Real-time file system protection

Real-time file system protection controls all antivirus-related events in the system. All files are scanned for malicious code when they are opened, created, or run on your computer. By default, Real-time file system protection launches at system start-up and provides uninterrupted scanning. In special cases (for example, if there is a conflict with another real-time scanner), real-time protection can be disabled by disengaging Enable Real-time file system protection automatically in Setup > Detection engine > Real-time file system protection > Basic.


Real-time file system protection does not scan the content of archive files. It scans the content of certain self-extracting archives when downloaded to the hard drive.

Media to scan

By default, all types of media are scanned for potential threats:

Local drives - Controls all system hard drives.

Removable media - Controls CD/DVD's, USB storage, Bluetooth devices, etc.

Network drives - Scans all mapped drives.

We recommend that you use default settings and only modify them in specific cases, such as when scanning certain media significantly slows data transfers.

Scan on

By default, all files are scanned upon opening, creation, or execution. We recommend that you keep these default settings, as they provide the maximum level of real-time protection for your computer:

File open - Enables or disables scanning when files are opened.

File creation - Enables or disables scanning when files are created.

Removable media access* - Enables or disables automatic scan of removable media when it is connected to the computer.

*The feature is available from ESET File Security for Linux version 7.1.


Real-time file system protection checks all types of media and is triggered by various system events such as accessing a file. Using ThreatSense technology detection methods (as described in the ThreatSense parameters section), Real-time file system protection can be configured to treat newly created files differently than existing files. For example, you can configure Real-time file system protection to more closely monitor newly created files.

To ensure a minimal system footprint when using real-time protection, files that have already been scanned are not scanned repeatedly (unless they have been modified). Files are scanned again immediately after each detection engine database update. This behavior is controlled using Smart optimization. If Smart optimization is disabled, all files are scanned each time they are accessed. To modify this setting, navigate to Setup > Detection engine > Real-time file system protection, click ThreatSense parameters > Other and select or deselect Enable Smart optimization.