[Solved] Norton Anti-virus: Malicious File

I just made a screensaver for a client project. It works fine for Macs, but PCs with Norton Antivirus are getting a “malicious file” warning.

I see this has been an issue since 2010, but there are no recent updates. Is there a way to fix this?

If this can’t be fixed, then iScreensaver is pretty much useless for us. Our audience is all on PCs.

Unless your PC is actually infected by a virus, this is a false-positive that is the fault of Norton. If you can email us with a way to download the screensaver, we can take a look at it, but in every case we’ve looked at, the screensaver is virus-free, and it’s Norton’s fault for mis-detecting it. Please do that and we’ll take a look on our end.

In the mean time, this is often caused by the PC running an out-dated version of antivirus. Make sure the client has updated, and then follow these steps if needed to un-block the screensaver application:


It appears that the above link doesn’t deal with Norton Antivirus. I’ll have my clients see if their version of Norton needs updating and see if that fixes things.

In the meantime, we tested it out on my client’s client’s computer and he was able to get it to work, but had this to say:

“I was able to install it. It prompted me to enable/select an Aero Theme in order to ensure compatibility with the screen saver. I dislike those themes, so I skipped that part, and the screen saver appears to work okay. Is there actually a dependency on Aero Themes?”

So is there an issue with Aero?


Good feedback, thank you.

  • Regarding antivirus: you are correct that our instructions are not for Norton specifically, but for Microsoft Security Essentials. The gist should be the same, though the steps may be different.

  • Regarding Aero themes: It depends on the screensaver features being used. If the HUD (Heads Up Display), Text Overlays, or Picture overlay layers are in use, and overlap with animating content (such as moving OpenGL image layer, QuickTime Movie, or Flash) then with Aero OFF you can see some image flickering during animation. In many cases it won’t make a difference, but in some it does.