Chromebooks are fast becoming a popular alternative to Windows and macOS devices. This laptop alternative, which can also double as a tablet, runs on Chrome OS, meaning antivirus for Windows and macOS won’t be compatible with it.
Although Chromebooks come with built-in antivirus software, it is still possible for your Chrome OS device to get infected with malware. With that being said, Chromebooks need to have antivirus software installed. Moreover, Chromebook antivirus solutions come with many useful features to keep yourself and your device safe while you use the internet.
To enjoy antivirus on your Chromebook you need to use software that is compatible with Chrome OS. Fortunately, almost all Android apps work with Chromebooks and can be utilized on your Chromebook.
Chromebook is well-known for the excellent security and anti-virus features it offers to users. This built-in protection includes ‘sandboxing,’ which means every website and app runs in a contained ‘sandbox.’ This ensures that if you accidentally visit a site containing malware or a virus, it shouldn’t spread to the other tabs you have open on your browser, or applications on your Chromebook.
Unfortunately, there will be times when malware slips through the sandbox, infecting your system. If your Chrome OS doesn’t detect any malware, then it may stay on your device and spread. Spyware and ransomware are just two of the most common forms of malware that can affect a Chromebook.
Therefore, you definitely need Chromebook antivirus software. Although Chromebooks can’t run .exe files, running Android apps is no issue. Not only do third-party apps for Android help detect and remove malware from your Chromebook, but they also come with useful features such as data breach detection and anti-theft features.
Below are the best Chromebook antivirus apps of 2023. All of the apps listed below are Android-compatible and work with Chrome OS.
Bitdefender’s Mobile Security Android app is the best antivirus for Chromebook. It offers both premium and completely free protection with excellent features to protect you from online threats.
Bitdefender Mobile Security tops our list due to the long list of impressive features it offers. Firstly, its malware scanner has a 100% detection rate, ensuring your Chromebook has constant spyware and ransomware protection.
As well as being able to detect and remove malware from Chrome OS, Bitdefender will stop your device from getting infected in the first place. It can warn you of malicious links before you click them to avoid phishing scams and other dangers.
If you’re concerned about identity theft, then you can take full advantage of Bitdefender’s account privacy feature. What this does is scans database leaks to check whether or not your email address has been involved in a data breach.
To ensure you have privacy while you surf the web on your Chromebook, you can utilize Bitdefender’s VPN. Although this isn’t the best built-in VPN, due to the low 200Mb daily data limit, it can protect your personal data when you carry out tasks such as online banking.
If you’re worried about how third-party antivirus for Chromebook might affect your system’s performance, you needn’t with Bitdefender. The application is lightweight and won’t drain your device’s battery.
Should your Chromebook fall into the wrong hands or accidentally get misplaced, you can rest assured your personal information will be safe with Bitdefender’s anti-theft features. This ensures you can lock and remotely wipe your device if you can’t find it.
It is worth mentioning that you can enjoy a free version of Bitdefender on your Chromebook called Bitdefender Antivirus Free. If you don’t want to pay for Chromebook antivirus, this is a good choice, but it lacks many extra features in the Mobile Security package, such as the VPN and anti-theft tools.
While there is a free Kaspersky antivirus Android app, Kaspersky Internet Security is a paid plan with excellent features to protect your web browsing and Chromebook.
Kaspersky Internet Security is a great antivirus for Chromebook option due to the high level of malware protection it offers. Its machine learning algorithms ensure that your device is protected from malware and other threats. There is real-time protection running in the background to ensure that your device is protected from potential threats.
You’ll also receive screen alerts if you attempt to access malicious websites which could infect your Chrome operating system or contain phishing scam links. This web filter feature is extremely useful for Chromebook users since Chromebook doesn’t automatically have anti-phishing measures in place.
You can enjoy advanced privacy protection through several impressive tools that Kaspersky offers. Alongside webcam protection to prevent third parties from spying on you via your Chromebook webcam, there is also a free VPN service included. However, this comes with a small 300Mb data limit, which won’t be enough to hide all of your browsing data.
If you share your Chromebook with minors, then you can activate the parental control tools. These include blocking access to adult websites and other applications. You can also set screen time limits so that your children don’t spend too much time on the internet.
The Kaspersky app is straightforward to use and won’t affect your Chromebook’s performance. In fact, Kaspersky will optimize your device’s performance and ensure it runs fast as it should.
As mentioned, there is a free Kaspersky Internet Antivirus that works on Android devices (and, therefore, Chrome operating systems). This comes with anti-theft tools as well as virus protection and an on-demand malware scanner.
Overall, Kaspersky offers some of the best antivirus solutions on both free and paid plans. However, for more security tools, we recommend using the paid plan.
Norton is one of the best software companies in the world, and users can install its Mobile Security app from the Google Play Store to give their Chromebooks extra protection.
Norton is world-famous for the virus protection it offers, and its mobile security app is a great addition to Chromebook’s built-in antivirus protection. A web protection feature offers built-in ransomware protection and phishing site protection that makes for safe web browsing.
