Microsoft offers an on-demand anti-malware scanner called Microsoft Safety Scanner. MSS is a free downloadable security tool for Windows 11 and Windows 10 users and provides on-demand scanning and helps remove viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.
Microsoft Safety Scanner
The Microsoft Safety Scanner expires 10 days after being downloaded. To rerun a scan with the latest anti-malware definitions, download and run the Microsoft Safety Scanner again. Do note that it’s not exactly a small file … its msert.exe file is a 100 MB download!
The MSS is different from the Malicious Software Removal Tool – nor is it meant to be a replacement for using an antivirus software program that provides ongoing protection. It is meant to be used as an additional on-demand scanner in addition to your existing antivirus software, should you feel the need for a second opinion. It works along with your existing antivirus software.
- Quick scan
- Full scan
- Customized scan.
If MSS detects Malware or if an error occurs when MSS is running, a report is sent to Microsoft that contains basic information about the Malware or about the error. The reports sent to Microsoft include technical information about MSS, Malware found, and your computer, such as, MSS version number, file names, cryptographic hash, size, date stamp, and other characteristics of any Malware removed from the computer, the success or failure of Malware removal, the computer’s manufacturer, model and processor architecture, etc.
If you do not want MSS to send any information to Microsoft, you can disable the MSS’s reporting component with the following registry key setting.
Entry name: \DontReportInfectionInformation
Value data: 1
Earlier, Microsoft offered the Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner which also performed additional tasks like PC clean-up, Tuneup, etc, and replaced it with this new Microsoft Safety Scanner. Go get it here. For more stubborn malware, consider using Windows Defender Offline.
If you are looking for free antivirus software you can check out Microsoft Security Essentials or any one of these free recommended antivirus software for the Windows operating system.