Check For Viruses

11 December 2006 (updated)

Malicious virus code can infect your files and cause you to lose important data. This guide explains how to install an anti-virus program to protect your PC.

What Are Viruses?

Computer viruses are malicious programs designed to cause annoyance and even damage to computer data. They spread by infecting files and by automatically sending e-mails to everyone in your address book.

There are new virus threats everyday. It is essential to take steps to protect your PC.

What Can I Do About Them?

If you suspect you have a virus on your computer, or if you just want to keep your computer safe from the threat of viruses, there are several virus-detection programs which will scan your system and let you know if any malicious programs have been found.

There are many commercial and free anti-virus programs available on the Web, all with different features and levels of security. This tutorial uses AVG Anti-Virus.

Download AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition

AVG Anti-Virus can be downloaded from http://free.grisoft.com.

Scroll down the page and click Download Free Version. Under the Windows section, click to download the file under AVG Free for Windows installation files. Click OK to save the file to your PC.

Install And Run AVG Anti-Virus

Double-click the file you downloaded, and click Next on the welcome screen. Click Accept to agree to the License Agreement. Choose Standard Installation then click Next.

The Confirmation screen will now appear with your User Name and License Number. Click Next to proceed. Click Finish to begin installation.

After installation is complete, click OK. The main AVG Control Center will now start. On the First Run screen that pops up, click Next. Click Check For Updates and then Internet which will download any necessary files to bring your AVG up to the latest version.

A window will now pop-up if there are any available updates. Click Update to download them. AVG will download and automatically install any updates. Click OK when finished.

Back on the First Run window, click Next to proceed. Leave the Daily Scanning settings as they are and click Next.


You now have the option to perform a scan to test your computer for viruses. Click Scan computer! or just click Next if you want to proceed with setting up AVG.

If you wish, you can now register your copy of AVG to receive news and product information. Otherwise, click Next and then Continue.

AVG Test Center

You can now see the AVG Test Center window.

AVG Test Center

Here you can see your Security Status, and choose to perform scans on your whole computer or selected areas only.

When you run a complete scan, it may take a while depending on the size of your hard drive. It will scan your system for any viruses and if it finds any, it will pop up a window to inform you what action it has taken.

If possible the program will try to 'heal' any infected files, or if it is unable to clean these files it may move them to its Virus Vault, where the infected files are kept in a state where they will not be able to harm your computer, but can be retrieved later if necessary.

The AVG Anti-Virus program contains several tools which continuously monitor your system, but it is recommended that you run a complete scan of your computer regularly, at least once a month to check your computer for any infected files.

If you do not want to run a scan now, just click the Close (X) button at the top-right of the AVG window. This does not in fact stop the AVG program running, it just closes the windows so you can get on with using your PC.

Using The AVG Icon

You can tell if AVG is running as a small coloured icon will be displayed on your taskbar.

If you right-click the AVG taskbar icon you can restore the Control Center and Test Center windows. You can also perform a manual Check For Updates from this menu.

AVG will quietly monitor your PC and check for viruses while you continue using your PC. It will start automatically when you first turn on your PC and check for any updates when you connect to the Internet.

If you need to stop AVG running for any reason, right-click the taskbar icon and choose Quit AVG Control Center.

To start AVG, click the Start menu then All Programs. Click AVG Free Edition and choose AVG Control Center.

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