What is a quick and deep or full antivirus scan?

Updated: 06/30/2020 by Computer Hope
Antivirus programs and companies

An antivirus program may provide several options for scanning a computer. However, the most common scans are the quick scan and full scan.

Quick scan and full scan

A quick scan checks common areas for computers viruses. Scanned areas can include the computer memory and common areas of the hard drive, including the temporary Internet files and the operating system directory. A quick scan takes less than 30 minutes to complete.

A full scan checks every area of the computer, including memory, hard drives and sometimes any external devices connected to the computer, like external hard drives and USB flash drives. Because the full scan checks everything, it takes longer to perform the scan. Depending on how much memory and hard drive space a computer has, it could take 30 minutes to several hours to complete a full scan.

If time permits, a full scan is the best option to choose when checking if the computer has viruses. Some viruses can hide in less common areas on a computer, and a quick scan may not detect the virus.