MSE v2 Command-Line Scanning

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) 2.0 adds command-line file scanning to its command-line interface.

MpCmdRun.exe is the command-line interface to MSE.

(Note that MSE has moved from “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Essentials” to “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client”. And MpCmdRun.exe has moved to a subdirectory called Antimalware.)

In MSE v1, MpCmdRun was conspicuously missing an option to scan a file from a command line but the problem is rectified in MSE v2 beta.


The file scanning is a new sub-option of the –Scan argument.

-Scan [-ScanType value]
    0  Default, according to your configuration
    1  Quick scan
    2  Full system scan
    3  Single file custom scan

       [-File ]
            Indicates the file path to be scanned, only valid for custom scan

            This option is valid only for custom scan.
            When specified:
              - File exclusions are ignored.
              - Archive files are scanned.
              - Actions are not applied after detection.
              - Event log entries are not written after detection.
              - Detections from the custom scan are not displayed in the user

The usage is slightly awkward. It requires specifying –Scan –ScanType 3 –File <filename>.

A simple powershell function or a batch file.


function Scan-File( $file )
    $exe = Join-Path $env:ProgramFiles &quot;Microsoft Security Client/Antimalware/MpCmdRun.exe&quot;
	&amp; $exe -Scan -ScanType 3 -File $file


@echo off
set path=%programfiles%\Microsoft Security Client\Antimalware;%path%
cmd /c MpCmdRun.exe -Scan -ScanType 3 -File %1

Niftier PowerShell integration is possible by extending the work of the Scripting Guy’s Invoke-SecurityEssentials.ps1 script for MSE v1.0.


3 Responses to MSE v2 Command-Line Scanning

  1. Keith says:

    I’m trying to track down return codes given by MpCmdRun.exe when using the single-file scan mode. It’s not enough to call it…I need to know if a virus was found. Any idea?

    • Brian Reiter says:

      You can use something like System.Diagnostics.Process in powershell to start the executable and capture the exit code to see what you get. My guess is the exit code is always going to be 0 and you will have to pick through the text MpCmdRun emitted. Good luck.

  2. waleed bushnaq says:

    is there a command line for WinRAR virus scan in WinRAR?

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