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Malwarebytes v3 is the #1 CPU hog on all my macs at home

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I own many different macs for my whole family: 

- Macbook pro retina 2017 mid specs

- Macbook 12" (2x)  top specs

- Macbook 13" 2015 top specs

- Mabook pro retina 2018 top specs

- etc.

All of them run High Sierra 10.13.6. All of them run MWB 3.3.32

On all of them, the attached is a typical representation of CPU usage i get from "RTProtectionDaemon".

?As you can see, on a 9h 12m uptime, Malware Bytes was pegging  the CPU at 94%!!!!!! ?

This leads to:

- slow macs regardless of CPU type, memory and ssd type. 

- a reduction in the lifespan of my components

- a pissed off customer. 

I'd love to send the 'report' you asked in your FAQ but I can't find the button specified to generate it - I take your forum post refer to an older version of MWB? 


In any case, please help, or else it's back to a different Antimalware for me. Thank you. 


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You should first be using the latest release version 3.4.12 to see if that corrects the problem. Select "About Malwarebytes" from the Malwarebytes menu and follow instructions to update.

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I have just purhcased a 2 year subscription and while I am not seeing the level of cpu useage that other are getting RTProtectionDaemon does seem to use more than I would expect with an idle system. I get continuous cpu useage anywhere between 10% and 38% with just an e-mail application and a web browser open and no activity from me. The cpu useage is split roughly 20% System and 80% User.

These levels of activity are higher than any normal AV I have used while idle which is ridiculous given the limited scope of MalwareBytes.

This is on a late 2012iMac running  OS 10.13.6

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am on v3.4.12 of Malwarebytes and I also have extremely high CPU usage from the RTProtectionDaemon process. Currently fluctuating between 57 and 78%. This is on a 2017 iMac 27" 5K Retina with 40GB of RAM and 4.2GHz quad-core i7. I can tell it's contributing to overall high system usage as all of the usual CPU hogs (Chrome, my daughter's copy of Fortnite, etc.) are all shut down but I can still hear the fans going on this iMac. This isn't good, especially since I saw threads from last year indicating problems with this process for both CPU and memory. Even though the RAM usage is fine now after the patches delivered last year (I see 287.5MB), the fact CPU is still so high indicates there are still some major problems with this process. So you've got at least one data point for the current release version. I've had a subscription since February of last year when I first installed it.

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I do not know what happens on your systems.
Me with Word, Excel, Safari, Firefox, Mail, Messages, Whatsapp Desktop, Activity Monitoring, open (only open but without doing anything), I had two RTProtection Daemon tips at 23% and 15%, during the opening of the above mentioned software. Once trip stabilized between 0% and 3% with approximately 90% of inactive CPU.
It is true that I am not doing any particular activity but it seems to me a situation similar to those described above.
Probably your systems have serious problems (but it is better to wait for Thomas' advice, in this regard).
For example, to an acquaintance of mine, with an El Capitan system whose clean installation dates back to the period of the operating system if not before, the scan lasted approximately 24 hours, something that never happened to me because I never exceeded 20 seconds.

My system is
MacBook Pro Mid 2012, i5 2.5 Ghz, 10 GB Ram, SSD Kingston, Mojave Last Beta, Malwarebytes Premium

A greeting


Edited by MAXBAR1
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Just took another look at the process and total CPU usage. Here is the latest:



I checked my other high-CPU processes, and saw that my wife's user account had Safari open and also using a high level of CPU (about 50%). Killed that process, and now RTProtectionDaemon is only using 2-4% CPU, with frequent spikes in the low-40s:




Not sure why RTProtectionDaemon is spiking like that, but at least I found a resolution to the issue and can confirm that it's not (at least not directly) an issue with the Malwarebytes app. Not sure what might my wife might have had open on her account (most likely Yahoo Mail, which has loads of ads constantly circulating), but I'm assuming there was something continuously cycling there that kept the RTProtectionDaemon process constantly scanning.

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  • Staff

Generally speaking, there are a couple things that can cause this.

First is some process that is constantly creating files in locations where malware and other threat files are commonly found, so we have to scan those constantly. One extreme example we saw involved someone who was using a screen saver app that constantly downloaded high-resolution videos in the background, straight into a folder with exactly the same name and location as a payload dropped by a particular piece of malware. It's difficult to identify this kind of thing without detailed information.

The other is a large number of browser extensions coupled with the default hourly scheduled scans. I don't recommend having more than about 5 browser extensions installed at most in your browser. (We've seen people with literally hundreds of browser extensions installed, for whom scans can take hours.) Keep in mind that every browser extension you have installed increases the chance of destabilizing the browser and introducing serious security vulnerabilities. Since you probably use your browser for things like banking, purchasing, logging in to valuable online accounts, etc, you should only have very few extensions, and they should all be extensions you trust.

These are simply generalities, of course, and each case can be different... so I advise contacting support if you can't solve the problem by doing things like eliminating browser extensions, uninstalling programs you're not actually using anymore, or reducing the frequency of scheduled scans.

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Thanks for the explanation, @treed. In my own browser / the settings for my family's user accounts, really all we have installed for extensions is 1Password and (in my case) Ghostery. So that's definitely not an issue. But I can see where the matter of downloading files to a suspicious location could cause issues on a site like Yahoo Mail; that inbox page has no less than 5 panels showing constantly rotating ads, so there is definitely a constant stream of "stuff" showing up that probably requires scanning.

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  • 4 months later...

Hello @knussear and :welcome:

Please consider posting data that better clarifies that Mac's CPU activity:

  1. Save your work and quit all open user applications.

  2. Launch the macOS Activity Monitor and sort the % CPU column such that the the most active process is at the top.

  3. Press Shift-Command-4 and capture the topmost 10-20 lines, of the activity window, to a .png file on the desktop.

Please attach the screenshot's .png file in your next reply to this topic.

Thank you.

Reference: How to take a screenshot on your Mac

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