Clean Windows of viruses using MRT

You suspect that your computer is infected with malware ; In this guide, we will show you how to quickly deal with this problem.

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In Windows 10, the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) is a utility that Microsoft regularly updates to find and remove specific known threats that could make unwanted changes and help keep your PC running smoothly.

MSRT sounds like an antivirus, but it's not. It only contains the instructions for dealing with a specific area of ​​malware after the computer has been infected and does not provide real-time protection like Microsoft Defender Antivirus or the ability to remove harmful software that is not actively running. (If you suspect that more harmful malware has infected your computer, you should use the offline).

Microsoft now pushes new versions of MRT to Windows 10 devices automatically, approximately every three months, through Windows . However, you can always download and run the standalone version to manually check and remove malware.

In this guide we will show you two ways to use MRT to scan and remove unwanted software from your computer.

How to use MRT on Windows 10

To scan your computer for malware with Microsoft's tool, follow these steps:

  1. Open its support page Microsoft.
  2. Click the button Download.
  3. Save the file Malicious Software Removal Tool (Malware Removal Tool) on your device.
    mrt
    1. Make it double click in the file to launch the tool. Note: The file name will be different in each new version of the tool.
    2. Click the button Newer posts.
    mrtxnumx
     
  4. Choose one of the scan options:
    • Quick scan: It scans parts of the system that may have malware, but does not remove any problems. Instead, it will suggest running a full scan if malware is found.
    • Full scan: It scans the entire device for malware, including fixed and removable drives. This process can take several hours because it performs a quick and full scan of all drives connected to the computer (except network drives).
    • Customize scan: Performs a quick scan and scans the folder location you specified.
  5. mrtxnumx
     
  6. (Optional) If you select the option Custom scan, click the button Choose folder to select the location you want to scan for malicious code.
  7. Click the button Newer posts.
  8. Click the link View detailed scan results to view the scan details.
  9. mrtxnumx
     
  10. Click the button OK.
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  12. Click the button Finish.
  13. Once you complete the steps, the tool will scan the system for malware. If any threat is detected, you will be prompted to run a full scan. If a full scan was used, you will be prompted to remove the infection from these files. If the malware has modified your browser settings, then you will be instructed to restore the original settings (if applicable). The tool may it is able to clean the infected files but it is not perfect and some data loss may occur depending on the infection. In some cases, the tool may not be able to restore the files to their original state. After scanning, MSRT also creates a log file:

    c:\Windows\Debug\mrt.log

    file that includes information about the tool, a summary, and return codes.

    How to use the Malware Removal Tool with the command line

    Alternatively, you can also use the security tool with , but the options available are more limited than the GUI. To use the Malware Removal Tool with the command line, follow these steps:

      1. Search for Command Prompt, right-click on the top result and select the option Run as administrator.
      2. Type the following command to start a forced scan and press Enter:mrt /f
      3. Click the button Newer posts to proceed with the full scan.
      4. Type the following command for complete scanning and automatic cleaning of infected files and press Enter: mrt /f:y
      5. Click the button Newer posts to proceed with scanning and automatic cleaning.
      6. Type the following command to run a scan silently (without a visual interface) and press Enter: mrt /q. Tip: Typically, you only use this option to run the security utility as a scheduled task for other computers on the network.
      7. Type the following command to run silently a full scan and press Enter: mrt /f /q
    mrtxnumx

    After completing the steps, the tool will scan your computer. If you enable the quick scan, you will be prompted to perform a full scan if any threat is detected. If you used the command

    /f:y

    then the full scan and automatic cleanup will take place, even if you used the command

    /q

    then the tool will run in the background without a user interface. You can always see the full list of options using the command

    mrt /?

    We performed this guide on Windows 10, but the tool is also compatible with earlier versions, including Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

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Written by Anastasis Vasileiadis

Translations are like women. When they are beautiful they are not faithful and when they are faithful they are not beautiful.

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