How to use Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

Windows8_logo iconMicrosoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) is a FREE anti-malware utility which provides a basic protection for computers running Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003. MSRT is meant to be used if you have been or suspect your PC is infected. The malware it can detect is small but shouldn’t be dismissed as irrelevant.

Important note: This tool is not a replacement for an anti-virus product. It only cleans up and verifies malicious software present on a PC. It also does not prevent Potentially Unwanted Software (PUPs) such as spyware and adware. Here is how to download and install MSRT:

  • Download MSRT and save file Windows-KB890830-V4.19.exe to desktop. It’s an 18MB file.
  • Open Windows-KB890830-V4.19.exe and click the link: ‘View a list of malicious software that this tool detects and removes’. This opens a new window with a list of malicious software stored in the MSRT database. Click > OK when done then click > Next
  • Choose Full scan and click > Next – this scans the entire Windows system. This may take several hours depending on the number of files you have
  • Hopefully the next screen that appears highlights ‘ No malicious software was detected’. You also have the option to click the link: ‘View detailed results of the scan’ which will open a new window with a list of which malicious software stored in the MSRT database was detected and removed. Click > Finish

Windows Update will automatically refresh MSRT once a month (Patch Tuesday) under KB890830 (which is used as the installer name, see below). After updating MSRT automatically runs, scanning your PC once and will remove any suspicious files.

I’d suggest running MSRT manually from time to time on a monthly basis. To do this:

  • Enter > mrt.exe in Start menu Search box (In Windows 8 you can use the Search windows and press Enter)

For further information on MSRT

Safe surfing folks!

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