Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

(How to use Microsoft Windows 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 has their own scanner called 'Microsoft Windows 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 manually, here's how to:

Click the Start Menu button and search for `mrt', and click the mrt match to open it.

Search for mrt

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 for Microsoft Windows Malicious software Removal Tool

The removal tool will scan your device for malicious software.

Scanning your computer with Microsoft Windows Malicious software Removal Tool

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

Scan results for Microsoft Windows Malicious software Removal Tool

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.

How to download Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

If you can't find the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool on your PC, here's how to download it:

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

Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool page screenshot

Choose your operating system and preferred 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

Then follow the steps above to use the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.

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 Microsoft Windows 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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