Best Antivirus for Chromebook in 2024 – Tested & Compared by Experts

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If you’re after the best antivirus for Chromebooks, then you’re in the right place. We’ve tested the most popular antivirus solutions and ranked and reviewed them, looking at what they provide for ChromeOS.

Here are our picks for the best antivirus for Chromebooks. You can’t go wrong with any of the best Chromebook antivirus solutions on this list.

Best Chromebook Virus Protection Tools in 2024

  1. TotalAV – Best premium antivirus for Google Chromebook with 100% malware detection and removal rates
  2. Norton 360 – Best ChromeOS antivirus for families
  3. NordVPN Threat Protection – Best ChromeOS security tool with a global VPN server network
  4. Malwarebytes – Top antivirus for Chromebook ransomware with easy-to-schedule scans
  5. Surfshark – Best Chromebook antivirus and VPN solution
  6. McAfee – Best ChromeOS antivirus for beginners
  7. Avast – Best free Chromebook antivirus software
  8. Trend Micro – Best antivirus for unwanted and dangerous Chromebook apps
  9. ESET – Best antivirus for network security

In-Depth Reviews of The Best Antivirus Software for Chromebook Security

Chromebooks can be impacted by malware and other malicious software just like any other device. In this guide, we’ll explore various solutions that could qualify as the best antivirus for Google Chromebook.

We’ll explore their core offerings, their pricing, each one’s pros and cons, and how they compare to each other and the best antiviruses, so you can choose the best antivirus software for Google Chromebook.

1. TotalAV – Best Premium Antivirus for Google Chromebook

TotalAV Logo

Cheapest Plan $1.58/month (annual)
Max Devices 8
Free Trial Free Scan
Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
Why We Picked It

TotalAV provides exceptional malware detection and removal rates and an intuitive set of apps and browser extensions that are easy to set up and use.

It offers one of the best Android antivirus apps that’s ChromeOS-compatible out of the box and is a great premium solution, with a very attractive initial price.

Features

Installing TotalAV Mobile Security on a Chromebook device allows you to use its real-time antivirus protection to shield your device from all the cyber threats ChromeOS is vulnerable to.

The app lets you use TotalAV’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) and memory optimization tools to bolster your privacy and speed up your ChromeOS device. There’s also a dark web monitoring feature, which will alert you if your details have been leaked in a data breach.

In addition, the security software lets you put a lock on your Chromebook apps for extra security, including on social media and work-related apps. You can configure the software to ask for a PIN before it makes the secured apps accessible to the Chromebook user.

Besides the Android app, TotalAV also offers a Chrome browser extension. Total WebShield is an invaluable addition for Chromebooks and protects against viruses, phishing attacks, intrusive ads, and potentially unwanted programs.

The extension will alert you if you click on a link that points to a fake website, such as a fake online shop or a website that sells user information to third parties.

Total WebShield uses artificial intelligence and cloud-based technology to stop even the most sophisticated threats from damaging your ChromeOS devices. Thanks to its advanced security measures, you’ll be safe from zero-day threats, identity theft, and financial fraud.

TotalAV also offers a Chrome-compatible password manager extension that can help you secure your online accounts and safeguard them from brute-force attacks.

Pricing

TotalAV is available for $19/year for the first year, with all the core features included. Upgrading to Internet Security ($39/year) gets you a VPN, while Total Security ($49/year) provides an ad blocker and password manager.

Who It's Best For

TotalAV is a great premium antivirus that will serve you well in the longer term. It has excellent detection rates, and Total WebShield is ideal for ChromeOS security.

Pros

  • Near-flawless malware detection
  • Beginner-friendly setup via Google Play or Chrome
  • Includes a VPN with unlimited data
  • Detects fraudulent websites
  • Minimal impact on device battery life
  • Best antivirus software for Chromebook with 100% detection rates

Cons

  • No scheduled antivirus scans for ChromeOS
  • Renewal is expensive

Read full TotalAV review

2. Norton 360 – Best ChromeOS Antivirus for Online Security

A logo of Norton

Cheapest Plan $2.49/month (annual)
Max Devices Unlimited
Free Trial 14 days
Money-Back Guarantee 60 Days
Why We Picked It

Norton offers one of the most comprehensive Chrome browser extensions around, and it can safeguard users from various forms of malicious content.

