5+ best antivirus software for external hard drives

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • In case you were wondering, you need an antivirus for your external hard drive that will keep the stored data safe.
  • Therefore, we included the best premium software that will scan your external hard drive for any harmful software.
  • If you also wish to keep yourself safe while browsing the internet, note that these apps have privacy protection.
  • Try them out before you buy anything because some of the hard drive virus remover software below include free trials.
antivirus software for external HDD
ESET Antivirus comes with all the security tools that you may ever need to protect your data and privacy, including:

  • Anti-theft support
  • Webcam protection
  • Intuitive setup and UI
  • Multi-platform support
  • Banking-level encryption
  • Low system requirements
  • Advanced anti-malware protection

An antivirus program needs to be fast, efficient, and cost-effective, and this one has them all.

To keep your external HDD safe and sound, you will need to use a high quality portable standalone antivirus software. This needs to be regularly updated as well.

Some antivirus tools will allow you to download the database and other tools will require you to download the whole software.

Other standalone antivirus tools on the market are not updated as frequently as they should, and this means that such tools won’t be able to detect the latest malware.

We want to help you stay protected, and that’s why we chose five of the best antivirus for external HDD to show you their features.

What are the best antivirus tools for external HDDs?

ESET NOD32 Antivirus

antivirus for cypto-trading

The most advanced cybersecurity antivirus that you’ll find on this list is ESET NOD32.

The software is equipped with a series of crucial systems such as the advanced machine learning algorithm that constantly keeps track of emerging threats and optimizes itself to stop them.

If cutting edge expertise is what you seek, then ESET is the perfect candidate. You will be able to keep all of your data safe, including external storages such as HDDs, SSDs, and USB sticks.

Let’s take a look at some of ESET’s core features:

  • Multi-platform protection including Windows, Android, Mac, and Linux
  • Microphone and Webcam protection
  • Periodic system scans and malware removal
  • Data encryption to keep your information safe
  • Keeps your identity private to prevent data-theft
ESET NOD32 Antivirus

ESET NOD32 Antivirus

ESET NOD32 Antivirus offers maximum protection of your internal and external storage.

Check priceVisit website


avira for windows 10

Avira is the free choice for thousands of users around the world, offering great antivirus protection and other important features that will keep your system safe from Trojans, malware, adware, etc.

Avira takes free protection to another level, offering things such as a VPN, ad-blockers, and even password-management and system backup.

The software also has an in-built PC cleaner option that will remove all unnecessary and leftover files that encumber your PC.

In addition, it has a comprehensive interface, which was degisned for non-tech enthusiasts that have no background knowledge, having a pretty simple and integrated interface.

Let’s have a look at Avira’s main features:

  • Password manager
  • Ad-blocker
  • Free VPN
  • Antivirus scan and removal
  • Free
  • System optimizer
  • Network scanner
  • App locker


A free antivirus with excellent protection suited for all kinds of users!

Get it freeVisit website


Bitdefender antivirus for hdd

Bitdefender provides enhanced protection for your external HDD, and this is one of the best antivirus tools that you can possibly find these days.

The software uses a file-scanning engine that looks for matches to all known exploits and malware.

Check out more impressive features that are packed in this tool:

  • Heuristic monitoring that watches for signs that an attack is underway.
  • Constant updates on malware definitions sent to all users a few times per day.
  • Possibility to opt-out of the data collection while you install the software.
  • Autopilot feature to automatically adjust the software’s defensive posture.
  • Safe File feature to immunize important files from ransomware attacks.
  • Password Manager to encrypt your login protocols online. It will pop up for online-payment screens.


Protect your HDD with Bitdefender to benefit from 24/7 security and the best next-gen technologies.

Check priceVisit website

Emsisoft Anti-Malware

emsisoft anti malware for hdd

Emsisoft Anti-Malware is a well-known security tool that uses great technologies in order to keep your devices safe.

You can easily scan and check all your available hardware and you can also connect your external device to your computer and run a malware scan as well.

You must know that Emsisoft Anti-Malware cannot be installed on an external HDD and run whenever it connects, as you need a full-working system in order to have active protection.

Thankfully, you won’t have to bother as Emsisoft Anti-Malware does allow you to encrypt your important files.

The tool also uses a Behavior Blocker technology, which protects you from not yet-known threats, real-time 4-layer protection and runs even on low specs PCs and laptops.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware

Emsisoft Anti-Malware

Get the ultimate layered protecion for your HDD with Emsisoft.

Check priceVisit website

Panda Security

panda antivirus for hdd

Panda Protection which was previously called Panda Free Antivirus is an excellent free antivirus program that is able to automatically collect threat detection techniques.

