Scanning for malware with a utility like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can be slow on some computers, so we have put together a collection of top tips to speed up your scans.
Security software is essential for protecting your Windows computer on the internet and there is bad software, viruses, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), spyware, phishing and various types of website malware.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware adds an extra layer of security to antivirus software
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On a slow computer with lots of files on the disk drive, scanning it for malware can take half an hour or more. Laptop computers are particularly slow because they tend to be optimised for low power consumption rather than high performance.
Scans can be irritatingly slow. However, there are a few tweaks to Malwarebytes Anti-Malware that can speed them up quite a bit.
1 Open Anti-Malware
Left click the up arrow at the right side of the taskbar then right click the Anti-Malware icon. It is hard to see with this colour scheme, but you can just make it out. Left click Open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on the menu.
2 Don’t scan… yet
On the main screen, do not click the big Scan Now button at the bottom. This launches a full scan that takes a long time to complete. Instead, click the SCAN button in the toolbar at the top.
3 Fast hyper scans
There are three scans and if you want to save time and finish the scan in less time than usual, click Hyper Scan on the right. Then click the Start Scan button.
A normal scan, a Threat Scan, performs a very thorough scan of the system and it has eight steps. A Hyper Scan does not scan every single file on the disk. Instead it looks in the most likely places malware is found and it has five steps. This saves time and the scan completes sooner.
4 Scan results
Hopefully, the scan will not find any problems and you will see a screen like this, with Threats Identified: 0.
If any malware is found during the scan, it will be listed on this screen. Tick the boxes next to each of the malware items and then click the Remove Selected button.
5 Faster custom scans
Return to the main screen and click SCAN again. This time select Custom Scan because we can tweak it to scan even faster – faster than a fast hyper scan! Click Configure Scan.
6 Options and folders
One way to speed up scanning is to limit the amount of scanning Anti-Malware has to do. The fastest custom scan is achieved by clearing the tick boxes next to the options on the left.
Scanning for Rootkits is slow and unless you suspect something has infected the computer, it can be disabled here. Clear the tick against Scan Archives if you have a lot of zip files on the disk, otherwise Anti-Malware will spend a lot of time extracting files from the zips to scan them.
The other two items, Scan Memory Objects and Sacn Startup and Registry Settings can be disabled unless you suspect an infection is present.
On the right you can select one or more folders on the disk drive using the tick boxes. Limiting a scan to a folder where malware might be present, such as the Downloads folder used by web browsers, will speed up the scan.
7 Ultimate speed boost
There is an even faster way to scan a folder and this is from an Explorer window. Right click a folder, such as Downloads, and select Scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on the menu.
8 The scan progress
A full threat scan is an eight step process, but this right-click folder scan has only three steps. It limits the steps to a quick check for updates, some pre-scan operations and then it scans the files, such as the Downloads folder.
9 Advanced settings
Let’s take a look at the settings and see what we can tweak for extra speed. On the home screen click the SETTINGS button in the toolbar. On the next screen, select Advanced Settings in the left panel.
Look for the item that says Reduce priority of scans to improve multitasking. Clear the tick box to enable Anti-Malware to run at top speed. (Tick it if you want to use your computer for other things while scanning is in progress.)
10 Don’t scan archives
Select Detection and Protection in the left panel. Clear the tick against Scan within archives. If you have a lot of zip files on the disk then a lot of time is spent unzipping them to check the contents. It slows down scanning.
This does mean that malware could be hiding within zip files, but when the archive is extracted and the contents saved to disk, the files can be scanned. Real-time protection in Anti-Malware check them or you can perform a right-click scan on the folder manually.
About Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is an essential tool for protecting your computer from threats on the internet. It is not a replacement for antivirus, it works alongside it providing extra protection to make your PC super-secure. It can detect threats that some antivirus software might miss or ignore.
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