files are located in Symantec's AFPTemp
folder usually under C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Symantec\Norton AntiVirus. This folder is a temporary holding area where Symantec antivirus deals with infected files which are renamed APQ***.tmp during the quarantine process.
About the APTemp folder
Symantec AntiVirus copies infected files to the APTemp folder before they are quarantined or backed up prior to quarantine. The location of the folder varies, depending on the operating system.
When an anti-virus or security program quarantines
a file and moves it into a virus vault (chest) or a dedicated quarantine folder, that file is essentially disabled and prevented from causing any harm to your system. The quarantined file is usually renamed before moving, safely held there and no longer a threat
until you take action to delete it. One reason for doing this is to prevent deletion of a crucial file that may have been flagged as a "false positive
". If that is the case, then you can restore the file and add it to the exclusion or ignore list. Doing this also allows you to view and investigate the files while keeping them from harming your computer. Quarantine is just an added safety measure
. When the quarantined file is known to be malicious
, you can delete
it at any time. With Symantec, you can empty the contents of the APTemp folder.
If the APQ***.tmp files are left in the APTemp quarintine folder, other security tools performing scans may flag them as a malware threat. Symantec anti-virus itself will rescan the files when its definitions are updated. According to Symantec, Auto-Protect
may provide numerous alerts and the file may be quarantined repeatedly
due to the Backup Agent accessing the infected file while they are being processed in the APTemp folder.