How-To Geek

Remove Malware Quickly with Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware

We shown you how careless downloading can infect you with spyware, how to clean it up with Spybot or Ad-Aware, and in the final part of our series we’ll illustrate how to use Malwarebytes to remove all that crapware from your PC.


When you first start Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware up, this is the window that you will see. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has a very nice tabbed interface to make shifting between functions smooth and quick. At this point it is set to “Perform quick scan” as the default.


If you did not check for updates during the install process, now is a good time to do so. Here you can see the current database version (and associated date) along with the number of malware signatures that it will scan for. Updates usually run between 2.0 – 2.5 MB in size. Click “Check for Updates” to get the latest database signatures.


Scanning for Malware

Once you have all the latest updates applied, it is time to start scanning. It is recommended to go with the “Perform full scan” setting. Click “Scan” to get started.


Once you have clicked “Scan”, you will see this pop up window asking you to choose which drives you would like to have scanned. Select the ones that you would liked to have scanned and click “Start Scan”.


You can see what the scanning process looks like here. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware found 170 infected files on our example system within the first 1.5 minutes…now that is quick! You can also see exactly where and what Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware is currently scanning.


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 time elapsed. Notice that it took less than 23 minutes to scan our example system! Click “OK” to close the Scan Complete Message Window.


To see what Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware found, click “Show Results”.


Removing the Malware

After clicking “Show Results”, you will see the following window with a compiled list of all malware objects found. You can see the names of the malware, category (i.e. file, memory process, registry key, etc.), and the location on your system. Notice that for the moment that “No action taken” is listed for everything. This allows you the opportunity to check for any false positives that might have occurred. Once you have looked over the list and verified the items that you want taken care of, click “Remove Selected” to remove the malware from your system.


This is what the removal process looks like. As with other functions in Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, this part of the process also goes very quickly (wonderful!).


Once the Malware Removal is Completed and a Quick Look at the Reboot Request

Once Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has finished removing the malware, it will automatically display a scan log like this.


If there are any malware problems that need to be removed during a reboot, you will see the following 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 a minimum of fuss and gets the job done, plain and simple. If you want more information on this tool, read our previous review of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware (version 1.35)

Download Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware (version 1.39)

Dealing with Spyware, Crapware, or Malware

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out the previous articles in our series:

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 08/6/09

Comments (22)

  1. olad

    All four articles have been welcome, made good reading, and gave good advice. It would have helped a bit more if you had compared the efficacy of the three antimalware products… Search/Destroy, AdAware and Antimalware. Most would just like to know which one is best or recommended to install.

  2. D$

    Malwarebytes is the best anti malware program available today, hands down IMO. I have had excellent results with it every single time. As far as I am concerned this is the only program you need.

  3. KB Prez

    I use Norton Internet Security as real-time protection and run Malwarebytes and SUPER AntiSpyware on demand. I love Malwarebytes, but the full scan takes too long to run when I’m in normal start-up. For me it took about 5 hours! I now run it in safe mode and it takes about 1 hour.

  4. thezachperson31

    @olad: I agree, this mini-series contains useful info about how to prevent against malware but does not give a specific program recommendation. A “Part 5: Summary and Conclusion” with a breakdown of how easy each program was would be appreciated, and a handy reference the next time I need to clean up a computer.

  5. russell

    Excellent articles! I have used all 3 apps before and personally I like Malwarebytes. SuperAntiSpyware is also very good too!! Not so sure about the Adware program though, maybe that’s just me! I recommend these two programs to all my friends and family and including my clients I work with. I always find it handy to make a utility CD and include these two applications. its quicker to install and any updates can easily be downloaded if necessary.

  6. DaddySU

    I work in a repair shop and we use MBAM in our shop constantly. It is a great tool for removing buggers. Just like any tool though there are some nasties out there that pwn and own MBAM. Also I’ve seen a system be hosed after removing one infected file with mbam, on the other hand I’ve seen it pull out 500+ infections and leave the system fairly stable, just depends on what files are infected. Good write up though, it’s nice to see this tool get some spotlight time.

  7. stevro

    How do these 3 compare to Windows Defender? I run it along with avast antivirus and I don’t think I’ve had a problem yet.

