Jump to content

Application Behavior Protection suddenly blocking my Excel documents

Recommended Posts

I'm running Malwarebytes Premium version on my Windows 10 PC. Today I tried to open a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet which is saved on my Microsoft OneDrive and my own PC. Malwarebytes Premium blocked it with a warning about it having been blocked by the Application Behaviour Protection layer and in the Protection Technique is states "Exploit payload macro process blocked". I have attached a txt version of the alert. The spreadsheet I was opening was created by myself years ago but I regularly update it (again it is only updated by myself) so I could not understand this. I did a search of these forums and - within the version 4.2 beta testing forum - I found the thread about similar problems when opening Microsoft Word documents. The thread is at:  https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/264227-anti-exploit-blocking-word-documents/

So, based on the most recent recommendations within that thread, I turned off Exploit Protection and closed and restarted Malwarebytes. I then switched Exploit Protection back on again. Now I find I can open this spreadsheet without difficulty. As I have never changed the default program settings (screenshot attached) I suspect this must be due to a bug in your software. I have also attached a screenshot showing my current Malwarebytes Premium version details.



Malwarebytes Advanced Exploit Protection settings 12Oct20.jpg

Malwarebytes Version Info 12Oct20.jpg

MalwareBytes - Excel - Exploit Payload Macro blocked.txt

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Staff

***This is an automated reply***


Thanks for posting in the Malwarebytes for Windows Help forum.

If you are having technical issues with our Windows product, please do the following:

Malwarebytes Support Tool - Advanced Options

This feature is designed for the following reasons:

  • For use when you are on the forums and need to provide logs for assistance
  • For use when you don't need or want to create a ticket with Malwarebytes
  • For use when you want to perform local troubleshooting on your own

How to use the Advanced Options:

  1. Download Malwarebytes Support Tool
  2. Double-click mb-support-X.X.X.XXXX.exe to run the program
    • You may be prompted by User Account Control (UAC) to allow changes to be made to your computer. Click Yes to consent.
  3. Place a checkmark next to Accept License Agreement and click Next
  4. Navigate to the Advanced tab
  5. The Advanced menu page contains four categories:
    • Gather Logs: Collects troubleshooting information from the computer. As part of this process, Farbar Recovery Scan Tool (FRST) is run to perform a complete diagnosis. The information is saved to a file on the Desktop named mbst-grab-results.zip and can be added as an email attachment or uploaded to a forum post to assist with troubleshooting the issue at hand.
    • Clean: Performs an automated uninstallation of all Malwarebytes products installed to the computer and prompts to install the latest version of Malwarebytes for Windows afterwards. The Premium license key is backed up and reinstated. All user configurations and other data are removed. This process requires a reboot.
    •  Repair System: Includes various system-related repairs in case a Windows service is not functioning correctly that Malwarebytes for Windows is dependent on. It is not recommended to use any Repair System options unless instructed by a Malwarebytes Support agent.
    • Anonymously help the community by providing usage and threat statistics: Unchecking this option will prevent Malwarebytes Support Tool from sending anonymous telemetry data on usage of the program.
  6. To provide logs for review click the Gather Logs button
  7. Upon completion, click OK
  8. A file named mbst-grab-results.zip will be saved to your Desktop
  9. Please attach the file in your next reply.
  10. To uninstall all Malwarebytes Products, click the Clean button.
  11. Click the Yes button to proceed. 
  12. Save all your work and click OK when you are ready to reboot.
  13. After the reboot, you will have the option to re-install the latest version of Malwarebytes for Windows.
  14. Select Yes to install Malwarebytes.
  15. Malwarebytes for Windows will open once the installation completes successfully.













If you are having licensing issues, please do the following: 


For any of these issues:

  • Renewals
  • Refunds (including double billing)
  • Cancellations
  • Update Billing Info
  • Multiple Transactions
  • Consumer Purchases
  • Transaction Receipt

Please contact our support team at https://support.malwarebytes.com/hc/en-us/requests/new to get help

If you need help looking up your license details, please head here: Find my premium license key



Thanks in advance for your patience.

-The Malwarebytes Forum Team

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dont have sufficient time to waste further on this issue today as per your request above, but suffice to say that as just posted at

I'm told that Malwarebytes are already aware of this bug. I'm reassured by this, so it will hopefully be resolved in an upcoming update. For my part clicking the restore defaults button and restarting the app fixed the issue for me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Staff

The above reply requesting logs from the Support Tool is just an automated response from the forum bot that replies to every new thread so don't worry about that.

Thank you for testing and reporting your success with the workaround.  As with the previous reports, I'll document your case and report it to the Product team and hopefully we will see a fix soon in an upcoming release.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm assuming a restore defaults will also wipe out exclusions put into place, custom scan schedules, etc?  If so, the only work around at present is to disable the exploit protection module and deal with the annoying popup notifications?  Can't a roll back be push out in the interim since this clearly affects a LOT of users?

Link to post
Share on other sites


3 minutes ago, ASI said:

I'm assuming a restore defaults will also wipe out exclusions put into place, custom scan schedules, etc? 

Resetting only the  Exploit settings to default does not affect the above.

Edited by Porthos
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Staff
2 minutes ago, Porthos said:


Resetting only the  Exploit settings to default does not affect the above.

Right, the Restore Defaults button we're referring to can be found under the Security tab in settings by clicking the Advanced settings button under the Exploit Protection section and it only impacts those advanced settings listed in that pop-up window under the tabs found there.  It doesn't affect any of Malwarebytes' other settings nor does it remove any existing exclusions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Back to top
  • Create New...

Important Information

This site uses cookies - We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.