QuickStart Guide


  • Obtain the latest version of ClamXav from our downloads page or from the following link: ClamXav Latest Version.
  • Double click "ClamXav_2.xx.zip" in your downloads folder to expand it into "ClamXav.app" (your web browser may have already performed this step for you).
  • Double click ClamXav.app to start the installation.

If this is your first time running ClamXav (or if you're copying it onto a new computer), you'll be presented with the End User Licence Agreement. You must read and confirm your agreement with the document before being able to use ClamXav.

Because ClamXav is available with a 30 day free trial, you will be shown a dialog box telling you how many days are left in your trial. If you have already purchased a licence for ClamXav, click the "Enter Registration" button and then either copy & paste the details from your registration email, or preferably click the link in your registration email to enter your registration key automatically.

If you have misplaced the email with your registration details, we can resend it to you via the Retrieve Lost Registration Key item in the Support menu at the top of this page.

Enter your admin name and password when prompted to install the helper tool - this is the same name and password that you use to log into your computer, it is not something specific to ClamXav.

At this point, you may be prompted to install or update the anti-virus scanning engine. If so, click "Install" and wait for the installation to complete. It should only take a few moments.

Lastly, click "Update Now" when prompted to download the latest virus definitions.

Updating From a Previous Version (including the Mac App Store)

If you previously downloaded ClamXav from the Mac App Store, please understand that it is no longer available in the App Store, so it's not possible to update automatically to the new ClamXav. Please drag your existing ClamXav.app to the trash, and follow the instructions above to install from scratch.

If you downloaded ClamXav through this website, double click your existing ClamXav.app and go to the ClamXav menu, then select "Check for ClamXav Updates…" and follow the prompts to complete the installation.

Main Window

When you launch ClamXav, you'll see with the main window which contains five primary sections:

  • 1. Toolbar
  • 2. Source List
  • 3. Infection List
  • 4. Console
  • 5. Status Area

The toolbar at the top of the window allows quick access to frequently performed actions.

The Source List on the left hand side allows you to keep a list of favourite items to scan.

The Infection List on the upper right hand side shows details of any infected files found during a scan.

The console area on the lower right of the window gives verbose output about what ClamXav is doing.

The status area is the bar at the very bottom of the window. Initially, it displays the version of ClamXav and the date of your latest virus definitions update. It changes during a scan to show which file is currently being examined. To the right of this is a progress bar to give an indication of how many files are still waiting to be scanned.

First Scan

Make sure you're connected to the internet and click "Update Definitions" from the toolbar. ClamXav will attempt to connect to the Internet to download and install new virus definitions. A progress panel will appear while the definitions are being downloaded and will disappear when it's OK to continue.

A "quick scan" of your system will be performed every time you update your virus definitions, and also before scanning any of the selected items in your Source List.

Select an item to scan from the Source List on the left or click the plus (+) button at the bottom to add a different file or folder to the list. Alternatively, drag a file or folder into the window from the Finder to scan it immediately.
The "All My Files" item in the Source List will scan all the items visible when you open the same folder on your Desktop.

Click the "Start Scan" button. A scan can be aborted safely at any point.

If the "Start Scan" button is greyed out and can't be clicked, please ensure you've selected an item to be scanned from the Source List.

Dealing with Infected Files
Virus Found

If a system infection or infected file is found, the name of the file/infection will be displayed in the Infection List in the top half of the window. There are a number of options available to you; Select the infected file from the list and then go to the File menu » Infection List and choose one of the options:

  • Show Path
  • Reveal in Finder
  • Exclude from Future Scans
  • Quarantine
  • Delete

The Infection List is colour-coded to help you decide what to do with an item that has been found:

  •      blue - low concern (consider quarantining the file to avoid the risk of passing it on to others)
  •      orange - medium concern (advise quarantine)
  •      red - high concern (advise delete)
  •      green - neutralised threat

If you delete or quarantine something accidentally, you should right-click (or hold the control key and click if you only have one mouse button) on the file in question immediately and select "Put Back". This ought to put the file back to where it belongs. NB: System Infections, once removed, cannot be put back. Emails can be returned to their original position directly from within Apple Mail itself - they will either be in the trash or quarantine folder within Mail.

Be very careful with the Quarantine and Delete options as both of these will move the file on your hard disk. If the file in question is an email or part of a mailbox, you probably don't want to delete or quarantine it (with the exception of users of Apple Mail).