To protect Windows computers from harmful threats and hidden malware, Microsoft offers many ways to clean up a compromised system. You have the built-in Microsoft Defender (also called Windows Security) that scans the PC and keeps the computer free of unwanted software. But if Microsoft Defender fails to take any action against viruses, you also have Microsoft Safety Scanner at your service. Now, there’s a slight chance that you have never heard of Safety Scanner before, and we are here to correct that. So in this article, we will learn what is Microsoft Safety Scanner and how to use it to get rid of computer virus and spyware. On that note, let’s jump to the explainer.
Everything You Need to Know About Microsoft Safety Scanner (2021)
Here, we have explained Microsoft Safety Scanner and its use-cases. You can also find the instructions on how to use this handy tool. Expand the table below and move to any section as per your convenience.
What is Microsoft Safety Scanner?
Just like Microsoft Defender, Microsoft Safety Scanner is a malicious software removal tool (MSRT) for Windows computers. It even shares the same engine and virus definition as Microsoft Defender. So what exactly is the difference between Microsoft Safety Scanner and Windows Defender?
First of all, Microsoft Safety Scanner does not offer real-time protection and can’t up and replace your traditional antivirus program. Secondly, it’s a portable program which means it’s a standalone program and does not need installation like other software programs. You just download it and run the program. You don’t need to wait for any app installations, engine updates, and new virus definitions to get started with malware removal on your Windows 10 PC. So yeah, Microsoft Safety Scanner is a complete program in itself.
Programs like Microsoft Safety Scanner come in handy when a PC is compromised, including major system components, and you are not allowed to install any software to check the security status. In this scenario, you can no longer trust the system and require an external program to review your PC’s security. Microsoft Safety Scanner scans the whole system and looks for malware, spyware, viruses, and all kinds of junk software. It also offers you to remove them with a single click.
Keep in mind, unlike Microsoft Defender, Microsoft Safety Scanner only has a validity of 10 days. Once the 10-day validity expires, you need to download the latest version from Microsoft’s website. That’s because the new tool brings engine and virus definition updates to catch newly-found malware.
How to Use Microsoft Safety Scanner?
1. First off, go to this page and download Microsoft Safety Scanner for free. Most modern computers are built on 64-bit architecture, so go ahead and download the 64-bit program. However, if you are confused, open Windows Settings and navigate to System -> About. Here, you can confirm the System Type.
2. Next, double-click on the downloaded program and run it. Click on “Next” and you are done. No need for installation.
3. Then, choose what kind of scan you want to perform on your Windows computer. You have three options to choose from, including quick scan, full scan, and customized scan. Here is what each of these options means:
- Quick Scan: The tool scans the section of your computer likely to contain viruses, spyware, and other unwanted software. It does not automatically remove the virus and instead prompts you to run a full scan.
- Full Scan: A complete system scan to detect and eliminate unwanted software.
- Customized Scan: This option performs a quick scan and checks for viruses and malware in a folder location specified by the user as well.
4. Microsoft Safety Scanner will show you the number of scanned and infected files, if there are any, during the scan. You can then remove the infected files and make your PC free of unwanted software.
5. If the tool finds no infected files, it will show the message: ‘The scan completed successfully and no viruses, spyware, and other potentially unwanted software were detected.‘
Secure Your Windows 10 Computer With MSRT
So that is everything about Microsoft Safety Scanner that you should know. As we can see, the program is quite helpful in various scenarios where you are not even allowed to open your installed antivirus. But you can still run Safety Scanner off a thumb drive and scan your whole Windows 10 PC without even installing this tool. So go ahead and try this neat Windows 10 trick on an affected system. You should also check out how to create a system restore point on Windows 10 in case you ever need to re-install the OS. Anyway, that is all from us. If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.