Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool: Complete Guide

On the second Tuesday of every month, Microsoft releases a new update of the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT). Microsoft made this tool especially for removing Malicious Software from the system. Particularly, the system that does not have a security solution installed.

In this guide, we would know in detail what the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool does and how to use it.

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What does the Malicious Software Removal Tool do?

The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool helps remove malicious software from your computers. This tool was initially released for Windows XP, as it was not that secure.

Microsoft regularly updates MSRT through Windows Updates every month. You can only use MSRT to remove some prevalent active (software running in the background) malicious software, and hence it should not be mistaken for a substitute for antivirus software.

We strongly recommend that you always keep Windows Defender enabled or have an extensive security solution installed in your system.

MSRT runs in quiet mode unless it finds an infection. If it didn’t notify you of infection, that means no malicious software has been found that needs your attention. You can perform three types of scans using MSRT:

  • Quick scan: scan areas of the system which are most likely to contain malicious software.
  • Full scan: scan the entire system. This may take several hours, depending on the size of the data in your system.
  • Customized scan: This will run a quick scan first, and then scan the folder or drive you have selected.
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Is Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool any good?

As already mentioned, it would not be best to consider it as a replacement for the traditional antivirus software or the antimalware programs. It only removes the specific types of infections. Moreover, it does not scan your entire system, but only a part of it. Also, it gets a monthly update. That means if you get a new malware then you have to wait for the “Tuesday Patch” to get a solution.

With the continuous growth of online threats, Microsoft malicious Software Removal Tool would never be good enough to protect your system from day to day infections. For that, you would need a proper security solution. If you wish to see the full list of the threats it eliminates, you can download the tool. Then, run it manually and click the “View detailed results of the scan” link after the scan. It would show you all the different types of malware it checked for.

How to Use Malicious Software Removal Tool:

Although you don’t require to run this tool manually, if you suspect any malicious activities on your system, you can manually run it and check for any malware.

  1. First, type mrt in Cortana search bar or and press enter.
  2. Then, click Yes if prompted by UAC.
  3. Click Next in MSRT window to proceed.
    How to Use Malicious Software Removal Tool
  4. To run a scan, click on radio button next to the type of scan you want to perform. Click Next button to start the scan.
  5. If you choose Customized scan, click on Choose Folder button to choose a folder or a drive to scan. Click Next button to start the scan.
    How to Use Malicious Software Removal Tool
  6. When the scan finishes, you will see the results.
    How to Use Malicious Software Removal Tool


1. Is Microsoft Windows malicious software removal tool safe?

YES, Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool is safe and is used by Windows to detect specific types of malware programs. However, you should always beware of the fake applications running in the same name, that may contain malware.

2. Which is better Windows Defender or MSRT?

MSRT remove only specific types of infection, while Windows Defender is a proper full fledged antimalware program. So clearly Windows Defender is better than MSRT.

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