Sophos Antivirus FAQ

Common questions and concerns surrounding Sophos Antivirus at the University of Idaho.


What is Sophos antivirus?

Sophos is an antivirus program provided by ITS to help protect your U of I owned device from viruses, trojans, and other malware. Sophos runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. Please note, the university does not provide Sophos for personal devices.

How do I install Sophos?

The installation process depends on the type of device your have:

At any time feel free to request installation assistance from your Local Support team by emailing

Do I need to uninstall my current anti-virus before installing Sophos?

Sophos automatically attempts to remove other antivirus during installation. You do not need to manually uninstall your current antivirus unless you encounter issues.

How do I keep Sophos up to date?

Sophos automatically updates whenever your device has an active Internet connection.

Do I need to run a manual scan of my system?

Sophos scans for viruses as you access files and runs a scheduled computer scan once a week. However, if you wish to perform an immediate scan, double-click the Sophos icon in your system tray, then click "Scan" in the Sophos client window to scan your computer.

If you'd like to scan a specific file, right click the file and select "Scan with Sophos Anti-Virus."

How do I uninstall Sophos?

Important! Antivirus is required on university computers and Sophos is required for computers processing moderate or high risk data. Only uninstall for troubleshooting purposes. If you have a reason to remove Sophos permanently, contact ITS at and request an exception.

If your Windows computer is managed through Software Center, please contact your TSP or Local Support team for assistance.

For other Windows computers, please refer to How do I uninstall Sophos antivirus for Windows?

For Apple Mac computers, please refer to How do I uninstall Sophos antivirus for Mac?

How do I know if Sophos is installed?

On a Windows computer:
Look at the icons in the system tray. If you see a blue shield with a white "S", Sophos is installed.

System tray with Sophos icon

On a Mac computer:
Look at the icons in the upper right of the menu bar. If you see a black shield with a white "S", Sophos is installed.

Mac system tray with Sophos icon

Does U of I provide antivirus for personal devices?

The U of I does not provide antivirus for personal use but Sophos provides a free home edition you can use. The home edition can be downloaded from

Do I need Sophos if I already have a different antivirus?

Yes. ITS managed Sophos antivirus is required for computers where users have access to moderate or high-risk data.