A program identified by Generic Detection appears to have characteristics that resemble known malware. This may indicate the presence of a malware infection on the system, or that the suspect file itself is malicious.

Generic Detection are a type of detection used by antivirus programs to identify files with malicious characteristics.Unlike single-file detections which identify unique files, a Generic Detection looks for broadly applicable code or behavior characteristics to evaluate a file's potential for causing harm; a single Generic Detection can therefore efficiently identify dozens, or even hundreds of malware.

Generic Detection can be used to identify particular types of malware, based on general physical or behavioral characteristic.

The Generic Detection identifies threats based on their actions. Alternatively, a Generic Detection can be used to identify specific groups of malware (or families) based on similarities in their code.