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New Malwarebytes is 'orrible! Or am I making an error?

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In October 2018 I bought a copy of Malwarebytes (MB) to work on a Win 7 and a Win 10 PC. I am often asked to download an update but after using PCs for 25+ years, I find that updates are rarely, if ever, an improvement, so I only get an update when I have no choice. Also, as I am now getting old,  I invariably don't like changes anyway! :-}

I recently downloaded a free copy of MB for a friend's new (WIn 10) PC and it's horrible! It certainly doesn't resemble the MB I currently use. For example, on my premium MB, I can designate the drive I want to scan, but on the free MB I downloaded, it's totally different. For example, I cannot see any option to scan a particular drive or folder. And on the "Scan summary" it doesn't even say (on either the summary or 'advanced') what drives it's scanned...

The issue that most bothers me is whether the 'new' MB I am looking at resembles what the premium MB will resemble if I download an update for the two premium copies I currently use (or a new copy in October 2020). If so, I certainly won't even bother renewing my sub.

(People download free copies to get an idea of what the paid version will do, so If the free MB is wholly different from the premium MB, it's hardly a good idea as it will surely only serve as a deterrent?)

If anyone can shed light on this issue, I'd very much appreciate it. Thanks!












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Hi David


There -are-  new ( different) screen presentations in the interface of Version 4.x  from the version 3.x
( There have been such changes ever since version 1.   There were changes with version 2  and 3 as well).

But one of the main things to keep in mind, is the under the hood changes.  One of the main major benefits of Version 4 is a much faster scan run times.
Version 4 is much faster in scans.

With version 4, if you want to scan a drive ( other than C ) or if you want to force a scan of an entire drive, you pick Custom scan  & then select the drive or drives to be scanned.
To customize a scan, click the Scanner card, then click Advanced scanners, then click Configure Scan. An example of the Configure Custom Scan page is shown below.

This article discusses the different types of scans

You can find the version 4 User guide for Malwarebytes for Windows at this link


This is a sample screen of the Custom scan section.  Just click  ( put a tick mark) for each drive you want to scan





 When you install the "free" Malwarebytes, it will have a 14-day trial period running in Premium mode.  That will have full protections & features same as ( exactly the same) as the Premium.   After the lapse of 14 days, it goes into free mode.
As there are many improvements in Version 4, I would truly recommend that you upgrade to Version 4.
Here is the announcement on this forum about version 4

If you really truly want to stick with version 3.8.3  on your machine, you can do that with a couple of adjustments.
Just keep in mind, some day, it will come to be that Version 3.8.3  will cease to be supported.   For now, it is supported.
The end of support for version 3.8.3 is 4 May 2020.
See https://support.malwarebytes.com/docs/DOC-2814

All software products change and evolve  and so we need to keep a open mind.   I am expressing this to you as one senior to another.
This version 4  is a better one than any preceding ones.  i.e. as one example, my scan run times have been reduced in half.


Let us know if you have other questions, or if you need other help.


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Hi Maurice,

Many thanks.

The (free) version I downloaded for my friend is 4.0.4.

This is the 'main manu' on his PC - as you can see, there is no option to select the drive to scan.



And if he clicks on 'Scanner', he gets this:


So, scan2.jpg.03c07ec5fcac2a3e64388eeead4a5d4a.jpg

So with the free version, there is no choice in what drive can be scanned (I assume the scanning is drive C:?) and if the user wants a choice, they have to buy the premium version?

In view of what you say, I may download the updated version for the premium MB I currently have on two PCs (valid to October 2018).

Thanks for your help.


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Tip:  Do not click the blue button "scan"  on that pane.  Just only click some other spot  on the Scanner pane.

on the next screen,  look at the bottom line in blue.   Click on "Advanced Scanners"


you will see the options, including Custom

Cheers   😎


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Wow! Many thanks indeed. That worked a treat! I would never have thought of doing that!

However, surely having to tap the 'Scanner' button but *not* on its "Scan" box (the place where most people would surely click) is an

error? This, to me,  is a classic example of how program-writers make things into a virtual guessing-game!i Hopefully MB will correct this

feature in updates as it could easily be missed.

Thanks again.





