Malwarebytes won’t open? Use this troubleshooting guide to fix it

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
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What to do if Malwarebytes Anti-Malware won't open

Malwarebytes offers a plethora of amazing protective features in all their security tools. Their main suite, called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is currently one of the most popular antimalware solutions on the market. However, some users have had a hard time starting the tool and accessing it, as Malwarebytes won’t open for some of them.

This is most likely a virus issue, where the malicious software blocks the execution of the anti-malware executable. We offer some solutions for this problem below, so make sure to check them out.

What to do if Malwarebytes Anti-Malware won’t open

  1. Rename the mbam.exe to explorer.exe
  2. Run Malwarebytes Chameleon
  3. Run Malwarebytes as an administrator
  4. Try running Malwarebytes in the Safe mode
  5. Reinstall Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Solution 1 – Rename the mbam.exe to explorer.exe

Let’s start with a workaround we found on the official forum. Some users managed to get the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware suite to start by renaming the executable file. There’s a high chance that its execution is prevented by a malicious presence.

You’ll need the administrative permission in order to rename this file. And, after you’ve managed to start Malwarebytes, perform a scan and get the executable file its default name. It should work now.

Here’s the whole procedure in a few steps:

  1. Navigate to C:Program FilesMalwarebytesAnti-Malware.
  2. Right-click on the mbam.exe and choose Rename from the contextual menu.
  3. Rename mbam.exe to explorer.exe and run it.

Solution 2 – Run Malwarebytes Chameleon

In these unwelcome scenarios when you can’t start Malwarebytes, we can safely turn to Malwarebytes Chameleon. This built-in utility is there to start Malwarebytes when the usual ways fail you. If you’re unable to start the application in a standard way (from the shortcut or the notification icon), this tool should work its magic. After the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware suite starts, immediately run the in-depth scan.

Usually, you’ll need to do this only once. Once the Malwarebytes remove threats, everything should get back to normal.

Here’s how to run Malwarebytes Chameleon:

  1. Open Start and scroll until you reach Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
  2. Expand the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
  3. Choose Tools and then select Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Chameleon.
  4. The elevated DOS windows should appear so press Enter to continue.
  5. This should open and automatically update the stable version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware suite.
  6. Scan for malware immediately and restart your PC afterward.

Solution 3 – Run Malwarebytes as an administrator

This is a long-shot solution, especially since most of the users run their system with an administrative account already. However, if that’s not the case (more common on earlier Windows iterations), it’s advised to run the application with the administrative permission.

Here’s how to run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware as an administrator permanently:

  1. Navigate to C:Program FilesMalwarebytesAnti-Malware.
  2. Right-click on the mbam.exe and choose Properties from the contextual menu.
  3. Open the Compatibility tab.
  4. Check the “Run this program as an administrator” box and confirm changes.

Solution 4 – Try running Malwarebytes in the Safe mode

As you probably already figured out, the main goal here is to get Malwarebytes to run once. After that, the tool will remove all threats, including the ones preventing it from working. Now, another way to do so while avoiding a third-party infliction is to boot your system into the Safe Mode with Networking. This should vastly limit malicious software and you should be able to start Malwarebytes without major problems along the way.

Here’s how to boot into the Safe mode on Windows 10:

  1. During the startup, when the Windows logo appears, press and hold the Power button until the PC shuts down.
  2. Power on the PC and repeat the procedure 3 times. The fourth time you start the PC, the Advanced recovery menu should appear.
  3. Choose Troubleshoot.
  4. Select Advanced Options and then Startup settings.
  5. Click Restart.
  6. Choose Safe mode with Networking from the list.
  7. Start Malwarebytes and scan for malware.
  8. Restart PC afterward and check whether the Malwarebytes start or not.

Solution 5 – Reinstall Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Finally, if none of the previous solutions worked for you, a clean reinstallation should provide the resolution for the problem at hand. After you successfully remove Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from your PC, download and install the latest version. Don’t forget to keep your credentials, so you can activate it right away.

Follow these steps to reinstall Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your PC:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type Control, and open Control Panel.
  2. Choose “Uninstall a program“.
  3. Uninstall Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
  4. Navigate to here and download the latest version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

With that said, we can conclude this article. If you have any additional questions or suggestions, feel free to tell us in the comments section. If the problem is persistent, don’t forget to contact the official support and provide necessary logs and screenshots.