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Plan antivirus scanning for Outlook 2013

Office 2013
 

Applies to: Office 365 ProPlus, Office 2013

Topic Last Modified: 2014-06-13

Summary: If your organization uses antivirus software to perform file-level scanning, you may want to exclude certain files from being scanned. This article tells you which files you may want to exclude, and why.

Audience: IT Professionals

When you plan antivirus scanning settings for Outlook 2013 files and email messages, you should be aware of potential issues that can arise if certain Outlook files are in use during scanning.

 

Are you a user?

If you’re not an administrator, this article is not for you. But we can point you in the right direction if you want to determine whether or not to automatically download pictures in email or view options and settings in the Trust Center.

Are you an admin?

If you’re an administrator, and your organization uses antivirus software that is set to do file-level scanning, this article tells you which Outlook-related files you may want to avoid scanning.

In this article:

Outlook Data Files (*.pst) and Offline Folder files (*.ost) are the most frequently-accessed Outlook files. If you use antivirus software to perform file-level scanning on them while Outlook is in use, data corruption issues might result.

Data corruption issues might also result when you scan Outlook address book files (*.oab ), Send/receive settings files (*.srs ), *.xml files, and Outlprnt, although the possibility is significantly reduced because users access these files far less frequently.

We recommend that you turn off scanning of the following Microsoft Outlook files:

  • *.oab (Outlook address book files)

    %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\Offline Address Books\<guid>

  • *.srs (send/receive settings files)

    %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

  • Navigation pane settings file profile_name.xml files

    %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook\<profile name>.xml

    where <profile name> is the name of the Outlook messaging profile, as shown in the Control Panel, Mail applet.

  • outlprnt (print styles)

    %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

Notes:

  • We are not aware of a risk of excluding the specific files or folders that are mentioned in this article from scans that are made by your antivirus software. However, your system may be safer if you do not exclude any files or folders from scans.

  • When you scan these files, performance and operating system reliability problems may occur because of file locking.

  • Do not exclude any one of these files based solely on the filename extension. For example, do not exclude all files that have a .xml extension. Microsoft has no control over other files that may use the same extensions as the files that are described in this article.

We do not recommend that you scan *.pst, *.ost, and other Outlook files directly. Instead, we recommend that you scan email message attachments on the email server and on the Outlook client computer.

  • To scan email messages that are on an email server you must use antivirus software that was developed to scan incoming and outgoing email.

    • To scan email messages that are on the Exchange Server, use an antivirus software program that is Exchange-aware.

    • If your email messages are on an email server that is located at an Internet service provider (ISP), verify that the ISP is using antivirus software to scan incoming and outgoing email messages.

  • To scan the attachments that are included in email messages on the client computer, use antivirus software on the client computer. We recommend this in case an unwanted message reaches your email client because antivirus software on the email server failed to identify it.


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