Virus Scan Individual Files on Windows 7

Even if your antivirus software provides real-time protection, there are times when you need to scan an individual file.

Even though your antivirus software has real-time scanning, you might not always be sure about a specific file. To make sure your antivirus app is working correctly, scan files individually.

Scan Individual Files for Malware

Perhaps you have a file on a flash drive or CD – or one you downloaded. To scan just the file manually, right-click it and select Scan with [your antivirus program]. In this example, I’m using Microsoft Security Essentials. No matter which antivirus program you’re using, it should be listed as an option on the Context menu.

from context menu

Luckily in this instance, nothing malicious was detected.
scan successful

Use VirusTotal

If you want to make sure your antivirus program isn’t lying to you, use VirusTotal. This is an awesome service that lets you upload a file, and it scans it with 43 different Antivirus and Antimalware programs. Trusted security programs like Trend Micro, Symantec, NOD32, McAfee, SuperAntiSpyware, and several more.

Go to the site and load your file – up to 32MB – then click Scan It!


The amount of time it takes to scan will vary depending on the file size. When it’s done, click View Last Analysis.


This gives you a report of what each of the 43 Antivirus programs found.




  1. Ziggy

    January 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Brian – In addition to Microsoft Security Essentials I use Malwarebytes free, which also has a right-click context menue allowing one to scan a file. Both of these programs work in tandem and are a great addition to one’s “Attack Them Nasties Cache”.

    Virus Total also have a uploader, which can also be accessed throught the right-click context menu. It can be downloaded from the following link:

    Safe browsing everybody…

  2. Brian Burgess

    February 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Yup. I know about the uploader. It’s extremely handy! Thanks for reminding my Ziggy!

    I will be writing that up soon.

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