Scan Your Mac For Viruses Using Sophos

Sophos is a great anti-virus application for Mac users. Sophos is free for home users and quite affordable for business users. Sophos updates itself daily and scans every file that you download or open.

However, if you’ve just installed Sophos and want to scan your Mac to make sure that no infected files are on it, please follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Sophos menu bar icon and select Open Scans. (The menu bar icon appears in the upper right corner of your screen. The icon looks like this: Sophos Shield)
  2. Click the Scan Now button.
  3. That’s it. Sit back and wait (except read the Important Note below).A scan of your Mac and all internal and external hard drives will occur. This scan can take many, many hours. Its duration is affected by the number of files on your Mac and the number of external hard drives you might have connected. Important Note: If you backup your Mac to an external hard drive using Time Machine, I recommend disconnecting this external hard drive, temporarily, while Sophos is scanning your Mac. By disconnecting this external drive, you’ll drastically reduce the amount of time Sophos needs to scan your Mac. Additionally, all of the files on the backup drive are read-only. This means that they can’t be edited. Thus, even if Sophos were to detect a virus-infected file within your Time Machine backup files, it won’t be able to remove the file since it can’t edit the file.)
  4. If Sophos finds any infected files, it’ll place them in its Quarantine. Next week’s Tech Tip provides instructions on how to deal with quarantined files using Sophos’ Quarantine Manager.

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