How to Scan an External Hard Drive for Viruses

By Editorial Team

Updated July 21, 2017

Viruses are everywhere, and they can creep into your computer and cause serious damage. This is common knowledge, but these sneaky little viruses can creep onto your external hard drive, as well. Keep your information safe by doing a routine scan of your external hard drive for viruses. Read on to learn how.

Prevent viruses before you are attached. Download a reputable anti-virus to your PC or laptop. Program it to scan for viruses once or twice a day. This is the best way to prevent destructive viruses from creeping onto your computers and your external hard drive.

Connect your external hard drive to your PC or desktop. Most will plug into an empty USB port on your desktop or laptop computer. The other common way is through another piece of software, but newer computers will be compatible through the USB port.

Wait for your computer to recognize that your external hard drive has been connected. Most systems will populate a window that will tell you when a new piece of software has been plugged in.

Run your virus software on your desktop. Make sure you have an anti-virus software that will allow you to run a virus scan manually.

Open your computer icon on your desktop, and select the external hard drive. Most common anti-virus software will work very compatibly with an external hard drive. Leave the external hard drive plugged in during the entire scanning process. It may take a few minutes, but this is something your computer will do on its own.