How to Perform A Full System Scan With Antivirus Software?

18 minutes read

Performing a full system scan with antivirus software is a crucial step in keeping your computer protected from various threats. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Launch your antivirus software: Locate the antivirus program on your computer and open it. You can usually find it in the system tray or by searching for it in the Start menu.
  2. Access the scanning options: Once the antivirus software is open, look for the scanning options. They are usually found in the main dashboard or under a tab labeled "Scan" or "Scan Options."
  3. Select a full system scan: Within the scanning options, choose the type of scan you want to perform. In this case, look for a "Full System Scan" or a similar option. This scan will thoroughly check your entire computer, including all files, folders, and system areas.
  4. Customize scan settings (if needed): Some antivirus software allows you to customize certain settings for the full system scan. For example, you might be able to choose whether to scan compressed files or setup specific exclusions. If you're unsure, it's advisable to keep the default settings.
  5. Start the scan: After selecting the full system scan option and adjusting any necessary settings, initiate the scan by clicking on the "Start" or "Scan" button. The antivirus software will then begin scanning your entire computer, analyzing each file and folder for any potential threats.
  6. Wait for the scan to complete: Depending on the size of your computer's storage and the speed of your antivirus software, the full system scan may take some time. Be patient and allow the scan to run to completion. You can usually monitor the progress of the scan through a progress bar or a percentage indicator.
  7. Review the scan results: Once the scan is finished, the antivirus software will present you with a report that summarizes its findings. This report may identify any detected threats, such as viruses, malware, or suspicious files. Take the time to carefully review these results.
  8. Take appropriate action: Based on the scan results, your antivirus software may offer different options, such as quarantining or deleting infected files, repairing damaged files, or ignoring certain files. Follow the recommended actions provided by the software to mitigate any threats or issues it identifies.
  9. Schedule regular full system scans: To maintain ongoing protection, it is recommended to schedule regular full system scans, ideally once a week or as per the antivirus software's recommendations. This will help ensure that your computer stays secure.


Remember that each antivirus software may have a slightly different interface and options, so the exact steps can vary. It's always a good idea to consult the user guide or help documentation of your specific antivirus software for more detailed instructions.

Best Antivirus Software in February 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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  • 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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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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  • 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
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  • 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.
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How to check if your antivirus software is working properly?

To check if your antivirus software is working properly, you can follow these steps:

  1. Update your antivirus: Make sure your antivirus software is up to date. Antivirus programs regularly release updates to protect against new threats.
  2. Perform a manual scan: Run a full system scan using your antivirus software. This scan checks all files and folders on your computer for any infections or suspicious files.
  3. Test with a safe virus: There are harmless files available on the internet designed to test the functionality of your antivirus software, called "EICAR test files". Download one of these files and run a scan on it. If your antivirus software is working correctly, it should detect and quarantine the file.
  4. Check real-time protection: Real-time protection is an essential feature of antivirus software that actively scans incoming files and monitors your system for any malicious activity. To verify real-time protection, try downloading a test file from a known infected website. If your antivirus software is operational, it should block the download and warn you about the potential threat.
  5. Watch for regular updates: A well-functioning antivirus software should receive regular updates from the vendor. Check if your software is receiving updates at regular intervals, as this indicates that it is actively maintained.
  6. Pay attention to system performance: Sometimes, malware can slow down your system, cause crashes or other unusual behavior. If you notice any major changes in system performance, it could indicate that your antivirus software is not working correctly.


If your antivirus software fails any of these checks, consider reinstalling or contacting the support team to troubleshoot the issue. Remember, it is crucial to have an updated and fully functional antivirus program to protect your computer from potential threats.


How to delete infected files detected during a scan?

