Mac?

There are several good antivirus software options available for Mac, but the "best" one can depend on individual needs and preferences. Here are some popular and highly recommended antivirus software for Mac:

  1. Intego Mac Internet Security X9: Known as the top antivirus software specifically built for Mac users, it offers comprehensive protection against malware, spyware, phishing attacks, and more.
  2. Norton 360 Deluxe: Norton is a well-known antivirus brand that provides strong protection against various threats, including real-time malware detection, a firewall, secure VPN, and more.
  3. Malwarebytes for Mac: This software specializes in detecting and eliminating malware, adware, and ransomware threats on Mac. It also offers real-time protection and scheduled scans.
  4. Avast Security for Mac: Avast is a widely recognized antivirus solution that offers features like real-time scanning, Wi-Fi security scanning, browser protection, and email scanning.
  5. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac: Bitdefender is a popular choice offering a combination of advanced features like real-time protection, ransomware protection, secure browsing, and a VPN.


Remember to regularly update your antivirus software to ensure it has the latest virus definitions and features to protect your Mac effectively.


What is the difference between free and paid antivirus software?

The main difference between free and paid antivirus software lies in their features, level of protection, and additional services offered. Here are some distinctions:

  1. Features: Free antivirus software usually provides basic protection features like malware scanning and removal, real-time threat detection, and automatic updates. Paid antivirus software, on the other hand, offers advanced features like firewall protection, email and spam filtering, secure browsing, password managers, and more extensive control over configuration settings.
  2. Level of Protection: While both free and paid antivirus software aim to protect your computer from malware, paid software often provides more comprehensive and proactive protection. Paid antivirus programs typically have larger threat databases and faster response times to new emerging threats. They may also employ advanced technologies such as behavior monitoring, heuristic analysis, and machine learning algorithms to detect and prevent malware infections more effectively.
  3. Customer Support: Most free antivirus software lacks dedicated customer support. In contrast, paid antivirus programs often offer customer support through various channels like email, live chat, or phone. This can be beneficial in case you encounter any technical issues or need assistance.
  4. Additional Services: Paid antivirus software often includes extra services like parental controls, secure online banking, privacy protection, data encryption, and secure file shredding. Such features provide added layers of security and privacy for specific user requirements.
  5. Cost: As the name suggests, free antivirus software is available without any cost. Conversely, paid antivirus software involves a subscription or one-time purchase cost, typically ranging from $20 to $80 per year, depending on the provider and the level of protection.


Ultimately, the choice between free and paid antivirus software depends on your specific needs and budget. While free software can provide basic protection for casual users, paid antivirus software generally offers superior features, enhanced protection, and additional services, making it suitable for individuals or organizations with higher security demands.


How to run a full system scan with antivirus software?

To run a full system scan with antivirus software, follow these steps:

  1. Open your antivirus software. This can usually be found in the system tray on your desktop or in the All Programs/Apps section of the Start menu.
  2. Look for an option called "Scan" or "Scan Now" on the main interface of the antivirus software. Click on it.
  3. In the scan options, select or choose "Full Scan" or "Complete Scan." This option will scan your entire system, including all files, folders, and drives.
  4. If there are additional settings or preferences available, you can customize them according to your needs. Otherwise, the default scan settings will suffice.
  5. Click on the "Start," "Scan," or "Scan Now" button to begin the full system scan. The antivirus software will start scanning all the files and folders on your computer.
  6. The scan may take some time, depending on the size of your system, the number of files, and the speed of your computer. You can continue using your computer while the scan is running, but it might slow down the overall performance.
  7. During the scan, the antivirus software will check all files and folders for any signs of malware, viruses, or other malicious threats. It will quarantine or remove any infected files it detects.
  8. Once the full system scan is complete, the antivirus software will provide a detailed report on the scan results, displaying any threats found and actions taken.
  9. Review the scan results to ensure all threats have been successfully dealt with. If any threats require further action, follow the instructions provided by the antivirus software to remove or quarantine them.
  10. It is recommended to regularly run full system scans with your antivirus software to ensure ongoing protection against malware and other security threats.


How to remove antivirus software completely from my computer?

To remove antivirus software completely from your computer, you can follow these general steps:

  1. Uninstall through Control Panel: Go to Control Panel on your computer and open the "Programs" or "Programs and Features" section. Look for the antivirus software in the list of installed programs, select it, and click on the "Uninstall" or "Remove" button. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation process.
  2. Use the Antivirus Uninstaller Tool: Many antivirus providers offer dedicated uninstaller tools that ensure complete removal of their software. Visit the official website of your antivirus software and search for an uninstaller tool specific to your product. Download and run the tool to uninstall the antivirus software.
  3. Check for leftover files and folders: Sometimes, remnants of an antivirus program may still remain on your computer. Look for any leftover files or folders related to the antivirus software in the installation directory (usually in "Program Files" or "Program Files (x86)"). Delete these files and folders to eliminate any remaining traces.
  4. Remove antivirus entries from the Windows Registry: Be cautious while dealing with the Windows Registry, as incorrect modifications can cause issues. Open the Registry Editor by pressing Windows + R, typing "regedit," and pressing Enter. Navigate to the following paths and delete any keys or values associated with your antivirus software: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software
  5. Restart your computer: After completing the above steps, restart your computer to ensure all the changes take effect.


Note: It's crucial to have an antivirus program installed on your computer to protect it from malware and other threats. Make sure to install an alternative antivirus software if you plan to remove your current one.


How to check if antivirus software is running properly?

There are a few steps you can take to check if antivirus software is running properly:

  1. Update the software: Make sure the antivirus software is up to date with the latest virus definitions and program updates. Most antivirus programs have an update feature that allows you to manually check for updates.
  2. Perform a manual scan: Initiate a full system scan with the antivirus software. This scan will search your entire system for any malicious files or programs. Monitor the scan to ensure it is progressing without any errors or interruptions.
  3. Check system tray or taskbar: Antivirus software usually runs in the background and appears as an icon in the system tray or taskbar (typically near the clock on your desktop). Look for the antivirus program's icon to confirm that it is running. You may also be able to access the antivirus program's interface by right-clicking on the icon.
  4. Monitor real-time protection: Verify that real-time protection is enabled in the antivirus software settings. Real-time protection actively scans files and programs as they are accessed or executed to prevent any threats from infecting your system. Ensure that real-time protection is active and functioning properly.
  5. Watch for updates and alerts: Pay attention to any notifications or alerts from the antivirus software. The software should notify you if it detects any threats or if it needs attention, such as requiring an update or encountering an issue.
  6. Perform a test detection: You can visit a reputable testing site that provides harmless simulated malware samples, such as the EICAR test file. Downloading this test file and attempting to open it should trigger a detection by your antivirus software. If the software does not alert you or quarantine the file, it may not be functioning correctly.


If you encounter any issues or believe that your antivirus software is not running properly, it is recommended to contact the antivirus software provider's support team for further assistance.

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