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Published on 06.23.09 by Brent Trahan

Scan For Viruses Using Microsoft Security Essentials

Learn how to manually scan your computer for Malware (viruses, spyware, and other unwanted software) using Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).

Types of Scans

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) has a few modes of scanning for malware:

  • Quick Scan: Scans only the most likely areas malware is likely to hide (fast but not thorough).
  • Full Scan: Scans your entire computer and all running programs (very slow but thorough).
  • Custom Scan: Scans specific folder(s) or drive(s) of your choice.
  • Right-click Scan: Same as a Custom scan but more convenient.

How to Scan For Malware

Here’s how to perform the different types of scans using MSE:

Quick, Full Scan

  1. Open MSE by clicking Start, All Programs, Microsoft Security Essentials, and then select Microsoft Security Essentials.

    scan-virus-microsoft-security-essentials-1

  2. Select Quick or Full under Scan options and then click the Scan now button.
  3. MSE will now perform a quick or full scan for malware.

    scan-virus-microsoft-security-essentials-2

Custom Scan

  1. Open MSE by clicking Start, All Programs, Microsoft Security Essentials, and then select Microsoft Security Essentials.

    scan-virus-microsoft-security-essentials-1

  2. Select Custom under Scan options and then click the Scan now button.
  3. Choose the location(s) to scan and then click OK.

    scan-virus-microsoft-security-essentials-4

  4. MSE will now perform a custom scan for malware.

    scan-virus-microsoft-security-essentials-5

Right-click Scan

  1. Right-click any file, folder, or drive you want to scan for malware using MSE.
  2. Select Scan with Microsoft Security Essentials.

Command Line Utility

Learn how to scan for viruses using the Microsoft Security Essentials command line utility.

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