Global Exclusions

You can exclude files, websites and applications from scanning for threats.

You use exclusions to tune the detection behavior of Sophos Central.

These exclusions will apply to all your users (and their devices) and servers. If you want them to apply only to certain users or servers, use policy exclusions instead.

CAUTION Think carefully before you add global exclusions because doing so may reduce your protection.

You can exclude files or folders from scanning. You can exclude any process running from an application. You can exclude websites from checking. You can also exclude applications that are normally detected as spyware and previously detected exploits from scanning and detection. You can also exclude applications from protection against security exploits.

You can also use exclusions to allow isolated devices to communicate with other devices under restrictions. This feature is available if you have Intercept X Advanced with EDR.

Note If an option is locked global settings have been applied by your partner or Enterprise administrator. You can still stop detecting applications, exploits and ransomware from events.

If you exclude files from scanning, we'll still check the excluded items for exploits. If you want exclusions from exploit checking, do as follows:

  • To stop checking for an exploit that has been detected, use a Detected Exploits exclusion.
  • To exclude certain applications from checking, use Exploit Mitigation Exclusions.

To set exclusions:

  1. Go to Global Exclusions and click Settings
  2. Click Add Exclusion (on the right of the page).
    The Add Exclusion dialog is displayed.
  3. In the Exclusion Type drop-down list select what you want to exclude.
  4. Specify the item or items you want to exclude.

    File or folder (Windows)

    You can exclude a drive, folder or file by full path. You can use the wildcard * for file name or extension but *.* is not valid.

    File or folder (Mac and Linux)

    You can exclude a folder or file. You can use the wildcards ? and *.

    File or folder (Virtual Server)

    On Windows guest VMs protected by a Sophos security VM, you can exclude a drive, folder or file by full path. You can use the wildcards * and ? but only for file names.

    Process (Windows)

    You can exclude any process running from an application. This also excludes files that the process uses (but only when they are accessed by that process). If possible, enter the full path from the application.


    You can specify websites for exclusion using IP address, IP address range (in CIDR notation), or domain.

    Potentially Unwanted Application

    You can exclude applications that are normally detected as spyware.

    Specify the exclusion using the same name under which it was detected by the system.

    Find more information about PUAs in the Sophos Threat Center.

    Detected Exploits (Windows and Mac)

    You can exclude any exploit that has already been detected. We'll no longer detect it for the affected application and no longer block the application.

    Device isolation (Windows)

    You can allow isolated devices to have limited communications with other devices.

    Choose whether isolated devices will use outbound or inbound communications, or both. You can then restrict communications.

    Exploit Mitigation (Windows)

    You can exclude applications from protection against security exploits.

    For example, you might want to exclude an application that is incorrectly detected as a threat until the problem has been resolved.

  5. For File or folder exclusions, in the Active For drop-down list, specify if the exclusion should be valid for real-time scanning, for scheduled scanning, or for both.
  6. Click Add or Add Another. The exclusion is added to the scanning exclusions list.

To edit an exclusion later, click its name in the exclusions list, enter new settings and click Update.