The question in short: Is there a virus scanner that can be used when asked on my PC? By this I want to imply that it should not annoy me by executing any tasks in the background.

Some clarification:

I know both: On my personal computer I have no anti virus software since about 10 years and never had any problems or viruses. On the machine I use for the work on the other hand, there I had various anti virus programs (obviously not at the same time) because my boss thinks I need them.

I don't need permanent anti virus checks: I postulate, that I now and always have no single file on my computer that I do not want to have exactly where it is. I also postulate, that I only execute files of which I am aware where they are from, what they do and what the potential risk could be. If the above is true, then an anti virus software checking every single innocent file (that I very well know) is not necessary.

Permanent anti virus checks have huge disadvantages:

  • Obviously it slows my PC down to have every single file checked for viruses before they are opened. For example, if I copy thousands of small files (i.e. a git repository) to another drive, the windows defender checks every single of them for viruses! And this leads me to the next point:
  • Known/calculated risks. I have a .js file on my business PC that I once knowingly downloaded from an infected server of a client. I took a look at its content and came to the conclusion that I clearly should not execute that file. Now every time I archive the directory containing this file for backups the windows defender warns me that it took it to quarantine and did not archive it. Then I every time allow this file and restore it from quarantine. Nevertheless it gets not backed up.
  • False positives are also a problem. Once I connected the external HDD of a friend to my business machine, loaded a file onto it and later that day he complained that I had removed one of his keygens. I didn't know of that until I opened the quarantine of the windows defender and saw that it indeed had removed his keygen even though keygens are obviously not a threat it was marked with the category "Win32/Keygen".

Sometimes an anti virus check of a file, drive or the current running system could be useful:

  • Sometimes somebody asks me whether I could check a file for viruses for him.
  • Sometimes I want to check my system for viruses. This is not because I suspect there would by any, but simply because I also go to the dentist every year to check my teeth even though there is no ache or anything - just to be sure.
  • Sometimes there is a file that I want to execute but whose creator has not yet gained my full trust. So in that case I want to check the file for viruses and would then execute it (maybe - still depends on the situation etc.).

So the final question is (as already stated in the very beginning): Is there any single anti virus program (or configuration of an anti virus program) that combines the advantages (that I can use it occasionally) but does not have the disadvantages (no unnecessary background checks, no detection of keygens, cracks etc., the possibility to mark a dangerous file as 'calculated risk' or 'not harmful')?

closed as off-topic by Ramhound, Tetsujin, Arjan, DavidPostill, Xavierjazz Aug 7 '16 at 15:26

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they become outdated quickly and attract opinion-based answers. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve. Share your research. Here are a few suggestions on how to properly ask this type of question." – Ramhound, Tetsujin, Arjan, DavidPostill, Xavierjazz
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


As long as I know, most antiviruses have an option to disable automatic scan and make it manual, however, even if you do that, as long as their real-time protection is on, you'll be annoyed with their notifications. Antiviruses/Malware/Adware..etc, with real-time protection feature will be running in the background. Some of them have the option to disable real-time protection, others are forced to run in the background.

So, your aim should be on tools that DON'T use real-time protection. These tools will scan and do its job whenever you run them, and when you're done with them, they are closed never check and never run, unless you open them again or activate some of the real-protection within them.

If that's what are you asking for, then, there are many available tools out there such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, SuperAntiSpyware, RootkitBuster, McAfee Stinger ...etc. All of them have the same purpose and they share common features.

Personally, I use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and SuperAntiSpyware as a cleanup tools. They are freeware, and only used when I want to scan my computer and clean it up. These tools can be also configured to not be running on the background.

Another thing that you need to know, Windows defender is a built-in app with the Windows 10, so if you want to disable it, you have to disable all its functions from the Services.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.