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How to clear or restore files and programs from quarantine


Affected Suites:
All McAfee Security suites for Windows
McAfee Internet Security for Mac

Affected Products:

Affected Operating Systems:
Microsoft Windows 8, 8.1
Microsoft Windows 7
Microsoft Windows Vista
Microsoft Windows XP
Apple OS X 10.7 (and higher)


When a file or program is scanned, VirusScan compares it to known threats. VirusScan also uses heuristic techniques to detect unusual behavior. When a file cannot be matched to a known threat but exhibits unusual and possibly threatening behavior, VirusScan uses Active Protection technology to evaluate the threat of the unknown item. If the file or program is deemed unsafe, VirusScan quarantines the item to protect your computer.

There are three functions you can perform with quarantined items:

  • Delete permanently removes the quarantined item.
  • Restore releases the item from quarantine and restores it to the location where it was detected.

    IMPORTANT: Do not restore a quarantined item unless you are sure it is safe. See the Related Information for additional details on restoring files and programs from quarantine.
  • Send to McAfee automatically generates a virus submission with McAfee Labs (Windows computers only).


Windows computers:
  1. Open your McAfee Security product.
  2. Click Navigation.
  3. Click Quarantined and Trusted Items.
  4. Open Quarantined Items (for individual files) or Quarantined Potentially Unwanted Programs (for programs).
  5. Select specific items individually, or click Select all.
  6. Select the action you want to perform (Delete, Restore, or Send to McAfee). 

    NOTE: If you previously chose to trust files or programs detected as potentially risky during a previous scan, you can remove those items from your trusted list by opening Trusted Items, selecting the item, and clicking Remove From Trust List.

Apple computers:
  1. Click the McAfee icon and select McAfee Internet Security Console...
  2. Select Quarantine.
  3. Click the lock to make changes.
  4. Type your admin password and click OK.
  5. Select the location, or hold down the Shift key and click to select multiple locations.
  6. Select Restore to restore the item from Quarantine, or Delete to clear the item from the list.
  7. Click the lock to prevent further changes.

Related Information

Restoring an item from the quarantine recovers the file or program, but the file or program may still be detected as a potential threat. Select the item from the quarantine and click Send to McAfee. McAfee Labs will examine the item to determine it is safe, and add the item to a whitelist in a future automatic DAT update.

If the file or program is urgently needed, you can temporarily disable the Real-Time Scan while you use the item. McAfee does not recommend permanently disabling the Real-Time Scanner, as this could put your computer at risk for malware infection.

For instructions to temporarily disable the Real-Time Scanner, see TS100834.

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