  8. Terry Hollett

    Sometimes I’m tempted to tell people to skip the antivirus programs for what they seem to be able to do theses days and rely more on a programs like Malwarebytes. I don’t know how many computers I have had to clean out, with top of the line antivirus programs, Windows Defender running in the background (Why??) and yet still….guess which program came to te rescue.

  9. SquareWheel

    Mbam is a great tool and I always have it installed. I find the quick install will almost always cover what a full install does, I’d only run full if you have a lot of time to burn and you are worried about a possible virus.

    Keep in mind the real time protection doesn’t work on x64, so don’t bother upgrading if you’re on 64 bit (like me).

  10. blah

    Does it require a reboot after install? Does it coexist with over AV programs? Does it run as a service? I’ve yet to see anything in one of your reviews that is informative. It’s just the most basic stuff that doesn’t require an explanation so you have some text for your screenshots.

  11. Debt Settlement Program

    complex post. simply one detail where I bicker with it. I am emailing you in detail.

  12. kifissia

    This program found 8 problems that no other program or my anti-virus found. I have nod32, threatfire, windows defender, and windows malware removal tool. Thanks so much for the recommendation.

  13. Asian Angel

    @olad, thezachperson31 – Personally I think having all three installed as on-demand scanners is the best approach. What one may not catch (based on what may or may not be on a particular system), the other can. ^__^ In addition to Ad-Aware, Spybot, and Malwarebytes, I also have Super Anti-Spyware and Spyware Terminator installed as on-demand scanners. ^__^

    @blah – The free version does not require a reboot after install and I have had no problems between Malwarebytes or any of the anti-virus programs that I have tried. The real-time protection for the shareware version of Malwarebytes would run as a service…

  14. NAZ


  15. Shane

    I have Windows Defender and avast antivirus and Malwarebytes and Mcafee site advisor. Having all these diffrent programs can that be slowing my computer down? Can someone tell me??

  16. Asian Angel

    @Shane – The first thing that you should do is find out what all of the processes are that are running on your computer normally. A great program for seeing is Process Explorer and you can download it here:

    You will not have to install it…simply unzip it into an appropriate folder and start it up. It should help you see exactly what is running and how much in the way of system resources is being used by each process. You may have some extra & unneeded processes such as an Adobe updater or messenger quick-start programs running for example. Once you know what is causing the problem you can work on making it behave. ^__^

  17. jon

    Interesting writeup, but MalwareBytes and SuperAntiSpyware will not run when the virus has taken over, I tried to use both and they will not load, seems the virus notes the name of the antispyware and blocks the loading so you can not scan the system. I tried renaming the programs to no avail as the files still show the name of the antispyware program. Would like to know if any one else has had this problem … I will have to reformat the HDD to get rid of it as I have tried every way and have not been successful…

  18. austin

    this is awesome thank you

  19. austin

    oh and if you have skype, replace it with this

  20. Bams Tech

    U guys are d bomb! it worked once.. SuperAntiSpyware solved it all… Thanks

  21. Anonomyous

    I downloaded spyware doctor which found lots of stuff but not everything. Then I downloaded Malware and it found even more threats!! So, I guess you need both. WIN 7 is an awful pain in the you know what!!!

  22. Road Dog777

    As of today, (22 July 11) the shareware build I have of Malwarebytes 1.45 © has only 32635 ‘Fingerprints’ installed, that is low by any anti-malware standards. Ver: 7234. Sure it sweeps for malware, to date I haven’t seen it catch many bugs’ some adware and a few more potent exploits, (3 scan modes, I use flash most often) it seldom catches what my main anti-malware shareware suite does 1st. What is very good at is blocking probing by ‘hostile I.P.’s’. What is a hostile I.P.? Maybe a bot sweeping I.P. ranges in a nation where U.S. laws do not apply, or enforcement is not a real concern of local assets, looking for a port or entry into a computer to steal information, monitor activity (remote) or take it over (hijack). It was well worth the expenditure as part of the layered security I use around my computers. The freeware version is OK, just not as many fingerprints, and some of the scans & functions are disabled.
    End report,

    R D

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