Malware is the collective term for digital scum. Your standard antivirus software will intercept much of it, but sometimes an additional scan of your computer can help to fix a problem. Malwarebytes is a program that scans your computer for malware and can remove any malware found. The program is well known and the free version can be used alongside your current antivirus program. This installation article is written using Windows 10, but the program also works under other operating systems. You can download and install the program from the article ‘Malwarebytes Anti-Malware‘.
- Click on the Start button > Malwarebytes.
- In the User Account Control window, do you get a question asking if Malwarebytes is allowed to change things on your computer? Then click on Yes.
The program starts and opens with the Dashboard. Here you can click on ‘Detection History’, ‘Scanner’ and ‘Active Protection’. Basically, you only need the “Scanning” tab.
If you have not used the program for some time, you may receive a message when you open it that the database is out of date. In that case click on Update now. The program will be updated. If the database has been updated, you will be notified. Click OK to continue.
Sometimes you get a message that the program itself is too old and needs to be updated. This is necessary for the program to work properly. If you do not succeed in updating the program by following the steps that appear on your screen, reinstall the program.
Scan for malware
- Click the blue Scan button for a quick scan. This will scan memory objects, archives, registry and startup items for malicious files. Scanning these parts can be done in a few minutes.
- It is also possible to have all programs and files on the computer thoroughly scanned. To do this you must first change a setting. Note: such a scan can take several hours.
- Click somewhere in the white area that says ‘Scanner’.
- On the next screen, under the blue ‘Scan’ button, click Advanced Scanning.
- Under ‘Custom scan’, click Set scan.
Set up custom scan
- You will see a window with the storage disks present. A check mark in front of the disk indicates that that disk will be scanned soon. Click on the box in front of the disk name to check or uncheck it. We will scan the C drive, which has Windows installed on it. If after scanning the C drive you still feel that you are suffering from malware, you can still check the other drives.
- On the left side, check ‘Scan for rootkits’.
- Click on Scan.
The checked disk or disks will be scanned. This can take quite a while. This depends on the number of MB or GB on the disk. If it is a lot, it can take hours in some cases. For example, start the scan in the evening and leave the computer on overnight. The next morning you will see the result.
- When the scan is finished, you will receive a notification about it. Malwarebytes displays a summary of the scan.
- Click on View report for the details.
- Were no threats found? Then click on Done.
- If any malware is found, it is automatically put in quarantine. Under ‘Detection History’ you can view and delete it.
- To do so, first click on the slanted arrow at the top right.
- Click on Detection History.
Delete or not?
- A list of found malware is displayed. This can be anything from spy programs to tracking cookies.
- Look carefully at what exactly you want to remove. Sometimes programs can no longer function properly if you delete files from them. If that happens, you will have to reinstall the program in question.
- Click on the boxes in front of the items you want to delete. A blue check mark will appear in front of them.
- Click Delete > Yes.
- If necessary, click Allow changes if the program asks you to.
- A text file has been opened and you can close it by clicking on the cross in the upper right corner.
Have you removed found malware, but you still have an (external) hard drive with a backup of your computer, scan this (external) hard drive as well to prevent the malware from still being on it.
Mark a file as safe
Does Malwarebytes block a program or file that you are sure is safe? Then you can mark it as safe.
- In the dashboard, click Detection History.
- Click on the Acceptance list tab.
- Click Add.
- Click Accept a folder or file. The other options are only accessible to paid users.
- Click Select a folder or Select a file, and navigate to the file you want to mark as safe.
- Click Done.
- If necessary, click the arrow at the top right to return to the dashboard. Or click the cross to close Malwarebytes.
How often should I scan?
We recommend scanning for malware every month via a full scan and also doing a quick scan every week.