Do Chromebooks Need Antivirus? How to Stay Safe (2023)

By Tibor Moes / Updated: June 2023

Do Chromebooks Need Antivirus

Do Chromebooks Need Antivirus?

Chromebooks have won the hearts of users with their simplicity, affordability, and fast performance. But with the growing number of threats online, it’s essential to ensure your device is well protected.

So, do Chromebooks need antivirus software in 2023? If so, what are your best options? This blog post will answer these questions and provide you with valuable information to help you safeguard your Chromebook.


  • Chromebooks are known for their built-in security features, making them less vulnerable to cyber threats when compared to other OS.
  • However, Chromebooks can be infected by malware and malicious Android apps. And their owners can fall victim to phishing scams.
  • So despite Chromebooks’ built-in security features, it’s crucial to invest in antivirus software for comprehensive protection.

Don’t become a victim of cybercrime. Protect your devices with the best antivirus software and your privacy with the best VPN service.

Chromebooks and Built-in Security Features

Chromebooks are known for their built-in security features, making them less vulnerable to malware and cyber threats when compared to other operating systems. Chrome OS automatically updates, provides secure browsing, maintains a safelist of approved programs, and warns users of potentially hazardous sites and files. While these measures provide a solid foundation for security, they don’t guarantee complete protection.

Antivirus software can supplement Chromebooks’ built-in antivirus protection by defending against fake browser extensions, scam apps, phishing, and malicious websites. With the increasing popularity of Android apps on Chromebooks, having an antivirus app in place can offer an extra layer of security against potential threats. Malware protection, phishing prevention, and other security features offered by antivirus programs can give you peace of mind while browsing the web on your Chromebook.

So, to provide the best possible protection for your Chromebook, it’s essential to have a good internet security app in place. This will not only bolster your device’s existing security features, but also shield you from the ever-growing list of cyber threats lurking online. You can never be too careful when it comes to your online safety, so it’s better to have an antivirus in place than to risk the consequences of an unprotected device.

To ensure you’re well-protected, we recommend using a high-quality antivirus software, such as Norton or Bitdefender, to provide comprehensive virus protection for your Chromebook. These antivirus solutions offer a range of features, from malware protection to anti-phishing and parental controls, giving you the confidence to use your Chromebook safely and securely.

The Need for Antivirus on Chromebooks

It’s important to understand why antivirus software is necessary for Chromebooks, despite their reputation for being secure devices. Although Chrome OS doesn’t support exe files, Chromebooks can still be targeted by malware such as spyware and browser hijackers. Furthermore, installing Android apps from unverified sources can increase the risk of downloading malicious apps.

Antivirus apps on Chromebooks offer a range of benefits, from protecting against permission misuse and data theft to ensuring safe browsing through anti-theft features, data breach monitoring, and parental controls. By having an antivirus app installed on your Chromebook, you can significantly reduce the risk of cyber threats and enhance the overall security of your device.

With the best antivirus software, such as Norton or Bitdefender, you can keep your Chromebook protected from malware, phishing, and other potential threats. These antivirus solutions provide a comprehensive security suite designed to safeguard your device and your valuable data, giving you peace of mind as you browse the web and use your favorite apps.

In conclusion, despite Chromebooks’ built-in security features, it’s crucial to invest in antivirus software for comprehensive protection against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. Don’t leave your Chromebook’s security to chance; equip it with the best antivirus software available to ensure you’re always protected.

Top Antivirus Options for Chromebooks

The top antivirus options for Chromebooks are Norton and Bitdefender, offering a comprehensive range of features to keep your device secure. Let’s dive deeper into each of these antivirus solutions and explore what they have to offer.


Norton antivirus for Chromebooks provides a wealth of features to help you stay safe online, including scanning apps for permission abuse and data theft, blocking malicious websites, and protecting your browsing data with secure VPNs.

Norton’s reliability and comprehensive feature set make it a top choice for Chromebook users, offering malware protection, regular virus scanning, a built-in firewall, and online payment protection for secure browsers.

Additionally, Norton’s anti-theft features, data breach monitoring, and parental controls make it an excellent choice for those looking to enhance their Chromebook’s security.

