Test Your Virus Scanner

I have never gotten a computer virus in my 30ish years of using a PC. I’ve purposely downloaded viruses to see if the damn scanners detect them, in addition to decompiling them to see how they work. I don’t use a virus scanner now; but then, I take pride in knowing what’s on my machine and what’s safe to download. I do sometimes manually scan something.

test virus scanner

All major virus scanner manufacturers have adopted a simple test to see if you scanner works. Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Create a text file and enter the following:
    X5O!P%@AP[4\PZX54(P^)7CC)7}$EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!$H+H*

  2. Save the file as test.com or test.exe… some file extension that your scanner will scan immediately. You should see a notice that a virus was detected in that file when you save it. The file won’t run: its contents is just to test virus scanners.

Yeah, maybe your scanner is developed to ONLY detect that pseudo-virus, but that’s highly unlikely. I don’t know if the test works on operating systems other than Windows.

I created an anti-virus test file for you to download. Just change its file extension from “txt” to “com” or “exe” to test.