ESET Online Help

Search English
Select the topic

Path exclusion format

You can use wildcards to exclude a group of files. A question mark (?) represents a single character, whereas an asterisk (*) represents a string of zero or more characters.


  • If you want to exclude all files and subfolders in a folder, type the path to the folder and use the mask *
  • If you want to exclude doc files only, use the mask *.doc
  • If the name of an executable file has a certain number of characters (with varying characters) and you only know the first one (for example, "D”), use the following format:
    D????.exe (question marks replace the missing/unknown characters)


  • C:\Tools\*—The path must end with the backslash (\) and asterisk (*) to indicate that it is a folder and all folder content (files and subfolders) will be excluded.
  • C:\Tools\*.*—Same behavior as C:\Tools\*
  • C:\ToolsTools folder will not be excluded. From the scanner perspective, Tools can also be a file name.
  • C:\Tools\*.dat—This will exclude .dat files in the Tools folder.
  • C:\Tools\sg.dat—This will exclude this specific file located in the exact path.


You can use system variables like %PROGRAMFILES% to define scan exclusions.

  • To exclude the Program Files folder using this system variable, use the path %PROGRAMFILES%\* (remember to add backslash and asterisk at the end of path) when adding to exclusions.
  • To exclude all files and folders in a %PROGRAMFILES% subdirectory, use the path %PROGRAMFILES%\Excluded_Directory\*

arrow_down_business Expand list of supported system variables