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Frequently asked questions

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about ClamXAV but were afraid to ask. We launched version 3 in August 2018, so here’s a round up of the most common questions we've been asked. And the answers we give!

Why am I seeing ClamXAV subscription is required for database updates when I check for virus definition updates?

This is because you're still using ClamXAV 2 without having an active subscription installed. ClamXAV 3 was released as a subscription product in August 2018. To continue receiving virus definition updates (also known as malware database updates) in ClamXAV 2, you need to upgrade to a subscription and install the new registration key. More details below.

Upgrade Questions

What are ClamXAV’s system requirements?

ClamXAV 3 requires a 64 bit Mac running macOS 10.10 (Yosemite) or newer.

ClamXAV 2 requires an Intel Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or newer. ClamXAV 2 will accept a subscription to allow it to receive updates to the malware database. Without an active subscription, ClamXAV 2 stopped receiving virus definition updates beyond 31st October 2018. The final version of ClamXAV 2 is available here.

How do I upgrade from ClamXAV 2 to a subscription licence?

Existing ClamXAV 2 customers can upgrade to a subscription for ClamXAV 3 and obtain a 50% discount.
Validate your eligibility to upgrade via the Upgrade page on our website.

I paid for ClamXAV 2 three weeks ago, do I need to buy it again?

If you purchased ClamXAV 2 any time after 1st February 2018, you can upgrade to version 3 and get your first 12 months free. We think that’s pretty fair.

I paid for ClamXAV last year, do I need to buy it again?

If you purchased ClamXAV 2 any time between 1st July 2017 and 31st January 2018, you can upgrade to version 3 and get your first 6 months free. Not bad, eh?

Do I need to uninstall ClamXAV 2 before upgrading?

No need. The installer for ClamXAV 3 will remove all traces of ClamXAV 2 - the only exception to this is if you've moved the app itself out of the Applications folder, you'll need to find and delete it manually.

Do you have any documentation about upgrading the app and what the changes are?

Yes! See the Upgrading to ClamXAV 3 page in our documentation.

How do I install my registration key?

If you've never used ClamXAV before, you'll be prompted to purchase or take the free trial when you first start the app. Just click "I've already purchased ClamXAV" (if you're using version 3) or "Enter registration key" (for version 2), then simply copy and paste the key from your email into the Registration Key field. For users of ClamXAV 2, you can leave the other fields blank.

If you have an old standalone licence for ClamXAV 2, you'll need to replace this with a subscription licence. Simply select "Show Registration" from the ClamXAV menu, and then click the "Change Registration" button and copy & paste your key into the Registration Key field leaving all others blank.

Licensing Questions

When will my licence auto-renew?

ClamXAV 3 subscriptions will auto-renew at the end of the chosen subscription period unless you cancel it before you reach that date.

Are you storing my credit card details?

No we would never do that. When you purchase ClamXAV, our reseller partner (FastSpring who handle all card payments) receive a special token which is unique to you, and which allows them to charge your card again the following year on the condition that your card is still valid.

How do I change my registered email address?

Simply get in touch with us via the helpdesk and we’ll sort you out.

How do I purchase ClamXAV?

ClamXAV is available through our online store. Your registration details will be sent to you by email and you should print this out and keep it in a safe place. If you’ve already installed ClamXAV 3, you can place your order directly within the app.

Do you offer a student discount?

Yes, a discount is available to students of approved educational institutions to purchase ClamXAV for your own personal use on one computer. Please visit the Education Store to purchase with a discount. The student licence expires after one year, but you can re-apply and revalidate your email address for as many years as you're eligible.

Can I purchase one subscription of ClamXAV for use on multiple Macs in my household or do I have to buy one for each Mac?

A single Home Licence for ClamXAV can be installed and used for your domestic and personal use on up to 3 computers you own or lease at the same home address.
A Business Licence for ClamXAV may be installed and used for your internal business purposes within a single organisation on the number of computers specified in your order with us and listed in your registration details.

A Family Plan for ClamXAV can be installed and used for your domestic and personal use on up to 9 computers you own or lease at the same home address.

Do you offer a volume licensing program?

Yes, please visit our Commercial Store for information on volume discounts. If you would like any more information or to order in excess of 150 units, please get in touch with our sales team.

Where do I download my registered copy of ClamXAV?

You can download the most up-to-date version of ClamXAV at any time from the downloads page. Your registration details and instructions will be sent to you by email.

Why isn’t ClamXAV on the Mac App Store?

There are a number reasons why we had to remove ClamXAV from the AppStore, we have a separate page explaining them. Please note that if you still have a copy of ClamXAV from the Mac App Store, it was last updated in 2014 and is no longer receiving our Mac-specific malware database.

I previously bought ClamXAV through the Mac App Store – do I need to buy it again?

