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Problems with 'Malwarebytes': what to do when an install of 'Malwarebytes' goes wrong

Don't just Google 'Malwarebytes' and click the first link returned

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is a great additional security tool for Windows PCs and laptops - just be careful from where you download it. One reader found his install of the software to be very unsatisfactory. Here we explain how to safely install Malwarebytes with no problems.

QUESTION: Although I have used my own tried and tested anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware software for many years, I was particularly keen to try the suggested Malwarebytes free software, with a view to buying the full version if it was as good as claimed.

When I downloaded it and ran the setup program the result was not what I expected.  The program tried to install all sorts of extra applications, toolbars and search engines, resetting my own preferred items in the process.  Then at the end I found that Malwarebytes had not installed even though no error message was given. There was just no sign of it on my PC.

I cleaned up all the extra items installed by the setup program and tried again, this time unclicking any options to install other software etc.  The result was the same, no Malwarebytes but still some unwanted toolbars, search default search engine and default home page in Internet Explorer - even though I had tried to exclude these.

As an IT professional of almost 30 years and a regular user of every version of Windows from 3.1 onwards, both at home and in the office, I was unable to get round these problems.  I certainly will not be trying Malwarebytes again.

HELPROOM ANSWER Looking carefully at your description, it appears that what you have downloaded is likely to be a fake version of Malwarebytes. Either that or the download site has confused you into downloading the wrong file.

All too often, sites that host the files for download are littered with adverts. Advertisers cunningly make these ads look like download buttons to confuse you into thinking you need to click it to get the software you came for. (You can dowload Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Free 1.65 here.)

In fact, they will download an entirely different program to the one you wanted. In many cases the real download button is placed some way down the page, requiring scrolling to reach it. Or it may be a simple link, which isn't as prominent as a large graphical button. This can result in you downloading not Malwarebytes, but something rather less useful or perhaps even harmful.

It's also not uncommon for malware to masquerade as antimalware software in attempt to trick you into installing it. Default installation options which include various unwanted toolbars and other programs are very commonly found tacked on to this sort of download.

When downloading any software, but particularly antimalware applications, do make sure to go to the original software developer's Website rather than to a third-party site. Don't Google "malwarebytes" and click on any of the results. Go directly to www.malwarebytes.org by typing it into your browser's address bar.

Once on the Malwarebytes site, click on the Free Download button. This will take you to an external site. Click the "Download Now" button to go to the actual download page. Now wait. Do not click on any further download buttons. Your download should start by itself and the filename should be something like "mbam-setup-1.75.0.1300.exe".

During our installation of this file, there were no unwanted toolbars, applications or search engines offered for installation and a Malwarebytes application icons was placed on the desktop. This is what leads us to believe that the software you downloaded was not the genuine article.

If you're brave enough to try again, and you follow the instructions above, you should find Malwarebytes runs correctly without installing any unwelcome extras.

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor and Windows 8 Advisor for more Windows advice. Or email our Helproom Editor for bespoke advice.

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