An anti-virus scanner is a component of an anti-virus software package that scans a hard drive for viruses and other harmful items. These programs are made for various operating systems, and scanning methods can be manual or automatic. Scanners operate in conjunction with other elements of anti-virus software, such as virus containers and other tools.
An anti-virus scanner may also be known as a virus scanner.
Although many software products now use a windows-type or iconic interface, many anti-virus scanners are still made in a command-line interface. Most anti-virus scanners examine each individual file in a drive and isolate viruses so that they can be removed from the drive. The scanner will typically display its actions in a command-line structure within a display window as it scans the drive.
Anti-virus scanners rely on a virus database that needs to be updated over time. As more viruses and malware programs are created, anti-virus software makers incorporate them into their scanners and programs. Without an updated database, an anti-virus scanner will be much less effective and less likely to successfully quarantine viruses on a drive.