Norton’s real-time scanner for apps offers protection against the same threats that can be found on the web, but in installed and new apps on your Chromebook. This is a great feature as it ensures that you don’t install a third-party app that could harm your computer.
You can also scan wi-fi networks before you connect your Chromebook to them to ensure that you don’t connect to a network that cybercriminals could be using. This will protect you from hackers that may want to steal some of your personal data.
Another great feature for privacy protection is Norton’s built-in VPN. The VPN comes with military-grade encryption to safeguard your online movements from your Internet Service Provider, online trackers, and government agencies.
As well as detecting malicious codes and blocking these to protect your system’s local data, Norton also monitors the dark web for users’ personal information.
Unfortunately, there is no free antivirus option from Norton, which is why it isn’t placed higher on our list. It also lacks some useful features like anti-theft tools, which other Chromebook antivirus options have.
Avira offers free and paid-for antivirus for Chromebook as well as a free, lightweight antivirus add-on for Google Chrome.
Avira offers a fast and effective antivirus for Chromebook with both a free and pro version available. There is constant malware protection so that your operating system is protected from spyware and adware as you surf the web. On the pro plan, there is even microphone and webcam protection to keep yourself safe from online spies.
If you want the best antivirus in terms of improving your Chromebook’s system performance, then Avira is a good choice. It comes with a system optimizer tool that will clean your operating system to free up memory space to ensure it runs like normal. Since third-party applications installed on your Chrome OS can slow down the device, it’s great that Avira does the opposite.
If you’re concerned with the sharp increase in the number of data breaches, you’re not alone. Fortunately, like many of the other antivirus solutions on this list, Avira has a monitoring feature that checks leaked databases for your email address.
There are some great privacy features with Avira, including a VPN and a privacy advisor tool. The privacy advisor informs you of how much information other apps on your Chromebook have access to help you stay more private. While it’s good to see a VPN included, there is a daily data limit of just 100Mb, which isn’t a lot.
With a Chromebook, you’ll use Google Chrome as your search engine. Although this is not included in the antivirus software, Avira offers a browser extension for Chrome, meaning you can stay secure while you surf the web. It also provides a good alternative to the app if you don’t want to download that.
Malwarebytes offers protection from many online threats, including ransomware, browser hijackers, and phishing scams. There is a free version as well as paid plans for Chromebook users to enjoy.
Malwarebytes makes our list of the best antivirus for Chromebook users due to its ability to detect and remove malware from your operating system. As well as this, Malwarebytes can inform users of which apps are infringing on their privacy.
With Malwarebytes’ premium version, you get real-time protection as you surf the web. It detects ransomware before it locks your device and will send you alerts if you come across any phishing links.
To accompany your Chromebook antivirus, you can also install the free Chrome browser extension. This helps with detecting malicious website and phishing links and also ensures that you enjoy fast page load times.
The best part of Malwarebytes protection for Chromebook users is its privacy audit feature. This extensive tool takes a deep look at all of the apps installed on your device to see what permissions each app has. You’ll be able to find out which apps silently download your files, which can access your accounts, and which have network access.
Malwarebytes does offer a free version, which works on Chromebooks. However, the free plan does not provide protection against malware infection; it can only detect and remove. This is disappointing and a downside of the software.
We recommend trying out the free app first before upgrading to the paid version so that you can see whether or not this Chromebook antivirus option is for you.
Yes, Android apps work on Chromebooks. While users cannot install .exe files, which are commonly used on Windows systems, they will still be able to enjoy app-based versions of their favorite programs.
Technically you can’t get viruses on a Chromebook. This is because Chrome OS is designed to block viruses such as Trojans.
However, malware is a different kettle of fish, and it is entirely possible for a Chromebook to become infected with adware or spyware. Furthermore, Chrome OS users aren’t automatically protected from phishing websites.
So, while it would be pretty difficult for your Chromebook to get a virus, files on your computer could become infected with malware. Adware could cause annoying pop-ups to appear on your Chromebook, while spyware could silently gather information about your movements.
With all that in mind, it is a good idea to purchase an affordable and effective security package from one of the antivirus companies above to ensure you have extra security protection on your Chromebook.
Since Chromebook can protect users from the most common computer viruses, many people are curious about the tools that Chrome OS uses to ensure full device health and protection. Chromebook security features include:
As you can see, like iOS and macOS devices, Chromebook provides its users with advanced virus protection. Yet, there is still a need for third-party software.
There are many free antivirus options, with several listed above. Providers who offer the best antivirus solutions at no cost include:
While there are many other free antivirus solutions available on the market, the ones above work on Chrome OS and come from reputable antivirus providers. While we don’t usually recommend free cybersecurity products for a variety of reasons, free antivirus services offered by well-known and reliable companies are more often than not secure.
Of course, we advise that you don’t use free products from unknown companies. Don’t download random applications from the Google Play Store or install any software from unsecured websites on the internet. Ensure that you always install the official apps and software from the provider itself.
I’m Madeleine, and I'm a writer that specializes in cybersecurity, tech products, and all things related to the internet.
I have a keen interest in VPNs and believe that everyone deserves internet freedom and security. I wr...
Read more about the author