Malacious Software Removal Tool does not remove infected files it finds


I am running Win10 and use Defender and Malicious Software removal tool to protect my computer. I update routinely as the updates are released.  In addition to running Defender in real time, after each monthly update from MS, I run a full Defender scan and an off line defender scan. Then I run a MRT full scan. The MRT is usually a 3 - 4 hr. scan and I typically do it before retiring for the night. In the morning I get the message that there is no malicious software. In January and February, using the latest version of MRT I have watched the first few minutes of the scan and was surprised to see that there were 31 infected files found very early in the scan (18800 files out of almost 4,000,000). But when the scan was finished I still got the same message that there was no malicious software. Out of curiosity I ran the scan a second time and again saw 31 infected files in the same time frame during the scan with the same no malicious software message at the end of the scan. Why does MRT report no software found when finished even though it clearly identifies files during the scan? More importantly why doesn't MRT actually remove the files?

Any information, thoughts, comments, and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.





See this archived reply from an earlier thrəad:

Pay particular attention to any comments by Rob Koch




quietman7 - MVP replied on January 4, 2017

What you describe is commonly reported and discussed here at the Microsoft Community forums. You may want to read the comments and explanations by Rob Koch and myself in this topic.

The Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) focuses on the detection and removal of a limited number of specific malware families...a small subset of active malicious software. MSRT was not designed to be a comprehensive scanning tool and does not include detection of adware,adware,browser hijackers, toolbars or Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs).

MSRT should not be relied on to ensure a computer is infection free...that is the job of your anti-virus and anti-malware software.


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Question Info

Last updated January 14, 2021 Views 1,417 Applies to: