For many years MalwareBytes malware protection software has been one of the leading software tools in identifying and removing stubborn malware (malicious software) problems; especially for "Computer Engineers", who view it as one of their must have tools. They usually use the FREE Version of malwarebytes that is portable and can therefore be installed on many computers from their usb flash drive or usb hard drive. This scenario is okay for them because it means they can do a one-off scan of your computer and then leave you to do any subsequent, manual, scans for your computer. The downside for you though is that your computer will not be benefiting from the extra features of MalwareBytes Premium.
The "Computer Engineer" might of installed a 14 Days Trial of the premium version of malwarebytes for you, in order for them to carry out a better scan of your computer, but you still would not be getting the benefits of realtime (always on) protection and better scanning options after the 14 days free trial period (when malwarebytes disables the extra features and reverts to its FREE version/features).
Although the premium version of malwarebytes is not portable, as it is only licensed for one installation on one computer, it is worth buying purely for its overall power of realtime protection against malware and its malware removal success rate. It has not been considered one of the best malware removers for nothing. With a Discount Code off the internet you can pay £15.42 instead of £19.95.
Regardless if you have the premium version or free version of MalwareBytes, I will now show you how to download, install and scan with Malwarebytes. After clicking on the DOWNLOAD link on the Malwarebytes website, you should find an executable (.exe) set-up file called mbam-setup-22.214.171.1244.exe for example in your DOWNLOADS folder. That set-up file among other things contains the actual Installation Wizard - The part of the set-up file that guides you through the actual installation steps. Don't worry too much about the installation wizard at this point because I will be guiding you through the same steps of course, so for now just double click on the mbam-setup-126.96.36.1994.exe set-up file to continue.
Fig 1.0 - Double click on the downloaded set-up file called mbam-setup-188.8.131.524.exe
Clicking on the mbam-setup-184.108.40.2064.exe file brings up a UAC security requester (not shown here) that asks you if you trust the set up file? If you do, just click on the requester's YES button to continue with the installation process, otherwise click on its CANCEL button. At any time throughout the installation process you can click on a Cancel button, if a Cancel button is available of course. However, even if you click on a Cancel button the installation might have gone too far for it to be stopped, cancelled and/or reversed. So think very carefully before deciding to install any thing onto your Computer.
After clicking on the YES button you are than asked which language you would like to use with MalwareBytes. In this example I have kept the default language of English, but you can easily change this by clicking on the drop-down menu and selecting a different language. Once your desired languauge is displayed click on the requester's OK button to proceed. Doing so will then launch the installation wizard (Fig 1.2).
Fig 1.1 - Select your language, if need be, from the drop-down menu and then click on the OK button to continue
Fig 1.2 - The installation wizard's Welcome screen - Click on the NEXT button to continue
The first step of the installation wizard (above) is just a Welcome screen, that you should read before clicking on its NEXT button. After that comes the License Agreement, whose Terms & Conditions you must agree to before continuing.
Fig 1.3 - Select the I ACCEPT... radio (circle/dot) button and then click on the NEXT button
Read the License Agreement carefully. Although these tend to contain useless information, they usually explain Copyright issues or Usage issues that clarify who can use the software and who cannot. So if, for example, you are told that a certain piece of software is Free and/or Free To Use you may want to clarify this by reading the agreement. Some installation wizards do not allow you to continue, by fading out the NEXT button, until you have read (scrolled down) the license agreement. When you are ready and if you agree, select the I ACCEPT... radio (circle/dot) button and then click on the NEXT button (above) to continue.
The next step displays additional information about the New Features and Updates added to this version of MalwareBytes. Read it, if you want to, and then click on the NEXT button.
Fig 1.4 - Click on the NEXT button to continue
The fourth step of the installation wizard asks you where you would like to install (store) the actual MalwareBytes files on your computer. By default (normal behaviour) the files are installed (stored) inside a folder called - Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware - which is a sub-folder of the Program Files (x86) folder; a system folder basically. Normally you do not change the path name of the Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware folder. So for this example just click on the NEXT button to continue.
Fig 1.5 - Click on the NEXT button to continue
For the next step just click on its NEXT button too. It wants to know if you would like shortcut icons created on the START Menu for MalwareBytes. In this example I have put a tick next to the DON'T CREATE A START MENU FOLDER option, but you could leave it unticked if you wish. It is a matter of preference as to whether or not you want your START Menu cluttered with, unnecessary, folder icons. Malwarebytes Premium for example automatically runs in the background (always running), so there is no need for its folder icon to be on the START Menu simply because you would not normally have a need to click on it.
Fig 1.6 - Click on the NEXT button to continue
The next step is similar to the above, but in this case you are being asked if you want to create a Desktop shortcut icon. It is normally a good idea to have this option ticked, as I have in this example, but if you do not like a cluttered desktop untick this option. Either way, click on the NEXT button when you have made your choice.
