Antivirus products must include real-time scanning. Manual scanning does not check files for malware until a scan has been run. You won't find malware in a file until it has been downloaded and you run a scan. But, this is when the damage can be done. Your antivirus continuously scans files in real-time, so you can be sure that your virus protection is up-to-date.

Real-time scanning will detect and quarantine any malware that you try to download. It will quarantine any file that it finds and warns you if it is malicious.

Intego is often asked questions about real-time scanning, despite its effectiveness in protecting against malware. This feature is a bit of a mystery for many Mac antivirus users. We'll answer common questions users have about real-time scanning.

Is it possible to scan my Mac every so often?

Of course, you can! Real-time scanning is so easy that you only need to do a complete system scan once you have installed the antivirus software. Real-time scanning will keep track of every piece that is coming into your system after the system scan has been completed. The full scan takes a lot of time and can impact your system's performance.

This is why many users delay or cancel scheduled scans until later. A month passes and there has been no scan. Your system can be at risk from a lot of things that can happen during this time.

Real-time scanning is very efficient and uses minimal system resources. It also takes out the human element of antivirus protection. This makes it the best way to keep your system safe from malware.

Is real-time scanning slower than my Mac?

It used to. This was a decade ago when most Macs had only one core processor. It is difficult to have just one core processor to manage all the processes and applications in macOS. The system was slow in the past because real-time scanning could often be interrupted or delayed by these tasks. This performance impact was exacerbated by the limited memory (RAM), and often slower storage (HDD).

The vast majority of Macs are now equipped with at least two processor cores that are multiple GHz, and the same number of virtual cores. Common features include having 4, 8, or 16GB RAM, fast hard drives, or solid-state drives. A typical system has more resources than it needs to handle all the activities, even real-time scanning for an antivirus product.

Why is it that antivirus scans can take so long?

One consequence of running a full system scan, and even a scheduled scan, is the time it takes to scan archives. This is the process of extracting large files and scanning them. Sometimes scanning archives can cause a file to appear "stuck". The scan may be stuck and unfinished. The progress bar may stop moving for a long time. This can lead to frustration from the user's perspective.

Real-time scanning makes it possible to skip scanning archives. When you expand an archive, malware will be detected. It will not be detected until the next scan, so real-time scanning is required. Antivirus software that does not perform real-time scanning is best. It will scan archives to detect malware. Real-time scanning means that full system scans are no longer necessary.

Our Virus Barrier X9 products have a real-time scanner that is automatically turned on. This makes it easy to skip scanning archives when performing a full scan. Our Virus Barrier Scanner, however, does not have a real-time scanner. mcafee real time scanning not working We believe it is safer to scan archives by default, even if it takes more time. This has the downside that scanning can take longer but we believe you are more protected.

What does real-time scanning do to combat malware?

An average person receives more than 120 emails per day from all email services. This includes subscriptions, work, personal, and spam mail. Email attachments were once rare due to limitations in Internet speed, mailbox size, and attachment size limits. However, almost all emails now have an attachment. It can be an image or PDF, but more often an email signature with formatted texts and a logo. It is very common to see the little paperclip icon in Mail client, so it is often ignored.

Even if only one of the attachments is malicious and your next scheduled antivirus scan takes place in 9 hours, there is a good chance that you will open the malicious attachment email long before that scan begins. The malicious attachment will be detected by real-time scanning, which is likely to happen before you realize that you have received it.

This applies to files that you download either intentionally or unintentionally (think pop-ups and spam websites), as well as files that get onto your Mac through file sharing, data transfer from flash drives, and other methods.