Running Windows antivirus software on Exchange 2016 servers

Summary: Learn about setting up Windows antivirus programs to run successfully on Exchange 2016 servers by configuring exclusions.

When you run Windows antivirus programs on Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 servers, you can help enhance the security and health of your Exchange organization. However, if they aren't configured correctly, Windows antivirus programs can cause problems in Exchange 2016.

There are two basic components of any Windows antivirus program:

  • Memory-resident scanning or real-time protection monitors all files and processes that are loaded and running in a computer's active memory.

  • File-level scanning refers to checking files on the hard disk for viruses manually or on a regular schedule. Some antivirus programs start an on-demand scan automatically after the virus signatures are updated to make sure that all files are scanned with the latest signatures.

The biggest potential problem is a Windows antivirus program might lock or quarantine an open log file or database file that Exchange needs to modify. This can cause severe failures in Exchange 2016, and it might also generate 1018 event log errors. Therefore, excluding these files from being scanned by the Windows antivirus program is very important.

Another issues to consider is that Windows antivirus programs can't replace email-based antispam and antimalware solutions because Windows antivirus programs that run on Windows servers can't detect viruses, malware, and spam that are distributed only through email.

When you deploy a Windows antivirus program on an Exchange 2016 server, make sure that the folder exclusions, process exclusions, and file name extension exclusions that are described in these sections are configured for both memory-resident and file-level scanning.

Note: The %ExchangeInstallPath% value is typically C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\ (includes a trailing ""), the %SystemRoot% value is typically C:\Windows (doesn't include a trailing ""), and the %SystemDrive% value is typically C: (doesn't include a trailing "").

The locations of many of these Exchange folders are configurable in the Exchange Management Shell. To learn how to open the Exchange Management Shell in your on-premises Exchange organization, see Open the Exchange Management Shell.

Folder exclusions

Exclude the following folders from file-level scanning and memory-resident scanning on Exchange 2016 servers.


Folder Category Description Servers
%SystemRoot%\Cluster
DAGs
The cluster quorum database and other files for database availability groups (DAGs).
Mailbox servers
%SystemDrive%\DAGFileShareWitnesses\<DAGFQDN>
DAGs
The witness directory on the witness server that's configured for the DAG. The witness server can be virtually any Microsoft Windows server in the local Active Directory forest that isn't already a member of the DAG.
To see the actual location, run the following command: `Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup
Format-List Witness`
%ExchangeInstallPath%ClientAccess\OAB
Offline Address Books
Offline Address Book files.
Mailbox servers
%ExchangeInstallPath%FIP-FS
Antimalware and DLP
Content scanning that's used by the Malware agent and data loss prevention (DLP).
Mailbox servers
%ExchangeInstallPath%GroupMetrics
MailTips
Group Metrics files that are used to calculate values for the Large Audience and External Recipients MailTips.
Mailbox servers
%ExchangeInstallPath%Logging
Exchange process logs
This folder contains many different types of Exchange logs in subfolders. For example:
• Calendar Repair Assistant logs
• Managed Folder Assistant logs
• IMAP4 protocol logs
• POP3 protocol logs
To see the actual locations, run the following commands:
`Get-MailboxServer -Server
Format-List LogPath<br/>Get-PopSettings
