How to Delete a File Out of a Quarantine Folder

By Heather Topham Wood

When your anti-virus software program detects an infected file, it does not automatically delete the file from your system. Instead, it places the file inside a quarantine folder in order to prevent it from affecting any other files or programs on your computer. If you are concerned about leaving a file on your computer that has been compromised by a virus, you can delete the file from the quarantine folder of your anti-virus software.

Step 1

Launch your anti-virus software program. Both McAfee and Norton have the same basic process for accessing and deleting quarantined items. From the main menu, find the option that allows you to manage quarantined items.

Step 2

Review the different files that you have listed in your quarantine folder. The anti-virus program provides the name of the file, risk level, virus type and current status. If you see a file you wish to remove, highlight the name from the folder list.

Step 3

View the actions available for the particular file that you have selected. For most file types, you have the option to either delete or restore the infected file. Choose "Delete File" in order to proceed.

Step 4

Click "Yes" when the pop up window appears. This is the way that the anti-virus software makes sure you want to delete the file out of the quarantined folder. It will then send the file to your trash can. Empty your trash can in order to permanently get rid of the file from your PC.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to manually delete the files in your quarantine folder, you can open the folder from the "My Computer" menu on your Windows OS. When you open the folder, you will see a listing of quarantined files. Highlight the name of the particular file and right click your mouse. Select "Delete" from the list of available options.