Is the Gmail antivirus good enough for scanning attachments?

Douglas Mutay December 6, 2012

I’m used to seeing Gmail scanning an attachment before allowing you to download it. Is this antivirus trustworthy enough so that there is no need to scan it again with your own antivirus?

And just for knowledge, what kind of antivirus is Google using? Thanks!

  1. Ahmed Musani
    December 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    they are highly sexured. dont worry about downloading attachments.

  2. Douglas Mutay
    December 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you all for your answers and guidance!

  3. Avish Kansakar
    December 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    even if the gmail anti-virus missed any potential viruses on your attachment your real-time anti-virus installed in your pc should be able to detect most viruses

  4. Klaus-Uwe Mitterer
    December 8, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I heard that it might be Sophos, but AFAIK Google never officially disclosed which software they are using. They might also have made one themselves. Double-scanning is always a good idea, but I think that Google would be most up to date as far as virus signatures are concerned. Also, your own antivirus should always be set to automatically scan all new files/scan files at execution.

    • Douglas Mutay
      December 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks for these tips.

  5. josemon maliakal
    December 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I think yes

  6. Âdil Farôôq
    December 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    i think its enough i personally never got infected

  7. Anonymous
    December 6, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    From my experience, Gmail has a very good scanner (either that or I don't receive malicious emails). However, what I recommend is to install a desktop stand-alone scanner that does real-time protection, and that scans everything that you download. I personally use Microsoft Security Essentials, as it does that job, scanning downloads as it comes in, and its free.

    Do a quick google search for Microsoft Security Essentials and click on the Microsoft link. Choose your operating system and download and install

    Hope that helped you!

    • Douglas Mutay
      December 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Yes, it did. Thank you Victor.

  8. Justin Pot
    December 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Do you need to scan a file after you download it from Gmail? Probably not. Should you still have another antivirus program? If you're using Windows, yes.

    • Douglas Mutay
      December 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm


  9. Nikhil Chandak
    December 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm
  10. Rajaa Chowdhury
    December 6, 2012 at 10:40 am
  11. ha14
    December 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

    your realtime protection should popup when you open the attachment and alert you in case virus.

    when you upload to gmail, your file will be scanned, for instance google refuse the .exe format...when you download he file it will be re-scanned, now there are some methods to fool google like changing the file format....but still your realtime protection should help you.

    If you've received an attachment with a virus, our system will attempt to clean the file, so you can still access the information it contains. If the virus can't be removed from the file, you won't be able to download it.

    • Douglas Mutay
      December 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      I knew Google refuse all .exe attachment but now with the integration of google drive in email attachment, I was able to send google talk .exe file to my friend who couldn't download it. Did they cancel this policy?

  12. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    December 6, 2012 at 8:22 am

    I don't know what antivirus they're using, but I think it's good enough. I haven't get any infections through my Gmail account, at least. If you're suspicious, no harm in scanning the attachments again. Better safe than sorry.

    • Douglas Mutay
      December 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      You're right Lisa. Thank you

  13. Ali Ehsan
    December 6, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Unlike most antivirus software that comes with online email accounts, the Gmail Antivirus Scanner is exclusive to Gmail and is not an offshoot of a third party. This is both a blessing and a curse. The scanner is intended to work exclusively with Gmail and its unique structure. The benefits are that it works as a first line of defense exclusively within the Gmail infrastructure, rather than as a blanket program added to the system that might not cover all the loopholes.
    Well about the question if its trustworthy enough that there's no need to scan it from your installed Antivirus i guess it depends on you

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