The Norton Safe Web extension will stop you from being exposed to dangerous content, from adware to websites hosting malware you could download to your Chromebook.

Features

The Norton extension displays website rating scores for each site you open, and it will alert you if a link on your screen, such as in a chat or email, points to a fraudulent site.

While the extension is enough to block new threats reaching your Chromebook, Norton Antivirus for Chromebook is also available via a Google Play Android app, which can search for threats on your device. The app takes a few more steps to install than Surfshark and McAfee, but it’s intuitive and easy to use.

Its Norton 360 plans offer a comprehensive service and include dark web monitoring, identity theft prevention tools, and a reliable VPN. In addition, Norton has a virus removal promise, which means you’ll get a full refund of your subscription if it’s unable to detect and remove a virus on your devices.

For better or worse, Norton splits its security tools into separate apps, so you’ll need to download individual apps if you want the full Norton 360 experience.

That said, other Norton Android apps include Norton Password Manager, one of the best password managers around, where you can create, save, and manage your passwords and confidential documents with ease.

Norton for Chromebook is one of the rare antiviruses to also provide parental controls, via the dedicated Family Parental Control app, and it can help you monitor your children’s devices and help them steer clear of potentially dangerous and inappropriate websites.

Pricing

The entry-level Norton AntiVirus Plus plan ($29.99/year) offers protection for one device. You can increase this to five devices for $10/year so you can protect your Chromebook, phone, and more.

Upgrading to the Deluxe, Select, Advantage, and Ultimate Plus plans will add features like a VPN, dark web monitoring, parental controls, identity protection tools, and additional cloud storage, up to 500GB.

Who It's Best For

Norton provides an excellent set of online security tools for ChromeOS and is widely recommended. It’s also often rated as the best antivirus for Chromebook by Reddit users.

Pros

  • Covers unlimited devices with its more advanced plans
  • Excellent password manager
  • One of the best spyware removers
  • Flags dangerous sites

Cons

  • Multiple apps required for full security suite
  • Limited VPN functionality

Read full Norton 360 review

3. NordVPN Threat Protection – Best Antivirus for ChromeOS with a Global VPN Network

A logo of NordVPN

Cheapest Plan $3.99/month (two years)
Max Devices 10
Free Trial 7 days
Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
Why We Picked It

NordVPN Threat Protection is provided as a part of NordVPN, one of the best VPNs for Chromebook.

You’ll need to use NordVPN’s Android app on your ChromeOS device. However, it includes the excellent NordVPN service with a huge, global server network and high-speed connections.

Features

Threat Protection is an excellent pick if you want to avoid online cyber threats, such as malicious websites and phishing scams. It continuously updates its database of fraudulent, fake, and scam sites and checks your actions against it to avoid potential hazards.

Its antivirus scanner functionality for checking downloads isn’t available on Chromebooks and only works on Windows and Mac devices. While that places it below products like Norton and TotalAV, Threat Protection’s warnings about potentially dangerous sites can keep you safe from most threats.

In testing, we found Threat Protection to block more intrusive ads than other providers on the list, and its VPN feature was easier to use. There’s also a data breach, which will let you know if any of your details have been leaked on the dark web online.

That makes Nord Threat Protection ideal for users who spend most of their time online, as it’ll protect your privacy, provide DDoS attack protection, and help you keep your Chromebook malware-free by blocking malicious sites.

You can also make use of the NordPass password manager – one of the best business password managers – to add another layer of protection.

