Remove Virus and Ransomware with Microsoft Defender Offline

Even though your computer is equipped with a trusted anti-virus program to thwart any kind of virus infection, there is still a chance that malware can evade the security software, especially if it was made to conceal itself by exploiting certain software vulnerabilities.

The majority of anti-virus and anti-malware programs are able to remove common viruses through normal scanning. However, if the computer is infected with an obfuscated type of virus and it is hard to remove threats like Ransomware, Rootkit, or Backdoor Trojan, a special method of scanning is required in order to properly remove the virus. In some cases, we even recommend disabling System Restore and running the scan through Safe Mode of Windows for a more effective cleanup. However, these complicated processes can be substituted with a much more straightforward approach using Microsoft Defender Offline.

Microsoft Defender Offline is an advanced virus diagnostic tool for Windows 10 that is able to perform comprehensive scanning of a computer that runs in a dedicated environment without loading the operating system. In this method, any viruses or malware are not functional; therefore, removing them from the system is much easier and more effective.

• Microsoft Defender Offline runs on Windows 10 and Windows 11.
• Before running the Microsoft Defender Offline scan, make sure to save working files and close all the applications.
• The current login account must have an Administrative privilege in order to run the Microsoft Defender Offline scanner.
• If Stop Error or blue screen of death (BSoD) was experienced during the scan process, please restart the computer by pressing the Power button or Ctrl Alt Delete on the keyboard.

How to Use Microsoft Defender Offline

The guide below will help you remove stubborn viruses and malware from your computer. Before you proceed, please make sure that you have read the note above. If all is set and you are ready to scan the computer using Microsoft Defender Offline, you may execute the following steps:

1. On the Start menu, type Virus and threat protection in the Search field, and click the result to open.

Screenshot of Search Threat Protection

2. Under the Current threats section, click on Scan Options.

Screenshot of Scan Options

3. On Next window, please select Microsoft Defender Offline Scan.

Screenshot of Windows Defender Offline Scan

4. Then, click the Scan now button.

It will prompt that user must sign out of Windows. Then, the computer will restart. It will boot up and perform the virus scan in recovery environment where viruses and malware are unable to load.

Screenshot of Windows Full Scan

During the boot-up process, it may stay in the “Windows Defender Antivirus” loading sequence for a couple of minutes. This is just normal because the program may still be processing the updates that were previously downloaded. When you see “Your PC is being scanned,” it indicates that the program is starting to check for virus presence and removes it automatically when detected. This scanning process may take a while. Just let Microsoft Defender Offline finish the scan. It will reboot the computer in normal mode after the clean-up procedure.

Viewing the Scan Result

After completing the process, it boots the computer in normal mode. You can view the scan results by executing the steps below.

1. On the Windows Start menu, search for Virus and threat protection and click the result to run the program.

2. Once you are in the Virus & Threat Protection window, click Protection History.

Screenshot of Protection History

3. The Protection History window will show the list of viruses that have been detected and removed from the computer. Also, it will display additional scan actions and recommendations when necessary. You must proceed with these extra steps to ensure the computer is completely clean.

This scan process was run on the Windows 10 operating system. For older versions, such as Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 computers, you may view Microsoft’s recommendation here.

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