%ExchangeInstallPath%Mailbox
Mailbox databases
Exchange databases, checkpoint files, and log files. By default, these files are located in subfolders based on the name of the database. To see the actual locations, run the following command: `Get-MailboxDatabase -Server Format-List EdbFilePath,LogFolderPath`
By default, database context index files are located in the same folder as the database files in a subfolder that's named after the GUID of the database.
%ExchangeInstallPath%TransportRoles\Data\Adam
EdgeSync
Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) and log files.
Edge Transport servers
%ExchangeInstallPath%TransportRoles\Data\IpFilter
Connection filtering
IP filter database, checkpoint, and log files.
Edge Transport servers
%ExchangeInstallPath%TransportRoles\Data\Queue
Queues
Queue database, checkpoint, and log files.
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
%ExchangeInstallPath%TransportRoles\Data\SenderReputation
Sender reputation
Sender Reputation database, checkpoint, and log files.
Edge Transport servers
Mailbox servers
%ExchangeInstallPath%TransportRoles\Data\Temp
Content conversion
Content conversion that's done in the transport pipeline.
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
%ExchangeInstallPath%TransportRoles\Logs
Transport logs
Mail flow and transport pipeline logs are located in subfolders, for example:
• Agent logging
• Connectivity logging
• Message tracking
• Pipeline tracing
• Send and Receive connector protocol logging
To see the actual locations, run the following commands:
`Get-TransportService
Format-List LogPath,TracingPath<br/>et-FrontEndTransportService
%ExchangeInstallPath%TransportRoles\Pickup
Pickup directory
The Pickup directory is used by administrators for mail flow testing or by applications that need to create and submit their own message files.
To see the actual location, run the following command: `Get-TransportService
Format-List PickupDirectoryPath`
%ExchangeInstallPath%TransportRoles\Replay
Replay directory
The Replay directory receives messages from foreign gateway servers and can also be used to resubmit messages that administrators export from the queues of Exchange servers.
To see the actual location, run the following command: `Get-TransportService
Format-List ReplayDirectoryPath`
%ExchangeInstallPath%UnifiedMessaging\Grammars
Unified Messaging
Grammar files for different locales, for example en-EN or es-ES.
Mailbox servers
%ExchangeInstallPath%UnifiedMessaging\Prompts
Unified Messaging
Voice prompts, greetings, and informational message files.
Mailbox servers
%ExchangeInstallPath%UnifiedMessaging\Temp
Unified Messaging
Temporary files generated by Unified Messaging.
Mailbox servers
%ExchangeInstallPath%UnifiedMessaging\Voicemail
Unified Messaging
Voice mail files that are temporarily stored.
Mailbox servers
%ExchangeInstallPath%Working\OleConverter
Content conversion
Transport Neutral Encoding Format (TNEF), also known as Rich Text Format (RTF), to MIME/HTML conversions.
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
%SystemDrive%\inetpub\temp\IIS Temporary Compressed Files
Web components
Internet Information Services (IIS) compression folder that's used with Outlook on the web.
Mailbox servers
%SystemRoot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\Temporary ASP.NET Files
Web components
Temporary files that are used with Exchange services. These files are located in the following subfolders:
autodiscover
ecp
ecp
ews
mapi
mapi_emsmdb
microsoft-server-activesync
oab
owa
owa_calendar
powershell
root
rpc
Mailbox servers
%SystemRoot%\System32\Inetsrv
Web components
IIS system files.
Mailbox servers
%SystemRoot%\Temp\OICE_ <GUID>\
Exchange Search
Temporary files used by the Exchange Search service and Microsoft Filter Pack to perform file conversion in a sandboxed environment.
Mailbox servers

