Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free and portable antivirus software from Microsoft which is very useful for scanning a system for computer viruses, malware and spyware. This is specially helpful when your installed antivirus fails.
Many times a computer infected with a virus can prevent you from running the installed antivirus program or updating its new definitions. So, this is the antivirus program that can be carried on a USB drive to quickly scan any computer for viruses or malware. This doesn't need any installation.
You can download Microsoft Safety Scanner from its official website. It is around 70 MB in size and available for both 32-bit and 64-bit version of Windows. Different editions are available for Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 platforms. Safety Scanner doesn't perform a check for genuine Windows.
When you download this it will be with latest virus definitions. The tool will expires in next 10 days after being downloaded. To get the latest anti-malware definitions, you need to download and run the Microsoft Safety Scanner again.
After downloading just double-click the downloaded msert.exe file to run. There are three modes of scanning.
- Quick Scan - checks a limited number of folders that are most likely to contain viruses, malware or spyware.
- Full Scan - scans the entire system.
- Customized Scan - to scan a specific folder.
You can safely use this tool with your existing antivirus program. But, mind that the tool is not a replacement for the real-time protection anti-virus.