How to Make Sure a File Is Safe Before Downloading It


Malware header.
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If you’re concerned a file might be destructive, you never want to obtain it and depend on your antivirus. You can scan the file for malware with more than 90 antivirus engines just before you down load it—all with just one single device.

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This is no substitute for basic on line stability practices that can hold you secure from phishing and other threats, but it’s a way to execute a more in-depth look at if you are worried about a file.

Scan a Connection For Malware Employing VirusTotal

To do this, you’ll have to have to find a file’s download backlink. Which is the direct url to obtain the file, not just the address of the file’s download site. For instance, if you want to scan a .exe file, you will require the immediate website link to the .exe file. If you want to scan a .doc file, you will require the immediate connection to the .doc file. You can spot this by mousing above the backlink and looking at the deal with in your browser.

CCleaner download page.

Appropriate-click on the hyperlink and select “Copy website link address” in Chrome, “Copy Connection Location” in Firefox, or “Copy link” in Edge.

Right-click the download link, then click "Copy Link Address."

Upcoming, head to VirusTotal.com in your internet browser. This software has been owned by Google considering the fact that 2012.

Click the “URL” tab on the site and then paste the url you copied into the box. Click the look for button or press Enter to scan the file.

Paste the download link into the VirusTotal website.

VirusTotal will down load the file you specified to its servers and scan it with a substantial variety of distinctive antivirus engines. If other men and women have lately scanned the file, VirusTotal will show you the the latest scan results.

If you see “No engines detected this URL”, that indicates that none of VirusTotal’s antivirus engines mentioned there was a dilemma with the file.

Update: As of April 2022, VirusTotal now has more than 90 antivirus engines out there.

The “0/65” suggests the file was detected as destructive by of VirusTotal’s 65 antivirus engines. This implies it should really be clean up. Of training course, it’s doable that new and exotic malware may not be detected by any antivirus plans however, so it’s often a great idea to be thorough and only get software package from sources you rely on. (In truth, not two days immediately after publishing this post, our illustration file—CCleaner 5.33—was found to include malware. A great case in point of how VirusTotal, while handy, isn’t excellent!)

VirusTotal results with no malware detected.

If 1 of the antivirus engines detects a trouble with a file, you will see a notice saying that a amount of antivirus engines detected the URL as a dilemma.

VirusTotal results with only 3/65 engines detecting some kind of malware.

In some cases, the impression may possibly be near unanimous. In other circumstances, only a few antivirus tools may have a challenge with the file. This is often a untrue favourable, though in particular situations it could be that some antivirus applications have noticed new malware right before many others. You can scroll down to see which antivirus tools experienced a difficulty with the file, view more specifics about the file, and see neighborhood feedback about irrespective of whether the URL is safe or not. (In some cases, for example, it might just be flagged for including bundled crapware, which is easily bypassable.)

A breakdown listing engine-by-engine results.

If you conclusion up scanning a file download page as an alternative of the downloaded file alone, you’ll see a “Downloaded file” backlink on the VirusTotal web page. Click the icon to the right of “Downloaded file” to see much more examination about the file that website site downloads.

If you don't point it at a specific file, it'll try to find one, and then show you the file it checked.

Combine VirusTotal Into Your Browser

To make this method much easier, the VirusTotal task offers browser extensions. These will combine VirusTotal into your browser, allowing you to right-click on a connection on any web web site and find a “Scan with VirusTotal” possibility. You won’t have to visit the VirusTotal web site and duplicate-paste a link.

Extensions are obtainable for Google ChromeMozilla Firefox, and Net Explorer. If you are searching to set up the VirtusTotal extension for Microsoft Edge, you need to permit Google Chrome extensions in Edge, and then put in the Google Chrome edition. Obtain the proper extension and you can proper-click on a link and choose the VirusTotal selection to quickly scan it and see the final results.

The right-click option added by the extension.

If VirusTotal is unanimous that a file is hazardous, you need to stay away. If the final results are combined, you should be mindful, but you could want to examine the more specific antivirus effects to see why they say the file is unsafe.

If a file is thoroughly clean, that usually means it is not detected by any antiviruses as malware. That doesn’t signify it is harmless, of course—antivirus application isn’t ideal and might not detect new malware, so guarantee you are having your packages from a trustworthy resource.

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