AV-Test: Many false positives reported by antivirus software for Windows 8.1

Virus Scanners for Windows 8.1 score high on detection of malware but also report many false positives, according to a test of German antivirus testers AV-Test. The Germans tested 27 consumer virus scanners for Windows 8.1 on detection of malware, performance and false positives.

False positives mean that the virus scanner reports clean software or websites as infected with malware. This can especially cause issues if system files are reported as malware and are either wrongly quarantined or deleted.


The scanners could earn 6 points for each part of the test. BitDefender, Kaspersky Lab and Qihoo 360 all scored the maximum 18 points. When it comes to malware detection most software scored well, with an average detection rate of 97%. Only the default Windows 8.1 virus scanner, Windows Defender, scored below average with a detection rate of  75%.

Remarkable was that the scanners reported many false positives. Ahnlab, Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, Bullguard, Comodo, ESET, F-Secure, G Data, K7 Computer, McAfee, MicroWorld, Norman, Panda Security, QuickHeal, Symantec, Tencent and ThreatTrack all mistakenly reported clean software as infected with malware. Especially Panda Security, Tencent and ThreatTrack with respectively 10, 60 and 23 false positives stand out.