The version of ClamXAV that used to be available in the Mac App Store was free! It’s no longer available from there so yes, you will need to pay for it this time around.

How do I cancel my subscription or update my payment details?

There’s a link in your order confirmation email which takes you to a management page allowing you to update your card details or cancel your subscription at the end of your current period.

Technical Questions

What’s the difference between malware, viruses and trojans?

Malware is the generic name for computer threats. It's a port-manteau of the words malicious software. It's an umbrella term which covers viruses, trojans, adware, spyware, ransomware, PUAs and anything that could be classed as malicious. A virus is a self-replicating, self-propagating, malicious piece of software designed to destroy files and folders on a computer system. These are mercifully rare these days. A trojan is a piece of software that pretends to be legitimate and useful but installs other software (without your knowledge) to open up a ‘back door’ to your computer – this allows a hacker to access your files and, theoretically, your entire computer system. A computer infected by a trojan typically becomes part of a botnet. Trojans are the primary mechanism of malware delivery today. 

What’s phishing?

Phishing primarily concerns emails designed to fool you into believing they’re legitimate so that you follow links to a website and enter private information. Such websites will typically look like a bank and prompt you to provide personal information like your username, password, credit card number etc. Legitimate emails from a bank or financial institution should never ask you to click links to their website; in fact, they’ll usually say “Go to our website and log in.” Phishing can be very convincing, especially if you actually have an account with the company being spoofed. Don’t be fooled. Any doubts, call the company using a phone number you’ve already got and which you know is correct.

How can I exclude all files with a particular file name or extension, for example foo.img?

With your chosen scan item selected in the Source List on the left of ClamXAV's main window, click the Ignore Files button on the Settings Area (right side of the main window). From the popup, click the triangle in the bottom left corner to open the Advanced Ignore Settings. In there you can include a pattern (for example foo or .img) and all files whose name matches this pattern will be ignored by the scan.

What is a Quick Scan?

The Quick Scan will perform a very brief scan of your computer looking for live infections actively running on your Mac. Scans of the other areas in the Source List would look for infections within static files such as installers.

What is Sentry?

Sentry is the name of our background scanning engine and is used for real-time protection. It watches your computer in the background and automatically scans any files you receive or download, looking malware. Anything detected will be placed into quarantine automatically.

Why I can’t see the Sentry logo in my menu bar any more?

The Sentry icon is not shown in your menu bar anymore as it has been replaced with the ClamXAV Menu Item. This performs a similar role, but it also provides more useful information and functionality.

It's also worth noting that Sentry scans happen so quickly now that the menu item won't animate unless you are scanning an item from the Source List on ClamXAV's main window or Sentry is scanning a disk greater than 500 MB.

How do I specify folders for the Sentry watch-list in ClamXAV 3?

In ClamXAV 3, Sentry is much more powerful and will actually watch your entire computer by default. If you have specific areas you don't want to be scanned, you should drag and drop them into the Ignore Files section in the Settings Area for your hard disk.

What’s the best way to update ClamXAV when a new version is available?

Go to the ClamXAV Menu. Press the option (sometimes labelled "alt") key on your keyboard and select Check for ClamXAV updates. That’s it. It’ll do the rest for you.

Can I scan my entire hard drive?

Absolutely! It will already be listed in your Source List. Just select it and press the Scan Now button as if it were any other file or folder.

Will other anti-virus scanners cause conflicts with ClamXAV?

Some incompatibilities have been reported with other anti-virus products so we’d always recommend having only one on your Mac at any one time.

I’ve got a suspicious file but ClamXAV didn’t find any malware – what do I do?

Send us your suspicious file and we’ll check it out for you. And equally, if you’ve got a file that you KNOW has malware and wasn’t picked up by us, send us that suspicious file too and we’ll sort it out as soon as possible.

I can’t get the download to work – the file says it’s corrupt or invalid!

For some reason, your computer has failed to download the entire file. Try to download it again and, for good measure, try using a different browser. 

ClamXAV picked up a virus in my Word documents – what do I do?

Although one way to remove the infection is simply to delete the infected file, this isn’t always feasible and may not actually solve the problem anyway. What you want to do is quit all your office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Entourage etc) and delete Word’s Normal file (which you’ll find in Home Folder/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Normal). Now, empty the trash, open up Word again, go to Word Menu/Preferences/Security and put a tick in the box under Macro Security. Open each of your infected Word documents in turn and click Disable Macros when the warning comes up. Then copy and paste the contents into a new document and delete the original.



How do I uninstall ClamXAV completely?

You can simply drag to the trash; after a few seconds you’ll see a message asking if you would also like to uninstall the scanning engine. If this doesn’t happen or it doesn’t appear to have worked, you can download the uninstaller and run it manually. The uninstaller will remove the scanning engine, preferences and any schedules you’ve got set up. But we’ll be sorry to see you go.