Online Virus Scanners

An online virus scanner allows you to quickly scan your computer for viruses without installing full antivirus software packages. They do not offer real-time protection and so should never be considered a substitute for an installed antivirus scanner. However, if you suspect your installed antivirus is missing a threat, you have a questionable file you want to check for malware and viruses, or you simply want a second opinion on a virus scan, an online scanner can be a valuable tool to use.

True online scanners are all but extinct. In the past, online scanners ran through Java or other web technologies, but these technologies have become vulnerable to malicious exploitation. Most online virus scanners require you to download and run a file, often an .exe file for Windows systems. The list below offers a range of online virus scan options.

VirusTotal Logo

VirusTotal lets you submit files online and check URLs for malware, including viruses, worms, and trojans. A file is scanned by several different scan engines, and detection results are reported for each. Submitted files can be up to 20Mb and over 30 virus scanners are used during the scan. Files can also be submitted in bulk, up to 20 requests every 5 minutes for the general public with other options available for bulk and private users. VirusTotal also provides a reporting feature that lets you search for previous reports of files others have submitted.

Jotti Online Virus Scanner
Jotti Online

Like VirusTotal, Jotti returns scan results from several different scanners. The scan engines used by Jottie differ from those used by Virustotal and thus it's often worthwhile to use both.

F-Secure Virus Scanner Logo
F-Secure Virus Scanner

F-Secure offers an online scanner that is Windows only. A small executable (.exe) file is downloaded to run on your PC. It looks for and removes malware, spyware, and viruses on your computer, and the executable file doesn't leave behind clutter on your system common to installed software.

Panda Security Logo
Panda Security

Panda ActiveScan is an online scanner that also downloads an executable (.exe) file that you run on a Windows PC. It also offers free software to help you surf the web more safely and is compatible with Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox browsers.

Eset Logo

ESET Online Scanner uses ActiveX if Internet Explorer is used, but if a different browser is used, a download and install are required. Definition files are also downloaded to the computer, rather than managed online. This can cause some conflict with your normal installed antivirus. Windows only.

Trend Micro Logo
Trend Micro

Trend Micro's Housecall requires a download and install, which almost negates it's being a true online scanner. The download method removes the reliance on ActiveX and Java that online scanners use, and it allows the scanner to work regardless of which browser you use. Trend Micro Housecall performs a quick scan, only searching common locations and only looking for active malware. Housecall can be used on Windows PC and on Mac.

Microsoft Logo

Microsoft Safety Scanner requires a download and install. The download is only good for 10 days after which a new download must be obtained (this ensures that you're using updated versions of the scanner). Windows only.