The Scanner is a free downloadable security tool that provides on-demand scanning and helps remove viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. This tool allows you can scan your PC without uninstalling your current anti-virus program.
You can run a quick scan, full scan or customized scan. A quick scan checks the most likely areas on the system for malicious code like viruses, spyware or computer worms. A full scan scans every single file plus the memory and the Registry. A custom scan scans a user selected folder or drive.
The software uses virus information from Microsoft’s Malware Protection center. If the scanner detects malware a report is sent to Microsoft that contains basic information about the malware. The reports sent includes technical information about the software, malware found, and your computer, such as, Microsoft Safety Scanner version number, file names, cryptographic hash, size, date stamp, and other characteristics of any malware removed from the computer, the success or failure of malware removal, the computer’s manufacturer, model and processor architecture, etcetra.
Do note that Microsoft Safety Scanner is no replacement for active virus protection on the system. It’s sole aim is to provide additional means to scan a system. Also the tool expires 10 days after being downloaded. To rerun a scan with the latest anti-malware definitions, download and run the Microsoft Safety Scanner again.
The tool (for x86 and x64 systems) is available for download (68MB file size) at Microsoft.
For real-time protection for your home or small business PCs against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, download and run Microsoft Security Essentials.