One thing that almost every Windows user should do is protect and keep their computers infection free. That being said, there will be times where no matter how careful you are, your system might get infected with a malware or virus. There may be several reasons for this like sticking your friend’s infected thumb drive into your computer, clicking on shady ads, visiting infected websites, etc.
More often than not, in these situations, the anti-malware software installed on your system may not work as it should. To deal with that, here are some of the best and free portable anti-malware software.
1. Microsoft Safety Scanner (1 MB)
Microsoft provides many in-house tools that help protect your PC. One of them is the Microsoft Safety Scanner that does on-demand scanning and removes any virus or malware findings. One thing to note about Microsoft Safety Scanner is that the application expires after 10 days of downloading. This is because of the out-dated anti-virus and malware definitions.
Pros: Microsoft Safety Scanner is an in-house solution that is fast and reliable.
Cons: Since there is no auto-update option, you need to download the application every 10 days.
2. ClamWin Portable (9MB)
CalmWin is a free and open source anti-virus and anti-malware software that is used by many users to quickly scan and remove infections. The good thing about ClamWin is that that it has high detection rates and also warns you on potentially unwanted software. Moreover, ClamWin can also act as a standalone Virus Scanner.
Pros: ClamWin is open source and has high detection rates.
Cons: There are no advanced options and the user interface is a bit clunky.
3. Emsisoft Emergency Toolkit (245 MB)
Emsisoft Emergency Kit is one of the popular software that can help you get a second opinion when you think a PC is infected. This free software can easily detect and remove a variety of stuff like Viruses, Malware, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, Worms, Dialers, Keyloggers, etc. The good thing about this software is that you can update the anti-virus definitions without actually re-downloading the entire application.
Pros: Very easy to use and can detect and remove a wide variety of infections. There is also an included Commandline Scanner if you are into that sort of thing.
Cons: Emsisoft Emergency Toolkit is only free for personal use. If you want to use it for business purposes, you need to buy the license.
4. Spybot – Search & Destroy Portable (117 MB)
As you can tell from the name itself, Spybot is a free and dedicated anti-spyware and anti-malware software that is very fast and has high detection rates. However, the free version of Spybot is limited to spyware and malware removal. You cannot use it as a full antivirus solution. Moreover, just like Emsisoft Emergency Toolkit, it can update itself once in a week.
Pros: Spybot is very easy to use and has high detection rates.
Cons: The free version has no antivirus or real-time protection functionality.
5. Comodo Cleaning Essentials (22.6 MB)
Comodo Cleaning Essentials is much more than a simple anti-malware software. It can surely identify and remove the malware effectively. However, it also provides a lot of control to the admin so that they can monitor the processes and determine the threat levels. Moreover, unlike other software on this list, Comodo Cleaning Essentials can scan and repair the Windows settings.
Pros: Comodo Cleaning Essentials is a full-fledged security software that can help most IT people.
Cons: Being an advanced tool, it can be a bit tough for general home users.
6. Avira PC Cleaner (2.3 MB)
Avira is a well-known anti-virus software. In fact, it is my first anti-virus software on my first computer. Avira PC Cleaner is a simple malware removal and just that. You don’t get any additional tools or options. But, it is pretty good if you want to quickly get a second opinion on your system infections.
Pros: Very lightweight and fast.
Cons: The software is very minimal and you don’t get any advanced options whatsoever.
7. ESET SysRescue Live (8.9 MB)
Unlike other software listed here, ESET SysRescue Live is a live CD that can scan and remove any malware from your system. In order to use it, you need to burn the live image into a USB drive and then boot into it. Being a live CD, it has access to all your file system and can effectively remove even the most persistent threats.
As you can tell, this type of tool is pretty helpful when the infections on your system cannot be removed in conventional methods or when you can’t even boot into your system due to the infection.
Pros: Can scan and clean even the most persistent of infections.
Cons: You need to have a spare thumb drive or a CD/DVD drive in order to use this tool.
8. Trend Micro SysClean (5 MB)
Trend Micro SysClean is one of the simplest and easiest tools on this list. Just download the software, execute the application and then hit the “Scan” button. The application will scan your system and will remove any spyware or malware. The application is pretty lightweight and there are no extra options to fine tune the scans.
Pros: Uses very little system resources and is very easy to use.
Cons: There are no advanced options to fine-tune the scan and removal process.
9. SUPERAntiSpyware (26.9 MB)
SUPERAntiSpyware is one of the most popular anti-spyware and anti-malware tools that is used by thousand of users to remove the infections. Some of the features include but not limited to real-time protection, advanced detection and removal techniques, scheduled scanning, etc.
Pros: SUPERAntiSpyware is very easy to use and has advanced detection and removal techniques.
Cons: You can only use the free version of SUPERAntiSpyware for personal use.
10. VIPER Rescue Scanner (288 MB)
Unlike all the other software I shared here, VIPER Rescue Scanner has no user interface. Just download the application, extract and execute the application. It will scan each and every file on your system and will detect and remove any malware, spyware or other infections. As you can see from the below image, it just displays a command line window with all the files that it is currently scanning. To get effective results, it is recommended that you run this software in Windows Safe Mode.
Pros: Uses advanced detection techniques to find and remove malware threats.
Cons: Very minimal and there is no user interface to modify the options to meet your needs.
Hope that helps and do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above free portable anti-malware software to find and remove malware from Windows.