What is MRT.exe? Functions, Locations and Deletion Guide


What is MRT.exe?

To understand the term MRT.exe, let us try taking it part by part. So what does MRT mean? MRT stands for Microsoft Windows Malicious Removal Tool. Malicious software or malware refers to any software that brings harm to a computer system.

It can be in the form of worms, viruses, spyware, adware, etc. which steal data, delete files and add software without the user’s consent. It is basically designed to cause harm to a computer and user. And, Microsoft Windows Malicious Removal Tool is a free program developed by Microsoft for Windows operating system.

Now, let’s move on to the .exe part. It means that the corresponding file is a file extension for an executable file format. An executable is a file that is capable of being executed. A file with the name .exe is a program that when opened causes the OS to run the program.

Functions of MRT.exe

Since it is only a post-infection removal tool, it cannot be used instead of an anti-virus. Even Microsoft does not recommend it as a replacement for anti-virus. Here are some of its functions:

  • The tool gets rid of only specific prevalent malware. This specific malicious software is a modest subset of all the malware that exists on the internet today.
  • The tool eliminates malware from a computer that’s already infected. Antivirus software stops malware from running on a personal computer.
  • The software concentrates on the detection and elimination of active malicious software. Active malware is malicious software that’s currently running on the PC.

When does MRT.exe become dangerous?

  1. MRT.exe could be malicious if you find it outside of your system32 folder (C:\Windows\System32 folder). You should delete it in this case according to windows support.
  2. If it is located in a subfolder of the Windows folder for temporary files, the security rating is 86% dangerous.
  3. If it is located in a subfolder of the user’s profile folder, the security rating is 81% dangerous

Location of MRT

If it is not found in C:\Windows\System32 folder then it is likely malware disguised as the actual Malicious software removal tool. If it’s not there, search your whole computer drive, making certain to check the search options to “search system folders”, “search hidden files and folders”, as well as “search subfolders”.


Checking its log

Click on Start > Select Run and then type the following string in the Run box %systemroot%\\debug and then click OK > system root > debug. A Windows Explorer dialogue box will open and you ought to a file named mrt.log. You could very well see an additional file named mrt.log.old, that is last month’s log file.

Open up mrt.log with Notepad. You ought to observe something similar to the following:


Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool v5.73, June 2019 (build 5.73.16044.1)
Started On Thu Jun 13 10:56:25 2019

Results Summary:
No infection found.
Successfully Submitted Heartbeat Report
Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool Finished On Thu Aug 15 00:14:05 2019

Return code: 0 (0x0)

As we’ve seen, unless this file is located outside of your core system folders, this Windows utility is harmless.

Delete MRT.exe

If you’re having HDD on your computer and tired of high CPU and memory usage, deleting MRT file will release the memory a bit. Basically, it gets automatically updated whenever a new Windows update pops up, with being 1903 the latest one.

If opening your task manager and observing CPU and memory usage reveals that this is consuming your resources, deleting the same will release them a bit. However, it is supposed to run after the update but deletion of this file will be your choice if it’s continuously running.

Now take a look at how to delete this file if you feel you don’t need the file on your computer. Proceed with the following steps to delete MRT.exe:

  1. Click on the start button.
  2. Select my computer icon.
  3. Select the C drive and tap on windows.
  4. Now scroll down until you find the system32 folder.
  5. Open it and scroll till you find the file MRT.
  6. Then right-click on MRT and choose Delete.
  7. Click on Continue to provide administrative authority.

what is MRT?

Wrapping up,

So, it was all about what MRT.exe file really is and also some of its key features. We have also discussed when it becomes dangerous and about its location. Whenever you fill fishy, check its file log as mentioned in the article and delete it if it becomes necessary. For further queries, rule the comment section.

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