How do I know if an antivirus has returned a false positive?

Joseph Videtto December 17, 2012

How do I know if an antivirus has returned a false positive?

  1. Paul Pruitt
    January 2, 2013 at 12:16 am

    If it is not an exe file, send it to yourself in Gmail then try to download it. Gmail will run their antivirus programs against it. I think they have a pretty good idea what is good or not. I'm not sure if they scan a file for viruses when you first attach it as well as when you download it but I think they definitely do it when you download the file.

    Manuel thanks for reminding me of virustotal and Ion for the desktop extension app which I downloaded, installed and hope to remember to use.

    I tried some of the freeware I created that have offers, (I know its not so good but they help support the programming). Most of the antivirus companies gave the software passes. ESET NOD32 did not. So I'm guessing if you have that program installed you might be getting false positive if you are trying to install software that have opt/in adware offers attached.

    The ESET NOD32 people are kind of right that adware is annoying but in other ways if you decline all offers its just freeware and not a real virus.

  2. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    December 19, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Submit the file in sites like so you can compare other antivirus' opinion on that particular file. If only one antivirus returns the threat, it probably is false positive.

  3. ha14
    December 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    you can send email with the file to the antivrus maker

  4. Alan Wade
    December 18, 2012 at 7:56 am

    If you have any doubts to whether your AV has returned a false positve or not just Google the "virus/file" and see what you find.

    • Douglas Mutay
      December 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      I have also received false positive from an antivirus and knew it was really false because it was an unknown file extension from a type of file that I created myself when I was creating an application. So it might also be something that you will not find on line.

  5. Manuel Guillermo López Buenfil
    December 18, 2012 at 5:41 am

    You should ask for a second opinion (another antivirus).
    Here is a website that allows you to scan a file or URL with a lot of antivirus programs:

    • Douglas Mutay
      December 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks for providing this link, Manuel. I have bookmarked it will certainly use it.

  6. Junil Maharjan
    December 18, 2012 at 4:34 am

    scan in safe mode.

  7. Duy Nguyen Minh
    December 18, 2012 at 2:30 am

    scan virus and protect your computer

  8. Ahamed Yaseen
    December 18, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Using virus samples , antivirus detect the virus... av-comparatives site u can see the reports ...

  9. Adinamo Alex
    December 17, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    check the report, see virus history

  10. luis donis
    December 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    it depends sometimes you download some antivirus often abuse with false positives is something that marks you virus when in fact neither is

  11. Elrick Browne
    December 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Search the file or virus online in a search engine and get reports from other major antivirus because its less likely that your the only one who got that false positive

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