Drive protects file owners and viewers from malware infections

Are files stored in Google Drive scanned for viruses?

The short answer is yes But there’s a catch:

Virus scanning: Google Drive scans a file for viruses before the file is downloaded or shared. If a virus is detected, users can’t share the file with others, send the infected file via email, or convert it to a Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide, and they’ll receive a warning if they attempt these operations. The owner can download the virus-infected file, but only after acknowledging the risk of doing so.

What this means is that files are not necessarily flagged as malware upon upload. Given that malware code evolves rapidly and faster than the anti virus definition files created to detect them, it makes sense that detection and notification occurs during the download stage, given that a new type of virus might not be first detected upon upload but over time is more likely to be detected.


Only files smaller than 25 MB can be scanned for viruses. For larger files, a warning is displayed saying that the file can’t be scanned.