Quickly scan a file with over 40 antivirus-es

Ever wish there was a quick way to check if that file you've downloaded from the internet is virus-free? Perhaps, even before you download it?

What if somehow you could run this file past a large number of antivirus software? That would certainly make me feel a lot more confident of my safety before opening this ZIP file!

Enter Virus Total - the free, independent website that does just this.

Using it couldn’t be simpler. On the website, click on the browse button and point it to the file you need checked and Click the “Send File” button. Your file gets uploaded to the website and gets checked by pretty much the A-Z of the antivirus world (a total of 42 services at the time of writing this post. See the full list).

virustotal_resultsjpgHere’s what the result looks like (click here for the full version). Am I glad that I chose to scan this file first!

You may have guessed that this service is very useful for quickly checking reasonably small to medium size files that can be uploaded to the Virus Total website.

In addition to uploading files, Virus Total also allows you to email files for scanning and also has a small tool that integrates into your Windows “Send To” menu, just in case you end up using this service a lot. See this page for download link and an email address for scanning files.

The more techie ones amongst us can simply save themselves the trouble of even uploading the file by checking if a file has already been scanned, using it’s MD5/ sha1/ sha256 hash. Head here for the hash checking service.

For those of you who may need this a lot - Virustotal is also available as add-on to your favourite Chrome, Firefox and (ahem) Internet Explorer.

All in all, I love what Virus Total does and it has rightly found it's place in my set of permanent bookmarks since long.

Originally Published: Aug 2008. Last updated: Jan 2017