Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) or Safety Scanner?

Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) and Safety Scanner are two removal tools which could scan and remove malwares from your PC without interfere with your Anti-Malware product (because they are only scanner and not real time protection). Since both of them are Microsoft scanners, people sometimes get confused by which one should they use. The following are the main differences between Safety Scanner and MSRT:

  • MSRT only removes specific malwares (and NOT all malwares), they are usually famous malwares which distributed around the world or they are very high risk. However, Safety Scanner is capable of removing all known malwares at the time when you downloaded it. Therefore the file size of Safety Scanner is larger than MSRT, because Safety Scanner contains more detection and removal tools.

  • MSRT has been scanning your PC every month through Windows Update. In the other word, every month new families of malwares will be added to MSRT and when you update your PC, it will run a quick scan on your PC. However for Safety Scanner, there is no automatic download or monthly scanning and you only could scan your PC with it, if you visit the website and download it.

A question remains that which one should I use? It basically depends on your plan and requirements. For example, if you suspicious of malware in your PC but either it won’t be detected by your current Anti-Malware product or you don’t have any Anti-Malware software, then you have should use Safety Scanner which contains detection for all known malwares. However, there are cases when you might have a very slow internet and downloading Safety Scanner might takes a lot of time while you are in hurry and in this case, you may download MSRT and because size of file is smaller than Safety Scanner, it will be download faster and you may run scan and remove malwares (it won’t remove all) but this process could help you to remove dangerous malwares first and fix some issues for a while and then while you are doing this, download Safety Scanner. For example, consider a case which your PC is infected and you are unable to install Anti-Malware software or update it. You may use another PC to copy MSRT in a flash memory and run scan from your flash memory and remove malwares which block downloading Anti-Malware and then download Anti-Malware and update it and run a full system scan to remove all malwares.

In general it is always recommended to run Safety Scanner, because it contains malware signature for all known malware (and it also detects some unknown malwares based on their behaviors), however if you are in hurry and you don’t have time to wait to download a large file, then MSRT could be a temporary measurement but you need to use Safety Scanner later on.

If you want to download MSRT, you may refer to the following link:

http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/malware-removal.aspx

For Safety Scanner, you may refer to the following link:

http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx

For the Safety Scanner, it will be expired after 10 days, so when you download it you should use it immediately. This expiry feature is there to make sure you have the latest signature, every day when you download the Safety Scanner, it has new signatures which detects new malwares so need to download the latest version before perform scanning.

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