What Is Microsoft Safety Scanner? How to Download and Use It? [Updated in 2022]

Updated by Aaron Paul on Sep 23, 2022
 | Computer Instruction

Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free tool from Microsoft. So, what exactly does it do?

Microsoft presents many major and minor tools and utilities to its users. From Windows users getting these tools in updates to people downloading them deliberately—they always add something to the ever-growing arsenal of Microsoft.

microsoft safety scanner

One such tool is Microsoft Safety Scanner. So, what does it do? What's its purpose? Moreover, how can you download and install it? We'll answer all these questions in this article and also explore how to use them. So, let's get started.

What Is Microsoft Safety Scanner?

Microsoft Safety Scanner is one of the many security and safety tools by Microsoft. It's disposable, free, and quite similar to another Microsoft entity called Malicious Software Removal Tool. It's used to scan a system for computer viruses and other malware types.

In April of 2011, Microsoft released it as a quick solution for computers ridden with malware or other such issues. Microsoft's website simply says they made this tool to ensure a user can download it and use it to undo changes or errors caused by malicious threats.

Therefore, the tool is not meant to be used as an antivirus or virus protection software. Besides that, here are a few important things to know about this tool:

  • Microsoft recommends downloading this tool each time you wish to use it. Since the website updates it every 10 days or so, the version you might already have may be outdated.
  • The tool is not meant to replace your antivirus tool or is supposed to act as all-around protection for your computer. Instead, it's a utility that ensures quick scans and removal of detected threats.
  • It supports Windows 7 up to 11 and Server 2008 to 2019.

So, the tool is not only ideal for one-time use; it's made for that purpose. In case a threat or virus attacks a computer that the in-built protection cannot handle, then this tool is ideal for helping deal with that. 

But as mentioned before, it gets updated ever-so-often. Thus, it's ideal for downloading the latest version every time or whenever you wish to use it.

How to Download and Install Microsoft Safety Scanner

Installing and using Microsoft Safety Scanner is as easy as you would imagine. Microsoft has a dedicated page for it. However, you need to ensure that you're using either the 32-bit or the 64-bit version according to your operating system. So, here's what you'll have to do:

Step 1. Head to the Microsoft Safety Scanner website

Step 2. Pick the version you need to use—either 62-bit or 32-bit

pick the version either 62 bit or 32 bit

Step 3. Let the tool download, which is roughly 125MB or so

Step 4. Run the executable once the file has been downloaded

run the executable

Step 5. Done

Now, it's important to understand that the tool is not meant to be an installable program. Therefore, once the file is downloaded, all the tools will be.1

How to Use Microsoft Safety Scanner

How exactly do you use Microsoft Safety Scanner if it's not installable? The process is simple; you'll have to download the tool according to the steps mentioned before in this article. Once you have done that, you'll follow these steps:

Step 1. Run the MSERT executable file

Step 2. Accept the End-user agreement

accept the end user agreement

Step 3. Press Next

press next

Step 4. Press Next again

Step 5. Pick the type of scan you want

choose folder

Step 6. Let it scan your computer/folder/device

scan your computer

Step 7. Wait for it to finish

scan results

Step 8. Done

This will conduct a full and thorough scan of your computer. It's important to remember that you can either perform a quick scan or a full scan. However, what we did was a custom scan of just the C drive. But, a full scan might take time, depending on your storage.

Microsoft Safety Scanner FAQ

If you have any additional questions, here are some frequently asked questions about Microsoft Safety Scanner.

1. Microsoft Safety Scanner vs Windows Defender

Windows Defender is a full-on antivirus in every operating system since Windows 8 and 10, and 11. It's a complete program that scans your computer for viruses and protects it from malware or other virus threats.

Microsoft Safety Scanner, on the other hand, is a vital tool in its own right. It allows you to scan your computer on the go without having to install it separately. It's ideal for people who wish to perform virus scans on the go without having to commit to full-time virus software.

2. Does Microsoft Safety Scanner remove malware?

Yes, it does. Microsoft's free tool is designed to target and remove any malware or other malicious content on your computer. However, compared to an antivirus, it only performs a one-time scan. So, for you to remove viruses, you'll have to use it again every time.

3. Where can I download the latest Microsoft Safety Scanner?

Microsoft has a designated page for this tool that answers all related queries. Besides, you can find the latest version for either 32-bit or 64-bit, as mentioned before.

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