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2 minutes ago, davidkent said:

However, surely having to tap the 'Scanner' button but *not* on its "Scan" box (the place where most people would surely click) is an


It is not. The only scan one needs to ever run is the scan from the button. (threat scan)

Malwarebytes is not designed to function like normal AV scanners and uses a new kind of scan engine that relies mostly on heuristics detection techniques rather than traditional threat signatures.  Malwarebytes is also designed to look in all the locations where malware is known to install itself/hide, so a full or custom scan shouldn't be necessary, especially on any sort of frequent basis (like daily), especially since the default Threat Scan/Quick Scan checks all loading points/startup locations, the registry, all running processes and threads in memory, along with all system folders, program folders and data folders as well as any installed browsers, caches and temp locations.  This also means that if a threat were active from a non-standard location, because Malwarebytes checks all threads and processes in memory, it should still be detected.  The only threat it *might* miss would be a dormant/inactive threat that is not actively running/installed on a secondary drive, however if the threat were executed then Malwarebytes should detect it.  Additionally, whenever a new location is discovered to be used by malware the Malwarebytes Research team adds that location dynamically to the outgoing database updates so the locations that are checked by the default Threat/Quick Scan in Malwarebytes can be changed on the fly by Research without requiring any engine or program version updates/upgrades.

If you need a flat file scanner to check archived data/drives, I would recommend using one of the many available free AV scanners such as Kaspersky's Virus Removal Tool, ESET's Free Virus Scan, or even the built in Windows Defender that ships with Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10.  Links to the first two scanners I mentioned can be found below:


I hope that helps to clarify things and if there is anything else we might assist you with please let us know.


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To David.

Also, to add a bit.  The most frequent scan type is Threat scan.   That is what most customers need & will use,  Hence,  the blue Scan button there on the early screen.

Let me know if you need something else.


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Many thanks indeed for the very invaluable help.

There is one question I would like to ask.

I started the 'full scan' on my friend's PC last night and told him it would most likely take 1 or at the most 2 hours as his Win 10 PC

is a hard disc of 464 Gigs with 33 Gigs occupied with programs, data, etc,. i.e, the vast majority (431) Gigs is free space and I assume

MB doesn't scan free space?

However, to his amazement, after nearly five hours, it was still running! (as below) and he turned it off as he was going to bed and

he had no idea about how much longer it was going to take.

As far as I can see, his PC is reasonably fast and I therefore could not explain why MB was taking so long. Can you shed any light on

this please? Thanks





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16 hours ago, davidkent said:

I therefore could not explain why MB was taking so long. Can you shed any light on

this please? Thanks

See my previous post. A custom scan is not needed nor the recommended scan to use for Malwarebytes. It is essentially a waste of time. This fact seems to be ignored by many users.

On top of that,

MB will not target; JS, HTML, VBS, .CLASS, SWF, BAT, CMD, PDF, PHP, etc.

It also does not target documents such as; PDF, DOC, DOCx, XLS, XLSx, PPT, PPS, ODF, etc.

It also does not target media files;  MP3, WMV, JPG, GIF, etc.

Malwarebytes will detect files like these on execution only. (paid version only)

So wasting time scanning the full drive is not needed like was stated before. Drives are full of the above types of files and scanning them during a custom scan has no benefit.


Edited by Porthos
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10 hours ago, Porthos said:

A custom scan is not needed ... It is essentially a waste of time.

So wasting time scanning the full drive is not needed like was stated before. Drives are full of the above types of files and scanning them during a custom scan has no benefit.



So why does MB even offer the custom scan option if it is a waste of time and not needed?


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1 hour ago, BillH99999 said:


So why does MB even offer the custom scan option if it is a waste of time and not needed?


Because in the rare instance some one thinks it is needed and does not know what MB detects and does not it is there. Also, people would complain more if the option was not there then if the scan takes forever.

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20 minutes ago, BillH99999 said:

OK... guess that makes sense although it seems like a lot of work for MB to maintain a function that is not needed.  Seems a bit odd that they would do that just for PR.


Also depending on scan settings for example. Compressed zipped files. Most computers have tons of them all over and MB has to read inside of them.

The scan engine for scanning is also not a historical database, older items are removed on a regular basis to reduce the database size.

The types of files that MB does not detect as posted above will also be scanned but since MB does not detect bad copies of those file types and there are tons of those on a full scan of the drive it takes extra time to go thru those.

Also unfortunately for free users that is all they get. The REAL power of MB are the premium features, exploit and web protection. 

Free users have already been infected/compromised by the time some one runs a scan of any type to begin with and MB tries to "clean and pick up the pieces" after the fact.

I always tell the few free users that I have to run a threat scan at least every couple of weeks and if MB free keeps finding stuff they need to call me to sell them the paid version.

People like to scan downloaded files but... if you think about it, most downloads fall under the aforementioned file types MB does not detect like docs and PDF's etc.

I prefer to scan downloads especially if they are not blocked by Defender or MB's web protection with the Virus total right click extension even though it is not "maintained anymore".  

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Just now, BillH99999 said:

OK, thanks for the info and the link.  I'll look into that extension.


It does have a file size limit but most of what I scan is under the limit. The manual upload at virus total has a larger limit if needed.

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