How to Fix “This File Contained a Virus and Was Deleted” Error

Struggling with “This File Contained a Virus and Was Deleted” error on your Windows PC? Check out our quick solution to fix it now. Get step-by-step instructions

You’re trying to download a file, and suddenly, McAfee pops up with an alert: “This file contained a virus and was deleted.” While it’s essential to take such warnings seriously, there are instances when the error is not due to an actual virus but a false positive. In this article, we will discuss the causes of this error and provide step-by-step solutions to fix it. We will also cover preventive measures to help you maintain a safe and secure online experience.

Causes of the Error

Genuine virus detection

The most obvious reason for this error is that McAfee has indeed detected a virus in the downloaded file. In this case, the antivirus software is doing its job, and you should avoid downloading the file from that particular source.

False positive

Sometimes, antivirus programs may flag a file as malicious even if it’s not. This is called a false positive, and it can be frustrating because it prevents you from accessing a file that might be harmless.

Outdated antivirus software

If your McAfee antivirus software is outdated, it may not have the latest virus definitions, leading to incorrect detections. Keeping your software up-to-date is crucial in maintaining the effectiveness of your antivirus program.

How to Fix the Error

Update your antivirus software

First and foremost, ensure that your McAfee antivirus software is up-to-date. To do this, open the software, navigate to the “Updates” section, and click “Check for updates.” Updating your software will provide the most recent virus definitions, reducing the likelihood of false positives.

Disable real-time scanning temporarily

If you’re confident that the file you’re trying to download is safe, you can temporarily disable real-time scanning in McAfee. This will allow the download to complete without being interrupted by the antivirus software. Remember to re-enable real-time scanning as soon as the download is complete to maintain your computer’s protection.

Add an exclusion to McAfee

If you want to download a specific file that McAfee keeps flagging as malicious, you can add an exclusion. This will prevent the antivirus software from scanning and blocking the file. To do this, open McAfee, go to “Settings,” and navigate to the “Exclusions” section. Add the file or folder to the list of exclusions, and the error should no longer occur when downloading the file.

Use an alternative browser

Sometimes, the error might be caused by your browser’s settings or extensions. To determine if this is the case, try downloading the file using a different browser. If you can download the file without any issues, the problem might be specific to your original browser.

Scan the file with another antivirus program

To ensure that the file is not infected, you can scan it with another antivirus program. There are several reputable antivirus programs available online, both free and paid. Download and install one of these programs, then use it to scan the file you’re having trouble with. If the file is indeed infected, the secondary antivirus program should also detect the threat. If it doesn’t, you can be more confident that the original error was a false positive.

Reset your browser settings

If you suspect that the issue is related to your browser, you can try resetting its settings to the default configuration. This process will remove any potentially problematic extensions, add-ons, or settings that may be causing the error. Keep in mind that resetting your browser settings will also remove any customizations you’ve made, so be prepared to reconfigure your browser afterward. To reset your browser settings, navigate to the settings or options menu and look for a “Reset” or “Restore default settings” option.

Preventive Measures

Keep your software updated

Regularly updating your antivirus software and other programs is essential to maintain optimal protection. Software updates often include patches for security vulnerabilities and improvements to virus detection. Ensure that you have automatic updates enabled for your antivirus program, operating system, and other essential software.

Avoid suspicious websites

When downloading files, be cautious about the websites you visit. Stick to reputable sources, and avoid downloading files from unknown or suspicious websites. These sites can host malware or other potentially harmful content.

Backup your files

Regularly backing up your files can help you recover from a malware attack or other data loss scenarios. Use an external hard drive or a cloud-based backup service to store copies of your important files, documents, and media. This will ensure that you can restore your data if you ever encounter a problem.

How to Fix the Issue with McAfee Antivirus

Follow these step-by-step instructions to resolve the problem using McAfee Antivirus:

Step 1: Update McAfee Antivirus

Ensure your McAfee Antivirus software is up-to-date. Open the program and click on the “Updates” or “Check for Updates” option. This will ensure you have the latest virus definitions and reduce the chances of false positives.

Step 2: Run a Full System Scan

Perform a full system scan to detect any malicious files or threats. Open McAfee Antivirus, select the “Scan” option, and choose “Full Scan.” The scan may take some time, so be patient.

Step 3: Analyze Quarantined Files

After the scan, review the quarantined files in McAfee Antivirus. If you find any false positives, follow the next step to whitelist them.

Step 4: Whitelist False Positives

To whitelist a false positive, open the McAfee Antivirus Quarantine Manager, select the file, and click “Restore.” This action will move the file back to its original location.

Step 5: Check Browser Extensions

Inspect your browser extensions for any suspicious items. Open your browser’s settings, locate the “Extensions” or “Add-ons” section, and carefully review the list. Remove any extensions that you don’t recognize or trust.

Step 6: Reset Browser Settings

Resetting your browser settings can help resolve issues caused by unwanted changes. Follow these steps for popular browsers:

  • Google Chrome: Go to “Settings” > “Advanced” > “Reset and clean up” > “Restore settings to their original defaults.”
  • Mozilla Firefox: Go to “Settings” > “Help” > “Troubleshooting Information” > “Refresh Firefox.”
  • Microsoft Edge: Go to “Settings” > “Reset Settings” > “Restore settings to their default values.”

Remember that resetting your browser settings may remove your bookmarks, saved passwords, and other personalized settings, so proceed with caution.

Step 7: Disable Unnecessary Browser Extensions

Some browser extensions can interfere with file downloads. To minimize potential conflicts, disable unnecessary extensions by toggling them off in your browser’s settings.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Future Issues

To prevent encountering the “This file contained a virus and was deleted” message in the future, follow these best practices:

Regularly Update Your Antivirus Software

Keep your McAfee Antivirus software up-to-date to ensure it has the latest virus definitions and can effectively protect your system from threats.

Be Cautious with Downloads

Only download files from trusted sources, and avoid downloading files from suspicious websites or emails. Additionally, scan all downloaded files with your antivirus software before opening them.

Keep Your Operating System Updated

Regularly update your operating system to benefit from the latest security patches and bug fixes. This can help prevent future issues and keep your system running smoothly.

“The file contained a virus and was deleted” error in McAfee can be frustrating, but following the steps outlined in this article should help you resolve the issue. Remember to keep your antivirus software up-to-date, exercise caution when downloading files, and follow good security practices to maintain a safe online environment.

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