How can you check if your antivirus program is functioning? How do you know that your antivirus software, whether it’s Windows Defender or a third-party program like Avast, Norton, Kaspersky, etc., is actually performing its job?

How Can I Tell If My Antivirus Is Effective
How Can I Tell If My Antivirus Is Effective

How Can I Tell If My Antivirus Is Effective? Antivirus software might malfunction and have issues, just like any other program that is installed on your computer.

Even if it could appear that everything is well, it’s not. Fortunately, there is a quick and secure way to check the effectiveness of your antivirus.

Video: How to Check you have Virus Protection in Windows 10

Check you have Virus Protection in Windows 10


The most obvious purpose for testing antivirus software is to ensure that it is initially functioning properly.

As files are received, antivirus software scans them for viruses and blocks any that match its database of definitions. As a result, testing your antivirus is the only way to be certain that it is functioning.

How Can I Tell If My Antivirus Is Effective

Of course, we’d never advise someone to test their computer’s capabilities by visiting harmful websites. This is comparable to donning body armor and entering a real-world fighting zone.

To check if their protection is up to date, users can test their antivirus software virus scan in safe and non-harmful ways. However, not everyone wants to limit themselves to testing the software’s windows quality.

A software windows update deployment may have taken place in a particular setting or under specific guidelines or restrictions. As a result, carrying out these five tests is an excellent approach to ensure that nothing can get past your checks.

How to check if the antivirus is working properly?

First, in the Windows Security Center is where you can view your antivirus program’s current status. To access Security Center, press the Start button, click Control Panel, click Security, and finally, click Security Center. Malware protection can be accessed through the button above.


To test your antivirus program, the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR) has created a test “virus.”


It’s not a virus at all, really. It makes no difference. Instead, it is a string of text that is recognized by the majority of antivirus programs. It is particularly included in their virus definition files for testing.

If your antivirus program is functioning properly, it ought to react to the existence of this file as though a virus or other malware had actually invaded your computer. If it does, you’re fine to go; if it doesn’t, you can run into problems.

Get the EICAR test file here.

Try downloading the EICAR file first before doing anything else. You might try to download four files to your computer when you visit the EICAR website.

Each of them examines a little bit of your AV software differently:

  • The default EICAR test file is
  • Is a different file name for the same file
  • The identical file that has been compressed (compressed)
  • Is the exact same zip file that has been re-zipped.

How Are The Four Files Used?

They check to see if your antivirus program is keeping an eye on the items that are downloading to your computer. The first one is the typical file, which all AVs should detect immediately.

The second is identical but has a different name. This checks whether your antivirus is examining file contents, in addition, to file names while downloading files. Again, you’d typically want to block this file right away.

File number three has been compressed (or zipped). Any reliable antivirus program should be scanning compressed files for potentially harmful files. Once more, you would want to see it blocked.

The fourth file has finally undergone another compression. Giving two layers of compression effectively makes it harder for your antivirus.


Unfortunately, the EICAR file is just a file that antivirus software is taught is dangerous, thus it doesn’t put their detection of threats to the test. What occurs if a malicious file actually tries to download itself and carry out evil deeds on your computer?


A great approach to check this is with the SpyShelter Test Tool. It can track your keyboard inputs, camera stream, and PC clipboard and is a data logger. It is benign because it doesn’t do anything and simply displays the data it is taking, but it is unquestionably a data logger, nonetheless.

To find out if your computer detects it, you can download the tool. If not, launch the device and see what kind of logging you can conduct without getting a warning from your antivirus. This application is a fantastic way to see how your security responds to an actual malicious program rather than just a bogus file.


Click once with the left mouse on the first file,, to begin testing your antivirus (68 bytes). One of two things ought to happen when you do. A line of text at the top and the majority of the page are blank.


You want to download the EICAR test file, which is this. Alternatively, some anti-virus applications may immediately prohibit you. preventing the download page from ever even opening.

If the File Cannot Be Downloaded

It’s a positive sign if your antivirus software prevents any attempts to access the EICAR files’ download page, as Avast did above.

Now that you’re aware that it’s active and keeping an eye on you, Therefore, if you should visit a website that is known to host malware, it will prevent you or at the very least alert you.

The remaining three files are available for download if you wish to attempt them, but chances are good that they will also be blocked. Thus, the exam is finished for you, my friends. You may relax knowing that everything is operating properly.

On the other hand, if you do manage to access the download page, try downloading the file by right-clicking on it and then selecting SAVE AS from the menu that appears. Save the file to your Downloads folder or Desktop.

Your antivirus program should notify you that the file is hazardous as soon as you attempt to save it to your computer with a notice or warning. The majority of antivirus programs will then either move the file to the quarantine location or delete it.

It’s a pass in any case. Since your antivirus scanned the file and prevented it, it must be operating flawlessly. Try downloading the last three files now. Your AV will probably block them all.


You can get into trouble if you discover that you can save the EICAR file to your computer. Open your antivirus program, look for any warning signs or error messages, and ensure that it can be updated.


Since it is obvious that your present security application isn’t functioning properly, you might want to think about switching to another security application if you are unable to solve the issue.

If everything seems to be operating normally, there is yet another explanation for why you were able to download the files. It’s possible that the developers of your security software just forgot to instruct their software to keep an eye out for the EICAR file.

Since the file itself is not malicious, AV programs typically wouldn’t detect it unless specifically told to do so.

Personally, I would be trying to switch to another application as fast as I could if this were the case with my software.

If I had purchased the software and had some time left, I would likely use the license until the end; however, if it were free or the license was about to expire, I would probably move as soon as possible.

Guide on How To Unblock Camera From Antivirus Windows 10?


This method of testing your antivirus is NOT a test of how effective (or ineffective) your program is. It’s merely a quick and secure approach to verify that it is truly operating and carrying out its intended function.

Inspecting any files that are downloaded onto your computer from the Internet and keeping an eye on the web pages that you visit to protect you from known malware sites are things that should happen, but without testing, you really can’t be sure that they are.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check if my antivirus is working?

In Windows Security Center, your antivirus software’s status is normally shown. Click the Start button, select Control Panel, Security, and finally Security Center to access Security Center. Please select Malware protection.

How do I know if an antivirus is working on my laptop?

Use the Security Center tool on your Microsoft operating system to check if anti-virus software is installed. A status for Antivirus software will be displayed when you choose this option.

Is Microsoft Defender an antivirus?

A built-in antivirus tool named Microsoft Defender Antivirus is part of Windows Security. (Windows Defender Security Center is the name of Windows Security in earlier iterations of Windows 10).

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