Menu Item and Sentry

The ClamXAV Menu Item

To allow you to keep tabs on what ClamXAV is doing, or to prompt it to scan certain files, we’ve built in Contextual menus and a menu bar item.

When the ClamXAV Menu Item is enabled, it appears as an icon in your Mac’s menu bar. It indicates one of five states:

menu item

Shortcut to database updates

The ClamXAV Menu item also has a handy shortcut feature for updating the malware database, meaning you can do this directly from the menu item without needing to launch ClamXAV.

The menu item will also show you the date of the most recent database update.

Pausing Sentry and Aborting Scans

If you want to suspend Sentry for any reason, just choose Pause ClamXAV Sentry from the menu item, and it will stay disabled for 5 minutes.

If an attached disk is taking longer than you’d expect to scan, or you’ve a high volume of files and folders being scanned, you can choose Currently Scanning from the menu item and choose which scan process to stop.

Reports and Preferences

You can view the scan/database update reports at any time by selecting View Reports from the menu item, as well as opening ClamXAV’s preferences window by selecting the Preferences option in the menu item.

Contextual and Services menu options

ClamXAV comes with a Contextual menu option, and a Services menu item. These allow you to scan an item directly from your Desktop, without opening ClamXAV first.

Simply select one or more files in the Finder and right-click to access the Contextual Menu. Navigate to the Services submenu and select Scan with ClamXAV.

To use the Services menu item, select one or more files in the Finder/Desktop and then go to the Finder menu (at the top of your screen beside the Apple logo), select Services, and then Scan with ClamXAV, or use the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-S

Hiding the Menu Item or Stopping Animation

If you don’t want to see the ClamXAV Menu Item, you can turn it off via ClamXAV’s preferences. Simply disable the Show ClamXAV menu item option within the General section of Preferences.

Alternatively, if you like the menu item but don’t want to see any animations, you can turn those off in the same place too.


There’s no specific action required to install the menu items, other than installing and running ClamXAV itself.


Sentry is a really useful ClamXAV feature - as the name suggests, it keeps an eagle eye on your computer for any changes or additions, and alerts ClamXAV to scan them.

If the new addition is clean, you won’t hear a peep, but, if it’s infected, you’ll get a message telling you that the file has been quarantined.

Each external disk listed in your Source List can have its own settings for Sentry - you can disable the option to have the disk scanned automatically when it’s attached to your computer, or you can allow it to be scanned automatically, but not be monitored for changes or new additions. Alternatively, you can disable Sentry entirely for that disk by ticking both checkboxes.

If you wish (and we would strongly advise against this) Sentry can be disabled in its entirety via ClamXAV’s preferences, under the Advanced section.