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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-07-2011

Is Norton slowing down my computer?

I hired 2 computer savvy kids to set up a desk computer (2007-Vista) & a laptop (2011-Windows 7) for me. Lately the desk computer has been running very slow. Sometimes freezing. It seems to do it when Windows Defender is running. So I go into Defender & stop a scan ... Sincere thanks, Norton, for all you do for us. But I keep getting Norton Performance Alerts. One recent one: the RAM was low. So one of the computer kids had me buy (& he installed) new RAM sticks. A manager at Best Buy told me Norton takes up a lot of space. Norton seems to run scans every minute. Can someone send me simple instructions so that Norton will only scan when I want it to? ... I hardly ever go to weird web sites & I do pretty simple things on the computer. So I don't think I need Norton scanning every minute. Thank you.

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Kudos: 2,965
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Registered: ‎11-21-2008

Re: Is Norton slowing down my computer?

Windows Defender should be disabled other than using it as an on-demand cross check.  The two working at the same time is what is causing the slowdown.  Running two scanning engines is not recommended. You can also turn off optimization in Norton and Community Watch to save resources.

Under certain circumstances profanity provides relief denied even to prayer.
Mark Twain
Super Spam Squasher
Posts: 1,795
Registered: ‎11-16-2009

Re: Is Norton slowing down my computer?

Also, the "scanning every minute" part is the real-time protection, that scans files are they are accessed. It's the most basic function of any antivirus, and should really not be disabled. It shouldn't cause any performance issues either. It used to be Norton was one big resource hog, but those days are long gone.

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Registered: ‎05-05-2009

Re: Is Norton slowing down my computer?

[ Edited ]

Hi PatrickMcCabe:

Are your system slow downs and freezes happening when you are working on your desktop computer?  Most of the background scans run by Norton products occur when your system is idle and incomplete scans are temporarily suspended as soon as you move your mouse or start typing on your keyboard.  See my post here with instructions on how to use the Norton Tasks window (Performance Monitor | Norton Tasks) to help identify what process is causing your system to freeze.  It's possible that a non-Norton program like your web browser is causing the problem.  You might also want to read RichD's thread here titled High Memory Usage by Java for an example of how loading unnecessary programs into memory at startup can affect system performance.

It's true that Norton constantly monitors your computer, but the Norton Insight feature will ignore most well-known files that are "trusted".  To see the list and % of trusted files go to Performance | Application Ratings.


Norton Application Ratings.jpg


Could you please post back and let us know what Norton product(s) you have running on your desktop (e.g., NIS/NAV/N360) as well as the exact version (found at Support | About).  It might also help if we know some information about your system (e.g., CPU processor speed, RAM, hard disk capacity).  Most of this information can be found at Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Information.  The additional RAM was probably a good idea, but it's possible that your hardware still doesn't meet the minimum system requirements to run your Norton product.

Are you starting Windows Defender manually to run scans after your PC is booted up? I have NIS 2011 installed on my Vista PC and Windows Defender and Windows Firewall are automatically disabled by NIS at startup.  If you open the Security Center (Start | Control Panel | Security Center) immmediately after you boot up you should be able to see what major security software is loaded at startup.

A list of the background idletime tasks that your Norton product runs can be found at Performance | Norton Tasks.  With the exception of  Idle Quick Scan and Norton Insight, all these tasks can be re-configured and/or disabled if absolutely necessary.  Here's a few examples of features that can be disabled or re-configured in most Norton products that will not compromise your protection to any significant degree.  This includes the Idle Time Optimizer and Norton Community Watch that delphinium already suggested.

Settings | Computer Settings | Computer Scans | Smart Definitions | ON

Settings | Miscellaneous Settings | Automatic Download of New Versions | OFF (see note 1)
Settings | Miscellaneous Settings | Idle Time Optimizer | OFF (see note 2)
Settings | Miscellaneous Settings | Monthly Report | OFF
Settings | Miscellaneous Settings | Norton Community Watch | OFF
Settings | Miscellaneous Settings | Special Offer Notification | OFF

Settings | Computer Settings | Insight Protection | OFF  (see note 3)

Note 1: Disabling Automatic Download of New Versions will prevent Symantec from delivering major upgrades for your product (e.g., from NIS 2011 to NIS 2012) but will not prevent LiveUpdate from delivering necessary product updates within the same version (e.g., from NIS 2011 v. 18.5 to v. 18.6).  Major upgrades, if available, can be performed at any time from Support | New Version Check as long as you have a valid subscription.


Note 2:  The Idle Time Optimizer is a disk defragmenter that runs after every software installation.  It is safe to disable this feature and let your native Windows Disk Defrgamenter handle your disk defrags.


Note 3:  Disabling Insight Protection does not disable File Insight, Download Insight or the idletime Norton Insight task.  When Insight Protection is off, your Norton product will use the local virus definitions on your hard drive for Idle Quick Scans scan and will not check the Symantec server for the latest definitions in the "cloud" that have been discovered since your last LiveUpdate.  Disabling Insight Proctection can often improve system performance if you have a slow Internet connection.


Norton Tasks Last Run.jpg


You can disable your Idle Full System Scans at Settings | Computer Settings | Computer Scans | Idle Time Scans | OFF, but I would not do so until you've confirmed that this task is the cause of your system freezes.  If you do disable your automatic full scans I would advise that you schedule a full scan (Scan Now | Custom Scan | Full System Scan | Schedule) or perform an on-demand manual full scan (Scan Now | Full System Scan) to ensure your system is still protected - typically once a week for 2011 Norton products and once a month for 2012 products.

Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit SP2 * NIS 2011 v. * IE 9.0 * Firefox 7.0.1
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