Malwarebytes has been an excellent protection shield for Windows users, who are concerned about their online security. For them, here is good news – Malwarebytes got a massive update. It now combines three tools into one. Earlier, there were Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware. However, Malwarebytes 3.0 has consolidated them into one and made an all-in-one security tool for Windows. Here is everything you need to know about Malwarebytes 3.0 that is available for existing as well as new users.
Malwarebytes 3.0 review
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.0 has been a great security shield for every Windows user. People use this tool not just because it is good but also because it works alongside other traditional antivirus software. However, now you no longer need to install any anti-exploit tool or an anti-ransomware tool, to protect your PC from unwanted threats, as Malwarebytes 3.o combines its three tools.
Malwarebytes 3.0 has an elegant and clean and appealing user interface. According to the Malwarebytes, this version scans files four times faster than Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.x. That is probably the best biggest plus point since an antivirus takes more time to scan the entire system for threats.
The new interface of Malwarebytes 3.0 offers five tabs:
- The ‘Dashboard’ section shows all the necessary information and the current status of your system. You can check whether protection is blocked or not. On the other hand, you can toggle them as well.
- The ‘Scan’ tab contains a summary of your last scan result. Otherwise, it shows the scan status when a scan is running.
- Next is the ‘Quarantine,’ tab which shows all the threats that are identified and quarantined by Malwarebytes.
- The ‘Reports’ tab contains all the scan reports stored in your system. A report is generated when you perform a scan.
- The ‘Settings’ section comes with all the options. From here, you can turn on or off a particular feature.
Talking about the features of Malwarebytes 3.0, you can find a few new options. Here are some of the features you may like in Malwarebytes 3.0.
- Faster scanning for threats.
- Schedule scan: By default, it scans every 24 hours. However, you can change and set a particular time according to your wish.
- All-in-one security shield: That means you no longer need any standalone anti-ransomware, antivirus and anti-rootkits. For your information, this tool doesn’t scan for rootkits by default. You need to enable this function right from Settings > Protection > Scan Options.
- Real-Time Protection: To be on the safe side, you must have real-time protection. Malwarebytes 3.0 provides such option to help you in real-time. It can also be stopped from Settings > Protection > Real-time Protection.
- Exclusion: At any point, if you wish to exclude a file or program from being under the Malwarebytes’ radar, you can rule out that program or file/folder from Settings > Exclusions. [Detailed guide is written below]
- Scan from right-click context menu: Like Windows Defender, you can get an option to scan any file or folder from right-click context menu. Just right-click on any file, select Scan with Malwarebytes.
To get started with Malwarebytes 3.0, download the Malwarebytes 3.0 installer, and install it on your machine. After that, you can see a pop-up window asking you to turn on real-time protection.
If you already have another antivirus software installed and you wish to use Malwarebytes as a second opinion manual scanner, you need not turn it On. Simply click the ‘x’ button to close the notification.
Once you open the program, you will see the following interface. You will see Real-Time Protection status, Scan Status and Protection History on the right-hand side.
In the middle, you will see a Scan Now button. To start your first scan, hit that button. Your system will go through several filters before showing a scan report.
The good feature of this tool is you can export the scan result in .txt format. To do this, go to Scan tab after finishing a scan and hit the Export Summary button.
Whenever you scan your system using this tool, it creates a new scan report. All these can be found in Reports tab. You can check the scan results by date and time.
Malwarebytes 3.0 settings
Malwarebytes 3.0 comes with a lot of features those can be toggled right from the Settings. For instance, you can do the following tasks from Settings.
- Show/hide notifications from System Tray
- Change notification visibility [or the time]
- Show/hide “Scan with Malwarebytes” from right-click context menu
- Change language
- Setup proxy server
- Limit all users from access to Malwarebytes features
- Toggle Real-time protection
- Enable/disable rootkit scanning
- Enable/disable automatic updates
- Start Malwarebytes at Windows Startup (not recommended if your PC already has loads of other programs).
- Enable/disable self-protection module
- Toggle Automatic Quarantine
- Schedule scan
- Exclusion to exclude certain file/folder/program.
How to add an exclusion in Malwarebytes 3.0
Sometimes, we do not want to scan a particular file or folder or program for a specific reason. If you have such program on your computer, and you do not want to scan them using this tool, you need to set an exclusion. To add a Program to Malwarebytes Exclusion List, go to Settings > Exclusions. Click on the “Add Exclusion” button. You will get a popup window, where you have to select the type of the exclusion.
For example, you can select file/folder, website, app, etc. Choose it and go to the next screen. Here, you need to choose an option among these following three:
- Exclude from both malware and ransomware protections
- Exclude from malware protection only
- Exclude from ransomware protection only
Choose one and hit the OK button. That’s it! The important thing is you must know what you are doing. Otherwise, you will end up crashing your system.
Our observations about Malwarebytes 3.0
Malwarebytes 3.0 takes a longer time to launch. And when the program UI opens, the taskbar notification pop up opens too.
I use Malwarebytes as a second opinion on-demand anti-malware along with my main security suite. Earlier, I could just disable the real-time protection and use the on-demand scanner. Now there is no such thing as a free version. You have the Trial version. And every time you launch it, a popup in the bottom right side of your screen reminds you to Turn on real-time protection. I find this quite nagging. I would have preferred the earlier behavior. On expiry of the 14-day trial period, you can continue to use it as a manual scanner. The free version will then continue to detect virus, spyware, malware and rootkits, but will not offer real-time protection, anti-exploit, anti-ransomware & malicious website protection.
If you wish to use it just as a free on-demand scanner ab initio, you will have to turn off real-time protection from Settings > Protection as shown below.
UPDATE: Malwarebytes 3.1.2 now adds an automatic scheduled scan option to the Free version.
NOTE: To use Malwarebytes as a manual scanner, open its Settings > My Account and there you will see a button at the bottom that lets you cancel the premium features right away and use it as a manual scanner. Thanks RacerDuke.
When I shutdown Malwarebytes after running the manual on-demand scan, I have to again right-click on its system tray icon and select Quit Malwarebytes and again on a UAC prompt which asks me to confirm. Else Malwarebytes 3.0 will not close down completely. You will have a Service running in the background.
I found that while using it, it consumes more RAM than the previous version. This is probably because it is running three tools (Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware) under one roof.
You cannot now download the standalone programs – Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware now. If you need to use Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit, you need to download use the earlier Malwarebytes v2.0 – or use another anti-exploit tool or free anti-ransomware tool.
But as an anti-malware tool, Malwarebytes continues to offer superlative protection, while adding several new features. You can download it from its download page. It is available for Windows 10 and earlier versions too. In case, you are using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.0; you can upgrade to the latest version by downloading the installer. If you wish to buy Malwarebytes Premium version you can get it from the Malwarebytes Store.