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Basic Scan Settings

The Basic scan settings are used to specify certain organizational and security-related aspects of the scan or policy, including the name of the scan, its targets, whether the scan is scheduled, and who has access to the scan, among other settings.

Note: Configuration items that are required by a particular scan or policy are indicated in the Nessus interface.

The Basic settings include the follow sections:

The following tables list all available Basic settings by section.


Setting Default Value Description



Specifies the name of the scan or policy. This value is displayed on the Nessus interface.



(Optional) Specifies a description of the scan or policy.


My Scans

Specifies the folder where the scan appears after being saved.



(Nessus Manager only) (Optional) Determines whether the scan results page defaults to the interactive dashboard view.

Agent Groups None

(Agent scans only) Specifies the agent group or groups you want the scan to target. Select an existing agent group from the drop-down box, or create a new agent group. For more information, see Create a New Agent Group.

Scan Window 1 hour (Agent scans only) (Required) Specifies the time frame during which agents must report in order to be included and visible in vulnerability reports. Use the drop-down box to select an interval of time, or click to type a custom scan window.



(Nessus Manager only) Specifies the scanner that performs the scan.

The default scanner varies based on the organization and user.



Specifies one or more targets to be scanned. If you select a target group or upload a targets file, you are not required to specify additional targets.

Targets can be specified using a number of different formats.

Tip: You can force Nessus to use a given host name for a server during a scan by using the hostname[ip] syntax (e.g.,[]).

Upload Targets


Uploads a text file that specifies targets.

The targets file must be formatted in the following manner:

  • ASCII file format
  • Only one target per line
  • No extra spaces at the end of a line
  • No extra lines following the last target

Note: Unicode/UTF-8 encoding is not supported.


By default, scans are not scheduled. When you first access the Schedule section, the Enable Schedule setting appears, set to Off. To modify the settings listed on the following table, click the Off button. The rest of the settings appear.

Setting Default Value Description



Specifies how often the scan is launched.

  • Once: Schedule the scan at a specific time.
  • Daily: Schedule the scan to occur on a daily basis, at a specific time or to repeat up to every 20 days.
  • Weekly: Schedule the scan to occur on a recurring basis, by time and day of week, for up to 20 weeks.
  • Monthly: Schedule the scan to occur every month, by time and day or week of month, for up to 20 months.
  • Yearly: Schedule the scan to occur every year, by time and day, for up to 20 years.



Specifies the exact date and time when a scan launches.

The starting date defaults to the date when you are creating the scan. The starting time is the nearest half-hour interval. For example, if you create your scan on 09/31/2018 at 9:12 AM, the default starting date and time is set to 09/31/2018 and 09:30.


America/New York

Specifies the timezone of the value set for Starts.

Repeat Every Varies Specifies the interval at which a scan is relaunched. The default value of this item varies based on the frequency you choose.
Repeat On Varies

Specifies what day of the week a scan repeats. This item appears only if you specify Weekly for Frequency.

The value for Repeat On defaults to the day of the week on which you create the scan.

Repeat By Day of the Month Specifies when a monthly scan is relaunched. This item appears only if you specify Monthly for Frequency.



Provides a summary of the schedule for your scan based on the values you have specified for the available settings.


Setting Default Value Description

Email Recipient(s)

None Specifies zero or more email addresses, separated by commas, that are alerted when a scan completes and the results are available.

Attach Report


(Nessus Professional only) Specifies whether you want to attach a report to each email notification. This option toggles the Report Type and Max Attachment Size settings.

Report Type


(Nessus Professional only) Specifies the report type (CSV, Nessus, or PDF) that you want to attach to the email.

Max Attachment Size


(Nessus Professional only) Specifies the maximum size, in megabytes (MB), of any report attachment. If the report exceeds the maximum size, then it is not attached to the email. Nessus does not support report attachments larger than 50 MB.

Result Filters

None Defines the type of information to be emailed.


Using settings in the Permissions section, you can assign various permissions to groups and individual users. When you assign a permission to a group, that permission applies to all users within the group. The following table describes the permissions that can be assigned.

Permission Description

No Access

Groups and users set to No Access cannot interact with the scan in any way. When you create a scan or policy, by default no other users or groups have access to it.

Can View

Groups and users set to Can View can view the results of the scan.

Can Control

Groups and users set to Can Control can launch, pause, and stop a scan, as well as view its results.

Can Configure

Groups and users set to Can Configure can modify the configuration of the scan in addition to all other permissions.

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