In the old days, antivirus programs were actually programs which you had to run and point to a disk or a file that needed to be scanned. They did their thing, and reported if the file is infected. Is there such a thing today?

I know there are various ways to get a virus these days. But assuming the user is reasonable (and I like to think that I'm relatively reasonable), the single most likely way to get infected is still to download an file and execute it. Or through an infected USB drive. The point is, I want to do these things manually. I use USB sticks about once in a quarter. I download executable files even less. I don't really need antivirus program watching everything I do all the time, with three different services, scanning every bloody thing that gets written to disk. I want antivirus program that can scan a file, or a drive, when I run it and tell it to, and that's it. However, I seem to be unable to find something like that anymore. Does it exist?

Avira was relatively decent but there is no way to have it not running all the time anymore. I've just uninstalled my previous antivirus in disgust and I'll probably run without antivirus from now on. Again.

  • Most antivirus software can have the "on access scanning" turned off. It might be quite tricky to do because you're basically stopping the software from doing its job, but you should be able to. This will then do what you want it to...
    – Kinnectus
    Aug 29, 2014 at 18:38
  • Asking for a product that does "X" is off-topic for SU. Most anti-virus packages I've seen allow you to disable their "real-time" scanning, while leaving their "On demand" scanning available to you. So I'm not sure why you're having trouble finding one. If you want to do it all manually, then don't install AV, and instead every time you want to check a file, send it though a site like Virustotal.com. Really though, if real-time, background AV is giving you grief, you may need a new computer. :) Aug 29, 2014 at 18:38
  • If there's a better place to ask this please point me to it, I wouldn't want to be off-topic. I've looked at several AV solutions over the years and they all indeed allow you to remove scheduled scan, but there's this trend where they install several Windows services and where you can't remove them for tray and they slow down the system even if you've disabled them. Over the last decade, one by one AV added this, and now I'm left without options. So I ask. :)
    – Domchi
    Aug 30, 2014 at 19:49

1 Answer 1



ClamAV is pretty fantastic and would probably suit your needs. It's really lightweight and won't rape your resources.

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