Malicious Software Removal Tool (by Microsoft)

(How to use Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool)

Image of malware and magnifying glass

Nowadays, Windows 10 does a very good job of protecting itself from malware, thanks to the very capable built-in security, Windows Defender. However, on occasion you might feel the need to check your Windows system with a second opinion malware scanner.

Microsoft have their own scanner called 'Malicious Software Removal Tool'. A version of this tool is downloaded automatically via Windows Update, and run once in the background each month. If that version finds any infections, it will show you in a status report the next time you start your Windows device.

If you'd like to scan your computer more than once a month, here's how to download and use the manual version: (Also, a special thank you to The PC Security Channel and Leo for helping me with my malware research.)

First go to Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool page here (screenshot below).

Malicious Software Removal Tool page screenshot

Choose your operating system and prefered language and then click 'Download'.
On the next page that pops up, uncheck the recommended apps (unless you really need them), and click 'No thanks and continue':

Microsoft recommends page

When asked what you want to do with the file, click 'Save' and download it to your device. If you don't know where your files usually get downloaded, choose 'Save As' and then select your Desktop. The actual file name might differ from the one shown, as it gets updated each month.

Image showing Save, Save as or Cancel

When it has finished downloading, choose Run to run the tool:

Image showing Run, Open folder and View downloads

If Windows asks 'Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?', click Yes.

Next, you'll get the Welcome to the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool window. Click 'Next':

Welcome to the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool - screenshot

Now you can choose a scan type: (I chose Quick scan for these examples). And, click 'Next':

Choose a scan type

The removal tool will scan your device for malicious software.

Scanning your computer

When the scan finishes you'll be greeted with the Scan results.

Scan results

If all is well and no malicious software is found, you can 'View detailed results of the scan', or click 'Finish' to close the tool:

View detailed results or click finish

If the tool does find any malicious files, it will remove them, and list them in the scanning results.

This tool is not a replacement for an anti-virus product. To help protect your computer, you should use an anti-virus product. For more information, see Protect Your PC. Microsoft

Get Malicious Software Removal Tool

(Thank you to Leo at The PC Security Channel / Forum for helping me with my malware research.)


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