What Is MRT.exe?

By Matt McGew

Computer security applications help to protect your system from attacks. Performing frequent scans using these security applications alerts you of any potential vulnerabilities or threats. Microsoft’s MRT.exe facilitates the removal of malware from your computer. This application requires regular updates to ensure you have the latest version installed on your system. Updates help to identify the latest malware viruses released on the Web.


MRT.exe, also known as Malicious Software Removal Tool, is included with the Microsoft Windows operating system. Microsoft developed this application to address and detect malware, spyware and other types of viruses. Microsoft automatically updates the application every second Tuesday of the month. Every time you open Windows, your computer runs the application in the background. The application will automatically notify you if it detects any potential threats.


When the MRT.exe application identifies a threat, the application will ask you if you would like to remove the files identified. Some types of viruses attach themselves to programs essential to your system. Removing these programs can, therefore, damage your computer. Before you delete any threat using the MRT.exe application, create a restore point. When the scan finishes, verify all files before agreeing to remove a potential threat. The application also allows you to initiate a full scan at any time manually. The automatic scan continuously performed by the program is not as thorough as a full scan. A full scan typically will take several hours.

Spyware And Malware

Spyware on your computer uses the Internet to transfer information without your permission to a third-party. For example, spyware can collect information about your browsing habits or your personal and financial information. Malware or malicious software can gain partial or full control of your computer. Malware includes viruses, Trojan horses, worms, spyware and root kits. Root kits offer third-parties full, unauthorized access to your system. Malware typically does not self-initiate and requires you to open an e-mail attachment or download a file from the Internet.

Protecting Your Computer

Protecting your computer requires vigilance. You should perform a full anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-adware scan on a regular basis. MRT.exe provides basic protection for your computer. However, this application does not have the effectiveness of a full anti-virus package.