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How To Scan Your Computer With Malwarebytes.

Malwarebytes is a great program for scanning your computer to remove malware, viruses, hijackers, trojans, etc.

We’re going to use the free version in this guide. The free version can be used as what’s called an “on-demand scanner“, which means it won’t clash with your normal Anti Virus program.

The paid-for version is a full-time Anti Virus program, and you really shouldn’t have 2 anti-virus programs on your computer at the same time. Which means you’d have to remove your current AV program.

Download And Install Malwarebytes.

You can install the free version of Malwarebytes onto your PC without having to disturb your current Anti Virus program.

Click the link below –

https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download

Or simply Google it.

When you get to the Malwarebytes download page, Free Download button.

Free download button is indicated.
Click the Free Download button.

Launch the installer and then click the Install button.

On the next page, “Who are you trying to protect”, select “Me or my family” and then click the Next button.

Malwarebytes will then install itself on your machine.

Malwarebytes "Welcome" page. The Install button is indicated.
Click the Install button.
Me or my family option and the Next button are both indicated.
Select “Me or my family” and then click the Next button.
Malwarebytes installation progress indicator.
Malwarebytes installs.

When The Installation Is Finished.

After Malwarebytes has been installed, it’ll automatically launch itself.

Click the Get Started button.

On the next page, if you want the free version, click “Maybe Later”.

On the final page, you can register your email address if you want to, but you don’t have to. Click the Get Started button again

"Get started" button highlighted.
Click the Get Started button.
Malwarebytes premium options. "Maybe later" option is indicated.
To use the free version of Malwarebytes, click the “Maybe later” option.
"Get started" button marked.
Enter your email address if you want to, if not just click the Get Started button.

The Premium Version Vs The Free Version.

When Malwarebytes installs, it automatically installs as a 14-day trial for the premium (paid-for) version. The difference between the premium and free versions is that the premium version works as a real-time anti-virus program.

If you’ve already installed an anti-virus program on your computer (such as Norton, Avast, McAfee, etc.), that can cause issues. You really shouldn’t have two AVs running at the same time.

You’re fine if you don’t have a third-party anti-virus and you’re using Windows Security/Defender to protect your computer. Malwarebytes will register with Windows Security just as any other AV would.

How To Downgrade Malwarebytes To The Free Version.

In this guide, we’re primarily looking at using Malwarebytes in its free version. As an on-demand scanner.

As an on-demand scanner (sometimes called a second option scanner), it won’t affect any already installed anti-virus programs.

To change to the free version, click the Settings button in the top right-hand corner.

A callout indicates the settings button on the Malwarebytes home screen.
To change Malwarebytes to the free version, click the Settings button.

When the Settings page opens, click the ACCOUNT tab.

On the Accounts tab, click DEACTIVATE.

Doing that will switch you onto the Free Version of Malwarebytes.

Please note, that once you do this, you can’t reactivate the trial. It’s a one-time, one-way option.

Account tab and Deactivate link marked.
To deactivate the premium version of Malwarebytes, click the Account tab and then click Deactivate.

When you’ve deactivated the premium trial, click the X in the top right corner to get back to Malwarebytes’ main screen.

You’ll notice that the Real Time Protection options have all been turned off.

Close window button (X) is indicated.
To close the settings page, click the X.
Real time protection notification window is highlighted.
You’ll see that real time protection is now disabled.

How To Use Malwarebytes To Scan Your Computer.

Before initiating a scan, there are a couple of settings to check. Firstly, we’ll check for any updates that may be available and secondly, we’ll turn all the scan options to make Malwarebytes do a thorough scan of your computer.

Click the Settings button in the top right-hand corner.

On the Settings page, click the General tab and then click on the Check for Updates button.

A callout indicates the settings button on the Malwarebytes home screen.
Malwarebytes Settings button.
The General tab and Check for updates button are indicated.
On the General Tab, click “Check for updates”.

Security Options.

After the updates have been applied, click the Security tab. Scroll down the Security page to the Scan Options section and make sure all the options are turned on.

With all the security options turned on, you can close the Settings page.

Security tab and Security options section are indicated.
Turn on all the options in the Security Options section.
Close window button (X) is indicated.
To close the settings page, click the X.

Scanning Your Computer With Malwarebytes.

To begin scanning your computer, click the Scan button.

As Malwarebytes scans your computer for threats, you can keep an eye on just how many it’s found by checking the Detections counter.

If this is the first time you’ve used Malwarebytes, you may be surprised at just how many threats it picks up.

Scan button is indicated.
Click the Scan button to start a new scan of your computer.
Malwarebytes scan detections highlighted.
You may be surprised by how many threats Malwarebytes finds.

Quarantine Threats.

When the scan has finished, you’ll be presented with the results page.

If your computer is clean, great, close Malwarebytes using the X in the top right corner.

But if like me, you’ve got issues, click the QUARANTINE button.

After Malwarebytes has finished marking the threats for quarantining, it’s usual to have to do a re-start of your computer.

A list of potential threats has been found by Malwarebytes. The Quarantine button is indicated.
Oh dear. Click the Quarantine button.

Why Quarantine Threats?

Most anti-virus and anti-malware programs will offer to quarantine any potential threats that they find rather than simply deleting them. Quarantining works by removing the detected threats from your computer and dropping them into a secure area from which they can’t escape. So they’re made safe.

But the big advantage is that they can be re-placed or re-called from quarantine if it turns out the software has made a mistake. Often called a false positive.

Summary.

Malwarebytes works really well as an on-demand scanner. It will deal effectively with most infections and excels at finding the things that can be missed by other anti-virus programs.

You can use it as your sole anti-virus solution, but for that, you’ll need to pay for the premium version after the trial period is over.

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