Running antivirus can be a pain; it can greatly slow down a PC (to know how much your specific antivirus slows your computer down, look at this detailed test: av-test.org/en/news/news-single-view/endurance-test-does-antivirus-software-slow-down-pcs/). The question is, apart from buying the antivirus that is the lightest on your PC, what else can you do to improve performance? Going without antivirus altogether is not an option — it would be too unsafe.
There’s a solution. Instead of uninstalling your antivirus, all you need to do is to set it to pay attention to only folders and processes that actually present a risk of malware infection. Your antivirus doesn’t need to look at anything else.
Why are certain parts of your computer not at risk?
Consider what happens when you run an application such as virtual machine software. As software that runs an independent operating system, it constantly writes to the hard drive and reads from it. These files are likely to be safe, and there’s no need for your antivirus to constantly monitor it.
The folders on your computer that you use to store your own pictures from your own camera, store music that you buy from legitimate sources, and Windows update folders, are guaranteed safe. You don’t need to waste the antivirus software’s time and your computer’s resources monitoring them. You know that they are safe, and you can exclude them.
Do a little homework to study system processes
Several system processes on your computer constantly read and write data, as well; since these are system processes, they aren’t likely to be a risk factor. Identifying them can help you exclude them from your antivirus software’s list of places to check.
You need to download Process Monitor, a free Microsoft tool, launch it to see what processes you currently have running, filter to only see processes with file system activity, and sort to see the busiest ones. Once you have the names, you can go to your antivirus software, and make sure that these processes are not monitored.
Excluding applications and folders
Every antivirus application works differently, and it can take a little hunting to find out how exactly to make them ignore specific processes and folders. In most cases, though, you need to go to Advanced settings, and search for an Exclude feature.
It’s important to not exclude the wrong items
If you make the mistake of excluding risk-prone folders such as the Downloads folder or risk-prone applications such as a Bittorrent client, you could been big trouble. It’s important to be careful going through the exclusion process. In the end, you should find that your antivirus simply doesn’t slow down your computer the way it used to. While antivirus software vendors could make the exclusions on their own, they tend to play safe. You, on the other hand, could try your hand at it.