Pricing

NordVPN Plus costs $3.99/month on a two-year plan. This gets you the VPN, malware protection, an ad and tracker blocker, and a password manager for use across ten devices. You can also subscribe for one year ($5.49/month) and monthly ($13.99/month).

The $5.99/month (two years) Ultimate plan adds 1TB of secure storage and identity protection tools.

Who It's Best For

NordVPN Threat Protection is a great solution for Chromebook browser security. In addition, it comes with one of the fastest VPNs around, which has an enormous server network –  with more than 6,300 servers in 110+ countries.

Pros

  • Strong ad-blocking performance
  • Excellent VPN for privacy
  • Lightweight and doesn’t affect battery life
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons

  • Far more features on Windows and Mac
  • Lacks third-party testing results

Read full NordVPN Threat Protection review

4. Malwarebytes – Best Antivirus for Ransomware

Malwarebytes-Logo

Cheapest Plan $3.75/month (annual)
Max Devices 5
Free Trial 14 days
Money-Back Guarantee 60 Days
Why We Picked It

Malwarebytes’ Chromebook antivirus is a lightweight solution that excels at rooting out and stopping malware infections with its real-time antivirus protection and anti-ransomware and web protection features.

While it doesn’t offer as many extra tools as Norton, it has a strong set of features that do a good job of protecting ChromeOS devices, and it’s one of the top antiviruses that advertises its compatibility with ChromeOS.

Features

Malwarebytes makes it easy to schedule scans so you can have your Chromebook make repairs while you’re away, avoiding any system slowdowns or interruptions.

You can also run an app audit scan with Malwarebytes. The scan examines every installed app, determining which permissions it needs and revoking unnecessary access, ensuring unauthorized parties don’t have access to your data.

The Browser Guard Chrome extension is excellent for users looking for a quality ad blocker. It’ll also prevent you from falling victim to phishing scams and cryptojacking, and it can speed up Chrome by up to four times by disabling third-party trackers found on most websites.

Pricing

Malwarebytes Basic Security costs $3.75/month and includes core security features plus ad blocking and ransomware and phishing protection.

You can upgrade to add a VPN for $5/month and to Complete Protection at $10/month for social media monitoring, identity protection, and data breach monitoring.

Who It's Best For

Malwarebytes is a great pick for users looking for browser and system protection and tools to combat ransomware. It’s ideal as a provider with a dedicated Chromebook antivirus app, and it’s excellent at stopping ransomware in its tracks.

Pros

  • Affordable pricing
  • Thorough privacy audits
  • Great for catching spyware and adware
  • Beginner-friendly and intuitive interface

Cons

  • Basic plan has limited features
  • Dark web monitoring requires top-tier plan

5. Surfshark – Best Chromebook Antivirus and VPN Solution

A logo of Surfshark VPN

Cheapest Plan $2.89/month (two years)
Max Devices Unlimited
Free Trial 7 Days on Google Play Store
Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
Why We Picked It

Surfshark provides its users with one of the fastest VPNs on the market with its entry-level plan, but its more advanced plans also offer protection from malware threats, data breach monitoring, and more.

Like TotalAV, Surfshark is a lightweight solution available from the Google Play Store that won’t slow your Chromebook down, and you won’t notice a difference with the battery life either.

Features

In testing, we found that Surfshark has an intuitive, modern interface for Chromebook devices and is ideal for first-time users, and the antivirus tools are easy to find and use. Running Surfshark won’t compromise your device’s performance, and you can trust its real-time protection to stop known and emerging threats.

With its data breach monitoring feature, Surfshark will alert you if your credentials have appeared in data leaks, allowing you to reinforce your security. Surfshark actively monitors the internet for leaks of your passwords, usernames, and email addresses, as well as your credit card details and government documents.

To further protect your identity online, Surfshark enables you to create an alternative email and billing profile to help you avoid spam emails and data brokering firms.

Installing Surfshark on your Chromebook also means you can use its VPN so you can securely and anonymously access the web and avoid network throttling and third-party monitoring.

