Malicious Software Removal Tool in Windows 10

Malicious Software Removal Tool helps remove critical subset of malware infections from your computer. Though MRT is not a replacement to your existing antivirus, however in some cases this tool saves you from reinstalling the Windows. In this article you'll learn what Malicious Software Removal Tool is and how to use this tool to remove existing infected files.

Every Windows version after the release of XP has offered Malicious Software Removal Tool in the Windows update. If you have upgraded to Windows 10 version then you may still find that tool in the updates.

This tool helps you remove very specific subset of malware from the computer. This tool is not a replacement for Antivirus tool as it only offers you support to remove few malware from the system. If you don't have antivirus installed on your system, you can use Windows defender for real-time protection.

Things you should know about Malicious Software Removal Tool

1 This tool removes malicious software from a computer that is already infected.
2. Every month on second Tuesday this tool gets updated with new malware definition.
3. MRT is listed in Windows update under title: KB890830 for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
4. MRT is not a replacement for antivirus or malware software. It only removes the critical malicious software detected by Microsoft security team.
5. MRT doesn't interfere with an existing antivirus software.
6. The tool only focuses on the existing active malware. So once finished using you can remove it or let Windows update handle it's new definition.
7. This tool doesn't run automatically in the background.
8. MRT only detects very few subset of malware which are widespread.

Also Read: How to remove ExploreZip and MiniZip viruses from your system?

How to use Malicious Software Removal Tool

Follow the procedure below to use MRT on your Windows 10.

1. Open command prompt. (You can also use Windows Power Shell)
2. Type in the command : MRT /? (This command will show you list of available options for running the tool.
3. Command : MRT /F (Performs the forced full scan on machine)
4. Command : MRT /F /Q (Performs the forced full scan without MRT UI)
5. Command : MRT /F:Y (Performs the forced full scan, and also clean infected files)
6. Command : MRT /F:Y /Q (Performs the forced full scan and cleans the infected files without MRT UI)

Optionally, you can also use GUI tool to scan and remove the infection. In order to use MRT using GUI tool, follow the instruction given below.

1. Type mrt in search box.
2. Select and click to open Malicious Software Removal Tool.
3. Choose the type of scan you want to perform - Full, Quick and Custom.
4. Click next to follow the instruction specific to your selected choice.

MRT will start scanning and progress will be visible in the GUI tool. At the end, It'll prompt you if there is any action to be done from your side. You can also read the scan result log from the link given at the end of the scan.

If you want to perform the scanning silently in the background then choose the command that allows you to use MRT without UI. This way you can get your work done while scanning and cleaning of infected files is performed by MRT in the background. Depending on the amount of files on your system full scan takes several hours to scan and clean the infected files.

Where are the logs?

After MRT finishes it's execution, tool will create a log in the following location - %WINDIR%\debug\mrt.log. Your windows installation could be C: or D: and depending on that Windows directory will be different. You can open this log using Notepad or any other text editor. If there are not entries made inside the file then that means MRT didn't found any infection.

Though Malicious Software Removal Tool helps clean most of the infections on the computer, it is not a replacement for antivirus. You should install and use third party antivirus software in order to keep your computer protected. If you are running a good antivirus software then you shouldn't worry about using Malicious Software Removal Tool. You can also install such software on incident basis.


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