If you think your computer may have a virus, but your main security software hasn't found any threats, it can pay to get a second opinion. Malwarebytes Free can scan your PC and can often pick up infections or unwanted programs that are missed by other antivirus programs.
Please note, we recommend using the fully free version of Malwarebytes, rather than a free trial of the paid-for version. If you find yourself stuck with the latter, we have advice in this article for how to easily downgrade to the fully free version.
Download and install Malwarebytes
Head to the Malwarebytes website (www.malwarebytes.org). You’ll have the option to Buy or Download – the latter gives you the free version, so go for this.
Once downloaded, you need to install the software, by finding the mbam-setup.exe file that’s been downloaded and clicking Run. Follow the instructions, including closing other open programs and switching off your antivirus package. Don’t forget to turn it on again later.
Untick Free Trial
You’ll need to accept terms and conditions before installing the package. In the final panel untick Enable free trial of MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Premium to avoid being nagged later.
Once you click Install, the software will automatically head off in search of the latest version. You can double-check you have the latest definitions by clicking Update in the Database Version panel.
...or, downgrade from Malwarebytes Premium
Members have contacted us to say they’ve been forced to take a free trial of the paid-for version of Malwarebytes, without the option to choose the Free version only.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, there’s an easy way to downgrade your copy of Malwarebytes Premium to Malwarebytes Free.
To do so, open Malwarebytes on your computer. Go to Settings > My Account, then click on Deactivate Premium trial.
Run a Malwarebytes scan
Within the Malwarebytes control panel, click on the blue Scan now button for diagnostics. This can take some time – around 15 minutes is typical – but the timeline along the top of the screen shows the scan’s progress.
If you have other tasks to do on your PC and the scan is slowing it down, you can Pause Scan.
Deal with scanned items
Once complete, MalwareBytes will show a list of threats that it has found. This will include Potentially Unwanted Programs, such as toolbars, plus any actual malware.
You can select each element for removal by ticking the box to the left of each item, or click the top box to select all the elements and then click Remove Threats. You may need to restart your computer for the removal to take effect. Don’t forget to turn your antivirus software on once you restart the PC.