to complete an anti-virus or anti-malware scan depends
on a variety of factors
-- Using two security scanning engines at the same time can cause each to interfere with the other, cause systems hangs, false detections, unreliable results and other unpredictable behavior.
- The program itself and how its scanning engine is designed to scan: using a signature database vs heuristic scanning or a combination of both.
- Options to scan for spyware, adware, riskware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPS).
- Options to scan memory, boot sectors, registry and alternate data streams (ADS).
- Type of scan performed: Deep, Quick or Custom scanning.
- What action has to be performed when malware is detected.
- A computer's hard drive size.
- Disk used capacity (number of files to include temporary files) that have to be scanned.
- Types of files (.exe, .dll, .sys, .cab, archived, compressed, packed, email, etc) that are scanned.
- Whether external drives are included in the scan.
- Competition for and utilization of system resources by the scanner.
- Other running processes and programs in the background.
- Interference from malware.
- Interference from the user.
-- If the screensaver, hibernation or Sleep Mode are not turned off before scanning, those features can sometimes have odd effects when attempting to resume normal mode.
Note: It is not unusual for an anti-virus or anti-malware scanner to be suspicious of some compressed
, .cab .jar
files because they have difficulty reading what is inside them. These kind of files often trigger alerts by security software using heuristic detection
because they are resistant to scanning (difficult to read). This resistance may also result in some scanners to stall (hang) on these particular types of files or just ignore (skip) them.
To speed up your scans, clean out the temporary files
or use ATF Cleaner
first, temporarily disable any other real-time protection tools
, close all open programs, do not use
the computer during the scan and then make sure you only do a Quick Scan
. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is designed
to remove malware as effectively with a Quick Scan as it will with a Full Scan which takes much longer to complete. Both do full heuristics, memory, load points and multiple other malware checks. The Quick Scan looks at the most prevalent places for active malware so scanning every single file on the drive isn't always necessary. The Full Scan only has the ability to catch more traces in rare circumstances.
If you still cannot run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware or complete a scan in normal mode, then try performing a Quick Scan
in "safe mode
Scanning with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in safe or normal mode will work but removal functions are not as powerful in safe mode. MBAM is designed to be at full power when malware is running so safe mode is not necessary when using it. In fact, MBAM loses some effectiveness
for detection & removal when used in safe mode because the program includes a special driver which does not work in safe mode. Further, scanning in safe mode prevents some types of malware from running so it may be missed during the detection process. Additionally, there are various types of malware infections which target the safeboot keyset so booting into safe mode is not always possible. For optimal removal, normal mode is recommended
so it does not limit the abilities of MBAM but sometimes there is no alternative but to do a safe mode scan. If that is the case, after completing a safe mode scan, reboot normally, update the database definitions
through the program's interface (preferable method
) and try rescanning again.