Running the information protection scanner


Now in preview, there's a new version of the information protection scanner. For more information, see Upgrade the Microsoft Purview Information Protection scanner from the Azure Information Protection client.

Once you've confirmed your system requirements and configured and installed your scanner, run a discovery scan to get started.

Use other steps detailed below to manage your scans moving forward.

For more information, see Learn about the Microsoft Purview Information Protection scanner.


While most customers will perform these procedures in the admin portal, you may need to work in PowerShell only.

For example, if you are working in an environment without access to the Azure portal, such as Azure China 21Vianet scanner servers, authenticate to the AzureInformationProtection PowerShell module, and then continue with instructions in this article for PowerShell only.

Run a discovery cycle and view reports for the scanner

Use the following procedure after you've configured and installed your scanner to get an initial understanding of your content.

Perform these steps again as needed when your content changes.

  1. Start a scan on your content scan job.

    Do either of the following to start a content scan job:

    • Use the Microsoft Purview portal or Microsoft Purview compliance portal. On the Information protection scanner - Content scan jobs pane, select your content scan jobs, and then select the Scan now option. The Scan now option only appears once a content scan job is selected.

    • Use a PowerShell command. Run Start-AIPScan to start the scan.

  2. Wait for the scanner to complete its cycle. The scan completes when the scanner has crawled through all the files in the specified data stores.

    Do either of the following to monitor scanner progress:

    • Use the Microsoft Purview portal or Microsoft Purview compliance portal. On the Information protection scanner - Content scan jobs pane, select Refresh.

      Wait until you see values for the LAST SCAN RESULTS column and the LAST SCAN (END TIME) column.

    • Use a PowerShell command. Run Get-AIPScannerStatus to monitor the status change.

  3. When the scan is complete, review the reports stored in the %localappdata%\Microsoft\MSIP\Scanner\Reports directory.

    • The .txt summary files include the time taken to scan, the number of scanned files, and how many files had a match for the information types.

    • The .csv files have more details for each file. This folder stores up to 60 reports for each scanning cycle and all but the latest report is compressed to help minimize the required disk space.

      When a scan is completed, a Summary_<x>.txt file is created with the scan summary.


Scanners send collected data information to Microsoft Purview Information Protection every five minutes, so that you can view the results in near real time from the admin portal. For more information, see Analytics and central reporting for Azure Information Protection.

The admin portal displays information about the last scan only. If you need to see the results of previous scans, return to the reports that are stored on the scanner computer, in the %localappdata%\Microsoft\MSIP\Scanner\Reports folder.

Initial configurations instruct you to set the Info types to be discovered to Policy only. This configuration means that only files that meet the conditions you've configured for automatic classification are included in the detailed reports.

If you don't see any labels applied, check that your label configuration includes automatic rather than recommended classification, or enable Treat recommended labeling as automatic (available in scanner version 2.7.x.x and above).

If the results are still not as you expect, you might need to reconfigure the conditions that you specified for your labels. If that's the case, reconfigure the conditions as needed, and repeat this procedure until you're satisfied with the results. Then, update your configuration automatically, and optionally protection.

Changing log levels or locations

Change the level of logging by using the ReportLevel parameter with Set-AIPScannerConfiguration.

The report folder location or name can't be changed. If you want to store reports in a different location, consider using a directory junction for the folder.

For example, use the Mklink command: mklink /j D:\Scanner_reports C:\Users\aipscannersvc\AppData\Local\Microsoft\MSIP\Scanner\Reports

If you've performed these steps after an initial configuration and installation, continue with Configure the scanner to apply classification and protection.

Stopping a scan

To stop a currently running scan before it's complete, use either of the following methods:

  • Microsoft Purview portal or Microsoft Purview compliance portal. Select Stop scan:

  • Run a PowerShell command. Run the following command:


Rescanning files

For the first scan cycle, the scanner inspects all files in the configured data stores. For subsequent scans, only new or modified files are inspected.

It is useful to inspect all files again when you want the reports to include all files, when you have changes that you want to apply across all files, and when the scanner runs in discovery mode.

To manually run a full rescan in the Microsoft Purview portal or Microsoft Purview compliance portal:

  1. Navigate to the Information protection scanner - Content scan jobs pane in the Microsoft Purview portal or Microsoft Purview compliance portal.

  2. Select your content scan job from the list, and then select the Rescan all files option:

When a full scan is complete, the scan type automatically changes to incremental so that for subsequent scans, only new or modified files are scanned again.


If you've made changes to your content scan job, the portal will prompt you to skip a full rescan. To ensure that your rescan occurs, make sure to select No in the prompt that appears.

Trigger a full rescan by modifying your settings

Earlier versions of the scanner scanned all files whenever the scanner detected new or changed settings for automatic and recommended labeling. The scanner automatically refreshed the policy every four hours.

In scanner versions or later, the information protection scanner skips the full rescan for updated settings to ensure consistent performance. Make sure that you run a full rescan manually as needed.

For example, if you’ve changed Sensitivity policy settings from Enforce = Off to Enforce = On, make sure to run a full rescan to apply your labels across your content.


In scanner version and lower, you may want to refresh the policy sooner than every four hours, such as while testing. In such cases, manually delete the contents of the %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\MSIP\mip<processname>\mip directory and restart the Azure Information Protection service.

If you've also changed encryption settings for your sensitivitiy labels, wait an extra 15 minutes from when you saved the updated encryption settings before restarting the Azure Information Protection service.

Next steps

You can also use PowerShell to interactively classify and protect files from your desktop computer. For more information about this and other scenarios that use PowerShell, see Using PowerShell with the Azure Information Protection unified labeling client.