Emsisoft Emergency Kit 2020 update brings a new interface design and dark mode

Mar 4, 2020
Updated • Mar 17, 2020
Security, Software, Windows software

Emsisoft Emergency Kit has been my go-to secondary scanner for a few years now. I make it a habit to scan each and every program that I download once with the scanner and also with Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit 2020 Update

So, as per my routine I opened EEK, checked for updates before scanning some new applications that are in my review list. When it completed the update, something looked different, there was a new interface. A quick search revealed that it had been released yesterday.

Fortunately I did save the previous version's installer, so I installed it on my USB flash drive to observe the changes. So, here's what's new in Emsisoft Emergency Kit 2020. It still has the Dual Scanning engine powered by Bitdefender and Emsisoft. But the interface looks more polished with a lighter color palette. The visual improvements were added to keep the program in line with the company's premium antivirus' GUI.

There are four tiles on the main screen of Emsisoft Emergency Kit: Scan and Clean, Quarantine, Logs and Settings.

Here's a screenshot from the previous version for reference. Can you tell what's different between the two?

Emsisoft Emergency Kit old interface

The toolbar beneath the primary options has been replaced by text links. The old version had the Settings shortcut on the toolbar, but it has its own tile in the latest update, while the other three tiles have moved a step to the left. The Update option has been moved to the right edge of the screen, you can still see the "last update" information to the left of the update button. The Quick Scan option is available on the overview screen, earlier you had to click on scan and then select the option.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit 2020 interface

The official release notes don't mention it, but the side bar to the left of the interface is a new addition as well. Click on the three-line hamburger menu in the top left corner of the screen to expand the side panel. This allows you to jump between the following screens: Overview, Scan, Quarantine, Logs, Settings. The Scan percentage is visible on the side bar, which is useful if you have navigated to a different screen.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit 2020 Update - scans

Click on the Settings option and you'll see a new option called Appearance. This allows you to switch between Bright and Dark Mode without having to restart the program.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit 2020 Update - dark mode

The other options in the malware removal tool pretty much remain the same. You can read our review of the previous version for more details.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit 2020 Update - settings

The announcement at the official blog says that there are "Several minor tweaks and fixes" in the Emsisoft Emergency Kit 2020 update though it doesn't go into the details as to what they are.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit quick scan

The Quick scans was quite fast at about 30 seconds, the malware scan took about 4 minutes (all tests done with multiple programs running in the background and default settings). These seem similar to the previous gen's performance. From what I can tell, they have given it the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" treatment, which is always good.

software image
Author Rating
5 based on 4 votes
Software Name
Emsisoft Emergency Kit
Operating System
Software Category
Landing Page

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. D said on March 5, 2020 at 7:18 am

    Is the program still giving popups (upgrade ad) post-scan, update or before exit? Haven’t used this for a long time.

  2. Anonymous said on March 5, 2020 at 12:55 am

    Software UIs has become so ugly. I miss old program interfaces.

  3. Gythral said on March 4, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    It requires install
    an account
    it phones home for both updates and to provide usage data
    defaults to ‘spam me’

    When you try to contact them ‘no-one is home’ (please check you have a valid internet connection)

    It false positvies far too much, some on 10 year old safe programmes others on current steam games

    It stops both install and uninstall of some progams even though it can find no reason too

    What it does after the 30 days is up I have no clue as 4hours was enough to say bye never again!

    1. alex said on March 5, 2020 at 12:39 am

      Is your comment based on actual facts or hear-say? Seems to me that you tested Emsisoft Anti-Malware, not Emsisoft Emergency Kit, and a very long time ago, because all their false positives issues are long gone. Never had a false positive in the last 5 years.

      Emsisoft Emergency Kit is freeware. It doesn’t expire after 30 days like your described.

  4. ilev said on March 4, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    I’lll wait for PortableApps to issue there portable version.
    I won’t “install” this in drive C.

    1. CKing123 said on March 7, 2020 at 12:36 am

      The install is just where you want it to extract. It is portable (and is meant to be installed on something like a USB if you need to disinfect multiple computers)

  5. hg said on March 4, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    This or Malwarebytes?

    1. CKing123 said on March 7, 2020 at 12:37 am

      Why not both? The free version of both allow manual scanning. That said, Malwarebytes is installed and runs at startup even if it doesn’t have real-time scanning enabled. But, you can use both in the free version along with Windows Defender.

  6. Free as in beer said on March 4, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    346 mb exe, plus, “millions of signatures that it must load” I.E more space, is not a solution for some of us who prefer light/simple on demand scanners.

    No thanks, I think i’ll stick with Hitman pro and Norton’s NPE.

    1. George said on April 29, 2020 at 12:31 am

      They don’t come any “lighter” than this. Don’t be fooled by the size, and don’t expect quality protection out of thin air.

  7. Jorge said on March 4, 2020 at 10:10 am

    I assume this is a portable/no-install program ?

    Does it automatically phone-home for updates/etc ?

    I assume the user has no way of knowing what EEK scan data of his PC is sent back to Emisoft ?

    VirusTotal online seems a good option with over 70 scan engines employed, but I hate connecting to Googlr.

    1. Christian said on March 4, 2020 at 7:57 pm

      Emsisoft Emergency Kit is fully portable, doesn’t require installation. Just unzip and run. And delete if you don’t need it any longer.

      Updates are not automatic, you will have to run them manually. You can download the latest package with current detection patterns from the origin server if you don’t want to use the built-in update.

      You can easily track the server comms by running a https sniffer tool like Fiddler Tool. The Emsisoft data protocol is a rather simple json based format and doesn’t include any secrets or scrambled data.

    2. Sebas said on March 4, 2020 at 3:37 pm

      @Jorge this is a stand alone program. The privacy rules of Emsisoft are rather good I think. It does not phone home for updates.

  8. Sebas said on March 4, 2020 at 8:20 am

    I use it occasionally. Privacy wise it seems to be better as the Eset online scanner, which additionally requires installation: https://www.ghacks.net/2016/04/28/eset-online-scanner-review/

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.