Malwarebytes header

Malwarebytes is one of the best anti-malware programs ever made. It has both free and paid versions, but even the free version is worth having around. Here’s how you can use it to remove malware from your PC.


Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from its official website. You might be able to find it on other websites, but you should always be leery of them. Get it from the official website.

When you first start Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware up, this is the window that you will see. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has a modern minimalist user interface (UI) that makes it intuitive to use, even if you aren’t familiar with the software.

The Malwarebytes main screen.

If you did not check for updates during the install process, now is a good time to do so. Click the gear icon in the top right corner of the window.

Click “Check for Updates” to get the latest database signatures, and make sure that the switch for automatic updates is enabled.

Click "Check for Updates," and make sure automatic updates are enabled.

Scanning for Malware

Once you have all the latest updates applied, it is time to start scanning. You should run a full system scan. Click the “Scan” area to get started.

Note: You have to click anywhere other than the actual blue “Scan” button.

Click anywhere in the "Scanner" section except the blue "Scan" button.

Once you have clicked “Scan,” click “Advanced Scanners.”

Click on "Advanced Scanners."

Click “Configure Scan.”

Click "Configure Scan."

Tick all of the scan options, and select the drives you want to scan. You definitely want to scan your C: drive, and if you have others you should probably scan them as well. Click “Scan” once you’re satisfied.

Keep in mind that scanning your whole system will take quite a while, even with a great processor and fast solid-state drives. It may be a good idea to set up the scan to run overnight.

Select all of your scan options, including the drives you want to scan, then click "Scan."

Once you have clicked “Scan”, you will see a window indicating the progress of the scan. You can see exactly what Malwarebytes is doing, how many files it has checked, and how long it has run.

Window showing scan progress.

Once Scanning is Complete

Once Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has finished scanning your computer, it will display the number of items scanned, the number of infected objects found, and the time elapsed. You can export the results of your scan to a text file by clicking “Save Results.”

The Scan Results window will also let you pick what you do with all of the malware or potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) the scan revealed. You should take whatever actions Malwarebytes recommends unless you have an extremely good reason to ignore the recommendations.

RELATED: Not All "Viruses" Are Viruses: 10 Malware Terms Explained

One PUP was found, so click "Quarantine."

Even if you found dozens or hundreds of viruses or PUPs, it should only take a few seconds for Malwarebytes to take care of them.

A Quick Look at the Reboot Request

If there is any malware that needs to be removed during a reboot, you will see a message detailing exactly what will be taken care of as soon as you restart your computer. Item removal during a reboot is extremely smooth and quick…on our example system the “cleanup reboot process” looked exactly like a normal reboot (terrific!). Click “Yes” to start the reboot process.

If you are looking for an anti-malware app that works quickly and well, then Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware is just the app for you. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware works with minimum fussing and gets the job done, plain and simple.

Download Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware

Profile Photo for Nick Lewis Nick Lewis
Nick Lewis is a staff writer for How-To Geek. He has been using computers for 20 years --- tinkering with everything from the UI to the Windows registry to device firmware. Before How-To Geek, he used Python and C++ as a freelance programmer. In college, Nick made extensive use of Fortran while pursuing a physics degree.
Read Full Bio »
Akemi Iwaya
Akemi Iwaya has been part of the How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media team since 2009. She has previously written under the pen name "Asian Angel" and was a Lifehacker intern before joining How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media. She has been quoted as an authoritative source by ZDNet Worldwide.
Read Full Bio »