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February 28th, 2014

How do I handle files that avast! can’t scan?

howto2_enQuestion of the week: Last week I ran a complete avast! Antivirus scan on my desktop computer and when it finished, it gave me the message that some files could not be scanned because they were password protected.  They all had the extension of .png, so I did a search of all programs by typing *.png and the items that came up were photos our grandson had posted to Facebook from his recent trip to Thailand.

My question is, are the .png files innocuous?  If not, what should I do?  I don’t really like to have files on my computer that Avast cannot scan.

Thanks for your question. This is one that is commonly asked on the avast! Forum, so it’s useful to post the answer here too. Take a look at AVAST evangelist Bob G.’s answer:

Files that can’t be scanned are just that -  files that for one reason or another cannot be scanned. It’s not an indication that those files are suspicious or infected; it simply means that these files need another element before they can actually be opened and examined by avast! Antivirus.

Many programs (often security-related) password protect their files for legitimate reasons. Avast! doesn’t know the password or have any way of using it even if it did. Once the password is supplied by whatever program is using these files, avast! will check the files when they are actually run. If it turns out that something is hidden, avast! will block it. While they are in their password protected state, the files pose no threat to you or your system.

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  • DeeSnood

    I get this message daily about my Outlook PST files, which are naturally open/locked by Outlook. I just wish I could right-click and select “Ignore” so that I didn’t hear about them every day.

    • Christopher Caylor

      you can. open Avast, and then go to settings. click antivirus, and then scroll down to exclusions. make sure its on file paths, and then click browse, and tell it which files to not worry about. you can even select an entire folder.

      • DeeSnood

        Thanks. That’s what I ended up doing yesterday. I was sure that earlier (2011? 2012? 2013?) there was the option of right-clicking in the results and choosing exclude this file or exclude this folder. Maybe I just dreamed it. That’s certainly what the text implies you can do when you get files it can’t access. It talks about selecting the file and choosing from the options available (or something like that), but there aren’t any options. Strange. Oh well, I’ve got my email folder(s) excluded now and all is good :)

  • Ajey Chandhan

    That’s a good one ! ;) I had this doubt for some time and now I got the answer ;)

  • KpYogaraajan Colombo Municipal

    Thanks for following the avast champaign on the FaceBook-Like

  • KpYogaraajan Colombo Municipal

    avast best antivirus

  • Rwp Sec

    I just had this happen the other day. Thank you for such an insightful answer. As always Avast! is always protecting me.

  • Paul

    I have 3 bgbutton.png files that cannot be scanned by Avast. I do not want to just isolate and leave them on my computr. How do I COMPLETELY REMOVE from my computer.