We don't have a long list of pre-requisites which must be met in order to use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, though there are a few. Here's the whole list.

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 Anti-Malware. This is likely unfamiliar territory for new Malwarebytes users. This link provides a basic rundown on the differences between the Free and Premium versions of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

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 Anti-Malware. You must select the Free Trial option 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 Free Trial and do not wish to purchase a Premium subscription at the end of the Trial, your Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 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 Anti-Malware is available in two forms, CD and download. Most aspects of the installation are identical, though there are some differences due to different media being involved.

Malwarebytes CD

Insert the Malwarebytes CD into your CD/DVD player, and close the door. The Malwarebytes installer should begin automatically. If it does not begin automatically, do the following:

The remainder of the installation process for the CD version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can be found just below in the Common Installation section.

Program Download

To begin the installation, double-click on the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware installation file which you downloaded.

Common Installation

If you are installing Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on a Windows version newer than Windows XP, a Windows dialog box will be presented in the middle of your screen, labeled User Account Control. Verify that the publisher is listed as Malwarebytes Corporation and click Yes. This is a Windows security feature that began with Windows Vista to assure that an application's capabilities are limited unless and until you authorize higher capabilities. Once approved, the installation will begin. The installation program will display several screens which guide you through the installation, and allow you to provide alternate information if you do not wish to accept installation defaults. Each screen will also allow you to terminate installation if you do not wish to continue. Screens are as follows:

  1. Select Setup Language: You may select from a number of languages to be used during the installation. The language chosen for installation will also be used for program operation.
  2. Setup Preparation: This screen requests that you close all other applications, and temporarily disable both your anti-virus program and firewall program before continuing.
  3. License Agreement: You must accept the terms of the license agreement if you wish to continue installation.
  4. Information Panel: A change log is presented in the form of an information panel.
  5. Select an Installation Directory: In most cases, you can simply click Next to accept the default location. Please note that the amount of free disk space required for the program is listed at the bottom of this screen. You should assure that you have sufficient disk space for the program as well as for program logs.
  6. Select a Start Menu Folder (optional): Links to start Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will be stored here.
  7. Additional Tasks: You may also create a desktop icon here if you choose.
  8. Ready to Install: A final confirmation is required from you to perform the installation.
  9. Installation Complete: You may now choose to enable a Free Trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium, and you may also launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware at this time.

At this point, program installation is complete. You will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware user interface as shown below. If you have already purchased a Malwarebytes license, you may wish to activate your copy of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware at this time. You can do that now (or at any time) by clicking the Activate link in the black Menu Bar at the top of the Malwarebytes user interface.

You will notice the banner across the interface which tells you that a scan has not been run on this computer. Click the Fix Now button to run your first scan.

As the scan began, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware automatically downloaded the most current database update — assuming that a live Internet connection was available. This is to assure that you are receiving the best protection possible.

A final word about Administrative rights

If you installed Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from a downloaded installation file, you had the option of starting a Free Trial of our Premium version, as well as the capability to activate the Premium features if you had purchased an annual subscription. You may have decided to wait until later. If that is the case, please remember that you should be logged in to Windows as an Administrator before doing either of those tasks.

We will go into much more detail about Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, but before doing that, we should introduce you to the Malwarebytes user interface. Let's take a look at Malwarebytes' screen layout.