User receives "Virus Found" error when antivirus scanner in SharePoint Server 2013 is unavailable

Symptoms

In the following scenario:

  • You install an antivirus scanner for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 for scanning documents

  • The antivirus scanner is unavailable or times out during a scan

and when a user attempts to open a file in a SharePoint site, they receive the following error message:

Virus Found
<file name> contains the following:
If you want to open this file, you'll need to clean the file using your own scanning software.

If the user tries to download a copy of the file by clicking Download a copy, they receive the following error message:

Sorry, something went wrong
Virus Found:
Technical Details

Status

If the virus scanner is either unavailable for any reason or has timed out, it poses a risk for users who are accessing potentially infected documents. Therefore, users are advised to contact the SharePoint administrator so that corrective action can be taken to resolve the problem and virus scanning of documents can continue.

Microsoft is aware of this behavior. In investigating this issue, it was determined that making a change to the design of the product to differentiate a real virus infection from a scanner time-out would involve a significant design and testing effort that requires careful planning and execution.

Microsoft recognizes the issue and will consider making a change for future releases of the product.

Workaround

As a temporary workaround, if the user needs access to potentially infected files immediately, the SharePoint administrator can enable the option **Allow users to download infected documents**  in the Central Administration portal by doing the following:

  1. Open the SharePoint Central Administration page, then select Security.

  2. Select Manage antivirus settings.

  3. Select the option Allow users to download infected documents.

  4. Select OK to save the change.

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