Operation did not complete successfully because the file contains a virus?

The message ‘Operation did not complete successfully because the file contains a virus’ may appear on different versions of Windows when launching certain applications. Restarting the application usually does not lead to anything. Moreover, the application you are launching may be automatically deleted by the system tools.


‘Operation did not complete successfully because the file contains a virus’ – is this really the case?

Operation did not complete successfully

And now the most important thing: no, the appearance of this message does not always mean that a malicious neighbor has settled in the user’s OS. The Windows Protector, a system anti-virus, just did not like something in the application you are running and therefore decided to suspend it or remove it completely from the disk (very rarely, but it happens). Radical measures, to say the least, but it is what it is.

What could make Windows Defender mad? There are several reasons for this:

  • the user is running an unlicensed version of the program
  • the program has a number of features which allow you to modify the system in some way, change its settings, for example, install software without asking, use the network traffic and other not very nice “features” – in a word, maleware;
  • the application you are running does indeed contain a virus.

How to get rid of the error and run the application?

Of course, if you suspect you have caught a virus, let Windows Defender do its job. Better yet, find another program (or version of it) from some more trusted source. But if you know for sure that the application is perfectly safe and was blocked by mistake, you should definitely fix it.

Deactivating the Windows System Defender

Deactivate the system antivirus, and it’s done! This procedure is performed as follows:

  • press WIN+S to bring up the system search engine;
  • type in “Windows Security” and select the result found;
  • go to the “Virus and Threat Protection” subsection;
  • click on “Protection log” (quarantine, in simple words);
  • find the blocked item in the log list and make sure it is the same;
  • click on the “Actions” drop-down menu and select the “Restore” option;
  • go back to the section “Protection against viruses and threats” and go
  • to the settings management for the anti-virus protection options;
  • set the slider under the “Real-time protection” option to “Off”.

Now there will be no problem with launching the application, the previously blocked item will remain in the right place.

Adding an application (or file) to antivirus exclusions

Keeping the system with antivirus disabled is not a good idea. Therefore we recommend that you add the previously blocked application (or a single file or all of its components) to the Windows Protector exceptions list. This way you can not only solve the problem, but also protect your operating system from malicious elements from the outside. Here is what you need to do:

  • open the “Virus and Threat Protection Options” section, as demonstrated above;
  • click on the “Add Exception” button in the appropriate section;
  • specify the location of the application file or folder (be careful!);
  • close all the windows and check if the required application will launch without any problems this time.

What to do if the error ‘Operation did not complete successfully because the file contains a virus’ still hasn’t disappeared?

It is extremely strange if none of the above has helped you in solving the problem. Perhaps the problem lies in corrupted system files and Windows image in general. Plus, don’t rule out the file system error of the disk you are using. SFC, DISM and CHKDSK are three built-in utilities that can restore the OS to working condition.

  • press WIN+R to display the Run dialog box;
  • type CMD in the blank line and press CTRL+ALT+ENTER;
  • run the following set of commands one by one to the console, rebooting the PC between each of the utilities:
    • sfc /scannow
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
    • chkdsk C: /f /r /x

The error ‘Operation did not complete successfully because the file contains a virus’ is definitely a serious problem but only if the user is dealing with a real virus.

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