What Does Sheepdip Mean?

Performing a sheepdip in computing involves using a particular computer to test files or physical media for viruses, malware or other harmful content. The origin of the term comes from a solution that would be used to create a bath for sheep before fleecing, to eliminate bugs or vermin.


A sheepdip is also known as a footbath.

Techopedia Explains Sheepdip

In the earlier days of computing, a sheepdip process would be used to clean or disinfect physical media such as floppy disks. The user would insert a floppy disk into the sheepdip computer before introducing it to another computer, while possibly running antivirus programs or otherwise looking for viruses or other harmful attachments. Now that most files are transferred digitally rather than through physical media, one method for sheepdip involves downloading files directly to a removable flash device, attaching that flash device to the sheepdip computer first, before introducing it safely to a primary computer. These types of creative processes help to keep primary resources clean and usable over time.


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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…