Virustotal Updated, Now Accepts 32 Megabyte Files

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 15, 2012
Updated • Dec 11, 2012

The Virustotal online virus scanning service is one of the services that I use on a regular basis. Whenever I find a great looking software in a "not so great" location, I use the service to check the software out before I execute it on my system. This is for instance the case when software authors host their files on file hosting sites, and not on their own web space.

The old Virustotal had a file size limit of 20 Megabyte which worked fine for most executables and setups, but not for all. If you encountered a single file that exceeded the 20 Megabyte limit, you could not use the service to scan it at all. The service had other issues that users encountered every now and then, like large queues or pages that were not loading properly.

The developers have recently updated the service website and virus scanning service that improves Virustotal considerably.

When you open the service's homepage you will notice two of the changes right away.

The first is a new professional feel and look, the second that Virustotal now accepts file sizes of up to 32 Megabytes. That's a reasonable 60% increase that should resolve the majority of "file size to big" issues that users encountered previously on the site.

Once you upload a file you will notice that the reporting interface has changed as well.

online virus scan

The url scanner is now supporting a total of 19 different scan engines that includes a mix of well known (Google Safebrowsing, Opera, Phishtank) and lesser known services. Some url scanning services provide additional information that are now also displayed in the scan results.

Virustotal has moved to Google's App Engine Service which, according to the developers, speeds up the analysis significantly. Developers of third party apps now benefit from faster response times thanks to a public API update.

Virustotal has improved significantly thanks to the recent update. Especially the maximum file size increase needs to be mentioned in this regard.

Have you used the new version yet? If so, what is your impression of the service? (via Dottech)


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  1. Schwarze Katze said on March 26, 2012 at 8:20 am

    As you know there is a file size limit with most on line AV scanners.
    For example the allowed size for Avast! on line file scanner is 16MB,Comodo limits it to 20MB and so on.
    Virustotal now accepts file sizes of up to 32 Megabytes which is well above the maximum file size accepted by most AV vendors own on line scanner. So do all 43 engines actually scan your file even when it is over the their own given size limits or larger files are skipped by some because of their size?
    Thanks for your help & time!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 26, 2012 at 9:34 am

      The engines as far as I know are running on Virustotal servers, and not on the manufacturer servers. This means that the only imposed restrictions are those by Virustotal. In short, all engines used scan files up to 32 Megabytes in size.

  2. Robert Palmar said on January 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    There is no new version of the VirusTotal Uploader.
    Apparently it works with the new size limit unlike
    when the limit went from 10 MB to 20 and
    the prior upholder needed upgrading.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      That’s good to know, thanks Robert.

  3. kalmly said on January 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    There were a few days when I had a difficult time accessing VT at all. Then, when it came up, I was suspicious. It didn’t look like the Virus Total I knew. A little investigation told me it was an update, so I went ahead and uploaded my files.

    Once I was oriented, it was the same Virust Total I’ve depended on for so long. Very happy to see the MG increase. I was always and forever trying to send bigger files. Now, no problem.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      Yes I remember those days as well, where the site would not load at all, or was very slow.

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