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Malwrebytes settings stored where??

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  • Staff

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  • Staff

Malwarebytes uses plain text files (with JSON formatted data/.json file extension) located in %ProgramData%\Malwarebytes\MBAMService\config to store product settings. Windows System Restore does not monitor this type of file. See About System Restore.

If you are looking to restore the Malwarebytes settings to default, you can use the "Restore default settings" button found in Settings -> General (scroll to the bottom).

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Why not use the registry like everyone else?

I was not wanting to restore to default, I was wanting to restore to my normal settings that vanished when I uninstalled MalwareBytes while trying to figure out why I couldn't install an old version over the current version on one of my PCs.

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I don't know for certain, but if I had to guess why they use files in a folder that they have full control over rather than the registry, I would say the most likely reason is security.  Even with deny (or even removed) permissions on a registry key/value, it is still much harder to defend against malicious modification or deletion than it is to protect files/folders on disk, and since Malwarebytes includes a self-protection driver in the form of Chameleon, I bet that they are relying on this structure to be able to better protect your Malwarebytes installation against malicious tampering.  It is also quite handy for storing backups as they do for the default settings with a set of default files stored in a backup folder for instances where the current configuration files have become corrupt or where one or more of them might be missing.

It's also much better for developing cross-platform compatible applications since Windows is the only current operating system to use the registry, so I'm sure it makes things much easier for creating applications and components intended for other operating systems in addition to Windows.

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It was just such a total pain in the butt to find that System Restore wouldn't restore my settings.

I always turn off the self protection anyway since I'm always doing System Restores and it's a pain having to remember to turn MB's self protection off first.

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Yes, unfortunately Malwarebytes' settings are not backed up/restored by SR, however that's actually a good thing believe it or not, because back when they were stored in the registry in older versions, any time a user used a restore point to roll back their system to any earlier point their Malwarebytes installation would break and they would have to reinstall Malwarebytes to get it working again.  This is because items such as databases and logs contain data which is relevant to the current date/time and when they get out of sync the software ends up being corrupted and non-functional and while some AV/AM applications do store many settings in the registry (though most applications use at least some folders/files for at least some of their data/settings these days), they are commonly settings which are less consequential and are often entries generated by the application itself when it is launched.  I suspect this is also done for security reasons, because storing even a hash representing critical data such as the product license key could put it at risk for being stolen should the system become infected and if the application relies too heavily on anything in the registry it puts it at risk for more easily being crippled/disabled by the bad guys should an infection get through.

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