Applies to: Sophos Home Premium and Free
This article covers how to get started with Sophos Home for Windows, Mac and Mobile devices, as well as how to configure it and perform installations on additional devices.
If you are looking for more information regarding what is Sophos Home and how to get it, please visit our General FAQ and our home page
For more information regarding how to manage Sophos Home account and subscriptions, please see the "Managing your account" support page.
Getting Started Part 1 - Installation
- Installation + video steps
- Activating Premium license keys
- Protecting additional computers
- Mobile/Tablet Installation
- Post installation steps
- Locating and using Sophos Home
- Additional information about protection
- Enabling MFA
Getting Started Part 2 - Configuring the Antivirus settings
- The Sophos Home dashboard
- Setting filters for website categories
- Additional dashboard settings
Getting Started Part 3 - Manual scans and exclusions
- Manual scan types
- Scheduling scans
- Adding scan and antivirus exclusions
Getting Started Part 4 - Troubleshooting and contacting Support
Getting Started- Part 1 -Installation
(Click on each title to open the installation articles)
ATTENTION - IF USING macOS 11 - Big Sur - PLEASE FOLLOW this article instead!
Mobile installation is separate from Sophos Home, please see:
Sophos Intercept X for Mobile - Guide for Sophos Home customers
I want to protect additional computers with Sophos Home
To protect additional Mac and Windows computers, please follow these steps:
Protecting additional computers with Sophos Home
I have installed Sophos Home -What are my next steps?
Upon installation, Sophos Home will automatically start scanning the computer to ensure it is safe (users should restart their machines after the installation and initial scan finish).
Once the scan completes and the computer has been restarted, no further action is required, Sophos Home Real Time Protection ensures files are analyzed as they are accessed/downloaded, and its auto-update feature will keep the antivirus protection up-to-date.
Activating Premium License keys
Please follow these steps to activate your Premium License key: Activating Premium License keys
Enabling Multi-factor authentication (2fa)
MFA can help further securing your Sophos Home account.
Find more information and setup steps here: MFA - How to enable Multi-Factor authentication
Locating and using Sophos Home
Sophos Home user interface can be launched via the Sophos Home shield and provides access to several dashboard settings, running local scans , checking for updates and more! Watch the below videos for additional details.
Mac: Click on the Sophos Home Shield located in the Mac menu bar to open the Sophos Home UI
Windows: Double Click the Sophos Home shield in the system tray to open the Sophos Home UI
Understanding the protection installed on the computer
Sophos Home has a layered approach to security, its features include Real Time Protection, artificial intelligence, exploit protection, ransomware detection, home banking protection, etc...To see a list of all the available features please see Sophos Home features and/or visit our home page
For additional information, visit our security center
Getting Started- Part 2 –Configuring the Antivirus settings
Sophos Home is a cloud based antivirus and its settings are configured via the Sophos Home Dashboard. The Dashboard can be accessed directly from the antivirus by Enabling Direct Access , or from any computer via a web browser.
Sophos Home Premium users can also download the Sophos Home app to manage their dashboard from a mobile phone.
In the dashboard, users will find their currently protected computers and settings, options to protect new computers, contact support (Premium), and options to manage their account.
Note: A Sophos Home account is required to add new devices, re-protect computers and reach out to Sophos Home support.
Sophos Home Dashboard video:
Sophos Home Dashboard Overview
Sophos Home Dashboard overview - image entries:
1 – Click on a desired computer on the dashboard to access its history and settings (if only one computer is protected, then users will be directed to that when accessing the dashboard).
2- 2 different ways to add a new device, one via the green Add Device button, and another via the plus “+” symbol.
3 – (Top right of the dashboard) Account email. Clicking on the arrow next to the email allows users to access their account settings by selecting "My account"
Dashboard view of a specific computer
Click on the image to see it full size in a new tab
Dashboard view of a specific computer - image entries:
1 – Available configuration options and views (by default, it starts by showing the STATUS tab. But customers may access different configurations and settings by clicking on HISTORY, PROTECTION, WEB FILTERING and PRIVACY tabs).
2 – Dashboard status will display the protections that are enabled and whether the endpoint is secure. You may configure these features by clicking the “Configure” button listed within each one.
3- New activity lists the latest events on the endpoint. To see all of them, use the HISTORY tab.
Filtering websites to warn or block access
Websites can be filtered by category, in order to block them or send a warning when a filtered site is being accessed. Here’s how: Controlling websites my family can access
Additional dashboard configuration options
Getting Started part 3 – Manual scans and exclusions
Sophos Home takes Internet security to a whole new level by seeking out and analyzing suspicious behaviors and activities. This proactive approach to protection, along with real-time threat intelligence from our 24/7 SophosLabs, ensures computers are protected from new and developing viruses, malware, ransomware attacks, application and OS exploits, PUAs, phishing attacks, malicious websites, and the latest cybercrime.
Should customers want to perform a manual scan as well, they can follow the below listed steps:
Manual scan options:
Scans may also be scheduled to run automatically on a given date/time:
- Sign in to your Sophos Home dashboard.
- Click the computer that you wish to scan.
- Navigate to PROTECTION ---> General --> Scheduled scan
- Click on the slider to enable the scan and choose the desired date/time.
Note: Scheduled scans will show on the Sophos Home dashboard on completion - The computer must be connected to the internet and not asleep for the scan to take place. If the machine is offline/asleep, then the scheduled scan will not go thru. Another scan will be attempted on the next scheduled day/time.
Excluding files, programs or websites
To exclude specific files/folders/urls from being scanned, please follow these options accordingly: Setting scan exceptions
Windows only- Local exclusions may be needed for certain types of detections, such as exploits
Adding local exclusions/Allowing Installations and/or applications to run
For Machine learning (artificial intelligence) detections, see Excluding a file or application from Machine Learning detection
Note: Sophos Home does not recommend adding exclusions unless you are sure the URL/file/folder being excluded is safe. Files can be submitted to Sophos Labs for review, more info here: How to submit samples of suspicious files/ false positives to Sophos
For information regarding threats , vulnerabilities, PUAs, and more, please visit our threat center
Scroll to the bottom section of that page to find threat categories, or feel free to search for any specific threat.
Getting Started – Part 4 - Troubleshooting and contacting Support
Sophos Home support is available to customers using both the Free and Premium products. Sophos Home Free customers only have access to knowledge base articles on the Sophos Home Support page. Sophos Home Premium customers have access to dedicated support personnel via chat and web form after logging into the Sophos Home dashboard.
Testing files to check protection functionality
Sophos Home - How to test protections installed on the computer
Temporarily disable Sophos Home:
How to temporarily disable Sophos Home to troubleshoot issues
Resolving technical issues
Support video channel:
Sophos Home Support videos
All available articles:
Sophos Home Help
Sophos Home - Release notes