ChromeOS users also get access to Surfshark Search, a private search tool that helps you avoid trackers and ads and access the internet without leaving a digital footprint. Ultimately, it’s a great package for Chromebook security.

Pricing

The Surfshark One plan, including the VPN and antivirus tools, costs $2.89/month on a two-year plan. You can also upgrade to Surfshark One+ ($4.49/month for two years) for data removal tools or subscribe to annual or monthly plans at higher rates.

Who It's Best For

Surfshark is perfect for anyone looking for a Chromebook antivirus with a powerful VPN. It offers the best VPN service on this list, as well as a whole host of additional security tools.

Pros

  • Lightweight real-time antivirus for Chromebook
  • Excellent zero-day threat protection
  • Includes ID theft protection
  • Comes with a private search engine
  • World-class VPN included

Cons

  • Monthly plans are relatively expensive
  • Kill switch could be improved

Read full Surfshark Antivirus review

6. McAfee – Best Chromebook Antivirus for Beginners

A logo of McAfee

Cheapest Plan $3.33/month (two years)
Max Devices Unlimited
Free Trial 30 Days
Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
Why We Picked It

The Chromebook McAfee antivirus app is excellent for beginners. Running a full system scan with McAfee may take some time, but it’s just as successful at finding and removing viruses, malware, and other malicious files as services like TotalAV.

Features

McAfee’s Google Play app will detect and block potentially dangerous apps and add them to its Threat List to help you avoid them in the future.

The app has tons of features, notably including the Protection Score. Your overall security is rated on a scale from 1 to 1,000. The results are displayed in a dashboard that highlights issues, such as weak passwords and credentials exposed in data breaches, hence providing actionable security insights.

There’s also a vulnerability scanner, which looks for essential security patches and notifies you if any of your apps need to be updated – enabling you to remedy weak points in your device’s security.

McAfee also helps you stay safe online with an unlimited VPN and a safe browsing engine. These features make it hard for third parties to collect your information as you browse the web, and its Personal Data Cleanup feature helps you delete your personal information from the internet to restore your privacy.

Pricing

The Essential plan is available for $39.99/year on a two-year subscription. This covers five devices and includes a VPN and password manager.

You can also sign up for the Premium ($49.99/year) and Advanced ($89.99/year) plans for additional privacy and identity protection tools.

Who It's Best For

McAfee’s features are easy to use on ChromeOS devices, and McAfee also has a help center packed with tutorials and how-to guides. This makes it an ideal Chromebook antivirus for beginners.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Excellent online protection
  • Monitors the dark web for data leaks
  • Prevents phishing attacks
  • VPN with all plans
  • Scans Chromebook apps for available updates

Cons

  • Relatively resource intensive
  • No cloud storage functionality

Read full McAfee review

7. Avast – Best Free Antivirus for Chromebook

A logo of Avast Antivirus

Cheapest Plan $4.17/month (annual)
Max Devices 30
Free Trial Free-forever plan
Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
Why We Picked It

Avast stands out as one of the few free antiviruses for Chromebook that offers protection against malware, viruses, and ransomware. Trusted by more than 435 million users worldwide, Avast is the go-to choice if you need the best free Chromebook antivirus.

Features

Avast scores 100% malware detection rates with AV-Test on Windows and Android and has earned itself a “Top Product” certificate.

Different plans also offer more advanced features, including system tune-up tools, WiFi scanning, a VPN, and a Web Shield to block malicious sites and links.

With Avast, you can clean your ChromeOS device of junk and duplicate and obsolete files in seconds. You’ll also get peace of mind knowing that any WiFi network you join is suitably secure and can use the VPN to encrypt your connection if you’re in any doubt.

Avast for Chromebook also includes a data breach scanner that checks the dark web to ensure your credentials haven’t been compromised and leaked, and while it’s not as in-depth as McAfee, it’s a great addition.

