Antivirus Software: VirusScan for Mac

You may wish to print these instructions.

System Requirements

VirusScan for Mac OS X requires Mac OS X 10.4.6 or newer. If you are not certain what version of Mac OS X you are running, select "About this Mac" from the Apple menu. If you have at least 10.4, but not 10.4.6, click on the "Software Update" button located below the OS version number in the "About this Mac" window and install the appropriate updates. If your computer is running Mac OS X 10.3 or older, you will need to use Virex instead.


1) Return to the download page and follow the instructions for downloading VirusScan for Mac OS X. After your browser has downloaded VirusScan, you should have a similar to "VirusScan.dmg" disk image icon on your desktop (or in your Finder windows if you don't have the option to show disk icons on the desktop selected).

2) Double-click VirusScan.pkg on the VirusScan disk image.

3) The installer will ask for permission to run a program to determine if VirusScan can be installed on your computer. Click Continue to go ahead. Next, it should present you with a welcome screen, a read me and a license agreement (click Continue for each of these). After displaying the license agreement, it will ask you to agree to it. You need to click Agree to install VirusScan.

4) The installer will ask you which disk you want to install Virex on. The default is the startup disk containing your computer's operating system software. Click Continue to select that location. Click Install to actually proceed with the installation. It will ask you for an administrator's password. This is often the username and password of the first login account that was set up on your computer. DoTS does not know the administrator's username and password for your home computer. Click OK once you have entered the required information.

5) After installing the software, the installer should indicate the software was successfully installed. Click Close.


1) After installing, you will need to configure VirusScan. You can launch it by double-clicking VirusScan in your Applications folder.

2) After VirusScan has been launched, you will need to configure the software to provide best protection. Click the Preferences button in the VirusScan window's toolbar.

3) In the Preferences window, click the More Options button to see the full set of options. If the options are greyed out, you will need to click the padlock icon in the lower left corner of the window and enter your administrator username and password. Configure the top portion as illustrated:

  • check: Automatically check for virus definition updates
  • check: On Access Scanning*

4) In the next section, configure as follows:

  • check: Log results to file
  • optional: exclude specific disks, files and folders (use this for areas that should not be scanned for viruses)

5) In the bottom section, configure as follows:

  • check: Find Unknown Macro Viruses
  • check: Check files for virus-like characteristics
  • check: Find potential unwanted applications and joke programs
  • check: Scan files on network volumes
  • Scan Files: Always
  • Maximum scan time (seconds): 45
  • When a virus is found: Clean
  • Delete when Clean fails or is not available

6) From the menu at the top of the bottom section, select On Demand Scanner (default view is On Access Scanner). These are the options for scanning files as you access them. Select the following options:

  • Scan contents of archives and compressed files
  • Find Unknown Macro Viruses
  • Check files for virus-like characteristics
  • Find potentially unwanted applications and joke programs
  • When a virus is found (select clean)
  • Delete when Clean fails or is not available

7) Close the preferences window and click on the Scheduler icon.

8) In the VirusScan Schedule Editor window toolbar, click New eUpdate Task. Set the task to recur daily at a time of your choice (using the Set button). An active Internet connection is required to perform the eUpdate task.

9) Click OK to save the new task. Your Schedule Editor window should now show a new task. You can close this window if it looks okay.

10. Quit VirusScan. The software is now configured and operational. You can test your settings using the harmless eicar test virus from eicar.orglink.

* This option could potentially cause problems for slower Macintoshes which are used for video editing or other intensive tasks, but turning it off will leave your computer virtually unprotected from viruses (requiring manual scanning for viruses). It is recommended that you have it turned on. You can use the excluded directories option to exclude areas of storage from scanning activity.

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