Process exclusions

Many antivirus programs support the scanning of processes, which can adversely affect Microsoft Exchange if the incorrect processes are scanned. Therefore, you should exclude the following Exchange or related processes from process scanning.

Process Path Comments Servers
ComplianceAuditService.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Compliance Audit service (MSComplianceAudit)
Mailbox servers
Dsamain.exe
%SystemRoot%\System32
Microsoft Exchange ADAM service (ADAM_MSExchange) (Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) on subscribed Edge Transport servers)
Edge Transport servers
EdgeTransport.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Transport service worker process
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
fms.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%FIP-FS\Bin
Content scanning component that's used by the Malware agent and DLP.
Mailbox servers
hostcontrollerservice.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin\Search\Ceres\HostController
Microsoft Exchange Search Host Controller service (HostControllerService)
Mailbox servers
inetinfo.exe
%SystemRoot%\System32\inetsrv
Internet Information Services (IIS)
Mailbox servers
Microsoft.Exchange.AntispamUpdateSvc.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Antispam Update service (MSExchangeAntispamUpdate)
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
Microsoft.Exchange.ContentFilter.Wrapper.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%TransportRoles\agents\Hygiene
Content Filter agent
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
Microsoft.Exchange.Diagnostics.Service.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Diagnostics service (MSExchangeDiagnostics)
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
Microsoft.Exchange.Directory.TopologyService.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Active Directory Topology service (MSExchangeADTopology)
Mailbox servers
Microsoft.Exchange.EdgeCredentialSvc.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Credential service (MSExchangeEdgeCredential)
Edge Transport servers
Microsoft.Exchange.EdgeSyncSvc.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange EdgeSync service (MSExchangeEdgeSync)
Mailbox servers
Microsoft.Exchange.Imap4.exe
ExchangeInstallPath%FrontEnd\PopImap
Microsoft Exchange IMAP4 service (MSExchangeImap4)
Mailbox servers
Microsoft.Exchange.Imap4service.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%ClientAccess\PopImap
Microsoft Exchange IMAP4 Backend service (MSExchangeIMAP4BE)
Mailbox servers
Microsoft.Exchange.Notifications.Broker.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Notifications Broker service (MSExchangeNotificationsBroker)
Mailbox servers
Microsoft.Exchange.Pop3.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%FrontEnd\PopImap
Microsoft Exchange POP3 service (MSExchangePop3)
Mailbox servers
Microsoft.Exchange.Pop3service.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%ClientAccess\PopImap
Microsoft Exchange POP3 Backend service (MSExchangePOP3BE)
Mailbox servers
Microsoft.Exchange.ProtectedServiceHost.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Service Host service (MSExchangeServiceHost)
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
Microsoft.Exchange.RPCClientAccess.Service.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange RPC Client Access service (MSExchangeRPC)
Mailbox servers
Microsoft.Exchange.Search.Service.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Search service (MSExchangeFastSearch)
Mailbox servers
Microsoft.Exchange.Servicehost.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Service Host service (MSExchangeServiceHost)
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
Microsoft.Exchange.Store.Service.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Information Store service (MSExchangeIS)
Mailbox servers
Microsoft.Exchange.Store.Worker.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Information Store service worker process
Mailbox servers
Microsoft.Exchange.UM.CallRouter.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%FrontEnd\CallRouter
Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging Call Router service (MSExchangeUMCR)
Mailbox servers
MSExchangeCompliance.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Compliance Service (MSExchangeCompliance)
Mailbox servers
MSExchangeDagMgmt.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange DAG Management service (MSExchangeDagMgmt)
Mailbox servers
MSExchangeDelivery.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Transport Delivery service (MSExchangeDelivery)
Mailbox servers
MSExchangeFrontendTransport.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Frontend Transport service (MSExchangeFrontEndTransport)
Mailbox servers
MSExchangeHMHost.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Health Manager service (MSExchangeHM)
Mailbox servers
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
MSExchangeHMWorker.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Health Manager service worker process
Mailbox servers
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
MSExchangeMailboxAssistants.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Assistants service (MSExchangeMailboxAssistants)
Mailbox servers
MSExchangeMailboxReplication.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Replication service (MSExchangeMailboxReplication)
Mailbox servers
MSExchangeRepl.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Replication service (MSExchangeRepl)
Mailbox servers
MSExchangeSubmission.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Transport Submission service (MSExchangeSubmission)
Mailbox servers
MSExchangeTransport.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Transport service (MSExchangeTransport)
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
MSExchangeTransportLogSearch.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Transport Log Search service (MSExchangeTransportLogSearch)
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
MSExchangeThrottling.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Throttling service (MSExchangeThrottling)
Mailbox servers
Noderunner.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin\Search\Ceres\Runtime\1.0
Microsoft Exchange Search service (MSExchangeFastSearch)
Mailbox servers
OleConverter.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Converts rich text format (RTF) messages to MIME/HTML for external recipients.
Mailbox servers
ParserServer.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin\Search\Ceres\ParserServer
Microsoft Exchange Search service (MSExchangeFastSearch)
Mailbox servers
Powershell.exe
C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0
Exchange Management Shell
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
ScanEngineTest.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%FIP-FS\Bin
Content scanning component that's used by the Malware agent and DLP
Mailbox servers
ScanningProcess.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%FIP-FS\Bin
Content scanning component that's used by the Malware agent and DLP
Mailbox servers
UmService.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging service (MSExchangeUM)
Mailbox servers
UmWorkerProcess.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging service worker process
Mailbox servers
UpdateService.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%FIP-FS\Bin
Content scanning component that's used by the Malware agent and DLP
Mailbox servers
W3wp.exe
%SystemRoot%\System32\inetsrv
Internet Information Services (IIS)
Mailbox servers
wsbexchange.exe
%ExchangeInstallPath%Bin
Microsoft Exchange Server Extension for Windows Server Backup (wsbexchange)
Mailbox servers

File name extension exclusions

In addition to excluding specific folders and processes, you should exclude the following Exchange-specific file name extensions in case folder exclusions fail or files are moved from their default locations.


Extensions Description Servers
.config
Application-related extensions
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
.chk
.edb
.jfm
.jrs
.log
.que
Database-related extensions
Mailbox servers
Edge Transport servers
.dsc
.txt
Group Metrics-related extensions
Mailbox servers
.cfg
.grxml
Unified Messaging-related extensions
Mailbox servers
.lzx
Offline address book-related extensions
Mailbox servers