Norton 360, compatible with Chrome OS, costs $19.99 for the first year, providing an affordable and comprehensive solution for Chromebook users.

Norton is a reliable and user-friendly antivirus option that adapts well to Chromebooks and delivers top-notch protection to keep your device safe and secure.


Bitdefender offers some fantastic internet security features for Chromebook users, such as anti-exploitation technology, hybrid deployment support, SafePay, and the ability to set up profiles to protect your Chromebook from specific cyber threats.

However, it’s important to note that Bitdefender Antivirus is not compatible with Chromebooks, so users seeking protection for their mobile devices should consider Bitdefender Mobile Security instead.

Bitdefender’s App Anomaly Detection feature is an impressive addition that notifies you of any suspicious app activity, providing an extra layer of security. Although not directly compatible with Chromebooks, Bitdefender’s features make it an attractive option for users seeking additional protection for their devices.

How to Choose the Right Antivirus for Your Chromebook

When selecting an antivirus for your Chromebook, it’s crucial to consider factors such as budget, customer support, and advertising. Investing in a good antivirus can save you money and time in the long run, as it helps protect your device from potential virus infections.

Antivirus software often requires a payment to get the most robust protection. Prices for this service range from about $10 to over $50 per month. By considering your budget and the features offered by different antivirus software, you can make an informed decision on which solution is the best fit for you and your Chromebook.

To choose the right antivirus for your Chromebook, assess the customer support available and any advertising associated with the product. This will help ensure you select a reputable antivirus solution that will provide comprehensive protection for your device and deliver the support you need if any issues arise.

Installing Antivirus Software on Chromebooks

Installing antivirus software on your Chromebook is a simple process that can be done through the Google Play Store or by downloading the app directly from the provider’s website. Having antivirus software on your Chromebook is essential for providing an extra layer of protection against malware and ensuring your device’s security.

Some of the best antivirus software for Chromebooks includes Norton, Bitdefender, Trend Micro, and Avast. Each of these options offers a range of features designed to protect your device and provide comprehensive security while you browse the web and use your favorite apps. To ensure you choose the best antivirus for your needs, consider the best antivirus for Chromebook options that cater specifically to your device’s unique requirements.

To install antivirus software on your Chromebook, simply search for the desired antivirus app in the Google Play Store, or visit the provider’s website to download the app directly. By following the instructions provided, you can easily set up your antivirus software and begin enjoying the benefits of enhanced security on your Chromebook.

Protecting Your Chromebook Beyond Antivirus

In addition to using antivirus software, there are other measures you can take to protect your Chromebook. One such measure is enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on your Google account. 2FA requires you to provide both your password and a second verification method, such as a one-time passcode, to log into your account. By using a secure authenticator app like 1Password, you can generate and autofill one-time passcodes quickly and securely.

Another essential aspect of Chromebook security, including mobile security, is avoiding suspicious apps and browser extensions. By only installing apps from trusted sources and double-checking the authenticity of browser extensions, you can minimize the risk of downloading malicious software that could compromise your device’s security.

Using a virtual private network (VPN) adds another layer of security to your Chromebook by encrypting your web traffic and enhancing your online privacy. A VPN allows you to browse the web anonymously and securely, ensuring your data remains safe from potential cyber threats.

By implementing these additional security measures, you can further protect your Chromebook and enjoy a safer, more secure browsing experience.

Free vs. Paid Antivirus Options

When it comes to antivirus software for Chromebooks, you have the choice between free and paid options. Free antivirus options, such as Avira, offer basic protection for your device and can be a viable solution if you’re on a tight budget. However, free antivirus options often come with drawbacks, such as ads and limited customer support.

Paid antivirus solutions, on the other hand, provide a more comprehensive range of features and better protection for your Chromebook. For example, the paid version of AVG Antivirus offers a password manager, a stronger firewall, and protection against malicious websites. By investing in a paid antivirus solution, you can ensure your Chromebook receives the best possible protection against cyber threats.

It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of free and paid antivirus options and consider your budget when deciding which solution is best for you. While free antivirus software can provide basic protection, paid antivirus solutions offer more features and better protection, making them a worthwhile investment for those seeking comprehensive security for their Chromebook.