The Avast Google Chrome browser extension, meanwhile, helps you stop websites gathering and selling your data, blocking tracking and phishing sites and automatically requesting legitimate firms stop selling your details. The extension also displays website scores so you can avoid malicious sites.

Pricing

Avast’s free plan is a great starting point for ChromeOS, but upgrading to Premium Security ($49.99/year for one device, $69.99/year for ten) will add webcam security, system optimization, and a firewall.

The Ultimate plan is available at the same price, with an initial offer, and also includes a VPN and tracker blocking.

Who It's Best For

Avast isn’t necessarily as lightweight as TotalAV or Surfshark, but we rate it as the best free antivirus for ChromeOS. With its excellent set of security tools, it’s certainly worth testing.

Pros

  • Impressive antivirus lab scores
  • Defenses against ransomware
  • Fast VPN included
  • Best antivirus for Chromebook free of charge

Cons

  • Free version has ads and pop-ups
  • Confusing pricing

Read full Avast review

8. Trend Micro – Best Chromebook Antivirus for Stopping Malicious Websites and Apps

A logo of Trend Micro

Cheapest Plan $4.17/month (annual)
Max Devices 10
Free Trial 30 days
Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
Why We Picked It

Trend Micro is a user-friendly antivirus for Chromebook that offers comprehensive protection complemented by tools such as a VPN, a password manager, and more.

Trend Micro uses a cloud-based database to identify viruses and malware on Chromebook before blocking them. It also uses a reputation system for apps, meaning potentially dangerous apps will be blocked from harming your device.

Features

The Chromebook antivirus app also includes a social media security feature. It scans your social media profiles for privacy issues, such as sensitive information being exposed to search engines and whether your profile can be targeted for advertising without your knowledge.

This antivirus can also detect junk, duplicate, and unusable files and remove them from your device, boosting its speed and freeing up space.

We found Trend Micro’s scanning capabilities to be impressive. Its quick Chromebook virus scan inspects the most commonly infected folders and checks background processes and the registry. It takes just a few minutes to detect and remove even the most persistent malware.

Besides its traditional antivirus features, Trend Micro also includes an unusual Pay Guard feature. This opens a secure version of your browser each time you check out while shopping online. You can then log into your bank account and fill out the payment details without fear of spyware, keyloggers, or viruses.

Pricing

For Chromebook, you’ll need to subscribe to Trend Micro’s Maximum Security ($49.95) plan or the Premium Security Suite ($54.95/year).

These cover five and ten devices, respectively, and include parental controls, a password manager, system optimization, and payment safety features. The Security Suite adds dark web monitoring, a VPN, and identity protection.

Who It's Best For

Trend Micro is a great pick for blocking potentially malicious apps on Chromebook. It also has a huge range of security tools, making it excellent value for money.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Excellent social media scanning feature
  • Smart tune-up tools for Chromebooks
  • Pay Guard feature for payment security

Cons

  • Entry-level plan for Windows only
  • VPN limits some functionality

Read full Trend Micro review

9. ESET – Best ChromeOS Antivirus for Network Security

ESET Antivirus Logo

Cheapest Plan $3.54/month (3 years)
Max Devices 10
Free Trial 30 days
Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
Why We Picked It

ESET combines traditional antivirus tools with features to boost the overall security of your device, home network, and online identity. What’s more, it comes with a powerful Chromebook app that’s ideal for network security.

Features

The Chromebook app offers real-time antivirus scanning, security reports, and a USB scanner – which isn’t a common feature. Being able to scan external storage devices can prevent them from spreading malware both to your Chromebook and to devices like smart TVs.

Setup on your Chromebook is simple, and there’s an anti-theft tool to help you recover stolen devices. This lets you locate and even remotely control your device. If the device is connected to a WiFi network, you’ll be sent the IP address assigned to it, which can assist you in finding your lost Chromebook.

Other features include a network inspector and app lock, allowing you to identify network vulnerabilities and set extra security on specific apps. Like its competitors, ESET offers phishing protection to help you avoid scams and fraudulent websites. If you upgrade, you can also use ESET’s standalone password manager.

