I am using a client version of SEP 12.1.5 provided by my employer on my home machine.
I have over 9 million files on my machine, the vast majority of which never change. I would like to exclude them from my weekly scheduled scan, which now takes about 15 hours to complete. I admit that I do not understand the documentation on exceptions, but it appears that none of the available exception types (Security Risk, SONAR, DNS or Host File Change, Application) apply to such things as the videos, photos, music, and ebooks that I would prefer not be scanned.
How do I exclude such files from scheduled scans?
They would all be excluded. You simply need to exclude whichever directory(s) they reside in. You're vest of excluding by directory or filename...directory would be easiest if they all are in the same folder structure.
How to Create Scanning Exceptions for both Managed and Unmanaged Symantec Endpoint Protection Clients
Unfortunately the article you linked to lists step that are impossible to perform. The article is dated 2010, and apparently the interface has changed since then. Below is the section in thr article about Exceptions, which I have annotated:
How to set up Exclusions for an Unmanaged Client:
Instead of "Virus and Spyware Protection" I could have selected the "Exceptions" item, but as I mentioned in my original post, Exception types (Security Risk, SONAR, DNS or Host File Change, Application) appear to apply to a type of threat and not a type of file, and hence don't help me prevent having millions of ebook, photo, music, and video files scanned.
For 12.1.5, open the SEP GUI and select Change Settings >> Exceptions >> Configure Settings
From here you get a window which allows you to set Exceptions.
Security Risk let's you set a Extention Exception...so you can set that. SONAR only allows a folder exception.
You do not need to worry about DNS or Host File changes, they won't apply in this situation.