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How to Get Your Antivirus and Gaming PC to Play Nicely Together

I recently installed Call of Duty 4 on my Mac and was really annoyed at how choppy the gameplay was. Of course, I have a 2009 MacBook Pro, but I’ve checked all the system requirements and the system should be able to handle the game and graphics with ease.

Having played a little, I realized that Kaspersky’s antivirus was working for me, and it slows down the game!

My first impulse was to go into an antivirus program and add the name of the game process to the list of exclusions or filters. This is what I’ve usually done for years, and while it’s a little awkward when you have to do this for a lot of processes, it works.

However, while looking through the settings, I came across an interesting point: the game profile! Apparently, this mode will disable some Internet Security features while playing in full screen mode. It also allows you to play online over the Internet without interfering with it.

In this article, I will talk about choosing a game mode in various antivirus suites and other ways to ensure a smoother gameplay for those suites that do not.

I won’t be able to cover every single antivirus program, so if you are using anything other than the below, feel free to leave a comment and tell us how you tweaked them for better gaming performance.

Also note that some antivirus packages that support game mode only suppress warnings and messages while playing, they do not actually disable scanning for viruses, etc.

However, there are a couple that go beyond just notifications and actually disable background services like scans, updates, etc. I will mention which type is supported for each package I mentioned below.

Kaspersky Games Profile

Since I am using Kaspersky, I will explain this first. When you go into settings, you will see the “Game Profile” option.

Basically, this will keep all antivirus, web crawls, and firewall warnings hidden until you finish the game, unless that’s a major issue. In addition, you have the option of not running updates or running scheduled scans while playing.

It’s not as advanced as some of the other antivirus packages, but it’s better than nothing. It is recommended that you check the advanced settings, otherwise you will not get any performance benefit, you will simply prevent the notifications from appearing.

Norton Silent Mode

If you’re using Norton, they don’t have a specific game mode, but they do have a silent mode that does the same:

It also has full screen detection and a few other options related to recording TV broadcasts on a PC with Media Center, etc. This mode suppresses all warnings and pauses most background activity, leaving you extra memory and CPU to play with. P>

Avast Silent / Gaming Mode

There is nothing special about Avast game mode. Basically, it’s just a way to hide all pop-ups, alerts, and messages from antivirus software while you’re playing games.

Bitdefender game mode

One of the best game modes from BitDefender. There is an automatic play mode option, and the program even has a list of default games for which it will automatically turn on play mode when you start playing it.

What I like about BitDefender is that it does several things when you enable it: firstly, all warnings and messages are disabled, then the real-time protection is changed to permissive, the BitDefender firewall is set to Allow everything that allows all new connections pass in both directions, updates are disabled, and scheduled checks are also disabled.

Microsoft Security Essentials

Security Essentials does not have a game or quiet mode. Because MSE is so popular and is installed on millions of computers, there is at least one option that can help reduce the resources used by a process that is running in the background.

When you go to the settings screen, you will see the option “Limit CPU usage during scanning to:” and then a drop-down list allowing you to select a specific percentage.

Go ahead and check this box and then set something very low while you play your game. Remember to manually revert to the original value when you’re done.

BullGuard Game Mode Profiles

If you’re a BullGuard user, you’ll be happy to see a fairly comprehensive set of options for customizing your game mode. They have what are called profiles, and by default the program comes with a set of different profiles for many games:

You can just check the profile and activate it. If the game is not listed, you can create your own profile and configure all the antivirus settings, including the firewall.

ESET Gamer Mode

Enabling Game Mode in ESET is also quite simple. It does the same thing as mentioned earlier: disables warnings and prevents updates / scans from being executed.

I’m sure you get the idea, so if your antivirus or security suite isn’t listed, just google it with the words game mode / silent mode and you should find instructions on how to enable it. P>

This nice feature can also be used for other situations, such as during a presentation, when you don’t want to be confused by random security alerts popping up all over the place. Enjoy!

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