During testing, ESET’s real-time antivirus protection and scans consumed minimal resources and didn’t reduce the battery life of our Chromebook. ESET also gets excellent results for malware and ransomware protection under independent testing.

Pricing

The ESET NOD32 Antivirus starter plan is only available for Windows and Mac, so you’ll need to get at least the Essential plan for $42.49/year for two years.

You can upgrade to Premium ($59.99/year) for a password manager and encryption tools and Ultimate ($179.99/year) for a VPN, identity protection tools, and five devices.

Who It's Best For

ESET is a great option for ensuring your network security. The ability to find lost devices could also be invaluable for Chromebook owners.

Pros

  • Lightweight and fast
  • Anti-theft tools
  • Payment protection and anti-phishing tools
  • Lets you scan external storage

Cons

  • Requires long-term subscription for cheaper pricing
  • Starter plan not suitable for ChromeOS

Read full ESET review

Comparing the Best Antiviruses for Chromebook

Here’s an easy-to-follow comparison table so you can make the best decision when it comes to online security for your Chromebook:

Antivirus for Chromebook Cheapest Plan Max Devices Free Trial Money-back Guarantee
TotalAV $1.58/month (annual) 8 Free Scan 30 days
Norton $2.49/month (annual) Unlimited 14 days 60 days
NordVPN Threat Protection $3.99/month (two years) 10 7 days 30 days
Malwarebytes $3.75/month (annual) 5 14 days 60 days
Surfshark $2.89/month (two years) Unlimited 7 Days on Google Play Store 30 days
McAfee $3.33/month (two years) Unlimited 30 days 30 days
Avast $4.17/month (annual) 30 Free-forever plan 30 days
Trend Micro $4.17/month (annual) 10 30 days 30 days
ESET $3.54/month (3 years) 10 30 days 30 days
Methodology

How We Review And Test Antivirus Software

15 Antiviruses Tested

20 Datapoints Measured

300+ Hours Testing

500+ User Reviews Read

We base our recommendations on first-hand experience and in-depth testing. All the Antivirus products we suggest, have been tested based on the following criteria:

  • Core Security Features: We make sure that the antivirus software is fully equipped with features like real-time protection, scanning, a firewall, web protection, and more.
  • Malware Detection Rates: We test malware detection rates ourselves by running both in-depth and quick scans on our devices. Additionally, we check independent lab tests.
  • Compatibility: We check which devices and operating systems the antivirus software is compatible with. Often, different-looking dashboards and slightly different packages of features may be available.
  • Performance Impact: A reliable and functional antivirus should not slow down your device significantly. So, we examine our device performance with and without the antivirus running.
  • Customer Experience: Alongside our own experience, we are curious to know what real users have to say regarding the services. So, we’ve scoured the web for feedback on each of our tested antiviruses.
  • Value for Money: We always consider value for money and how much each product is offering for the set price point.

Do Chromebooks Need Antivirus Software?

Does Chromebook need antivirus? It’s sometimes suggested Chromebooks don’t necessarily need an antivirus as they’re equipped with virus protection tools out of the box. ChromeOS is based on Linux, which is considered one of the most secure operating systems around.

That said, malware for Chromebooks is a problem, and there’s always the risk of your machine being infected with malware, so it’s vital to protect yourself with the best anti-virus for Chromebook.

You can potentially be exposed to a virus on Chromebook by:

  • Malware in Android apps – Google has been known to inadvertently host malware in the Google Play Store, so it’s important to be vigilant about concerning activity, even with seemingly innocuous apps Android apps.
  • Malicious Chrome browser extensions – Downloads from third-party providers can expose you to spyware and adware – but the Play Store isn’t foolproof either. More damaging is the fact that malicious extensions can be synced across your devices, so malicious Chrome extensions can pose a real threat.
  • Phishing emailsEmail messages and attachments can expose you to viruses, while fraudsters can attempt to direct you to compromised sites or otherwise trick you into transferring funds or sharing your details with them.
  • Insecure websites – Many sites host malware, and visiting a single malicious website can be enough to expose your device to viruses and spyware.

