Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (mrt.exe)

Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (mrt.exe)

Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool is a Windows Update tool very difficult to understand. After you install it, you will not see any new shortcuts or programs running in the background, even a new one will not.

So we give this article to help you understand more about how the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool works and how to use it.

What is the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (mrt.exe)?

The Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool is essentially a free tool that allows you to remove specific malware on Windows-based computers (including versions of Windows Vista). This tool is updated regularly on the second Monday of every month (the day of regular Microsoft updates) and is distributed through Windows Update. Once installed, it silently runs in the background and removes the malware it finds. When the search and removal process is complete, the tool will output a report describing the results of the scan. This report can be found under the name ‘mrt.log’ in the ‘C:WindowsDebug’ folder.

Although this tool helps you remove the malicious software on the computer but it is not used to replace an antivirus program. Because this tool has a very limited malware database and the search is only done with specific hazards. In addition, it is updated monthly – much less than the antivirus solution must update weekly.

Where can this tool be found?

By default this tool can be found in the ‘C:WindowsSystem32’ folder. When you open this folder, find the file named mrt.exe.

If you do not find this file, it means that the tool is not installed on your computer. In this case, you can download it directly from the Microsoft Download Center. 64 bit version can be found here.

Use it in interactive mode

If you want to run this tool manually, go to the directory containing it (C: Windows System32) and double-click the mrt.exe file. There is an easier way to run the tool: enter mrt.exe into the search box on the Start menu or in the Run window.

Also, you can use the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool on the desktop to make it easy to use.

When the tool launches, you will receive a UAC notification. Click Continue and the tool will start.

Then you will get a Welcome window, click on Next.

In this window you need to select the type of scan that you want the tool to perform. You can choose from three options: Quick scan, Full scan and Customized scan. If you have never scanned your PC before and your computer never has a reliable antivirus solution installed, use the Full scan option. After selecting this option, click Next.

The tool will start scanning the computer and display the scan status bar as the following screen.

When the scan is finished, you will see a result window. In the case of this example, no malicious software was found. Now click Finish and the tool has completed the task.

Use the tool from the command prompt (Command Prompt)

You can use this tool from a command prompt by right-clicking on the Command Prompt shortcut and choosing ‘Run as administrator’ (in Vista) or by going to Start, select Run, type cmd (in XP)

Then enter the command line ‘mrt.exe’ with one of the following options:

  • /Q or /quiet – Run the tool in silent mode. This option will skip the user interface.
  • /N – runs in detect mode only. In this mode, any malware found will be reported but not removed.
  • /F – performs a full scan of the computer but does not remove the detected threats;
  • /F: Y – perform a full scan of your computer and automatically wipe out all known threats;
  • /? or /help – display usage information, instructions.

If you run this tool in silent mode, you can find the mrt.log record in the C:WindowsDebug folder. Right-click on the file and open it with Notepad to view the contents.