Free and good virus checker for old PC running Windows 10?
March 8, 2021 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Title says it all, need a FREE (or really, really cheap, like under $5) virus checker/fixer for an old work PC, what can y'all recommend? I
posted by Brandon Blatcher to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'd just use the built-in Windows Defender - although it looks like it might go under the name "Virus & Threat Protection" in the control panel at the moment.
posted by sagc at 2:22 PM on March 8, 2021 [16 favorites]

Best answer: Was just about to say the same thing. Paid-for antivirus for home users isn't really a thing any more.
posted by pipeski at 2:24 PM on March 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Malwarebytes' free scanner is also well-regarded as a supplement to Windows Defender.
posted by hydra77 at 2:37 PM on March 8, 2021 [9 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding malwarebytes, but one thing I've found on old slow boxes is to run the antivirus but then turn it off, some just use too much resources if left running all the time. Sometime I just delete and reinstall when needed.
posted by sammyo at 2:51 PM on March 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: nthing - If you think you have a virus, I'd do a round of Malwarebytes to clean up any initial damage, then turn it off and rely on Microsoft's built-in scanner.

You won't have any noticeable difference in quality/outcome using paid tools (assuming a normal threat model)
posted by matrixclown at 3:08 PM on March 8, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks all, not a Windows user, so didn't realize the built in tools were good enough.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:49 PM on March 8, 2021

Best answer: I'm not trying to "pile on", but *only* so you can cite a reference if someone asks why you don't run more than Windows Defender, you can point them to this Wirecutter article from about mid-2020. May the force be with you.
posted by forthright at 5:39 PM on March 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Free-at-point-of-use ClamAV also have ClamWin, for periodic scanning of your storage for virus signatures. Windows own Defender is secure and adequate but if you need a thing to point to for independently scanning your system, this is a good price point and has low computational overhead.
posted by k3ninho at 11:51 PM on March 8, 2021

AV-Test retests 4 times a year.
posted by Homer42 at 3:04 AM on March 10, 2021

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