Malwarebytes is a simple but effective antivirus that helps countless users get rid of pesky malware, but even it can suffer from a few issues occasionally. That leaves your device open to attacks, so you’ll want to fix the antivirus software ASAP.
If Malwarebytes refuses to open or it isn’t working how it’s supposed to, it could use a complete restart to keep fending off malicious software. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a simple update!
Having trouble getting Malwarebytes to work? This article will explain how to fix your Malwarebytes antivirus and test it to ensure it’s giving your device the proper defence.
Update your antivirus
If your Malwarebytes software is acting up, you’ll first want to check if it needs an update. Not only can this clear up any issues the AV is experiencing, but it will also help protect your device from new threats.
Antivirus software these days are efficient enough to stay updated and notify users if they require a refresh. You will usually get a notification about your software needing an update. While it can be a pain to click “Update” and restart your device for the update to take effect, it’s certainly worth doing.
While protection programs are designed to detect malware signatures automatically and use behaviour-based detection to thwart any malicious software it sniffs out, even these systems need an update from time to time. This makes sure that any new threats that have surfaced can’t get by any older systems set in place as hackers continue to find ways to sneak past a system’s protection.
All the best protection software will notify you that an update is needed if you open the app. Otherwise, you can update that software manually.
For Malwarebytes users, you can manually update by right-clicking the Malwarebytes icon in the taskbar and selecting Check for Updates. It will then scan for an protection database updates.
In the Malwarebytes app, you can click Settings then select About. From here, click Check for updates for the latest version.
Test your antivirus
If Malwarebytes can’t detect or protect you from the simplest of malware, what’s the point in installing it? Well, that’s why we review different software to make sure it’s all up to scratch, but there’s another way to test if your security is working: get malware.
It’s never something you want to have on your device, but the EICAR test file will put your worries at ease. It was developed by the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR) to test products. And before you ask, “But isn’t using test malware still risky?” No. Not in the EICAR test file’s case.
The EICAR test file isn’t actual malware. It mimics the behaviour of malware that the security software can pick up. Providers acknowledge this as a general standard for testing, so your antivirus software will detect it like any other malware once it is detected.
So, to make sure your protection is working, try to download the EICAR test file via the website and see if Malwarebytes detects it. If it doesn’t, then you’ll want to try other means.
Upgrade your antivirus software
More likely than not, the protection software on your device is the program that came with your device when you purchased it. You may have forgotten it was there or installed free software a while back. They may not be up to standard anymore, or your device may not click with them.
Malwarebytes’ free version is fairly bare bones, as it’s more about detecting and removing malware rather than protecting you from threats trying to get on your device. Still, it doesn’t cost a dime.
Malwarebytes Premium is the company’s strongest offering. It offers 24/7 real-time protection, defends against all manner of cyberattacks like zero-day exploits and ransomware, stops brute force attacks, prevents malicious email attachments and more. It also has a flurry of scanning options, such as specific rootkit and archive scans. Moreover, Malwarebytes doesn’t increase its prices after the first year of use.
Check out our thoughts on Malwarebytes and its subscription plans.
- Malwarebytes review: Premium is the way to go
How to remove antivirus software
Whether you’ve previously been attacked by malware that’s disrupted your Malwarebytes or your antivirus experienced a little hiccup, sometimes the best thing to do is to uninstall and reinstall the software.
Like with any PC, you can uninstall an app or program by heading into settings. Some software, such as Bitdefender or Norton, have an option to reinstall the app. However, if the option isn’t available, just install the package from your provider’s website again.
There are several ways to uninstall the Avast One antivirus program. To do so, follow the steps below.
Uninstall with Control Panel
1. On your Windows PC, type in “Control Panel” in the search field located on the Task Bar.
2. Click on the Control Panel app.
3. A window will pop up. Under Programs, click on Uninstall a program.
4. A list of installed programs will show up. Right-click Norton 360, or double-click and select “Yes”.
5. Follow the steps the Norton 360 service provides to uninstall.
6. Restart your device.
Uninstall in Safe Mode
Sometimes, an antivirus won’t be able to uninstall because it is running in Windows. If you’re unable to remove Norton 360, it’s best to uninstall it using Windows Safe Mode. Follow the steps below to use Safe Mode.
1. On your Windows PC, type in “Change advanced start-up options” in the search field located on the Task Bar.
2. A Settings window will pop up. Under Recovery options, click on Restart now next to Advanced startup.
3. In the next window, click Restart now.
4. A menu will appear. Click Troubleshoot.
5. Select Advanced options, then Startup Settings.
6. Click Restart.
7. Using the number keys, select Enable Safe Mode.
Use an uninstaller
If an antivirus is still unable to uninstall, the software may be corrupted or missing a file. In this case, you’ll need to download an uninstaller program from the company to remove all files. These can be found on your provider’s website. Below is the Malwarebytes uninstaller link.
- Malwarebytes – Uninstall link
Use different antivirus software
If nothing appears to be working, it’s high time you change your protection software, preferably one of the best antivirus software.
Many free malware removal apps will dispatch malicious software on your device, but it’s a good idea to ensure these tools are trustworthy.
The best antivirus apps come with a suite of security features that can eliminate viruses, malware, ransomware, spyware or any malicious software that burrows into your device. Some software, such as Norton 360, offers security subscriptions specifically for multiple device platforms, like iOS on iPhone, macOS for Mac, Android and Windows. This makes it a more cost-effective option for those needing specific device protection.
If your budget is tight, we recommend free apps from known cybersecurity companies, including Avast One and AVG AntiVirus. These will detect and remove malware on your device and more. Check out our thoughts below.
- Norton 360 Platinum review: Security multiplied
- Avast One review: Strong protection for free!
- Bitdefender review: All-in-one premium security
- AVG Antivirus review: Free antivirus for the win
Should I use antivirus software?
The best antivirus software will detect and remove malicious programs and software affecting your device – including browser hijackers, ransomware, adware, spyware and more. Simply installing an antivirus and performing a system scan should be able to detect the source of the issue and get rid of it. What’s more, you don’t need to pay for all the security tools an antivirus service offers, as free antivirus software from providers such as Bitdefender, Avast One or AVG offers the same detection and removal features.
Still, protection software such as Malwarebytes Premium or Norton 360 Platinum offer plenty of fantastic features that will keep you guarded against threats you may not even be aware of. Plus, they even throw in VPNs, password managers and more to make navigating the internet a breeze.
If you’re wondering which service to choose, check out our best antivirus software guide and get yourself protected.