Microsoft Safety Scanner, a free on-demand antivirus tool for Windows

Microsoft has just released an on-demand anti-malware scanner called as The Microsoft Safety Scanner. MSS is a free downloadable security tool for the Windows user 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 its not exactly a small file … its msert.exe file is a 68 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

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

Microsoft appears to have discontinued 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 for more stubborn malware, consider using Windows Defender Offline.

Can we expect an online scanner from Microsoft now?

If you are looking for a free antivirus software you can check out Microsoft Security Essentials or any one of these free recommended antivirus software for Windows operating system.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. I do not recommend disabling the MSS reporting component. The primary reason is if MSS fails to remove the malware, the report will provide additional information for updating the definitions.

    The MSS Privacy Statement:

  2. Should an on-demand anti-virus tool be of the size 68 MB? :-/

  3. Yes … 68 MB is quite a bit 🙂

  4. DAT

    give me the msert.exe program

  5. Peter_m B

    Prevents KASPERSKY Internet Security 2012 “upgrade” (Prolongation for the License of the already installed newest Version) Activationcode from being accepted which is acclaimed (!) as not suitebal for this Version.

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