Troubleshooting Security Software

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further information: Troubleshooting Guide

By far, the most common cause of performance-related issues such as hanging, stuttering, and hiccuping is interference by an Anti-Virus application, or similar security software.

Test For the Issue With Your Security Software Uninstalled or Fully Deactivated

The first thing is to try to determine if a security application on your system is causing the issue.

You can try to use whatever "disable" process your security suite offers as a first step. However, this is often not sufficient to rule the suite in or out as the cause of the issue. This is because those disabling procedures typically only disable a portion of the behaviors of the security application. For example, the suite's processes typically all stay loaded and active on the system, and usually still cause additional latency when accessing files, among other potential issues.

The only sure way to rule the suite in or out as a potential cause is to completely uninstall it. Please refer to Check Your Anti-Virus or Security Software in the general Troubleshooting Guide for first steps in determining if the problem is related to security software on your system.

Note: If you are using Windows 8's Windows Defender, you cannot uninstall it, so just disable it. Disabling Windows Defender as described does fully deactivate it.

If the problem has anything to do with network access, including using media stored on a network volume and using MC's Media Network features, then test with the Windows or Mac OSX Firewall completely disabled.

Do You Have More Than One Anti-Virus Application Running?

One other issue that is unfortunately quite common is that you can end up with multiple Anti-Virus applications installed. They then compete with each other (and even further slow down everything else on your computer). Having two (or more) active, behind-the-scenes, automatic Anti-Virus programs running on your computer at the same time is a recipe for disaster.

Check through your computer's Uninstall a Program Control Panel, and see if there are more than one installed. One place this happens frequently is from the "trialware" version of McAfee's Security Essentials. This is included as an "optional" install (an advertisement, essentially) with Adobe Flash Player. Every time you update Flash, you have a "risk" that you'll accidentally install the troublesome (and not very good) McAfee application if you aren't careful about unchecking the appropriate box. If you find this on your system, it is probably inoperable anyway (because it is only a trial, after which they want you to pay for a subscription), and you should remove it.

Having additional "manual" scanners on your system, like MalwareBytes, for example, is fine. But if you have more than one "background" scanners, then expect trouble.

Consider an Alternative Security Package

Also, if you are unable to tame your Anti-Virus application of choice, and you are running Windows 7 or newer, we can recommend that you instead try Microsoft's free Security Essentials (for Windows 7) or Windows Defender (built into Windows 8 and newer). Windows Defender (and MSSE) is a quite well behaved and effective anti-virus application. It typically causes no problems (and, if so, these steps should resolve them). Plus, it is free and well supported by Microsoft. For most users, there is little need to use another application.

Tame Your Anti-Virus

If, after testing, you've determined that the problem does lie with your Anti-Virus application, you'll want to set it to "exclude" a set of locations and programs that are used by MC and need to perform well. We can't, obviously, address every single AV application out there, but we'll use Windows Defender as an example. If you don't have Windows Defender, you want to try to exclude the same "things" in your own particular AV application.