of an anti-virus or anti-malware scan depends
on a variety of factors
- The program itself and how its scanning engine is designed to scan: using a signature database vs heuristic scanning for suspicious behavior or a combination of both.
- Options to scan for spyware, adware, riskware and potentially unwanted or unsafe programs (PUPs).
- Options to scan memory, boot sectors, registry and alternate data streams (ADS).
- Type of scan performed: Deep, Quick or Custom scanning.
- What action has to be performed when malware is detected.
- A computer's hard drive size.
- Disk used capacity (number of files to include temporary files) that have to be scanned.
- Types of files (.exe, .dll, .sys, archives, email, etc) that are scanned.
- Whether external drives are included in the scan.
- Competition for and utilization of system resources by the scanner.
- Other running processes and programs in the background.
- Interference from malware.
- Interference from the user.
To speed up your scans, uninstall unnecessary programs, clean out the temporary files
or use ATF Cleaner
first, and then perform your scans in "Safe Mode