Microsoft Safety Scanner Is a Free On-Demand Antivirus Tool

Sometimes it’s nice to have a “second opinion” when it comes to making sure your computer is secure. Microsoft Safety Scanner does just that, here’s a look.

It’s always good to have extra security tools at the ready in this day in age of computing. One free tool is called Microsoft Safety Scanner (MSS) and it works in conjunction with your current antivirus software no matter what it is – Norton, Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG…etc.

Note that this tool is not meant to replace your current antivirus program – it’s just a supplement. It doesn’t provide real-time protection and cant update its virus definitions. The program expires after ten days, which means you’ll need to download it again if you want it to be up-to-date.

This isn’t a new security tool by any means, it was actually part of Microsoft’s first attempt at a security solution — Windows Live OneCare which was discontinued in 2011. Luckily after that we got Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), which is what I recommend to most users still.

Microsoft Safety Scanner

First, download the utility (link below) and run it. it’s easy to use, just follow the wizard’s onscreen instructions. Similar to MSE or Windows Defender as it’s called in Windows 8.x, you can choose a quick, full, or custom scan.

Safety Scanner

Then wait while the scan runs and checks if there’s any malware on your computer that your antivirus program might have missed. If something is discovered, it will be removed, and the information about it and your system will be sent to Microsoft as a report.


Sometimes it’s nice to have a “second opinion” when it comes to making sure your computer is secure. And if you’re computer has recently been infected or you think it might be, even though your antivirus software isn’t saying anything, MSS is a nice free program that can give you extra peace of mind. If you’re ever in doubt, give it a download and do an on-demand scan.

Download Microsoft Safety Scanner



  1. JayAre

    May 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Do you recommend Microsoft Security Essentials over NORTON which I get free thru my internet provider!

    • Steve Krause

      May 18, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Hi JayAre – We’ve talked a lot about Microsoft Security Essentials and personally, I’ve done well with it. I think it’s a solid product and worth running.

      So in short — yes. I do recommend it to our readers and friends and family.

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