These techniques come from other users who already have this tool installed. This will help protect against both new and upcoming attacks.

Check out more impressive features that are included in Panda antivirus:

  • This tool provides automatic and transparent upgrades.
  • The download file is small, and the installation is straightforward.
  • The tool comes with URL and web monitoring and filtering.
  • It also provides automatic USB protection which means that you’ll be able to protect your external HDD successfully.
  • This antivirus tool is also lightweight and easy on the system’s resources.
  • Panda Protection comes equipped with a real-time antispyware and antivirus engine that will be able to catch threats before they can cause any damage.
  • The parental controls block specific domains, web addresses, programs, and folders from being accessed.
  • It supports multimedia mode and gaming as well.

It also comes with the option to require you to confirm the removal of a virus.

You can check out more exciting functionalities of this antivirus and get Panda Protection from the official website. For your HDD the Panda Cloud Cleaner portable version is the best choice.

Buy Panda Internet Security 

VIPRE Rescue

vipre antivirus for hdd

VIPRE Rescue is a handy and easy-to-use tool that is designed to clean your computer if you are already infected with malware or viruses and your OS is not working correctly as a result of that infection.

Check out the best features that are included in the program:

  • If you are already running VIPRE software and a virus managed to disable the software, you will still be able to run this program in order to clean your computer.
  • With VIPRE Rescue Essential Installation, you will get up to 2 hours of dedicated remote support for new installations of the program.
  • You will also be able to purchase more time for larger installations.
  • With VIPRE Prime Installation and Optimization Services, you will get up to three hours of dedicated endpoint security installation and optimization support.
  • You can trust the experts from VIPRE for the most comprehensive installation support services.
  • If VIPRE Rescue is not able to catch a threat, you can subscribe online to the lab for further analysis.

Get VIPRE Rescue

Avast Free Antivirus

Another great antivirus that can scan your external HDD is Avast Free Antivirus. The free version of this antivirus offers antivirus and anti-ransomware protection.

In addition to malware protection, the free version also has its own password manager that will store all your passwords in one place and protect them from hackers.

If you want to scan your PC and external HDD, Avast Free Antivirus might be the perfect choice for you. 

Some of Avast’s key features include:

  • Antivirus and anti-ransomware protection
  • Password manager
  • Secure online banking and shopping
  • Anti-phishing protection
  • Firewall
  • Anti-spam

Get Avast Free Antivirus

ClamWin Portable

ClamAV antivirus for hdd

ClamWin Portable is the well-known ClamWin antivirus that is packaged as a portable app. This means that you will be able to take your antivirus with you to scan your files on the go on your external HDD.

Take a look at some great functionalities that are included in this software:

  • You can put ClamWin Portable on your external HDD and use it on any computer without leaving any personal data behind.
  • The tool comes with high detection rates for spyware and antivirus.
  • ClamWin Portable comes with regular virus database updates.
  • ClamAV regularly updates the virus databases to include a new variant/virus immediately after it appears.

This tool does not include an on-access real-time scanner, and you will need to manually scan a specific file in order to detect a virus or spyware.

ClamWin Portable comes with scheduled scans and updates disabled because they are not used in a portable scenario.

Get ClamWin Portable


bullguard antivirus for hdd

Bullguard offers next-generation anti-malware, and it provides users a new era of protection as the company itself states.

Bullguard is a sort of sentry that never sleeps, and that is always on alert for intruders. It continually scans code for signature and all kinds of anomalies that are associated with malware.

It also provides you intelligent triple layer protection which will ensure no harmful software enters your PC.

Any detected malware is locked down in quarantine, and then it is neutralized before the infection can even begin.

If you want to know more about the software, you can read all about it in our thorough Bullguard review.

Further features include:

  • Recognition of trusted applications and sites.
  • Improved firewall with added layers of heavy-duty protection against intruders and malware, to block unauthorized attempts to connect a device to the Internet.
  • Online protection for kids to let them enjoy uninterrupted gaming.
  • Easy installation; 24/7 free expert support.

With BullGuard, you will keep private your most essential documents and data.

Get Bullguard

These are the best antivirus tools that you can use on your external HDD, and they all come with impressive sets of features for increased security.

Make sure you try them out and give us feedback on your experience in the comment section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • There are a lot of options for you to choose from, but you might focus on some aspects such as transfer rate or price. You might find what you’re looking for in our useful list of the best external drives.

  • There are lots of antivirus programs that can scan and remove malware from your external hard drive. Have a look at this awesome list and find one that suits your needs.

  • Corrupted external hard drives can always bring about data loss. But you can get lost data back using one of the methods listed in this thorough guide dedicated to fixing external HDD issues.

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