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MBAM 2.x "Unable to access update server"

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Still using MBAM on XP (SP3), was able to update database until today when I got the "unable to access update server" just as MBAM was trying to update it... (See attached)

What exactly is going on here?  Repeated attempts to update the DB have been unsuccessful.

Can somebody please help??



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I don't know what you mean.  Only OK shows up upon accessing that page.  (I'm using FF 50.x)

BTW that was AFTER I was tricked into installing the latest MBAM version to 3.5.1 because I accidentally pressed "Repair" in the Support Tool instead of pressing "Advanced" to generate and submit the logs...

That said I still want to continue using the older 2.2.1 version because it's simpler, and that I didn't have good experience with v3 when it first came out.  Not sure if anything has improved in 3.5.1 (legacy version) but if I revert to v2 will I run into the "unable to access update server" issue again??

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This is weird, REALLY weird......

So I uninstalled MBAM v3.5.1 completely and reinstalled v2.2.1 again (with valid license of course).  The "unable to access update server" message still pops up, but the program DOES update the DB with the progress bar moving, even from the v2.2.1's bundled DB dated 2016.  Now the DB version is v2019.02.23.02.  (By contrast, with MBAM v3 there's no DB version being displayed, only "up to date" which is annoying)

Previously, when manually updating the DB, if there are no updates on the server the program would display "no updates found" then displays the most current DB version.  But now every time the same actions is performed, the program only shows "unable to access update server" and it only occurs since Feb 23...... (previously all DB updates were successful without any buggy messages like what is discussed here).

To summarize, whenever I do a manual check for DB update, on instances when "no updates found": should've been displayed, MBAM now shows "unable to access update server" instead, which is misleading.  However, accessing the site below shows the OK prompt:


Can someone tell me what's going on here??  Is this an MBAM server problem?  Can someone investigate??


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Hello @anon743:

The OK response indicates the XP system has the basic connection abilities to the Malwarebytes' database update server.

Actually, an upgrade to the legacy version ( is recommended.  MBAM simply can not offer the protection the super vulnerable Windows XP requires.

Has MBAM 2.X updated its database now?

Thank you.

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I thought so, so I downloaded the Support Tool to check.  But instead of generating and submitting a log I clicked "Repair" which prompted the subsequent update to v3.5.1.  But you're wrong with the DB updates (see below).

Upon initial impression v3.5.1 seems to run OK.  However, recalling from my negative experience with earlier v3.x versions I've decided to revert to v2.2.1 instead.
Issues so far with v3:
1. No DB version shown (only "up to date" status displayed even at taskbar icon level);
2. In case of MBAM crash and when I need to shut down program under Task Manager, mbam.exe process CANNOT be killed off (the process is locked somehow) and, unable to shut down the service, a new session of MBAM cannot re restarted.  This is NOT the case with v2 which has saved my many days in case of MBAM v2 crashes.

Compare my screencaps in this thread.  Before running the Support Tool the program DB was v2019.02.23.01.  Now, after trying and uninstalling v3.5.1, and reverting to v2.2.1 the program DB is v2019.02.23.02 as we speak.  But the "unable to access update server" still persists and now I'm asking WHY?

Also note my point (2) on why I stay away from v3.  However, I have not tested this with the v3.5.1 install so I don't know.


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I will consider updating to v3.5.1 legacy version if issue (2) from my previous post has been rectified.  In other words, in case of MBAM program crashes I can freely force-end the entire mbam.exe service and restart another MBAM session, just like with v2.

Forgot to mention another issue with v3.x: when exiting the program from the task bar icon, there's no additional exit prompt like with v2, which can be annoying.

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In order to terminate Malwarebytes via Task Manager you need to first disable the self-protection module located under Settings>Protection.  To check the current database version you need to check the Settings>About tab, the database version is the third value listed as illustrated below:


The versioning is different in 3.x vs 2.x so it doesn't display the same number for the database version as it would in 2.x.

As for the errors with 2.x, it is likely that since it's reached its End of Life date already that the update servers that used to provide the callback to the program that it was up to date (a checkin bit from the server if I recall correctly that would show what the latest DB version number is, and if it matches what's installed the program says that you have the latest version so they probably took that response offline since it doesn't apply to 3.x).  You can find the Malwarebytes Lifecycle info for 2.x on this page.  The last supported version for Windows Vista and XP is 3.5.1 which has not yet reached its EoL date:

† The End of Maintenance and End of Life Milestone dates for this product/version were not communicated publicly prior to the Lifecycle Policy effective date. End of Maintenance for this version will coincide with the Effective Date of the Lifecycle Policy. End of Life will be exactly 6 months from the End of Maintenance Date for Home applications, and 12 months from the End of Maintenance Date for Business and Technician applications.

‡ Malwarebytes for Windows 3.5.1 will be the last version available to users on Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems. There will be no updates for these operating systems, this includes additional product enhancements or features. In order to get access to any protection updates utilizing updated detection technologies or techniques in newer versions, users will need to upgrade to a newer operating system.

Please note, we do not intend to declare End of Maintenance of v3.5.1 immediately upon the release of the next version, but will make such declaration at a later date. We may release bug fixes, stability improvements, and other upgrades for the XP and Vista platforms on an as needed basis. Users on these operating systems will continue to receive any available protection updates that are supported in v3.5.1 until its respective End of Maintenance date.

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Thx for useful info

BTW I checked MBAM 2 on another laptop PC and the same "unable to access update server" message appears.  That laptop has not been maintained for the last year or so until just recently but the DB still gets updated despite the error message.

As for software's EOL, AFAIK MBAM v2 reached that long ago, but back then there wasn't an instance of the said error message while updating the DB.

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Yeah, I think they just recently took that server/system offline that reported back the current database version string in the old 2.x format (though obviously the actual databases themselves are still compatible since you are still able to update).  I'll poke someone on the Product team about it just to make certain it is intentional and not some random outage or some kind of technical issue, but I'm guessing that with so few still running 2.x and with it being so far past its EoL that they just decided to take it down/stop maintaining it as it had to get updated every time a new DB was published which, while it was obviously automated, still had to be maintained and uploaded by the Research team.

Edited by exile360
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  • 3 weeks later...
2 hours ago, lrbjmb said:


I have also been getting the "Unable to access update server" message (Win XP SP3) with free-to-use Ver Where can I download the Ver 3.5.1 Free-to-use software from?

Thanks for your help


The last version compatible with Windows XP is available here.  Also, please refer to the info in the FAQ posted here for more info on legacy OS support (XP and Vista).

If there's anything else we might assist you with please let us know.


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3 hours ago, lrbjmb said:


I have also been getting the "Unable to access update server" message (Win XP SP3) with free-to-use Ver Where can I download the Ver 3.5.1 Free-to-use software from?

Thanks for your help

The error message persists during update but the update process actually still occurs successfully. See my posts for detail

Not sure if that's the case with free version but in my case I'm using lifetime key

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

We're looking into some issues with our Malwarebytes Anti-Malware version 2.x update server. Further information will be provided as soon as possible.

Don't forget that version 2.x reached end-of-life on June 8th, 2017 (per our Life Cycle Matrix). Whilst nothing has currently changed in regards to our database update support for version 2.x, upgrading to the latest 3.x version of Malwarebytes is the best way to ensure you receive the latest and most effective protection techniques and protection updates.

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