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How Long Should A Virus Scan Take

October 21, 2011

How Long Should A Virus Scan Take

An infected system is hard to work on. Often malware and viruses slow down the speed of the system, thus impacting its performance greatly. It is important to use a legitimate antivirus program to scan the system and check for abnormalities. But then how long should a virus scan take?

The amount of time a scan takes depends primarily on the size of your PC and hard disk files. Running a full system scan will take longer, since the antivirus will check each of your files. Usually the time depends on the number of files an antivirus program must check. If your system is more sophisticated, it might take longer for a full system scan. If the scan takes less than two hours on a regular basis, you can assume that it is functioning properly.

However, if your system takes longer, you can follow some steps to clean up the PC before running scan every time. If the Operating System runs its best, your computer will be in a better position to run the scan.

  • Shut down all unnecessary programs and files before running the virus scan so as to allow the scan to work fast.
  • Clean up the hard disk, delete unnecessary temporary files, and uninstall programs that are of no use to you and are lying idle on the system. Do not forget to empty the recycle bin. This will ensure that the scan doesn’t need to waste time on redundant files.
  • Clean your registry with a registry cleaner or scan to get rid of left-over traces of programs that could not be installed. This will also help delete corrupted files and ensure that the virus scan doesn’t need to waste time scanning useless data.

Factors Impacting System Scan Speed

  • Some large storage files containing drivers or add-ins are like large zip files, which impede the scan progress, since the antivirus must open each file for scanning.
  • The amount of data stored on your system also determines the speed of the scan. A system having quite a number of software programs, including music, pictures, and applications, will take longer to complete a full-system scan. Exclude the files that you consider fake or useless if your antivirus program offers you the option to do so.
  • A quick scan checks places where viruses hide, this will take less time.
  • Run a full system scan to remove unlimited malware from the PC every month. Scanning the system for viruses for more than a month might invite trouble.
  • Schedule the scan for a time when the system stays idle or when it is not in use, like when you are sleeping late at night.

Remember, running a regular full system scan is essential to maintaining the health of your system. It is also important to keep your registry clean so do not keep unnecessary files on your PC so that the antivirus program doesn’t take long for a full-system scan.

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