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Advanced scanning options in ESET Windows home products


The default scan settings are configured to maximize your computer's performance and security. However, some options are not enabled within the default profile in order to keep scan times low and prevent conflicts. You can enable these options to perform a more thorough scan of your system, or define scanning parameters for a specific use.


Perform a full system scan

The standard computer scan excludes some scan targets that are unlikely to contain malware. To configure your ESET product to perform a scan of your entire system, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the main program window of your ESET Windows product.

  2. Click Computer scan  Advanced scans, and select Custom scan from the drop-down menu.

Version 9.x: Click Computer scan Custom scan. Click here for screenshot.

Figure 1-1

  1. Click the gear icon  and select In-depth scan from the Scan profile drop-down menu.

    Version 9.x: Select In-depth scan from the Scan profile drop-down menu.

Figure 1-2

  1. Select the check box next to Computer or This PC (Windows XP users: select the check box next to My Computer) and then click Scan.

Figure 1-3

Enable Idle-state scanning

You can enable Idle-state scanning to trigger automatic computer scans at times when there is little or no load on system resources. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the main program window of your ESET Windows product.

  2. Press the F5 key to access Advanced setup.
  3. Click Detection Engine → Malware scans and then expand Idle-State Scan.
  1. Click the slider bar to Enable Idle-state scanning.

Idle-state scanning settings

Edit Idle-state detection settings for when Idle-state scanning is triggered. By default, Screen saver, Computer lock, and User logoff are all selected.

  1. Click OK to save your changes and exit Advanced setup.

Figure 2-1

Advanced scanning options

The settings available in ThreatSense parameters allow you to define the types of files examined by the scanner, the methods used to examine files during scanning and the default action to take if a threat is found during scanning. Follow the steps below to access ThreatSense parameters:

  1. Open the main program window of your ESET Windows product.

  2. Press the F5 key to access Advanced setup.

  3. Click Detection Engine Malware scans.

Figure 3-1

Selected profile: Scan profiles allow you to save a given scan configuration (scan targets, methods and other settings). You can use one of the three pre-configured scan profiles included with ESET products (In-depth scan, Smart scan or Context menu scan). See below for descriptions of the pre-configured scan profiles:

  • Smart scan: This is the default scanning profile. The Smart scan profile uses Smart Optimization technology, which excludes files that were found to be clean in a previous scan and have not been modified since that scan. This allows for lower scan times with a minimal impact to system security.

  • In-depth scan: The In-depth scan profile does not use Smart optimization by default, so no files are excluded from scanning using this profile.

  • Context menu scan: You can start an on-demand scan of any file from the context menu. The Context menu scan profile allows you to define a scan configuration that will be used when you trigger the scan this way.

List of profiles: Click Edit to create custom profiles to fit your preference. Click here for instructions to create a custom profile.

Figure 3-2

Scan targets: Click Edit to select which local drives, system and network resources are examined by the scan. Click the gear icon  to access the Scan targets drop-down menu to quickly select By profile settingsRemovable mediaNetwork drives, or Local drives

ThreatSense Parameters

The ESET ThreatSense scanning engine can be configured to use your custom settings when performing an on-demand scan. Changes made here will not affect settings for other product modules (for example, if you disable removable media scanning here, it will remain active in Real-time file system protection). ThreatSense parameters is divided into the following sections:

Figure 3-3

  • Objects to scan: Allows you to select the types of objects examined by the scan. The object types available are Operating memory, Boot sectors, Email files, Archives, Self-extracting archives and Runtime packers. Using default settings, all objects except for Email files are scanned.

  • Scan Options: Allows you to select the scanning methods/technologies used during scanning. Hueristics and Advanced heuristics/DNA/Smart signatures are the available options.

  • Cleaning: Allows you to define the level of action taken when threats or potentially unwanted files are identified by the scan. Use the drop-down menu to select between No cleaning (threats will be identified but not cleaned), Normal cleaning (ESET will attempt to clean or delete infected files, if a file cannot be cleaned, or is too sensitive to delete, you will be prompted for the action to take) and Strict cleaning (ESET will attempt to automatically clean or delete infected files without user intervention. If a threat is found in System files, you will be prompted for the action to take).

  • Exclusions: Allows you to specify certain file types to exclude from scanning.
  • Other: This section contains settings for miscellaneous technologies like alternate data stream scanning, Smart optimization, object logging during scans and more. We recommend that you use the default settings in this section.

Create a custom scan profile

  1. Open the main program window of your ESET Windows product.

  2. Press the F5 key to access Advanced setup.

  3. Click Detection Engine → Malware scans and then click Edit next to List of profiles.

Figure 4-1

  1. Type the new profile name in the field and click Add. Click OK.

    Figure 4-2

  2. Select your new profile in the Selected profile drop-down menu.

Figure 4-3

  1. Configure your profile as desired and click OK to exit Advanced setup.

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