Anti-Virus Scanner

What Does Anti-Virus Scanner Mean?

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.

Techopedia Explains Anti-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.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…