Help! My antivirus program finds a virus during a scan with Ad-Aware!

by isergant on March 14th, 2006 in Lavasoft Products, Researcher Comments.

This is a re-occuring issue which I would like to highlight, and explain why it occurs. This is also something which is posted in our FAQ's on, though I will explain in more detail here.

During a scan, Ad-Aware searches through files and folders, and will temporarily decompress compressed files to look inside them for Adware / Malware content. If the system is installed with a realtime anti-virus scanner, then accesses made to compressed files or folders will usually result in an alert from the real-time scanner; much the same way as if you were to navigate into a folder containing a virus - your realtime scanner would popup a warning box. Therefore, when Ad-Aware "looks" inside a compressed file or folder, you may receive such a warning.
Ad-Aware may or may not have this file in detection at the time it was scanned, but confusion is often created when a user scans with Ad-Aware and suddenly sees a virus warning leading to some users claiming that Ad-Aware is installing viral content.
If this happens, this means that the system in question has not been fully scanned with the installed anti-virus program or the anti-virus program has not been configured to scan inside compressed files. On some occasions, you may even receive a warning about Adware / Malware content from your anti-virus solution. This will occur if the anti-virus application includes signatures for Adware/Malware content, which is often the case with large suites. If you should receive a warning of malware / adware, but Ad-Aware does not detect it, this simply means that we do not have this particular file added to our detection database at this time. It does not mean, however, that we are deliberately ignoring a particular infection! In this case, the best thing you can do ( to help us AND help you), is to send the file to us at

To resolve this problem, you should perform a full system scan with your installed anti-virus solution, including inside compressed files. When your system is clean, you can now run Ad-Aware to clean up any other nasties which may be there....

I hope this solves the problem for alot of people. If you have any further bewonderings, visit our research site at



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