Exclude Files From Norton Antivirus Scans

Avoid false positives with file and folder exclusions

woman looking in physical file folders
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Norton Antivirus or Norton Security might repeatedly alert you that a particular file or folder has a virus even though you know it doesn't. This result, called a "false positive," can be quite annoying. Fortunately, you can instruct the program to ignore specific files or folders during scans on Windows as well as Mac computers.

White-Listing Files For Norton Antivirus

Like most good antivirus programs, the Norton AV software lets you white-list, or exclude, files and folders from being scanned. You can tell the software to ignore a file or folder, which blocks it from the program's view. Therefore, Norton won't tell you whether there's a virus there or not.

Obviously, this feature can be useful if Norton keeps telling you that a file contains a virus when you know that it doesn't. However, excluding whole folders from being scanned is not always wise, especially if the folder is one that frequently collects new files, such as your Downloads folder.

How to Exclude Files and Folders From Norton Antivirus Software Scans

Here's how to exclude specific files and folders from a Norton Security Deluxe scan:

Dozens of Norton Security antivirus programs are on the market, so the process might be slightly different depending on your version.

  1. Open the Norton antivirus software.

  2. Select Settings.

  3. Choose the Antivirus option from the Settings screen.

  4. Go to the Scans and Risks tab.

  5. Find the Exclusions/Low Risks section.

  6. Click Configure [+] next to the option where you want to make changes. Two sets of options are available here: one is for exclusions to antivirus scans, and the other is for exclusions to the real-time protection features of the Norton software, such as Auto-Protect, SONAR, and Download Intelligence Detection.

  7. From the exclusions screen, use the Add Folders and Add Files buttons to locate the file or folder you want and make a new exclusion rule.

  8. Click OK in the exclusions window to save the changes.

At this point, you can exit any open windows and close the Norton software.

Only exclude files and folders if you're confident that they're not infected. Anything that your antivirus software ignores might end up having viruses later on, and Norton will be none the wiser if those files are excluded from scans and real-time protection.

Excluding Files From Mobile Norton Antivirus App Scans

The Norton Security and Antivirus app for Android and iOS doesn't allow you to exclude specific files and folders within the settings menu. Instead, you must tell Norton to ignore files after they are detected.