The answer to the question, “Can a Chromebook get a virus?” is hence a resounding, “Yes.” The same is true of Linux devices, as we cover in our guide to the best Linux antivirus software.

Given all this, a free virus scan for Chromebook can’t match a full Chromebook antivirus solution, and you’ll likely also get features like identity theft protection, webcam protection, and comprehensive protection from malicious code.

Does Chrome Have Built-In Virus Protection?

Chromebooks have a number of built-in security features, which make the platform relatively resistant to viruses. The Chrome OS system automatically updates itself, and it runs a verified boot, checking for unexpected changes during startup and addressing any issues it finds – making it relatively resistant to infection.

Next, apps and web pages are individually sandboxed, running in restricted environments so processes cannot affect one another and threats are contained.

Lastly, most important information on Chromebooks is stored in the cloud, while local files are encrypted, making it difficult for hackers to get a foothold. And in the event that the machine is adversely affected, you can put the device in recovery mode and roll it back to a previous state before the issue occurred.

Nevertheless, insecure sites, phishing messages, infected apps, and fake browser extensions could potentially all expose you to malware infection. If you’re wondering what is the best Chromebook antivirus, solutions like TotalAV, Norton, and NordTP are certainly worth considering.

Major Chromebook Manufacturers

Chromebooks are a line of laptop and tablet devices that run Google’s ChromeOS operating system. They are generally affordable and are popular in the educational sector. Some of the most popular manufacturers of devices supporting ChromeOS are:

  • Acer
  • ASUS
  • Dell
  • Google
  • HP
  • Lenovo
  • LG
  • Samsung
  • Toshiba

While Chromebooks have some built-in security features, they are potentially susceptible to malware spread by emails, downloads, and malicious sites, exposing users to ransomware and phishing.

What’s more, there are now more active ChromeOS devices in the world than Macs, so it’s hardly a niche market that’s safe from hackers.

Is the Best Free Antivirus for Chromebook OS Good Enough?

Free virus protection for Chromebooks can be good for scanning your device and informing you about known viruses on your system.

However, most providers offering free antiviruses for Chromebook fall short when it comes to unknown threats and real-time security, and you may have to put up with ads if you want a Chromebook antivirus for free.

Paid antivirus services also offer more protection from a wider range of threats and often come bundled with other security features like VPNs, password managers, data breach monitoring, and the ability to block specific websites. Some even allow you to back your data up on secure servers.

We’d look at the Avast Online Security & Privacy Chrome browser extension as being a good free antivirus for Chromebook, but you don’t get any of these features with it – whereas paying for TotalAV’s Chromebook solution gets you a password manager.

This multi-layered approach to digital security can better protect you from prevalent threats like ransomware and phishing. They also ensure that you’re secure and anonymous online, that you have strong, unique passwords, and that you can respond in the event that your details get leaked.

Given the huge cost of fraud, free Chromebook antivirus products simply aren’t good value for money. See our guide to the best free antivirus products for more details.

How to Install Antivirus on Chromebook

Setting up an anti-virus for Chromebook can be done by installing a browser extension or the provider’s app from the Google Play Store. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide for each method.

First, we’ll explain how to add Total WebShield to your Chrome browser.

Install Antivirus Browser Extension on Chromebook

  1. Visit Total AV’s Chrome Web Store Page

    Once you’ve signed up for a TotalAV account, visit the official Chrome Web Store and search for Total WebShield, TotalAV’s Chrome extension. Click on “Add to Chrome” to add it to your browser.
    <strong>Visit Total AV’s Chrome Web Store Page</strong>
  2. Add the Total WebShield Extension to Your Chrome Browser

    Google Chrome will ask for your permission to add the extension. Click on “Add Extension” to grant it the permissions it needs to function.
    <strong>Add the Total WebShield Extension to Your Chrome Browser</strong>
  3. Enable Total WebShield’s Protection

    You’ll find Total WebShield docked in the extensions tab in the top right corner of your Google Chrome browser. Click it once to open the interface, and then navigate to settings to check if protection is enabled.

