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Sentry is a really useful ClamXAV feature – as its name suggests, it keeps an eagle eye on  your watched folders for any changes or additions to their contents and alerts ClamXAV to scan them.

If the new addition is clean, you won’t hear a peep but, if it’s infected, you’ll get a warning message prompting you to take action. To specify which folders you want Sentry to watch, just go to the Preferences option in the ClamXAV Sentry menu.

What the Sentry menu icons mean

When ClamXAV Sentry is active, it appears as an icon in your Mac’s menu bar, indicating one of five activities:

  • Sentry not watching Just starting up or temporarily stopped
  • Sentry watching Watching folders for new additions but not currently scanning anything
  • Sentry scanning files Actively scanning new additions to watched folders
  • Sentry updating defs Updating virus definitions
  • Sentry found an infection Infected file found!

Shortcut to virus definitions

Sentry also has a handy shortcut feature for updating virus definitions meaning you can do this directly from the Sentry menu without needing to launch ClamXAV.

Suspending or quitting Sentry and aborting scans

If you want to suspend Sentry for any reason, just choose Stop Watching from the menu; and if you want to quit Sentry altogether (which you can’t do during a scan) then select Quit ClamXAV Sentry from the menu. If a scan is taking longer than you’d expect, or you’ve a high volume of files and folders being scanned, you can choose Abort Scans from the menu to stop the process.