How to Check a Download for Viruses

Computers have become more vulnerable to virus threats due to the growth of the Internet, and you may unknowingly be downloading a virus while visiting a website or saving files from the Internet onto your computer. It is best to use precautions and check a download for viruses using online virus scanners even before you access the file from the Internet. You can also install anti-virus programs to protect your system against computer viruses while downloading a file or after the download has been completed.

Virus Total URL Scan

Visit the Virus Total Homepage.

Click on the “Submit a URL” tab and enter the address of the website where you are about to download the file from.

Hit the “Submit URL” button.

Virus Scan will check the website for viruses and let you know whether it is safe for downloading files from there or not.

Virus Total File Scan

Go to the Virus Total website.

Press the Browse button in the “Upload a file” tab.

Browse to the file that you have downloaded and select it.

Press the “Send file” button.

Virus Total will check the download for viruses and let you know of any threats that were detected.

Jotti’s Malware Scan

Open the Jotti website on your computer.

Use the Browse button to select the download that you want to scan for viruses.

Hit the “Submit file” link.

Jotti will scan the file and display a status message to let you know if any viruses were detected.

Anti-virus Program

Open your existing anti-virus program.

Open the Scan option.

Depending on what program you have, perform a Custom Scan.

Select the downloaded file as the file to be scanned.

Start the scan.


  • If you do not have an anti-virus program and do not want to pay for one, a reputable free antivirus is Avast. Download Avast here.
  • Many anti-virus programs offer real-time protection as well as virus scanning. This means that the software will notify you when it detects that you are downloading a virus attached to a file or if a website tries to attack your computer with viruses.


  • Some programs that are designed to check a download for viruses can slow down your computer due to heavy CPU usage. Online virus scanners are a better option when you don’t want to install heavy software on your computer system.

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