Setting up scheduled scans that run on Windows computers

Article:HOWTO80977  |  Created: 2012-10-24  |  Updated: 2014-09-21  |  Article URL
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Setting up scheduled scans that run on Windows computers

You configure scheduled scans as part of a Virus and Spyware Protection policy.


Windows settings include some options that are not available for clients that run on other operating systems.

See Managing scans on client computers

See Customizing administrator-defined scans for clients that run on Windows computers

See Excluding file extensions from virus and spyware scans on Windows clients and Linux clients

Consider the following important points when you set up a scheduled scan for the Windows computers in your security network:

Multiple simultaneous scans run serially

If you schedule multiple scans to occur on the same computer and the scans start at the same time, the scans run serially. After one scan finishes, another scan starts. For example, you might schedule three separate scans on your computer to occur at 1:00 P.M. Each scan scans a different drive. One scan scans drive C. Another scan scans drive D. Another scan scans drive E. In this example, a better solution is to create one scheduled scan that scans drives C, D, and E.

Missed scheduled scans might not run

If your computer misses a scheduled scan for some reason, by default Symantec Endpoint Protection tries to perform the scan until it starts or until a specific time interval expires. If Symantec Endpoint Protection cannot start the missed scan within the retry interval, it does not run the scan.

Scheduled scan time might drift

Symantec Endpoint Protection might not use the scheduled time if the last run of the scan occurred at a different time because of the scan duration or missed scheduled scan settings. For example, you might configure a weekly scan to run every Sunday at midnight and a retry interval of one day. If the computer misses the scan and starts up on Monday at 6 A.M., the scan runs at 6 A.M. The next scan is performed one week from Monday at 6 A.M. rather than the next Sunday at midnight.

If you did not restart your computer until Tuesday at 6 A.M., which is two days late and exceeds the retry interval, Symantec Endpoint Protection does not retry the scan. It waits until the next Sunday at midnight to try to run the scan.

In either case, if you randomize the scan start time you might change the last run time of the scan.

You can click Help for more information about the options that are used in this procedure.

To set up scheduled scans that run on Windows computers

  1. In the console, open a Virus and Spyware Protection policy.

  2. Under Windows Settings, click Administrator-defined Scans.

  3. On the Scans tab, under Scheduled Scans, click Add.

  4. In the Add Scheduled Scan dialog box, click Create a new scheduled scan.

  5. Click OK.

  6. In the Add Scheduled Scan dialog box, on the Scan Details tab, type a name and description for this scheduled scan.

  7. Click Active Scan, Full Scan, or Custom Scan.

  8. If you selected Custom, under Scanning, you can specify the folders to scan.

  9. Under File types, click Scan all files or Scan only selected extensions.


    Scheduled scans always scan container files unless you disable the Scan files inside compressed files option under Advanced Scanning Options or you create specific exceptions for the container file extensions.

  10. Under Enhance the scan by checking, check or uncheck Memory, Common infection locations, or Well-known virus and security risk locations.

  11. On the Schedule tab, under Scanning schedule, set the frequency and the time at which the scan should run.

    The retry setting under Missed Scheduled Scans changes automatically according to whether you select Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.

  12. Under Missed Scheduled Scans, you can disable the option to run a missed scan or you can change the retry interval.

    You can also specify a maximum scan duration before the scan pauses. You can also randomize scan start time.

  13. If you want to save this scan as a template, check Save a copy as a Scheduled Scan Template.

  14. Click OK.

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