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Install McAfee VirusScan & Scan Your Computer for Viruses (Windows)

McAfee VirusScan is a program you can use to protect your computer files, programs, and email from viruses and malicious software (malware).

Note: These instructions are for the version of McAfee VirusScan available for students and use on personal, non-University-owned computers.

Use Only One Anti-virus Application

Running more than one antivirus program may seem like a good idea, but it actually causes more harm than good. First, it may slow down your computer as two or more programs consume more of your computer's hardware resources. Second and more importantly, each antivirus program will interpret the activity of the other as a virus. This will yield false virus alerts.

UMass Amherst IT provides the latest installation files and technical support for McAfee VirusScan; it does not do so for any other antivirus program. UMass Amherst IT recommends that you use VirusScan as your sole antivirus software.

Before you download and install VirusScan 8.x, make sure you uninstall any other antivirus software (e.g., Norton AntiVirus, Sophos) you have on your computer. If you have an earlier version of VirusScan, it will be replaced by the new version you are installing, but you will be asked whether you wish to keep your existing settings (e.g., automatic updates, scheduled scans, etc.).

Download & Install VirusScan

  1. VirusScan 8.x is free to members of the UMass Community. On our VirusScan page click Download.
    Note: You will be prompted for your IT Account NetID and password before downloading software.
  2. Save the installation file vscan88x.exe to your computer.
  3. After the download is complete, double-click vscan88x.exe to begin installing VirusScan.
  4. Follow the instructions in the install wizard. After you are done installing VirusScan, you should update its Virus Definitions before you scan your computer.

Update Your Virus and Spyware Definitions

Updating your virus and spyware definitions will ensure that VirusScan recognizes new viruses and other forms of malware.

  1. Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  2. Go to your Windows system tray (near the clock, typically in the lower-right corner of your screen).
  3. In the Windows system tray, right-click the VirusScan icon. Select Update Now…
  4. The McAfee AutoUpdate window will open and show you the progress of the update.

    Note: The amount of time taken to complete the update will vary based on the speed of your Internet connection and the amount of information that VirusScan needs to download.

Run an On-Demand Scan

UMass Amherst IT recommends that you run an On-Demand Scan at least once a month.

  1. On the desktop, in the Windows system tray (bottom right), right-click the VirusScan icon.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select On-Demand Scan.
  3. In the On-Demand Scan Properties window, on the Scan Locations tab, make sure All local drives is included in the Scan Locations. This will ensure that your main hard drive will be scanned.
  4. Click the Start button (at right) to begin the scan. The On-Demand Scan Progress window will open and display the current progress of the scan.
    Note: A full scan may take up to an hour or more. Make sure not to leave your computer unattended if you are in a public place.
  5. When the scan is complete, click Close to close the On-Demand Scan Progress window.
  6. To close the On-Demand Scan Properties window, click the red X (top right). When prompted to save the scan settings, click No.