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April 29, 2020

Fix Malwarebytes Real-Time Web Protection Won’t Turn on Error

There are a number of applications out there that promise to protect your personal computer from viruses & malware; and Malwarebytes, an anti-malware application, reigns supreme on many personal leaderboards as the first choice for anti-malware software. The company proclaims to block/detect more than 8,000,000 threats every day. The number is read as 8 million!

As great as Malwarebytes is, users often run into an error or two when using the application. One of the more common and widely experienced errors is the failure to Turn On Real-Time Web Protection in Malwarebytes. The feature prevents any kind of malware or spyware from being installed on your system via the internet and thus, is a crucial feature that needs to be turned on always.

In this article, we will go over a couple of methods to fix the said error in a step by step manner.

What is Real-Time Web Protection?

As mentioned earlier, real-time web protection automatically protects your personal computer against malware and spyware or any other suspicious activity in real-time (while the process is active or is occurring). Without the feature, one will not be able to tell if a file is infected without running a scan first.

The feature is of paramount importance as the internet is the primary source through which malware applications find their way to your computer. For example, if you accidentally end up clicking on the wrong Download button or were mailed malicious files as an attachment in the mail, then as soon as you click on download, real-time protection will detect the file and classify it as malware. The antivirus software will then quarantine the file even before you have a chance to open it and infect the entire system.

The feature, however, keeps turning off as soon as it is toggled on by the user in certain versions of Malwarebytes. While the primary reason for the error could be a bug in those versions, other reasons for the error include corrupt MBAM service, outdated or corrupt web protection drivers, conflict with another antivirus/antimalware software, and outdated application version.

Conflict with another antivirus/antimalware software, and outdated application version

Fix Malwarebytes Real-Time Web Protection Won’t Turn on Error

There are multiple methods to fix this error and there is no one method that is known to do it for everyone. So we suggest going through the following list and finding out which method works for you and solves the issue. We start by a simple restart of the application and proceed our way to uninstalling and reinstalling the application itself in the final method.

But before we get going, some users have reported simply running Malwarebytes as Administrator solved the error for them, so go ahead and try that first. If that didn’t work, then move onto the first method.

Method 1: Restart Malwarebytes

Whenever your computer throws up a tantrum, what do you do? Restart it, right?

Let’s try the same with Malwarebytes before moving onto more complex methods that will require us to make changes to the computer. Also, this method barely takes a minute.

1. Move your mouse pointer to the bottom right corner of the taskbar to find an upward-facing arrow. Click on the arrow to expand the system tray and reveal all the applications running in the background.

2. Here, locate the Malwarebytes logo (a fancy M in blue) and right-click on it.

3. From the following list of options, select ‘Quit Malwarebytes’.

Select ‘Quit Malwarebytes’

(Now, if you wish to go ahead and perform a complete PC restart to refresh Windows and remove any software glitch that might be causing the error.)

4. Reopen Malwarebytes by either double-clicking on its icon on the desktop or by searching for it in the start menu (Windows key + S) and pressing enter.

Check if the error has been resolved. If not, continue down the list and try other methods.

Method 2: Restart MBAM service

We tried restarting the application to fix the error in the previous method but that didn’t work out so in this method we will be restarting the MBAM service itself. The MBAM service when corrupt is bound to give rise to multiple errors including the one we have been discussing so far. A sign that the service has gone corrupt includes increased RAM and CPU usage. To restart the MBAM service, follow the below steps:

1. Launch Task Manager on your personal computer by one of the following methods:

a. Click on the Start button, search Task Manager, and click on Open.

b. Press Windows key + X and then select Task Manager from the power user menu.

c. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager directly.

Press ctrl + shift + esc to open Task Manager directly

2. Once Task Manager has launched, click on More Details to see all the services and tasks currently running on your computer.

Click on More Details to see all the services

3. Go through the list of Processes and find Malwarebytes Service. Right-click on the entry and select End Task from the context menu.

Right-click on the entry and select End Task from the context menu

If you see multiple entries for MBAM service then select and end them all.

4. Now, it is time to restart the MBAM service. Click on File in the task manager and select Run New Task.

Click on File in the task manager and select Run New Task

5. In the ensuing dialog box, type ‘MBAMService.exe’ and click on the OK button to restart the service.

Type ‘MBAMService.exe’ in dialog box and click on the OK button to restart the service

Finally, restart your system and open Malwarebytes to see if you’re able to Fix Malwarebytes Real-Time Web Protection Won’t Turn on Error.

Also Read: 15 Tips To Increase Your Computer Speed

Method 3: Update Malwarebytes application

It is possible that the error may be caused due to an outdated version of the application. In that case, updating to the latest version should fix the error for us. To update Malwarebytes to the latest version:

1. Launch Malwarebytes by double-clicking on the icon on your desktop or from the Start menu.

2. Click on Settings and switch to the Application tab.

3. Here, click on the Install Application Updates button found under the application updates section.

Click on the Install Application Updates button

4. You will either see a message that reads ‘Progress: no updates available’ or ‘Progress: Updates successfully downloaded’. Now, click on OK and then on Yes when prompted for permission to install updates.

5. Complete the on-screen instructions to update the application to the latest version. Once updated, open the application and see if the error persists.

