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How to Scan Email for Malware

Last Updated May 21, 2022
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Emails are one of the simplest ways malicious people get viruses into the computers of their respective victims. To prevent falling victim to this, you need to know how to scan every email for viruses before opening or downloading files from it to your computer.

You can scan every email delivered to your computer using antivirus software. These can be software installed on the computer or third-party software created for this purpose.

Let’s look in detail at how to scan your emails for viruses, the effects of malware on your computer or mobile, and how to remove any virus on your device.

Scan Your Email for Malware

To avoid downloading viruses on your computer or mobile, scanning emails, especially those containing attachments, is always important. There are different ways of doing this, and we will look at how to scan email on Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone.

Users of email clients like Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo mail do not have to worry too much about the risks of malware because these email service providers automatically scan all attachments for viruses. If there is a virus in an email being sent to you, they will reject it from being delivered. Also, if the malware is already in your mailbox, they prevent you from downloading it.

However, the security in place is not foolproof. You can always do a second scan of all email attachments delivered to your inbox to be sure.

Scan Email for Malware on Windows

First, click on the attachment icon of the email you want to scan. Download the file but do not open it. Then select the file and scan it with whatever security software you have in place. If you are using windows, you can scan using Windows defender. Also, you can scan an email by forwarding it to and adding SCAN in the subject line.

Scan Email for Malware on MacBook

Apple computers are well known for their fortress-like security. However, even they can fall victim to malware. The process of scanning emails on MacBooks isn’t much different from that of Windows computers. The main difference is that most antivirus programs don’t work well on Macs. Therefore, you have to use a compatible one, like ESET antivirus.

Scan Email for Malware on Android

Scanning emails for malware on Android seems to be an entirely different ballgame. This is because antivirus apps for Android often don’t offer email scanning as a service. However, you can follow the process of sending the email to

Scan Email for Malware on iPhone

iPhones are probably the devices least vulnerable to these attacks. However, there is always the risk of the virus getting in or you spreading it to other devices. To scan for malware on iPhone, download an antivirus app from the iOS store. After downloading, select the file and scan it.

Effects Of Viruses

It’s not unusual to wonder what the effects of malware will be on your computer or phone. Some of these are:

  • They allow hackers to steal your information: Most malware is specifically designed to allow the creator access to sensitive information. These can include passwords and even credit card information, which can cause substantial financial loss.
  • They affect your computer processes: Because viruses self-replicate and expand to take up massive memory space, the regular operations of the computer are affected. It is not unusual for virus-infected computers to lag and refuse to perform their normal functions.
  • They damage files on your device: This corruption prevents you from accessing these files and could lead to the loss of precious files.

Thankfully, there are ways to remove malware should it end up on your device.

How to Get Rid of Malware

Sometimes, even the best precautions can be inadequate in the face of viruses. This is because there are so many ways they can get into our computers or mobiles. If you start seeing the symptoms in the preceding section, run an antivirus scan of your device. You can run this scan with any antivirus software or app of repute on your computer or mobile. If the results show that there is a virus in the system, you need to find a way to remove it.

Remove Virus on Android

If your android phone is infected with a virus, do the following:

  • Reboot your phone to safe mode
  • Block all pop-up ads and strange websites with permissions in your browser
  • Remove all unknown apps
  • Install an antivirus app and use it to clean your mobile.

This should safely remove viruses on Android devices.

Remove Virus on iPhone

It is very easy to solve malware issues on iPhones due to their impeccable security. The things you can do to remove any viruses that get in are:

  • Update your iOS
  • Clear your browsing history
  • Remove unknown apps from your phone
  • Use an iCloud backup to restore your phone to a previous version

This should safely remove viruses on iPhones.

Remove Virus on Mac

As with iPhones, MacBooks rarely get infected with malware, and it’s very easy to clean them if infected. If your Mac has a virus, follow these steps:

  • Enter safe mode and use activity monitor to check for malware.
  • If found, delete any such files and clear the trash bin
  • Update your computer software

This should safely remove viruses on MacOS.

Remove Virus on Windows

With a proper antivirus program, you shouldn’t worry about Malware on your Windows computer. However, if one manages to crawl in, follow these steps to remove it:

  • Reboot your computer into safe mode
  • Delete unknown and temporary files
  • Use antivirus software to quarantine and delete all viruses and reboot your computer
  • Update your software and operating system

This should safely remove viruses on Windows devices.


It is important always to safeguard your computer from malicious third parties. Emails are one of the main ways hackers introduce malware to unsuspecting third parties. You can avoid this by always scanning emails using Antivirus software like Kaspersky and Windows Microsoft Security Essentials.

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