We don't have a long list of pre-requisites which must be met in order to use Malwarebytes, though there are a few. Here's the whole list.

WARNING: If you are upgrading from Malwarebytes Anti-Malware version 2.x and have enabled Malwarebytes' self-protection feature, please disable it prior to initiating the upgrade. It prevents the Malwarebytes installation program from doing its job.


Program Download

To begin the installation, double-click on the Malwarebytes installation file which you downloaded.

If you are installing Malwarebytes on a Windows version newer than Windows XP, a Windows dialog box will be presented in the middle of your screen, labeled User Account Control. Verify that the publisher is listed as Malwarebytes Corporation and click Yes. This Windows security feature assures limited application capabilities unless and until you authorize higher capabilities. Installation will begin once this has been approved. The installation program guides you and allows you to provide alternate information if you do not wish to accept installation defaults. Each screen also allows you to terminate installation if you do not wish to continue.

You will see the Malwarebytes user interface. If you have already purchased a Malwarebytes license, you may wish to activate your copy of Malwarebytes at this time. You can do that now (or at any time) by clicking the Activate License link in the blue Menu Bar at the top of the Malwarebytes user interface.

A message will be displayed across the center of your screen prompting you to run a scan and clean any threats which may be present. Click the Scan Now button to run your first scan. After the scan completes, it will display as shown below.

As the scan began, Malwarebytes automatically downloaded the most current database update — assuming that a live Internet connection was available. This is to assure that you are receiving the best protection possible.

Free, Premium Trial or Premium?

Before you begin, we want to let you know that throughout this guide, you will see references to the Free, Premium Trial, and Premium versions of Malwarebytes. This is likely unfamiliar territory for new Malwarebytes users. This link provides a basic rundown on the differences between the Free and Premium versions of Malwarebytes.

In addition, you can click the Why Premium button on the Dashboard to see a brief slide show that describes the differences between Free and Premium modes.

The Premium Trial is a 14-day opportunity to use the Premium version of the program, and to see if it is better suited to your needs. The Premium Trial is available at no cost, but you can only use it one time for each version of Malwarebytes. The Premium Trial is automatically started during installation. Once installed, the program provides options to convert from Free to Premium, and from Premium Trial to Premium. If you elect to use the Premium Trial and do not wish to purchase a Premium subscription at the end of the trial, your Malwarebytes program will revert to Free mode. The only differences will be that the added features enabled by the trial will cease to function — all other functionality remains unchanged. Here is a rundown on the differences between the various versions.

A final word about Administrative rights

If you installed Malwarebytes from a downloaded installation file, you automatically started a Premium Trial, and were offered the capability to activate the Premium features if you had purchased an annual subscription. You may have decided to wait until later. If that is the case, please remember that you should be logged in to Windows as an Administrator before doing either of those tasks.

We will go into much more detail about Malwarebytes, but before doing that, we should introduce you to the Malwarebytes user interface. Let's take a look at Malwarebytes' screen layout.