You can also use the Google Play Store to download antivirus apps to your Chromebook. To note, not all older models have access to the Play Store, and not all antiviruses support Chromebook apps.

Install Antivirus App on Chromebook

  1. Find Malwarebytes Mobile Security in the Google Play Store

    Once, you’ve signed up for Malwarebytes, open the Google Play Store app and search for Malwarebytes. Click “Install” once you’re on its store page. The provider’s mobile security app for Android is optimized to support ChromeOS devices.
    <strong>Find Malwarebytes Mobile Security in the Google Play Store</strong>
  2. Install Malwarebytes on Your Chromebook

    The installation will start immediately when you press “Install” in the Google Play Store. Follow the on-screen instructions to finalize the installation process and give the app the permissions it requires to protect your ChromeOS device.
    <strong>Install Malwarebytes on Your Chromebook</strong>
  3. Launch Your First Antivirus Scan

    Ensure real-time antivirus protection is enabled and initialize your first system scan. Malwarebytes will detect any malware, viruses, and similar cyber threats that are present and inform you of its findings.
    <strong>Launch Your First Antivirus Scan</strong>

How to Choose the Best Chromebook Antivirus Software

When it comes to the best antivirus for Chromebooks, there are a few key factors to weigh up when comparing different products. These are the areas to consider when looking at different services, whether you’re looking at Bitdefender antivirus or Nord Threat Protection.

Chromebook CompatibilityChromebook Antivirus FeaturesValue for MoneyPerformance ImpactCustomer Support

Not all antivirus solutions are compatible with Chromebooks, so it’s important to ensure the solution you choose will work on your system.

Many Chromebook antivirus software solutions like TotalAV and Surfshark are available for download from the Google Play Store.

In fact, it’s the only place you can download an antivirus for Chromebooks. For other devices, check out our guide to the best antiviruses for Android and the best antivirus for Mac.

A solid antivirus program will have a variety of features to make sure you are safe online. Besides standard threat protection, scans, and firewalls, some security solutions like TotalAV are bundled with a VPN, while others like Norton come with dark web monitoring.

It’s important to note what features you’re after, as some of these may only be available on a higher-tier plan. This is especially true with cheap and free solutions – so make sure you can scan your Chromebook for viruses and malware to your requirements.

Cost will always be a factor you need to keep in mind with any purchase. The same goes for an antivirus program.

While you might find a Chromebook antivirus free of charge, we recommend opting for paid plans, as they offer more features, such as VPNs and password managers, to increase your security, as well as more in-depth scans.

We also considered details like trials and guarantees, which are invaluable for providing confidence in a purchase, and of course, value for money in terms of what the products deliver.

Chromebooks have little storage and aren’t the most powerful devices, so you should consider whether or not the choice you make will affect your Chromebook’s performance. A Chromebook antivirus software solution like Surfshark requires very few resources to run.

Another important factor you should keep in mind is the quality of customer support offered. If you’re trying to work out how to get rid of a virus on Chromebook, contacting an expert can often make a big difference. Fortunately, most antivirus software providers we’ve tested provide solid support.

FAQs

What is the best free antivirus for Chromebook?

Can Chromebooks get viruses?

Does Chromebook have built-in antivirus?

How do you scan a Chromebook for viruses?

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Which antivirus programs don’t work with Chromebook?

Does Norton work on Chromebook

Ilijia Miljkovac
Technology Writer
Ilijia Miljkovac
Technology Writer

Ilijia Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with seven years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about cybersecurity topics, spanning VPNs, antiviruses, and hosting, helping to inform B2B and B2C audiences about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not working, Ilijia spends his time hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.