Hacker and security

Malicious Software Removal Tool – How to manually run it

(How-to guide)

Windows 10 does a great job of protecting itself from malware, thanks to the built-in security, Windows Security. On occasion, you might feel the need to manually check your Windows system with a second opinion anti-malware app. Microsoft has a lesser-known app called 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 run this tool manually at any time, 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 Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool window. Click ‘Next’:

Welcome to the 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 Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

If you can’t find it on your PC, here’s how to download it:

First, go to the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool page here.

Choose your operating system and preferred language if necessary, and then click ‘Download’.

Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool page screenshot

If your web browser is Microsoft Edge, you should see the downloaded file at the bottom left of the browser window. You can click Open file to run the app.

Install instructions link on website / Click Open file

Then follow the steps above to use it.

If you are not sure of what to do, you can click on Install Instructions.

If you are not using Microsoft Edge, depending on your browser, you might be asked what you want to do with the file. 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 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.  Microsoft

Get Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

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