How to Scan a Zip File for Viruses?

In this guide, you'll learn how to scan zip files for viruses before opening them. Zip files are great for compressing and sharing data, but they can also hide malicious software.

If you want to scan a Zip file for Virus, then this is the guide for you. Usually, Zip files store multiple files or folders in one file. They are useful for saving space, encrypting data, and creating archives, but hackers can also use Zip files to hide and distribute malware.

In this article, we will answer some frequently asked questions about Zip files and antivirus software, such as:

  • Can a Zip File be a Virus?
  • How to Scan a Zip File for Viruses?
  • How to Scan a Zip File for Viruses?

Can a Zip File be a Virus?

A Zip file itself is not a virus, but it can contain a virus or other malware. Cybercriminals can use Zip files to pack multiple malicious files together and make them easier to send or download. For example, they can attach a Zip file to an email or upload it to a website and trick users into opening it.

How to Scan a Zip File for Viruses

Some Zip files can also be Zip bombs. These are specially crafted Zip files that contain huge amounts of data that can crash or damage the system when extracted. Zip bombs evade antivirus detection by appearing as normal Zip files.

Zip files should be handled with caution, especially if they come from unknown or suspicious sources. To protect your computer from the latest threats, you should always scan Zip files for viruses before opening them, and use up-to-date antivirus software.

Can Antivirus Scan Zip Files?

The answer is yes, but it depends on the Antivirus software and the Zip file format. Some antivirus software can scan and detect viruses inside the archived file, while others can only scan the files after they have been extracted.

The former method is more secure, as it prevents the virus from infecting the system or other files when the Zip file is opened. The latter method is still effective, as long as antivirus software can clean, quarantine, or delete infected files before they harm anyone.

However, some antivirus software may not scan certain types of Zip files, such as encrypted or password-protected ones. In that case, you may have to run the antivirus directly on the extracted files or use a different antivirus program.

How to Scan a Zip File for Viruses?

There are different ways to scan a Zip file for viruses, depending on your antivirus software and your preference. Here are some common methods:

Method 1

Right-click on the Zip file and select the option to scan it with your antivirus software. This will launch a quick scan of the file and alert you if any threats are found.

Method 2

Drag and drop the Zip file into your antivirus software’s interface. This will also initiate a quick scan of the file and notify you of any issues.

Method 3

You can scan the Zip file with your antivirus software using the command-line interface. For example, if you’re using Windows Defender, you can run a quick scan with PowerShell as an administrator and run the below command.

Start-MpScan -ScanPath "C:\path\to\zip\" -ScanType QuickScan

Method 4

Use an online tool or website that can scan Zip files for viruses. For example, you can use VirusTotal or MetaDefender to upload a Zip file and scan it with multiple antivirus engines. Don’t upload anything sensitive or personal, as these services can share and store your files with others.

How can I scan a zip file for viruses with Windows Defender?

You can scan a zip file for viruses with Windows Defender by right-clicking on the file and choosing “Scan with Microsoft Defender” from the context menu.

How can I scan a zip file for viruses with an online tool?

You can scan a zip file for viruses with an online tool by uploading the file to a website that offers virus scanning, such as VirusTotal or MetaDefender, and waiting for the results.


Hope you understand, how to scan a Zip file for viruses. Antivirus software can scan Zip files for viruses, but you should always be careful when dealing with them.

Zip files can contain malware that can harm your computer or compromise your security. Always use up-to-date antivirus software and scan any Zip file before opening it. Also, avoid downloading or opening Zip files from unknown or untrustworthy sources. Stay safe online!


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