How to Exclude Files From Norton Antivirus Scans

Avoid false positives from Norton Antivirus on Windows and Mac

What to Know

  • To exclude files, go to Settings > Antivirus > Scans and Risks > Exclusions/Low Risks > Configure > Add Folders or Add Files > OK.
  • The mobile version of Norton Security and Antivirus doesn’t allow you to exclude specific files and folders. Use Ignore when detected instead.

Norton Antivirus or Norton Security for Windows and Mac might repeatedly alert you that a file or folder has a virus even though you know it doesn't. This is known as a false positive. You can instruct these programs to ignore specific files or folders during scans to avoid false positives.

How to Exclude Files and Folders From Norton Antivirus Software Scans

Like most antivirus programs, the Norton AV software lets you 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.

Excluding whole folders from being scanned is not always wise, especially folders that frequently collect new files, such as your Downloads folder.

There are dozens of Norton Security antivirus programs on the market, but the process for excluding files is essentially the same. For example, to exclude specific files and folders from a Norton Security scan in Windows 10:

  1. Open the Norton antivirus software and select Settings.

    Norton Security Settings
  2. Select Antivirus.

    Settings > Antivirus
  3. Select the Scans and Risks tab.

    Scans and Risks tab
  4. Scroll down to the Exclusions/Low Risks section and select Configure [+] next to Items to Exclude From Scans.

    Select Clear Files IDs Excluded During Scans to reset your exclusion settings.

    Exclusions/Low Risks section
  5. Select Add Folders or Add Files and choose the file/folder you want to exclude. When you are finished, select OK to save the changes.

    Add Folders and Add Files buttons

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.

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