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Scanning Your Computer With McAfee Security Center in Windows 8

Last Updated: Thu, 02 Apr 2015 > Related Articles

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Learn how to scan for viruses, set automatic updates and manage firewall settings in Windows 8.



What is McAfee Security Console?
The Security Console on your computer desktop is part of your free Cox Security Suite Powered by McAfee┬«. It is a powerful security solution that allows you to monitor the security status on their computer and to know instantly whether virus, spyware, email, and firewall protection services are up-to-date.
How can it help me?
You can use this tool to set up a virus detection schedule that suits your needs. To begin, double-click the McAfee Security Console icon in your task bar or on your desktop.

security center icon

For additional help with any Security Console feature visit the McAfee Community. Click Home and Home Office, then under Communities on the left, click Security Console.

Perform a Computer Scan 

With Real-Time Scanning you can run a quick, full, or custom scan of your computer to detect viruses, spyware or other threats.


From the Security Console, click Real-Time Scanning and choose one of the three available options, as shown below.

highlights Scan Your PC options


To run a Quick or Full scan, click one of the first two options and Security Suite automatically begins scanning your computer. Once complete it will report any issues it finds, as shown below.

Quick Scan window


Running a custom scan allows you to choose more advanced settings. To run a Custom scan:

  1. Under Customize Your Scan, choose the locations, threat types, and file types you want to scan.
  2. Click Scan.

Under Custom Scan, highlights Scan button

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Schedule Future Scans 

By default, McAfee performs a scheduled scan at 4 a.m. once a week, but you can modify the schedule to fit your needs. The option Scan using minimal resources is checked by default but you can disable it to increase the speed of the scheduled scan.
Another option, Start scan only when the PC is plugged in, allows you to conserve battery power if your computer is plugged in at the time of a scheduled scan.


To schedule your scan, do the following:

  1. Click Real Time Scanning.
  2. Choose Schedule a Scan.
  3. Choose the desired scheduling options.
  4. Click Apply.

Scheduled Scan window


Exclude Files and Folders
You can exclude a file or folder so that McAfee does not check it for threats during your custom or scheduled scan. Whenever you want to include the item in your scan you can remove it from your list of excluded files and folders. This allows you to run a custom or scheduled scan and check that item for threats.
To exclude a file or folder, complete the following steps:

  1. Click Add file or Add folder
  2. When the Open dialog box displays, navigate to the desired file or folder.
  3. Click the Apply button.

highlights Add file, Add folder

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Manage Scan Settings 

Complete the steps below to manage the scan settings.


Just as you would for the custom scan, you can choose the items you want to scan during each scheduled scan, as shown below.

Settings window

Select your options and click Apply.
Note: The following table provides a detailed description of each option found under each setting type.
File Types
  • All files - Detect suspicious activity at all potential points of entry (recommended)
  • Programs and documents only - Scan for viruses in program and document files
Attachments and Locations
  • Email attachments - Attachments in the email you send and receive
  • Instant messaging attachments - Atachments in the instant messaging attachments you send and receive
  • Network drives - Your network drives, as well as your local hard drives
  • Tracking cookies - Detect tracking cookies that monitor your web browsing habits
  • Spyware and other potentially unwanted programs - Detect spyware and other potentially unwanted programs
  • Scripts in Internet Explorer and Firefox - Detect malicious scripts running in Internet Explorer and Firefox
  • Buffer overflow - Protect your PC from buffer overflows
Extended Protection
  • Active Protection delivers real time defense against the latest viruses - Get immediate protection against emerging threats
  • Scan for viruses by identifying threat patterns- Detect unknown viruses
Removable Media Drive
  • Ask me before scanning it thoroughly - Be prompted to scan thoroughly every time you connect a removable media drive to your computer
  • Scan them automatically - Scan your removable media drive automatically
  • Do nothing and let Real-Time Scanning scan files as I use them - Scan the files in your removable media drive as you open them

Start Up Settings

Complete the following to perform a scan on startup.


Click one of the options, as shown below.

Startup Settings window

Click Apply.
Note: To turn off a scheduled scan click the Turn Off button at the top of the dialog box.

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