How to Run a Virus Scan on Windows 10

Windows 10 is currently the world’s most popular operating system. That means it’s also the world’s most lucrative target for cybercriminals.

Choosing a reliable antivirus program should be one of the first things you do whenever you buy a new device. Otherwise, viruses, malware, spyware, and ransomware could render your brand-new computer useless. Follow this guide to choose a reliable Windows antivirus and start scanning your system for viruses.

Best Windows 10 Antiviruses

Safety Detective’s top five Windows 10 antivirus solutions:


Norton remains the leader in Windows 10 antivirus software. Its protection continues to receive top reviews and awards and it excels in real-time protection against threats, even ones that software companies haven’t patched yet. Its multiple layers of protection against hard-to-catch malware include Proactive Exploit Protection (PEP) and SONAR, an additional monitoring layer that flags suspicious patterns in how programs are running.

Visit Norton


Comodo’s Windows products are truly outstanding tools both in terms of their ease of use and the power of their scanning engines. Its multi-layered threat protection leverages the power of instant updates to use the latest possible virus definitions. The cloud-based behavioral analysis algorithm brings cloud analysis to users’ computers, applying an analysis of files that other users have flagged as suspicious.

Visit Comodo

NANO Antivirus

NANO is one of the most customizable antiviruses on the market. Its Windows product is packed full of different scanning options that makes it easy to probe different areas of the operating system for viruses. The scan schedule makes it easy to automate the entire process, so automated scans and updates are protecting it at every moment.

Visit NANO Pro


AVG blocks viruses, spyware, ransomware, and other forms of malware. Its internet security features also protect against phishing URLs that victims into downloading viruses from the internet.

Visit AVG Technologies


Bitdefender has incredibly high detection rates for viruses and is effective against both documented and zero-day threats. Its top-of-the-line product, Total Security, also features a secure browser and a comprehensive two-way firewall that makes it very difficult for viruses to enter.

Visit Bitdefender

What to Do Next

Once you’ve selected an antivirus product that meets your needs, follow these steps to make sure that your Windows 10 computer remains free from threats:

  • Download an initial update. Once you’ve installed your antivirus software, it will need to download the latest definitions library to detect viruses. If this doesn’t happen automatically, look for a “manual update” option within the settings menu. It’s also important that the product is set to automatically download updates at a frequent interval.
  • Tweak the default settings. Many antiviruses’ default settings are configured conservatively so as not to consume an excessive amount of system resources and slow down your Windows 10 machine. In the settings menu, make sure that all the components you need to have enabled are turned on. In particular, make sure that the program is taking advantage of any cloud analytics feature that the program offers (such as Norton Cloud Security) and that all real-time detection engines have been turned on. This will help protect against as many Windows 10 threats as possible.
  • Run your first scan. Once you’ve installed your antivirus product, updated its definitions, and tweaked its settings, run an initial scan to check for any viruses that may already be there. This initial scan should be as comprehensive as possible, so look for an option like “full system scan” and select as many additional scan options as possible.

Protect Your Windows 10 System

Windows 10 is a great operating system, but it’s important to install antivirus software and set it up properly. That way, you’ll have the best possible protection against viruses and other threats.

About the Author

Mercy Pilkington
Mercy Pilkington
Tech industry writer on AV software, cybercrime, and digital innovation

About the Author

Mercy Pilkington has been a tech industry news writer for nearly ten years. She regularly covers topics such as software, cybercrime, and digital innovation.
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