Fig 1.7 - Click on the NEXT button to continue
Finally!! MalwareBytes can now be installed on your computer as the installation wizard now has enough information about your own preferences to proceed. So all you need to do now is click on the INSTALL button and look at the green gauge (progress bar).
Fig 1.8 - Click on the INSTALL button to proceed with the actual installation of MalwareBytes
Fig 1.9 - MalwareBytes is now being installed inside the Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware folder
Fig 1.10 - MalwareBytes has been installed successfully - Click on the FINISH button to continue
Now that MalwareBytes has been installed successfully, with you clicking on the FINISH button (above), it will then attempt to update its definition (malware database) file - This definition file is similar to the Virus Definition file explained in the protection software section. When the updates have been automatically downloaded and installed, and more importantly brought Malwarebytes up-to-date with malware definitions, you then need to click on the SCAN NOW button to perform an initial scan of your computer files for possible malware infection.
Fig 1.11 - Click on the SCAN NOW button to begin a scan for possible malware infected files on your computer
If you have purchased a Malwarebytes Premium license, you should click on the ACTIVATE button so that you can gain realtime (always on) protection against malware amongst other things. You will need your e-mail ready as it contains your ID and Product Key (serial number). The activation can be done before or after the initial scan.
Fig 1.12 - The computer is now being scanned for potential malware (malicious software) problems
As the quick scan is being performed (above) it will scan thousands of system files, third-party files and personal files for possible malware problems - ITEMS SCANNED. Ignore that reading and concentrate on the THREATS IDENTIFIED reading. When the quick scan has completed (below) it should, hopefully, state THREATS DETECTED: 0. If not, your computer has malware problems. Whether they are serious malware problems or not is another story.
Fig 1.13 - How many objects did MalwareBytes detect on your computer?
In the above example I did not have any malware problems after a quick scan of 329,399 files - THREATS DETECTED: 0 - but this does not necessarily mean there are zero problems. Meaning, you should always perform a full scan the first time you install MalwareBytes.
In the example below I am going to perform a full Malwarebytes scan, using a different computer that I know has malware problems on it. A full scan can be performed by clicking on the SCAN Menu button and selecting the CUSTOM SCAN option (Fig 2.0 below) before clicking on the CONFIGURE SCAN button. From there, tick all the listed system files (Fig 2.1), as well as tick the Scan For RootKits option, before clicking on the SCAN NOW button.
Fig 2.0 - Click on the SCAN Menu button, select the CUSTOM SCAN option and then click on the CONFIGURE SCAN button.
Fig 2.1 - Tick all the listed system files, as well as the Scan For RootKits option, before clicking on the SCAN NOW button.
After clicking on the SCAN NOW button, MalwareBytes' full scan for potential malware threats initially finds 77 potential malware threats (Fig 2.2), but in the end finds 488 potential malware threats (PUPs / Potentially Unwanted Programs) and one actual piece of malware called Hijack.host.
Fig 2.2 - The full scan has currently identified 77 potential malware threats
Regardless of how malware gets onto a computer (i.e. by visiting a bad website and/or by indirectly downloading a virus infected file), and regardless of trusted software on a bad website or trusted software on a trusted website, whenever you get a malware notice (detected objects) you should ALWAYS have MalwareBytes quarantine that software and if necessary delete that software. In many cases it is better for MalwareBytes to delete the software whereby you either redownload/reinstall it from a better website or just don't use that software again (class it as unworthy). I say in many cases simply because there will be times when you know a piece of software and its website to be trustworthy whereby you feel MalwareBytes has made a bad judgement; but this only comes with experience of the internet - In other words, read reviews about the software you are going to install. Search the internet for the bugs name to see what others have said about it and experienced. Only then will you know for sure what the true story is and what action to take on the bug (malware).
With a potential threat found, make sure it is selected in the list of 'potential malware threats found' and then click on the REMOVE SELECTED button to remove it. The computer might need restarting in order to get rid of the malware problem(s), so make sure you save any important work before clicking on the REMOVE SELECTED button.
Fig 2.3 - Malwarebytes has finished its full scan - Select all threats and then click on the REMOVE SELECTED button to continue
In this example the action taken by Malwarebytes was to quarantine, and therefore remove, all malware threats. In many cases though, malware threats and/or potential malware threats are not as easy to remove and in some cases stubborn malware may mean a reinstallation of the Windows 10 operating system.
Fig 2.4 - The 489 malware threats have been quarantined and therefore removed
The FREE version of MalwareBytes will do just as well as the Premium version, but as said; The Premium version does offer real time protection and better scanning options. I have only touched on the basics (normal use) of MalwareBytes, but it does have more to offer settings-wise and therefore protection-wise. Either way, it should be one of the must-have protection tools on your computer. These days you cannot afford to be as ignorant as a few years ago - Malware programmers, con-artists and online fraudsters are getting better and better at what they do which means you need the best protection software out there; paid-for or free.