How to scan Google Drive for viruses [Best Methods]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and driver troubleshooting. When he's not tackling... Read more
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  • If you get the Google Drive can't scan this file for viruses message, that means that your file is over 100 MB.
  • This cloud storage service actually has its own antivirus for files that are smaller than that.
  • Although there is no other dedicated service, scanning the files on your computer before uploading will ensure their safety.
  • Using a third-party antivirus can make a huge difference in protecting your data.
How to scan Google Drive for viruses
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Cloud is the future. This way of storing files is becoming more popular every year. It’s perfect for keeping your files safe and saving memory on your devices.

Google Drive is arguably the most popular cloud storage service on the market. Millions of users choose to use it due to its simplicity, great features, and security.

However, Google Drive is one of the most popular targets among hackers. Because of that, a lot of people are actually worried about their security in Google Drive, and are looking for an additional layer of security.

Unfortunately, there are no antivirus programs that are fully integrated with Google Drive yet. In other words, users can’t just perform a regular virus scan of all their cloud-stored files.

However, there are a few ways to scan your files for viruses, using a couple of alternative methods. To find out how to provide some extra security to your Google Drive account, keep reading this article.

How do I scan Google drive for viruses? If you just upload files under 100 MB, you don’t have to worry. All the files under 100 MB are automatically scanned for viruses by Google.

If the files are larger, then use a dedicated tool or scan for viruses directly on your PC. For more info on how to scan Google Drive for viruses, check the guide below.

How can I protect Google Drive from viruses?

1. Google Drive does the job for you

Does Google Drive scan for viruses? As we mentioned, Google Drive is fairly secure. The service has its own antivirus system, where it scans every single uploaded file for malicious content.

The scan is performed on absolutely every type of file that users upload, so there’s no way a certain file is skipped.

But there’s a catch: Google performs the scan only on smaller files, more precisely on files smaller than 100 MB.

If you’re uploading and sharing a larger file, you’re going to be warned that the file wasn’t scanned, and it might contain some malicious content. Here’s what Google’s support page reveals:

Google Drive scans a file for viruses before the file is downloaded or shared. If a virus is detected, users cannot convert the infected file to a Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide, and they’ll receive a warning if they attempt these operations.

The owner can download the virus-infected file, but only after acknowledging the risk of doing so. Users can still share the file with others, send the infected file via email, or change ownership of the file. 

Only files smaller than 100 MB can be scanned for viruses. For larger files, a warning is displayed saying that the file can’t be scanned.

So, if you’re dealing with smaller files, you should have no worries, because Google Drive alone is enough to keep your files safe.

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But if you’re downloading larger files from Google Drive, you might want to put it through some additional security measures.

2. Scan for viruses on your computer

  1. Click on the shield in the notification area to start Windows Security.
  2. Select Virus & threat protection.
  3. Up next, select Scan options under the Quick scan button.
  4. Check the Full scan option and hit the Scan now button below.
  5. Wait for the scan to complete and restart your PC.

If you already have an antivirus software installed on your computer, you can use it to scan Google Drive files. This method only applies if you have the Google Drive client installed on your computer.

As you probably know, all files from your Google Drive storage will also appear in the local folder on your computer.

So, all you need to do is to make your current antivirus program scan the content of your local Google Drive folder. If any security threats are found, you’ll be instantly notified.

Windows Defender is pretty good, but if you want to make sure that your Google Drive files or all the other files are perfectly protected, you will need a third-party antivirus.

The tool recommended below is light, fast, and can be configured to scan the Google Drive folders automatically on a schedule, so you can be sure that they stay clean all the time.

It also offers great protection against all online threats and protects all your money transactions with the latest technologies.

Click the link below and check it out right now because it also has a 30-day trial period for testing.

ESET Internet Security

ESET Internet Security

Keep your Google Drive files and all your other data clean at all times with this great antivirus.

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That’s all our methods of scanning Google Drive for viruses. Unfortunately, there’s still no major antivirus service that offers full Google Drive integration.

This is definitely not a positive thing, as Google Drive is the biggest online storage service online, with millions of users.

However, installing a powerful antivirus on your PC will ensure that the uploaded files will always be clean.

You can take a look at our list including the best antiviruses with unlimited validity and pick the one that suits your needs better.

Adding full security integration for Google Drive will surely benefit both users and antivirus makers. Do you know about some methods we didn’t list here? Let us know in the comments below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Google will scan the files under 100 MB before uploading but you can still upload infected files. Here’s an excellent guide on how to scan Google Drive for viruses.

  • Usually, an antivirus will scan the file during the process, but you can still right-click the file and scan it with your installed solution. If you don’t have an antivirus installed, here’s our list of the best antiviruses for Windows 10.

  • If one of your files from Google Drive is infected, you can still download it, but you will get a warning about that when you try to do so. You can also consider checking better cloud storage alternatives to avoid such issues.

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