Installation of Malwarebytes is straight forward. Double-click the Malwarebytes installation file which you downloaded to start the installation process. Individual screens will be displayed for:

About Installation on macOS 10.13 (High Sierra)

Due to changes in High Sierra, additional steps are required to complete installation. Once installation finishes, you will see a window asking you to activate the Premium features.

When you click Turn On Protection, you will receive one of the following two notifications. The first notification informs you that a serious error has occurred that prevents you from turning on real-time protection. It is shown here.

Should you get this notification, click Open the website to get further instructions. You will be directed to a knowledge base article on the Malwarebytes Customer Success website for assistance.

You will usually see the following notification, which informs you that a system extension was blocked.

Click OK to display the window shown below, then click Open Privacy Settings to make changes necessary for Malwarebytes to function fully on the computer.

Click Allow (in the lower part of this window) to give Malwarebytes its full capabilities, then close the window.

You will be returned to Malwarebytes, confirming that real-time protection is now active. Click Done to begin using the program.

At this point, program installation is complete. When you open Malwarebytes for the first time, one of the next two windows will be displayed. The first window indicates that you have not enabled Malwarebytes system extensions, preventing it from loading properly. Click Turn Protection On to return to the previous step and complete this process.

The next window is displayed if Malwarebytes is fully enabled to protect your computer. If you have already purchased a license, you may wish to activate your copy of Malwarebytes at this time. You can do that now (or at any time) by clicking the Activate License button at the top right portion of the Malwarebytes user interface. That is covered below.

Free, Trial or Premium?

Before you begin, we want to let you know that throughout this guide, you will see references to the Free, Trial, and Premium versions of Malwarebytes. This may be unfamiliar territory for new Malwarebytes users. Here is a basic rundown on the differences between the Free and Premium versions of Malwarebytes.

The Trial is a 14-day opportunity to use the Premium version of the program, and to see if it is better suited to your needs. The Trial is available at no cost, but you can only use it one time for each version of Malwarebytes. The Trial is automatically started during installation. Once installed, the program provides options to convert from Free to Premium, and from Trial to Premium.

If you elect to use the Trial and do not wish to purchase a Premium subscription at the end of the trial, your Malwarebytes program will revert to Free mode. The only differences will be that the added features enabled by the trial will cease to function. All other functionality remains unchanged.


Malwarebytes is available for users of any modern Mac client to download and install at no cost to them. They can also purchase a subscription, which entitles them to take advantage of real-time protection and update scheduling. If no license has been installed into the product, the blue title bar at the top of the screen will show two buttons, Activate License and Upgrade Now. When clicked, Upgrade Now will assist you in purchasing a license and unlocking the full potential of Malwarebytes. This can take one of two forms, which will be explained here.

Traditional Purchase and Activation

When clicking Upgrade Now, most users will see a browser window that takes them to the Malwarebytes web site to purchase a license. Once the purchase has been made, license information will be sent to you in an email. Locate your license information and click Activate License. Please note: You must be online with an active Internet connection in order to successfully activate your Premium license. Please focus your attention to the top center portion of the screen shown below.

If you do not already have a license key, click Purchase a License to purchase one from the Malwarebytes website. After entering your license information, click Activate License. The two license-related links in the Menu Bar have been replaced by a link called My Account. Also note that the License has changed from Malwarebytes Trial to Malwarebytes Premium.

In-App Purchase and Activation

Users in some countries may be able to utilize a newer process in which the web store page is loaded inside the Malwarebytes application itself, rather than in a browser. It will launch when Upgrade Now is clicked. Following the license purchase, the license key will be inserted into the activation screen automatically. When you see the license displayed, click Activate License. Please note: If a license cannot be provided, you will receive further instructions at that time.

Program Updates

Malwarebytes automatically checks to determine if a new version is available. If an update exists, the following notification appears in the upper-right corner of your screen.

Click Close to dismiss the notification, or click Download to download the latest Malwarebytes version onto your system. To install the update, you will need to relaunch Malwarebytes once the download has completed. The update will be available on the Dashboard, as shown below.

Click Install Now to perform the installation.


Should you ever need to uninstall Malwarebytes from your computer, you will find an option to perform this task in the Help menu. Please note that admin rights for the computer are required.