When you have detected infected files during a scan, you can follow these general steps to delete them:

  1. Disconnect from the internet: It is wise to disconnect from the internet to prevent the spread of any infection or further damage.
  2. Verify the detection: Double-check that the files detected are indeed infected. Sometimes, false positives can occur, flagging harmless files as infected.
  3. Isolate the infected files: Identify the exact location of the infected files and make a note of their paths or names.
  4. Remove the files manually: Go to the location of each infected file and delete them. You can typically do this by right-clicking on the file and selecting "Delete" or by pressing the "Delete" key on your keyboard.
  5. Empty the Recycle Bin: Deleted files are often moved to the Recycle Bin instead of being permanently removed. Therefore, ensure you empty your Recycle Bin to delete them completely.
  6. Update your antivirus program: It is essential to keep your antivirus software up-to-date to protect against the latest threats. Make sure your antivirus software is updated to its latest version.
  7. Scan again: Run another scan on your system to ensure no remaining infected files are present.
  8. Reconnect to the internet: Once you are certain your system is clean, you can reconnect to the internet.


Note: The specific steps may vary depending on the antivirus software you are using. It is recommended to consult the documentation or support page provided by the antivirus software provider for precise instructions.


What is the best antivirus software on the market?

There are many good antivirus software options available on the market, and the best one for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Here are a few popular options:

  1. Norton Antivirus: Known for its reliable protection and comprehensive features, Norton Antivirus is a top choice for many users.
  2. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus: Offering excellent malware detection rates, Bitdefender is known for its advanced features like multi-layer ransomware protection and secure browsing.
  3. Kaspersky Antivirus: Renowned for its strong malware detection capabilities, Kaspersky provides a range of features like real-time updates, web filtering, and cloud-based scanning.
  4. McAfee Antivirus: Offering a wide range of features such as real-time protection, secure browsing, and firewall, McAfee is suitable for both personal and business use.
  5. Avast Antivirus: Known for its free version, Avast provides reliable protection with features like real-time scanning, password manager, and Wi-Fi network security.


It's important to note that the best antivirus software for you will depend on your specific needs, system requirements, and budget. Additionally, regularly updating the software and practicing safe browsing habits are crucial for effective cybersecurity.


How to choose the right antivirus software for your needs?

Choosing the right antivirus software for your needs requires careful consideration. Here are some steps to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Assess your system requirements: Determine the operating system of your device (Windows, MacOS, Android, etc.) and the hardware specifications. Ensure the antivirus software you choose is compatible with your system.
  2. Research and compare: Look for reputable antivirus software options and compare their features, protection levels, and pricing. Read reviews and independent test results to gauge their effectiveness and user satisfaction.
  3. Consider the essential features: Look for antivirus software that offers real-time protection, regular and automatic updates, robust firewall, secure web browsing, email protection, and malware removal capabilities. Additional features, such as password managers or parental controls, may also be important depending on your needs.
  4. Evaluate performance impact: Antivirus software can sometimes slow down your system. Read reviews or try free trials to assess the software's impact on system performance. Choose software that has a minimal resource impact.
  5. Determine ease of use: Look for software that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. A complex antivirus program may be difficult to use effectively, so opt for software that strikes a balance between comprehensive protection and ease of use.
  6. Check for customer support: Ensure the antivirus software provider offers reliable customer support, including access to help centers, forums, email support, or phone assistance. This will be helpful if you encounter any issues or need guidance.
  7. Consider additional factors: Look for additional factors like the reputation of the antivirus software provider, its track record in detecting and removing threats, and its history in the software security industry.
  8. Take advantage of free trials: Many antivirus software providers offer free trials. Take advantage of these trials to test the software's functionality, interface, and compatibility with your system before making a purchase.


By following these steps, you can make an informed decision and choose the antivirus software that best meets your needs and provides optimal protection for your devices.


What is a virus definition update?

A virus definition update is a process of updating the database of known viruses and malware on an antivirus software. Virus definition files contain the specific information about the characteristics and behaviors of different types of viruses. These updates are crucial to keep the antivirus software up-to-date and capable of detecting and eliminating the latest threats. The updates typically include new virus signatures, detection techniques, and other security measures to combat emerging or evolving threats. Users need to regularly check for and install these updates to ensure the effectiveness of their antivirus software in protecting their devices.

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