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Make Microsoft Security Essentials Scan Faster by Excluding Certain File Types

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is the free anti-malware utility of choice here at How-To Geek because it is light on system resources and effective. Here we have a quick tip which will allow your MSE scans to execute more quickly by excluding certain file types.

Exclude File Types

Open MSE and click on the Settings Tab. Then on the left hand list select Excluded file types then add the file formats to exclude from the scan. Multimedia files are a good place to start with if you know yours are not infected with any goofy malware. For example, I have 12GB worth of drum loops that I used for home recording, it’s just a waste of time for MSE to scan those files every time. You can type in specific files and their extension or use the wildcard (*) character and the extension to exclude all files types. Shown in the following examples.

    • *.MP3
    • *.AVI
    • *.FLAC

Keep in mind that by using the wildcard, it applies to ALL of those file types. So, I would just stick with certain media file types that you know aren’t infected.

2mse

If you download media files from less than reputable sites, you may want to scan them to make sure they are malware free. To do that, just right-click the file and select Scan from the context menu.

3mse

Using these tips you’ll be able to save time during malware scans, and have more time for your TPS Reports.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/18/10

Comments (6)

  1. Trevor

    If you download media files I wouldn’t suggest turning off scanning for them. You could just exclude the specific folder of drum loops instead which would be more secure.

  2. ddthesm

    “If you download media files from less than reputable sites, you may want to scan them to make sure they are malware free. To do that, just right-click the file and select Scan from the context menu.”

    I would like to emphasize that, as I’m sure there are tons of media files floating around the internet and p2p apps masked as virii. Even mp3 files.

  3. RICHARD

    i HAVE WINDOWS VISTA WERE CAN I GO TO DOWN LOAD A FREE VIRUS SOFT WERE WITH OUT GOING TO SURVEYS AND OTHER B.S HELP

  4. A. J. Henry, Jr.

    Installed Windows 7 on drive D and already had XP on drive C. When Windows 7 was installed it changed D to C and C to D. When I boot to XP the drives are correct XP on C and 7 on D. Never had this to happen with any OS before.

  5. Ekstor

    Richard,

    The program discussed (Microsoft Security Essentials) above is Microsoft’s own AV solution that is simple, free, effective, with no ads or gimmicks. Google it.

    A.J.,

    As long as you installed XP first, both Vista and Win7 will adjust the drive ordering depending upon which OS boots up. I have all three installed on my laptop… each of those three partitions register as the C drive when booting up into that OS.

  6. steve

    you don’t need to put the wildcard card in there, just type mp3, not *.mp3. stop trying to look clever.
    Anyone looking for free virus soft go to avg free, micro$oft security essentials, or avast!

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