Where Are Files in Quarantine in Symantec?

Symantec's home security software uses the Norton brand name.
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When Symantec's Norton anti-virus detects an infected file, it moves it to a quarantined location until you decide what to do with it. You can also manually place files in quarantine. From quarantine, you can choose to restore files or submit them to Symantec for analysis. Though you can find your quarantined files by locating the quarantine folder in File Explorer, you should only interact with the files only via the Norton interface.

1 Quarantine Folder Location

By default, Norton stores quarantined files within the Norton folder in C:\ProgramData. In this folder, you'll find another folder with a unique ID corresponding to your user account, with a sub-folder bearing Norton's version number. Within this sub-folder, Norton will create an encrypted folder titled Qbackup. Qbackup contains quarantined files, but because Norton encrypts the files to prevent infection, you can't directly access the files by opening this folder. Business users of Symantec Endpoint Protection can customize the quarantine location, but Norton-branded software does not have this option.

2 Viewing Quarantined Files

Instead of looking for quarantined files in Windows, use your Norton software to find and work with infected data. To find the files, open Norton, click "Advanced" and press "Quarantine" on the Computer Protection panel. The Security History window shows a list of all quarantined files. To learn about an infected file, select it and click "More Details." A window displays describing the threat posed by the file.

3 Moving Quarantined Files

In most cases, you should not attempt to access or move quarantined files, as they probably pose a risk to your computer. If you know for sure a file was quarantined improperly, do not pull it out of the Qbackup folder in Windows -- select it in Norton and click "Restore." Alternatively, click "Restore & exclude this file" to keep Norton from quarantining it again. Norton will let you select where to move the file. Normally, you should return safe files to the default location, which Norton sets to their original location prior to quarantine.

4 Manually Quarantining Files

As with viewing and restoring quarantined files, you should not attempt to quarantine files by manually dragging them into the Qbackup folder. Instead, click "Add to Quarantine" in the Security History window. Type a description for the quarantined file, then click "Browse" and locate your file. Click "Open," "Add" and then Close."

5 Disclaimer

Information in this article applies to the 2014 versions of Norton 360, Norton Internet Security and Norton AntiVirus. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions.

Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.