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How To Disable Malwarebytes

Posted by Arch on June 28, 2019
How to disable Malwarebytes

There’s no such thing as a perfect antivirus or antimalware program. The goal of this software is to protect you. In doing so, it can sometimes detect a harmless program as potentially unwanted software (known as a “false positive”), either deleting it or preventing you from accessing it.

Most virus-scanning programs, Malwarebytes included, usually have web protection integrated, meaning they tend to block access to certain websites. If you’ve ever had issues with Malwarebytes detecting what you’d consider a false positive, you’re most likely wondering if there’s a way to disable it, temporarily or not.

Worry not, as there’s a multitude of ways to disable this antimalware, and we’re about to show you how.

Disabling the Real-Time Protection

There are cases where people unconsciously install Malwarebytes on their computers because it sometimes installs alongside certain software unless you don’t allow it to. If you’re not one of those people and you’re satisfied with it, just disable the protection whenever necessary.

You can either do this from the system tray, which is the right part of the taskbar (with the clock, volume settings, and so on), or the program itself. The latter might come in handy if you don’t manage to find Malwarebytes in your system tray.

Disabling the Protection from the System Tray

  1. Find the Malwarebytes icon in your system tray. If the icon is missing, check if it’s hidden inside of the tray by clicking on its arrow first.
  2. Right-click on the icon. A small popup menu shall appear.
    Malwarebytes Protection Tray
  3. Notice that there’s a checkmark next to “Web Protection,” saying that it’s on. Disable this option by clicking on it. It shall then say “Web Protection: Off” and not have a checkmark anymore.

Disabling the Protection from Inside of the Program

If there’s no Malwarebytes icon in your system tray, try running the program using your desktop shortcut and doing the following:

  1. On the sidebar that covers the left side of the screen, choose the “Settings” option.
  2. Inside Settings, there are tabs on top of the screen. Click on the “Protection” tab.
  3. The first option you can change is the real-time protection. Disable web protection.
    Malwarebytes Protection

Disabling the Potential Threat Protection

If you need to run an application and Malwarebytes doesn’t let you, it is best to disable the threat protection. You cannot do this from the system tray, so enter Malwarebytes. Here are the next steps:

  1. Enter the “Settings” option from the sidebar on the left.
  2. Inside the Settings menu, enter the “Protection” tab.
  3. Following the “Real-Time Protection” and “Scan Options,” there’s an option labeled “Potential Threat Protection.” Chances are you’re looking to disable the detection of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), so click on its current setting (“Always detect PUPs (recommended)” by default) to change it.
    MB PUP
  4. Both other options will do the trick, but you should only select “Ignore Detections” if you’re a more experienced computer and/or internet user.
    MB PUP Change

Exiting the Program

When doing tasks that require more hardware power, exiting the program altogether might be a good idea. More importantly, if you need to, say, work with multiple false positives, closing Malwarebytes is the most effective solution.

You need to have the program’s icon inside of your system tray to be able to close it. All you need to do is right-click on the icon and click “Quit Malwarebytes.”

Preventing the Program from Starting Up Automatically

Some people prefer using antivirus and/or antimalware software only when a need for a system scan arises. This is a legitimate way to reduce hardware use, especially if you have an older computer. If this description suits you, follow these steps to prevent Malwarebytes from starting up with your operating system:

  1. Inside Malwarebytes, go to Settings from the sidebar.
  2. Enter the Protection tab.
  3. Scroll all the way down to find the “Startup Options”, then turn off the option that says “Start Malwarebytes at Windows startup.”
    MB Startup Options

Alternatively, you could just enable the option below that one, “Delay Real-Time Protection when Malwarebytes starts,” if your goal is to prevent it from slowing down your computer’s system while booting up. When you enable this option, it also lets you choose how long you’d like the protection delay to last.

Reverting the Changes

Whenever you disable Malwarebytes’ protection in any way, make sure to turn it back on as soon as you’re done with whatever forced you to disable it. Your computer is easier to become infected if the web and/or PUPs protection is switched off.

Also, note that visiting a blocked website is something you should only do if you’re positive that it’s a trusted address. The same goes for PUPs. You are disabling these protection methods at your own risk.

To turn the web protection and/or PUPs detection back on, all you need to do is go back to their respective settings and restore the default values.

Staying Protected

If you’re an experienced computer and internet user, chances are you don’t even need third-party software to keep you safe. If not, keep using its protection and only disable it when absolutely necessary or when you’re certain that it keeps detecting a false positive.

Did you manage to prevent Malwarebytes from bugging you? Are you generally satisfied with the software’s protection capabilities? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.

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