If you suspect your computer is infected with malware, viruses, trojans, etc., you must thoroughly scan your computer to find and eliminate the threats. While the built-in Windows Defender is pretty good at it, it might not be sufficient in all situations. For example, Windows Defender or any other antivirus software might fail to find and remove the threat if it is deeply integrated or corrupted the antivirus itself. In such cases, you can use Microsoft Safety Scanner.
In this article, we’ll show you how to download, install, and use Microsoft Safety Scanner.
Note: The below steps are tested to work on Windows 11 and 10.
What is Microsoft Safety Scanner?
Microsoft Safety Scanner is a standalone on-demand virus scanner that’s designed to scan, find, and remove stubborn threats. Being an on-demand scanner, it doesn’t provide real-time protection. Think of it as a complementary tool that works in tandem with your antivirus software, not a replacement.
It’s a good tool for second opinion or post-infections scans.
One of the limitations of Microsoft Safety Scanner is that the tool automatically expires within 10 days from the date you downloaded it. That means, you have to download the tool every time you want to use it. This ensures that the scanner is up-to-date with the latest antivirus definitions and is effective at finding and removing threats.
How to Download Microsoft Safety Scanner
Microsoft Safety Scanner is available for free directly from the Microsoft’s website. Follow the below steps.
First, head over to the Safety Scanner download page and click on the Download Microsoft Safety Scanner (64-bit) link.
Note: If you are using a 32-bit computer, download the 32-bit version.
As soon as you click on the link, the download starts. The tool is around 150 MB. So, it will take a couple of minutes to fully download depending on your computer.
Once the download is complete, you can find it in the Downloads folder.
How to Use Microsoft Safety Scanner
Note: You need administrative rights to run the Safety Scanner.
Once you’ve downloaded the Microsoft Safety Scanner tool (MSERT.exe), find and double-click on it to open it. When you see the UAC prompt, click Yes.
Select the Accept All checkbox and click Next.
Select the Full Scan option and click Next.
As soon as you click next, the tool starts the scan process. Wait for it to complete. Depending on your disk size and number of files, it will take a couple of hours to complete.
Once done, the tool will automatically quarantine any threats it finds and clean your system. If it doesn’t find any, it will tell you the same.
And there you have it! It’s that simple to download and use Microsoft Safety Scanner to get a second opinion or clean up your computer post-infection. As I said earlier, treat it as a complementary tool and not a replacement. It’s there for you to deep scan your computer and find and remove stubborn threats.