Wordfast Pro being blocked or slowed down by anti-virus
AVs usually block or quarantine the javaw.exe file inside the Wordfast program folder. When this happens, Wordfast fails to open; when you try launching it, the splash screen saying “Loading window content” usually shows but nothing else happens. When you end the process in the task manager, there's usually a long error message that starts with “Java was started but returned exit code=1”.
AVs can block other files or processes, too. We have seen cases where the user was unable to import package (GLP) files or add and use TMs in Wordfast (they kept disconnecting as inaccessible).
AVs regularly update their virus definitions and may use heuristic techniques. This means they can start blocking WFP all of a sudden after a silent virus-definitions update. Some AVs tell the user they blocked or quarantined a file or a process but some don't. So from the user's perspective, the inability to open Wordfast or use some of its features may come out of the blue.
We have seen troubles with Avast, AVG, F-Secure, Kaspersky, and McAfee. But it seems any AV can detect a Wordfast-related file or process as a “false positive” and block or quarantine it. Fortunately, we have not seen problems related to Windows Security/Windows Defender.
When an AV is suspected of blocking Wordfast, it's a good idea to update its virus definitions first because the inaccuracy in the definitions may have been fixed already. AV producers strive to make sure their virus definitions detect viruses, including the latest ones; at the same time, they do their best not to detect “false positives” and block legitimate software.
Important: after setting up your AV to tolerate WFP, you may need to reinstall WFP in order to restore any previously quarantined or deleted Wordfast files (unless you can restore them from the AV's quarantine zone).
Here are some useful links:
- Excluding certain files or websites from scanning in AVG AntiVirus
- Excluding certain files or websites from scanning in Avast Antivirus
- How to add an application to the Trusted list in Kaspersky Total Security
- Recommendations regarding exclusions in F-Secure products
- How can I exclude objects like files or folders from F-Secure SAFE or Internet Security Real-Time scanning?
- How to exclude files from McAfee virus scans on Windows or macOS
Instructions for other AVs can be found on the web.
AV slowing down WFP
Even if your AV isn't blocking Wordfast, it can slow it down. If Wordfast feels slow, this can be attributable to your AV scanning WFP program files or your TMs and glossaries again and again as WFP reads from and writes to your TMs and glossaries. So it makes sense to set exceptions/exclusions in your AV (even Windows Security) to prevent it from checking your TMs and other Wordfast files all the time. It might be worth trying to exclude these folders from your AV's real-time scanning:
- the Wordfast program folder in C:\Program Files\Wordfast Pro,
- the Wordfast translation editor user folder in C:\Users\YOUR-USER-NAME\.gs4tr.editor, and
- the folder(s) where your TMs and glossaries are stored.
- See the Wikipedia article about False positives and false negatives