Fix: Malwarebytes real-time protection won’t turn on

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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  • Real-time protection is one of the key features of any antivirus program; when enabled correctly, it keeps at bay any malware that might attack your device when in use.
  • Malwarebytes seems to have a problem with the real-time protection feature, which keeps turning off.
  • This article is part of a larger collection that we've gathered in the Malwarebytes dedicated section.
  • If you're interested in the latest news from the antivirus software industry, don't hesitate to check out our Antivirus Hub.
malwarebytes real time protection not turning on

For some years now, Malwarebytes has been listed among the top 10 best antivirus software on the market. What’s more, according to PC Mag, Malwarebytes tops the market for speedy scanning.

On the other hand, it seems that the program has been having setbacks with real-time protection that won’t work properly.

Users have repeatedly complained about the fact that the real-time protection option won’t tun on and the developer acknowledged the problem. Several program updates should have fixed this issue.

We’ll be looking at a few solutions suggested on support forums, with more or less success, and also at one solution that surely fixes the problem.


How do I turn on real-time protection?malwarebytes real time protection error

1. Enable self-protection module early start

  1. Open Malwarebytes.
  2. In the Protection tab > Setting > Startup Options.
  3. Switch on the Enable self-protection module early start option.
  4. Reboot your device.

This should enable real-time protection early in the computer’s boot process. However, if the program keeps notifying you that the device is not protected, move on to the next solution.


2. Turn off Malwarebytes completelyantivirus real time protection error

This means that not only you have to close the program like you normally do, but you also have to right-click on the Malwarebytes system tray icon and select Quit Malwarebytes to completely shut down the process.

Then reopen the program and see if there is any change when you try to turn on the real-time protection feature.

Users reported that this didn’t necessarily help, but it’s worth trying anyway.


3. Uninstall and reinstall a clean copy of Malwarebytesinstall malwarebytes

  1. First, uninstall the program using their recommended MB-Clean tool, which you can download from here.
  2. Reboot your computer as prompted.
  3. Install the latest version of Malwarebytes, which you and in on their website.
  4. Turn on real-time protection and see if it works.

The clean copy should inherit your license key details, so don’t worry about losing your subscription.

Many subscribers were successful with this clean re-install. If however, you still can’t use the real-time protection feature, it is recommended that you contact Malwarebytes support,  and send diagnostic logs.

We hope that the issue didn’t get that serious for you to have to contact the developer’s support, though. If you’ve been through the same experience with the real-time protection feature, you can tell us how you solved it in the comments section below.


FAQ: Read more about Malwarebytes

  • Does Malwarebytes have real-time protection?

Malwarebytes antivirus software offers real-time protection only in certain plans. So make sure to check out the best deals for Malwarebytes to benefit from this feature.

  • Why is my malware protection turned off?

See this short guide on how to make sure that your Malwarebytes real-time protection stays active. Malwarebytes acknowledged that there was a bug and that although users tried to turn on real-time protection, it kept turning off again. 

  • How do I turn off real-time protection?

It’s not recommended that you turn off real-time protection. However, if you’re bothered by the feature, why not try another antivirus software instead? Some of the free ones don’t come with real-time protection but compensate with other options.