How to configure Malwarebytes for best performance

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Update: Unfortunately, since version 2 was released, Malwarebytes is no longer working properly. In fact I have seen on several computers where it is messing up other programs, including my clients’ online file backup software. I am recommending that Malwarebytes be uninstalled. The security software we now use and recommend is here.

Last Monday I wrote about Malwarebytes, and the fact that you should definitely have it on your computer.  The time-sensitive information was that they are switching from a one-time payment (lifetime license) to an annual subscription payment plan.  But, you can still get the lifetime license at the soon-to-be-gone price of $25 (read my blog post about it here).


I have heard from many of you who did go ahead and get the paid version of Malwarebytes.  I also heard from a few people who purchased it, but now are not sure exactly what to do with it.  It does need to be configured in order to get the maximum benefit, but the procedure for doing that isn’t all that clear.

So today I’m going to show you how to set it up so that it can do a good job of protecting your computer.  As you will see, it’s not difficult, but there are a few steps involved.

Actually, the first thing you have to do is activate it, so that you are actually using the full-featured paid version and not just the free version with limited features.  When you paid for Malwarebytes, you actually bought a couple of lines of code: a product ID and a product KEY.  Look for the email you got from Malwarebytes and you will see those things in that email.  When you open Malwarebytes and click on the Activate button at the bottom of the screen, you will see a new window open up – that’s where you enter the product ID and product key.  You can just copy and paste them there if you want.

Malwarebytes activate

Here is how to configure Malwarebytes:

1. Open Malwarebytes – you will see the logo in the bottom right corner (the System Tray).  You can do a right click on it and choose “Start Scanner” to open the window on your screen.

2. Click on the Protection tab, then click on Scheduler:

Malwarebytes setup

3. When you open the Scheduler for the first time, it will probably look like this:

Malwarebytes default configuration

So this means it is already set up to update itself every day.  However, we are going to tweak that a little bit.  With the “Update” line highlighted, click the “Edit” button.

4. You can change the time and date to whatever you like, but the computer has to be turned on at that time in order for it to do the scheduled update.  I also check the “Wake computer” box in case the computer happens to be in sleep mode at the time.  When you’re done with this, click Save.

Malwarebytes daily update


5. Now we need to set the program to do a scan regularly.  Click the “Add” button and choose the “Scan” option, and then adjust the settings as you prefer.  This is how I have mine set:

Malwarebytes weekly scan

As you can see, I just have it do a Quick Scan once a week.  It happens in the middle of the night when I’m not (usually) using the computer.  I have also instructed it to save a log file so that I can see what it’s done (this might be useful even if you don’t read that log file – at some point your tech person might want to read it).  And if necessary, it will do a computer restart if required.

6. When done with those settings, click Add.  Now you should see your two events listed, along with their details:

Malwarebytes settings

As an additional option, you might want to have the program do a FULL scan once a week as well.  As bad as the malware threats are getting these days, I might change my settings to have it do a Quick Scan every day, and a Full scan once a week.  Since these would be happening overnight, it wouldn’t affect me while I’m working.

And of course, if you see something on your computer that seems suspicious, you don’t have to wait until the schedule says the scan should happen – you can just run a scan manually and make sure everything is okay.

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Fred Patrick
February 24th, 2014

I`ve had Malwarebytes Pro for some years now. Does the one time price include former owners like my self. Always looking forward to ur Monday tips. F Patrick

Scott Johnson
February 24th, 2014

Yes, if you already purchased it in the past you already have the lifetime license.

February 24th, 2014

I have the trial version and have about a week left . How do I buy it when the time is up so that you get credit for the purchase ?


Scott Johnson
February 24th, 2014

Thanks Louise – when you click on the link in the blog post, it will take you to the purchase screen. Just make the purchase there, then follow the instructions in today’s post about how to configure it. If you need help with it, I can do that through my Remote Support service.

February 24th, 2014

Thank you so much, Scott, for these instructions. Does anyone notice that the time is not visible enough to know whether you’re selecting a.m. or p.m.? Thanks for the lead for the lifetime license. I of course grabbed it!

Scott Johnson
February 24th, 2014

Marge, I have never configured one where I could not choose AM or PM – it is always full visible.