How to Find Out if My Norton AntiVirus Is Working

By John Ruiz

As long as Norton AntiVirus is installed, the application should continuously monitor your system for known viruses and malware to ensure that your critical files are safe. But before you do things like share files with other computers in your business network, you should make sure that your Norton AntiVirus software is functioning properly. Some types of malware can bypass and shut down your virus scanning engine leaving your computer vulnerable. If you don't want to take a huge risk and download a real virus to your computer just to test your Norton AntiVirus software, you can safely create a special test file instead.

Open the Start screen by pressing the "Windows" key on your keyboard and click the "Norton AntiVirus" icon. Check if the first box is green and has the "Secure" label. If the box is "Red" and says "At Risk," your Norton AntiVirus software may have certain virus scanning features disabled.

Right-click an empty space on your Windows desktop and go to "New." Click "Text Document" from the popup menu and give the new text file any name. Double-click the text file you just made to open a blank Notepad window.

Type or paste "X5O!P%@AP[4\PZX54(P^)7CC)7}$EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!$H+H*" without quotation marks in the Notepad window. Click "File" on the Notepad menu bar and click Save. If Norton AntiVirus immediately responds and deletes the file, your Norton AntiVirus application is working properly.


Information in this article applies to Norton AntiVirus 2013 running on Windows 8. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.