Microsoft Safety Scanner doesn’t offer any real-time protection; that’s not what it’s intended for. This tool is Microsoft’s answer to scan-only tools such as Malwarebytes and Combofix: tools intended to clean up existing messes, not prevent future ones. As such, this is less something every home user should download than something they should be aware of should something go wrong.
Take note that Safety Scanner cannot update itself. As such, you’ll need to re-download it every ten days if you want to make regular use of it.
The first thing you need to do is head over to the Safety Scanner download page and grab the program. This is the download button:
I only point this out because of how much this link looks like an ad or a scam. Don’t worry, this is the real download button.
The file you will download is an .exe file. There’s nothing to install; you’re ready to start scanning if you’d like.
Running this program is as easy as double-clicking. Pick the kind of scan you want to run:
As depicted, you can do a quick or full scan. If you know which file is corrupted, you can scan a specific folder as well. Most times a quick scan will do the trick, but a full scan is always safest. Choose a setting and click next; scanning will begin:
If you’re lucky, you’ll see a message that looks like this:
This means that, as far as Safety Scanner knows, your system is clean. Alternatively, you may see a message like this:
Go ahead and tell the program to clean up your system, if you wish.
As previously stated, every download of Microsoft Safety Scanner expires after ten days. This is because the software cannot update itself, and Microsoft does not want outdated versions of the software out in the wild. As such, it’s best to wait until you need Safety Scanner to download it. My advice would be to bookmark the download page.
I think expiring after ten days, while perhaps a little heavy-handed, is a good idea overall. It ensures the program will always be up-to-date, while making it unnecessary for a computer to have a working Internet connection in order to be scanned. All techs should add this tool to their kit, for sure.
Microsoft, once infamous for its lack of concern about security, has been working hard to help make its platform a safer one recently. This tool is just another part of that. Here’s hoping the company continues to do all it can to protect its platform in the future.
How do you like Safety Scanner? Fill us in below in the comments. As always, alternatives to this software should be shared freely; everyone should learn from your knowledge.
Image credit: Bedrin Aleksandr via Shutterstock