It’s no secret that the Windows operating system comes built-in with its own form of antivirus tool called Windows Malware RT. The tool helps keep Windows computers free from malware. Not only does it help detect and remove malware threats, but it also reverses any changes made by the malware to files stored on the computer.
Windows RT antivirus is usually released monthly as part of updates to the operating system. You may also get a standalone version. The latest version, 5.103, was released recently in July 2022 itself. So, let’s explore more about the tool.
About Windows RT
Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) removes virus threats from computers that are running over any version of the operating system, including Windows 10, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 (R2), Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 (R2), Windows Server 2008, and Windows 7.
If you are a Windows user, you must have this tool as part of your security practices. Please note that Microsoft RT is not an antivirus tool; it is, in fact, a post-infection removal tool that helps reduce the effect of malware attacks on the computer.
Having this tool is an advantage even if you are running Windows on Mac using BootCamp. For new users, who are unaware of this feature, it’s worth mentioning that Mac users can install Windows to get the benefit of both operating systems on one device.
If you wonder how to switch from Mac to Windows bootcamp, you can do it by yourself as it’s a straightforward process.
How Does the Windows Malware Removal Tool Work?
MSRT can remove worms, viruses, and Trojan horses from the Windows computer. It cannot remove spyware files running on the device. Since the tool runs in Quiet mode, it will notify you of a malicious program running on your computer the next time you log on to the device as an administrator.
If it detects malware, a balloon will appear in the notification area to notify you of malware detection. On detecting malware presence on Windows, the tool sends the following information to Microsoft.
- Name of the malicious software
- Result of malware software removal
- operating system version installed on the computer
- Operating system locale
- processor architecture you have on your computer
- Version number of the Windows RT tool
- Indicator that explains if the tool is being run by Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Download Center, Automatic Update, or from the website
- A GUID and MD5 (a cryptographic one-way hash) of the path
- Filename of each malicious item that the tool has removed from the computer
On finding malicious software on a computer, the tool prompts you to send the above or even more information to Microsoft. The computer sends information only with the user’s consent. The additional details that the operating system may send include the following.
- The files or items that the computer suspects to be malicious. The system will identify the files for you as well
- A cryptographic hash function (MD5) of all suspicious files that the system detects
How to Download Windows RT Software?
Downloading and running the Window RT tool is easy. You need to turn on the Automatic Updates on Windows operating system. By turning the Automatic Updates on, your computer is already receiving the new versions of the tool.
The tool operates in Quiet mode unless it detects a malware infection. If the tool does not notify you of an infection, it indicates no malicious program is currently running on your computer.
How Is MSRT Different From Antivirus Programs?
Well, if we talk on a broader scale, three major points differentiate the Windows Removal Tool from an antivirus app.
An antivirus application blocks the malware program from entering your computer ecosystem, whereas the Windows RT antivirus tool removes the malware from an already infected system. This means that the latter comes into the picture after the malware infects the computer.
MSRT tool can remove specific malware items from Windows computers. Specific, prevalent malicious software is a subset of all different malware existing today. Blocking the malware from running on the computer beforehand is more important than removing it after infection.
Windows RT focuses more on detecting and removing the malicious application that is actively running on your computer. The restriction here is that the tool cannot remove the malicious software that is not currently running; however, an antivirus app can do that.
How to Uninstall Windows RT Tool?
Deleting an account or uninstalling any app from the computer is easy. The tool does not use an installer program, so when you run Windows Malware Removal Tool, it builds a randomly named directory on the drive. This directory stores several files, including the Mrtstub.exe file.
This directory is temporary, and the folder usually gets deleted automatically once the tool finishes its function or after the next time your computer boots. Sometimes, the folder won’t get deleted automatically, so you can remove it manually with no adverse effect on the device.