Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Files cannot be checked for viruses before being downloaded, but there are precautions you can and should take.
I'd like to prevent viruses from ever reaching my machine - can I test them before they're downloaded? And if so, how?
In a word, no.
But there are definitely precautions you can, and should take, that will allow you to deal with downloads safely.
The bottom line is that a download must be on your machine (or a machine on your local network) before you can check it for viruses. So, with that in mind, follow these steps to download safely:
So what if your download shows up as being infected? First, delete the copy you just downloaded immediately, so that it doesn't get run by accident. If you can, see if you can find the same download from another source - sometimes malware is present only in some of the downloads of a particular piece of software.
If you can't find a clean download - please don't fall to the temptation of installing it anyway - it's not worth the risk unless you really know what you're doing. Contact the supplier or manufacturer of whatever it is you're downloading and report the issue to them. If they're at all reputable, they'll deal with the issue quickly.
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