How to download and use Microsoft Safety Scanner
Microsoft has another security app called Microsoft Safety Scanner.
It appears to be almost identical to the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool. However, the download page for Microsoft Safety Scanner seems to have been simplified over the past year to be mostly text only, (see the bottom of this post) suggesting that this named version of the app might be taking a back seat.
To scan your Windows device with Microsoft Safety Scanner, first, visit the download page here and then follow the steps below.
Choose either 32-bit or 64-bit (depending on your version of Windows) and press the Download button.
If you’re not sure which version of Windows you have, 32-bit or 64-bit, then see this section below.
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.
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.
When it has finished downloading, choose Run (via the browser) or double-click the file you downloaded to run it.
If Windows asks ‘Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?’, click Yes.
Next, you’ll get the End-user license agreement which you’ll need to agree to before you can proceed.:
Tick/Check the box to accept the agreement and press Enter to continue:
Next, you’ll be greeted with the Welcome to the Microsoft Safety Scanner window.
Now you can choose a scan type: (I chose Quick scan for these examples). And, click ‘Next’:
The removal tool will scan your device for malicious software.
When the scan finishes you’ll be greeted with the Scan results.
If all is well and no viruses, spyware, or other potentially unwanted software is detected, you can click ‘Finish’ to close the tool.:
If the tool does find any malicious files, it will remove them, and list them in the scanning results.
NOTE: This tool does not replace your antimalware product. For real-time protection with automatic updates, use Windows Security on Windows 10 and Windows 8 (formerly called Windows Defender)
NOTE: If you are still using Windows 7, you should change to Windows 10 or another operating system. Windows 7 is no longer supported by security updates. Official support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020.
Get Microsoft Safety Scanner here.
The old download page
If you’re curious about my comment about the Microsoft Safety Scanner download page design change over the past year, here is how it used to look.
Do I have a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows?
If you’re not sure if you are running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows, try the following:
1) Click the Start Menu button and search for `Windows System‘, and hit enter or click the System (Control panel) to open it.
Then on the next window, you will see if you’re running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows.
2) You can also do the same using the search term `About‘.