to complete an anti-virus or anti-malware scan depends
on a variety of factors
Note: Using two or more program security scanning engines at the same time can cause each to interfere with the other, cause systems hangs, false detections, unreliable results and other unpredictable behavior.To speed up a scan
- The program itself and how its scanning engine is designed to scan: using a signature database vs heuristic scanning or a combination of both.
...see How an Anti-virus Program Works.
- Options to scan for rootkits, adware, riskware and potentially unwanted 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 size and used capacity (number of files that have to be scanned).
- Types of files (.exe, .dll, .sys, .cab, archived, compressed, packed, email, etc) that are scanned.
- Whether external drives are included in the scan.
- Competition for and utilization of system/CPU resources by the scanner.
- Other running processes and programs in the background.
- Whether the scanning engine stalls, hangs or freezes.
- Interference from malware.
- Interference from other security programs attempting to scan at the same time.
- Interference from other programs attempting to update (download/install) components from the Internet.
- Interference from the user (whether or not you use the computer during the scan).
, clean out temporary (junk) files
first, temporarily disable any other real-time protection tools
, close all open programs, perform a Quick Scan
instead of a Full one and do not use the computer during the scan
Generally there are three types of scans offered by most anti-virus and anti-malware programs:
- Quick Scan only checks the areas of your computer most likely to contain malware...the most prevalent and common places where malware typically hides. The length of time for performing a Quick scan will vary but it generally takes about 15-30 minutes so they can be performed daily.
- Full Scan is much more comprehensive since it scans the entire hard drive (all folders/files) which can number in the thousands. The length of time for performing a Full scan will also vary but because it is so comprehensive, this type of scan can take several hours. Most Full Scans can be scheduled to run late at night when not using the computer so you can perform a weekly scan without having to monitor it.
- Custom Scan allows the user to select any files and folders on the hard drive to be scanned.
that you schedule a daily Quick Scan
to check the areas of your computer that malware is most likely to infect. A Quick Scan occurs automatically per the Defender maintenance schedule. Running a daily Full scan is not really a problem or necessary but it is time consuming and excessive. Security scans are disk and processor intensive and will raise the temperature of the computer while scanning. Although the drive should not suffer from such overusage, it is doing a lot of unnecessary disk access that isn't needed. Since real time protection is always on, a scan is generally used to look for anything that may have been missed by that feature. Generally, a Full scan is only necessary when your system is showing signs or symptoms of infection.