Method 4: Add Malwarebytes to the exception list

The error is also known to be caused due to a conflict between two different antivirus or anti-malware applications installed on the same system. Malwarebytes advertises that it is capable of working perfectly alongside other antivirus applications, however, that’s not always the case.

1. Launch the antivirus software by either searching for it in the start menu and pressing enter or by clicking on its icon in the system tray.

2. The option to add files and folders to an exception list is unique to each antivirus software, however, below is the road map to the particular setting in three of the most widely used antivirus software viz. Kaspersky, Avast, and AVG.

Avast: Settings > General > Exclusions
AVG: Settings > Components > Web Shield > Exceptions
Kaspersky: Settings > Additional > Threats and Exclusions > Exclusions > Specify Trusted Applications > Add

3. Add the following files to the exceptions list of your respective antivirus software.

C:Program FilesMalwarebytesAnti-Malwareassistant.exe
C:Program FilesMalwarebytesAnti-Malwaremalwarebytes_assistant.exe
C:Program FilesMalwarebytesAnti-Malwarembam.exe
C:Program FilesMalwarebytesAnti-MalwareMbamPt.exe
C:Program FilesMalwarebytesAnti-MalwareMBAMService.exe
C:Program FilesMalwarebytesAnti-Malwarembamtray.exe
C:Program FilesMalwarebytesAnti-MalwareMBAMWsc.exe

4. Also, add the following two folders to the exceptions list

C:Program FilesMalwarebytesAnti-Malware

Restart your computer and open Malwarebytes to check if we fixed the Malwarebytes Real-Time Web Protection Won’t Turn ON Error.

Method 5: Uninstall Malwarebytes Web Protection driver

Corrupt MBAM web protection drivers may also be the reason behind why you are facing the error. Thus, uninstalling the drivers and letting the software itself install a clean & updated version of the drivers should fix the error for you.

1. We will need to terminate Malwarebytes before performing any further steps. So, scroll back up, execute method 1, and Quit Malwarebytes.

(Right-click on Malwarebytes icon in the system tray and select Quit Malwarebytes)

2. Press Windows Key + S on your keyboard, type Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator from the panel on the right.

(Alternatively, launch Run command, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter)

Type Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator from the panel on the right

A User Account Control pops up asking for permission to allow Command Prompt to make changes to your system should appear. Click on Yes to grant permission and proceed.

3. Type in (or copy and paste) the following command in the command prompt and press enter.

sc delete mbamwebprotection

To Uninstall Malwarebytes Web Protection driver type the command in the command prompt

This will delete the MBAM web protection drivers from your personal computer.

4. Restart your computer, launch Malwarebytes application and switch to the Protection tab, and toggle on Real-Time Web Protection and verify if the problem has been fixed.

Method 6: Clean Re-install of Malwarebytes

If none of the above methods worked for you then there is a possibility that the application itself is corrupted and needs to be let go. Don’t worry, we are not asking you to try another application over the trust-worthy Malwarebytes, we are asking you to uninstall Malwarebytes, delete/remove all the residual files and install a fresh, clean version of the application.

If you are a Premium user, be sure to have your Activation ID and the key to log yourself back into the premium side of things. If you do not remember your activation ID and the key, follow the below steps to get them (free users can directly jump to step 6 and avoid steps 8 & 9):

1. Press the Windows key + X on your keyboard or right-click on the start button to open the power user menu and select run. (Alternatively, press Windows key + R to directly launch the run command).

Right-click on the start button to open the power user menu and select run

2. Type ‘Regedit’ in the Run command box and press enter to launch the registry editor.

Open regedit with administrative rights using Task Manager

3. In the address bar, copy, and paste the respective addresses based on your system architecture to find your Activation ID and key for Malwarebytes:

For Windows x86 32-Bit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMalwarebytes' Anti-Malware
For Windows x64 64-Bit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWow6432NodeMalwarebytes' Anti-Malware

In the address bar, copy and paste the respective addresses based on your system architecture

4. Now, it is time to Uninstall Malwarebytes. Open the application and click on Settings. Here, switch to My Account tab and then click on Deactivate.

Switch to My Account tab and then click on Deactivate

5. Next, click on Protection settings, toggle off the “Enable self-protection module” and close the application.

Click on Protection settings, toggle off the “Enable self-protection module”

6. Head over to Malwarebytes site to download Malwarebytes Removal Tool. Once downloaded, launch the removal tool and follow the on-screen prompts to uninstall Malwarebytes.

7. Restart your computer when the tool finishes uninstalling Malwarebytes.

8. Head back over to Malwarebytes’ official site and download the latest version of the application.

9. While installing the application, untick the box next to Trial and continue installing as per the on-screen instructions.

On the next screen, Welcome to the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard simply click on Next

10. When installed, open the application and click on the Activation button. Enter your Activation ID and key we acquired in Step 3 of this method and press enter to enjoy Malwarebytes Premium again.

The real-time web protection error shouldn’t be a problem now, however, go ahead and check if the error still remains.

Recommended: How to use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to remove Malware

Other than the above methods, some users have also reported resolving the ‘Malwarebytes Real-Time Web Protection Won’t Turn ON Error’ by restoring their system to a restore point before the error ever popped up. Check the following article to learn how to use system restore points.