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Windows 7: How to exclude manually copied files from scanning by antivirus

24 Jan 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
How to exclude manually copied files from scanning by antivirus

I would be grateful if someone had an answer to my question or perhaps someone knows an antivirus software that allows for such customization.

Very often I need to copy large files between various folders. Sometimes the same file gets shoveled around several times each day. Sometimes I simply manually back up my files. I know that these files are clean. But my antivirus (I'm using ESET Smart Security) keeps scanning them all the time. With large files the delay is rather noticeable and not necessary.

I know how to exclude certain folders or applications from scanning, but that's not the solution I'm looking for. I want the antivirus to be able to distinguish copy (or move) operations that I initiate manually, as opposed to some program (for instance, installer) doing it automatically. I want the antivirus to control any "automated" activity, but leave me alone when I move files by hand.

I don't see any obvious settings that can do such a thing. Perhaps, there is another software package?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

Are these files in 'sub-directories'?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2014   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit

in AVG you can add files/directories to the "Exceptions list"
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jan 2014   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)

Thanks guys.

However, I don't think you've answered my question. I do know how to exclude folders from scanning. What I want to do is different. I want to skip scanning for copy operations manually initiated by me, from any folder to any other folder.

I realize, that instead I could exclude a certain set of folders from scanning and then use these folders. However, I can't get over the fact that the computer makes no difference between any action started by me and and any other action started by some sort of automation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2014   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Antiviruses, or any other program or process for the matter, cannot differentiate if you or something else initiated a copy/move, because technically, there is NO such distinction. File operations are always performed by programs. In turn, those programs may be commanded directly by the user or by some other program, and so on. What the antivirus sees is only the file operation, it's none of its business how or why the program is doing that.

Besides, your "I know that these files are clean" is something that the antivirus must NEVER obey or even know. For a security program, every operation is always suspect and must be re-analyzed each time, that's the idea of real-time scanning. Even though if the file came clean in a prior analysis, it might have been compromised by the next time it's accessed, so it makes sense to be scanned again. From that point of view, copying files using explorer yourself is no different to letting an installer do that.

The goal of antiviruses that do real-time scanning is precisely that, to scan each and every operation and ensure cleanness on each one. For that particular case, if you're so sure that there is no risk, I would simply disable temporarily the program so that it doesn't does the scan, or adding them to the exceptions if you're using always the same directories for those large operations.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to exclude manually copied files from scanning by antivirus

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