Microsoft Safety Scanner: Free, reliable security scanner

Sometimes a simple antivirus program will not be enough to clean your computer from malicious software like antiviruses and malware. Even though you should always have real-time protection, there will be a time where you will also need a standalone cleaner like Microsoft Safety Scanner.

Installation & Requirements

There is no installation for the application. You only need to download and run it. The supported operating systems are Windows XP, Vista, 7 and Windows Server 2003. Your PC should also meet the following requirements: a CPU clock speed of 500 MHz or higher, 256 MB RAM or higher, VGA display of 800 × 600 or higher, 200 MB of available hard disk space.


Using the software is very simple. After it reminds you that it should not be used as a replacement for a complete antivirus application, you have the option of choosing between three types of scans.

The quick scan scours through the most vulnerable areas of your computer as defined by the program’s algorithms and tests. It usually skips personal folders and the like and it is one of the fastest options. If a virus is found, you might be asked to perform a full computer scan.

The second mode that scans your whole computer is the most resource heavy one as well. Lower end systems and those that are very cluttered with files might take several hours to be scanned completely. Even though it is the slowest option it is also the safest one as it leaves no stone uncovered.

Lastly, the custom scan is aimed at more experienced users that know where to search for viruses. If you downloaded a suspicious application, for example, you might just want to scan that or the folder it’s in so that you know if it’s actually malicious.

Whatever scan you choose you will be taken to the next screen where you can see what folders are being scanned and the number of infected files in real time. You can also see how much time has passed and you can consult the progress bar if you want to know when it will be over.


-A fine amount of options for a standalone antivirus program
-The quick and custom scan modes are very fast so you can download the program even if you don’t have a lot of time to spend mingling around with an antivirus
-It easily detects most threats to your computer and it is perfect if you only want to check something specific or if you are certain you have malicious software in your system


– The application could benefit from more options but seeing as how it is a standalone security application they will usually be more than enough.


If you have suspicions of malicious software lurking around in your system and you want to get rid of it as soon as possible, then Microsoft Safety Scanner should put your mind at ease. Its fast scans and standalone nature helps get things over quickly while also eliminating threats from your system very effectively.