Ultimately, the choice between free and paid antivirus options depends on your needs, budget, and the level of protection you desire for your Chromebook.

The Role of VPNs in Chromebook Security

VPNs play a crucial role in enhancing the security and privacy of Chromebooks. They can be used to access private networks, encrypt web browser traffic, and provide an additional layer of protection against cyber threats. By using a VPN on your Chromebook, you can browse the web anonymously and securely, ensuring your data remains safe from potential threats.

VPN services are available in both free and paid options, with paid VPNs typically offering more features and better performance. When choosing a VPN for your Chromebook, it’s essential to consider factors such as the level of encryption provided, the number of servers available, and the VPN’s reputation for reliability and security.

Incorporating a VPN into your Chromebook’s security setup can greatly enhance your device’s protection and give you peace of mind while browsing the web. By encrypting your web traffic and masking your IP address, a VPN provides an additional layer of security that complements the protection offered by your antivirus software.

Using a VPN on your Chromebook is an excellent way to ensure your online activities remain private and secure, further safeguarding your device from potential cyber threats.

Handling Malware Infections on Chromebooks

In the unlikely event that your Chromebook becomes infected with malware, there are several steps you can take to resolve the issue. First, try uninstalling any malicious browser extensions that may be causing problems. To delete a suspicious Chrome extension, click on the puzzle icon in the upper right corner, select Manage extensions, check the extension’s authenticity, and choose Remove.

If removing browser extensions doesn’t resolve the issue, try rebooting your Chromebook. In many cases, a simple reboot can clear up any problems and restore your device to normal functionality.

If the issue persists, you may need to use Chromebook recovery mode to restore the system to an earlier version. Recovery mode allows you to reset your Chromebook’s operating system and fix any issues that may be causing problems. By following the instructions provided by your device’s manufacturer, you can safely restore your Chromebook to a previous state and eliminate any malware infections.

By following these steps, you can effectively handle malware infections on your Chromebook and ensure your device remains secure and functional.


In conclusion, antivirus software is an essential component of Chromebook security, providing an additional layer of protection against malware, phishing, and other cyber threats. While Chromebooks have built-in security features, it’s crucial to invest in a reliable antivirus solution, such as Norton or Bitdefender, to ensure comprehensive protection. By considering factors like budget, customer support, and advertising, you can choose the right antivirus for your Chromebook and enjoy a safer, more secure browsing experience.

How to stay safe online:

  • Practice Strong Password Hygiene: Use a unique and complex password for each account. A password manager can help generate and store them. In addition, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever available.
  • Invest in Your Safety: Buying the best antivirus for Windows 11 is key for your online security. A high-quality antivirus like Norton, McAfee, or Bitdefender will safeguard your PC from various online threats, including malware, ransomware, and spyware.
  • Be Wary of Phishing Attempts: Be cautious when receiving suspicious communications that ask for personal information. Legitimate businesses will never ask for sensitive details via email or text. Before clicking on any links, ensure the sender's authenticity.
  • Stay Informed. We cover a wide range of cybersecurity topics on our blog. And there are several credible sources offering threat reports and recommendations, such as NIST, CISA, FBI, ENISA, Symantec, Verizon, Cisco, Crowdstrike, and many more.

Happy surfing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions.

How do I check my Chromebook for viruses?

To check your Chromebook for viruses, start by downloading and installing reputable antivirus software. Then run a full system scan to detect any potential threats. Finally, follow the instructions given by the antivirus program to take action against any detected malicious software.

Is a Chromebook safe for online banking?

Absolutely, Chromebooks are ideal for online banking. With the latest security features and regular updates, you can trust a Chromebook to keep your financial information secure. So yes, a Chromebook is perfectly safe for banking online.

For extra protection, install antivirus software to keep your device free from malware and a VPN to secure your internet connection.

Do Chromebooks really need antivirus software?

Given the current online threat landscape, it is important to have antivirus software installed on your Chromebook. While it provides additional security, it’s not a substitute for being cautious when browsing the internet.

It is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with online activities, such as downloading files from unknown sources, clicking on suspicious links, and visiting websites with questionable content. 

Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor has tested 39 antivirus programs and 30 VPN services, and holds a Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate from Stanford University.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.