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    Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free security tool that provides on-demand scanning for viruses, spyware and other malicious software. The Safety Scanner tool additionally offers the capability to remove some forms of malware.

    Microsoft Safety Scanner can be downloaded through Microsoft’s Safety and Security Center web site, which also provides the latest service packs, drivers, security patches and other updates for Microsoft software to help users stay current on the latest security issues.

    Microsoft Safety Scanner has a unique characteristic in that it expires ten days after being downloaded, so users will need to download and run the tool again if they want to run a new scan or get the latest anti-malware definitions for Safety Scanner.

    Microsoft Safety Scanner Lacks Real-Time Anti-Malware Protection

    While Microsoft Safety Scanner can be a useful tool for identifying malware problems on a computer and resolving some of them, Microsoft does not advise using the tool as a user’s only protection against malware.

    Microsoft recommends using real-time protection along with the on-demand Safety Scanner in the form of one of its Microsoft Security Software offerings like Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender or a third-party anti-malware software tool.