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MalwareBytes vs Windows Defender

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Until recently when I would install MalwareBytes WIndows Defender would allow itself to be turned off.  <y latest latop is an ASUS with WIndows 10. AFter I installed MaleWareBytes I noticed that Defender was still turned in in real time mode.  I tried to totally shut it off. No go. I shut off the real time protection opton. After a bit Defender turn's it's Real Time option back on again.  I do not want two different real time malware monitors.  I need to shut one off. I'd like to turn Defender off. But if I can't then I'll need to turn off MaleWareBytes.  I'd haye to do that for so many reason including that I hate to reward Micrsoft for their underhanded software behaviour.  Help Please. Thanks.

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Hi Balmerhippie :)

I think there's a misunderstanding here. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is an Antimalware, not an Antivirus. Which means that installing it shouldn't disable (turn off) Windows Defender, which is an Antivirus. Do you have a third-party Antivirus installed (like ESET, Emsisoft, Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Avast, Avira, etc.)?

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16 hours ago, Balmerhippie said:

I guess I'll go back to the free version of MalWareBytes and go buy a real Anti Virus.

For the record, MBAM Free is only a manual, on-demand scanner to help REMOVE malware that made it past your AV onto the system.

For layered, complementary real-time anti-malware protection alongside your AV to help PREVENT infection, you'll need MBAM Premium.

@Aura is correct -- EAM is currently the only major "anti-virus" with both anti-virus and anti-malware protection.  The product name change as "anti-malware" was deliberate on the part of that publisher, at least in part to reflect the fact that most malware these days is non-viral.  Most of the other AVs are relatively weak on certain types of non-viral malware (especially zero-hour and zero-day threats).  That is the niche filled by MBAM.  But, as also pointed out, MBAM never was and is not an AV. Even with MBAM Premium, one needs a robust, real-time AV.  There are several excellent choices. 

The "take-home" message: one needs BOTH traditional "anti-virus" protection AND "anti-malware" protection in real-time these days.
To accomplish this, your AV (free or paid) needs to be supplemented with MBAM Premium (not Free). 
The cost works out to pennies a day and is cheaper than having to rebuild one's system after malware infection (I am just a home user/paid customer myself).


Edited by daledoc1
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16 hours ago, Balmerhippie said:

I replaced Kaspersky w Malwarebytes a couple years ago maybe.  So I guess I've gone without primary protection for quite awhile. I guess I'll go back to the free version of MalWareBytes and go buy a real Anti Virus. Thanks.


Our Malwarebytes software is not a anti "virus".  Ours does not substitute for nor is it a replacement, for "antivirus".

We do not turn "off" any other application when you install ours.

The other thing I wanted to point out is:  If you have Windows 8, 8.1, or Windows 10, the Windows Defender in those versions IS a antivirus.  It is a good one.

The one included on Windows 10 is especially good, since it also includes the ability to run Windows Defender Offline.

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Yes, @Balmerhippie, WD on Win10 *is* an anti-virus. So you do not necessarily need to buy a paid AV.

As @Maurice Naggar pointed out, you will be covered if you have Windows Defender (free AV built-in to Win10) + MBAM Premium, perhaps with either MBAE Free or MBAE Premium for an additional layer.

WD has its fans and detractors.  Many of us prefer a paid AV product.  But  WD is probably as good as any other free AV.

Thank you, @Maurice Naggar for the additional clarification.;)

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It may also be worth noting that since the Windows 10 Aniversary Upgrade Windows Defender will now do a 'Limited Periodic' scan - even if you have a 3rd party AV installed.

This may explain why your AV (if you have a 3rd party AV) is not overriding it completely.
If you have another AV installed then then 'real-time' function of WD gets turned off; but this Limited Periodic scan will still be active unless you turn it off yourself.

Read more here about this, and how to turn this periodic scanning off-

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  • 2 months later...

I'm a little confused that there is a distinction between virus, malware, spyware and other malicious software, and that you'd specifically target one or the other.

Doesn't malware suggest malicious software, so pretty much covers anything the user doesn't want there?


Just out of interest, the Windows Defender uses the terms:



Malicious Software

Realtime Protection

Malware detection

Sample submission

Offline scans


It at least sounds a bit like WD will essentially try protect you from the catch all 'malicious software'


I was just about to buy MWB AM again so I could get rid of the annoying WD, but it seems there is no point because firstly MWB AM doesn't get rid of WD, nor does AM do anything WD isn't already doing any way?


My only concern with stacking these kinds of software (anti-malicious) is that you also add surfaces for exploitation.


If you're strict with your local protection, and strict online, surely WD is ample protection?


I had MWB AM to cover off the odd failure in my approach, but if WD is now FORCING itself on me, even when off, with other software present, why bother with anything else?


Make MWB disable WD and I'd buy it.

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Starting in Malwarebytes 3.0, Malwarebytes will give you the choice to disable Windows Defender by registering it in the Action Center.


Be aware that Malwarebytes 3.0 is still in an early beta phase though, so there's still bugs that needs to be fixed.

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That sounds good to me. Is this something I can get right now, install, pay for, and turn off WD?


Just as a bit of background for my needs.

I run Win7 (with MBAM only), strict firewall with WFN, no i/o except those things that explicitly need it, noscript etc. It's mainly a workstation. I aim to keep it safe/secure, but have flexibility too. Ie, scans running at inopportune times isn't ideal. I might be working on a machine 12 hours a day and then rendering/processing all night for weeks on end. Having Win10 style reboots, scans etc are not desirable during high pressure projects.

I have a new laptop to free me up a bit from a life sat at a desk away from my family, but it's Win10. My current experience of Win10 is a constant interrupter, acting autonomously against my wishes, reboots, scans, random high CPU usage at inopportune times, adding firewall rules for things I didn't even ask for (minecraft demo randomly, yesterday?!)


Ideally I just want to stop/not use all the Windows bloatware/spyware and buy in or use freeware/independent apps that offer me complete control/flexibility.


Will MWB 3.0 still offer me complete control over the system like MWB AM, or will it also be a more autonomous piece of software?


Thanks for your time!


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  • 3 weeks later...

According to the Frequently Asked Questions very recently posted about Malwarebytes 3, this new version IS a replacement for other anti-virus programs, but it can also be used with another real-time anti-virus program if one wishes.  See the Frequently Asked Questions, especially https://forums.malwarebytes.org/topic/191650-malwarebytes-30-frequently-asked-questions/#comment-1077438

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