Signs That Your Antivirus Has Stopped Working


Many people install antivirus such as zonealarm on their PCs and expect them to provide lifelong protection from viruses and malware. However, this does not happen in most cases. Most antivirus stop working after a certain period of time. They either need to be updated manually or reinstalled altogether.

If you have ever faced such a situation, you might know the signs which indicate whether or not your antivirus is still functional. On the contrary, if you haven’t faced a situation like that before,  you must be thinking: How will I know my antivirus is working or not?

Here are a few signs that will tell you that your antivirus is not working.

1. System Slows Down

The first sign that your device is facing a malware attack and your antivirus is doing nothing about it includes your system slowing down. If you have enough disk space and no additional program being run, your system shouldn’t take a lot of time to start up and shut down. If your computer is taking an abnormally long time in loading and shutting down, chances are it has been infected and your antivirus is sleeping.

2. System Freezing

While slow start up and shut down are signs of a weakened defense system, you might experience system seizures while working if your device is under malware attack and is unprotected. It is yet another indication that your antivirus software has stopped working.

3. Automatic Deletion of Files and Tempering of Settings

The third signal is automatic deletion of your important files, information theft plus the system settings being altered on their own. If you find suspicious activity taking place on your device which has not been initiated by you, whether manually or through automatic updating, it might have been occurring because of the malicious software infecting your system. when anything like this happens, you need to update or reinstall your antivirus software.

4. The EICAR Test File Generates no Response

If you are experiencing all of the above-mentioned conditions but still need confirmation, you might as well use the EICAR Test file method. The EICAR test file has been developed by the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research for the purpose of testing antivirus’ responsiveness.

The EICAR Test file consists of codes which identify as malware. When this file is downloaded on to the computer and run, if the antivirus is working, it must start to giving off red flag signs and messages. However, if the antivirus remains non-responsiveness and gives off no red flag warnings when this file is test run, it means the antivirus is not working.

5. The AMTSO Tests Results are Positive

The AMTSO tests have been designed by the Anti Malware Testing Standards Organization and they are completely safe to be downloaded on your device. Run them and check for drive-by download test results. Your antivirus should give off the warning as soon as this test is run. If it doesn’t, it is a sign that it isn’t working.

Moreover, you can also run tests for scanning malware inside compressed files using the AMTSO tests. If your antivirus does not respond to this test too, it probably isn’t working.


All of the signs mentioned above are enough to confirm that your antivirus needs fixing.

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