How to Fix Malwarebytes Real Time Web Protection Not Turning On

If you are running Malwarebytes Free or Malwarebytes Premium version, the software can sometime disable the Real-Time Protection (Web, Exploit, Malware and Ransomware protections). The most common reason for disabling of Malwarebytes Real Time protection is due to corrupted database packages. While Malwarebytes’ Real-Time protection is disabled, you may notice flickering of the screen, slow computer performance and various programs not loading.

How to Turn On Malwarebytes Real Time Protection

When any of the Real-Time Protections is turned off, you will notice an alert stating that you are not fully protected. Upon opening the Malwarebytes Dashboard, you will see a message like the one shown below.

malwarebytes real time protection off

If you click on the Off link next to Web Protection, the software will state that it is starting the protection but will be stuck at that stage (see below). The protection will not be turned on.  At this point, Malwarebytes may freeze.

malwarebytes web protection starting

Thus, instead of trying to turn on the Real-Time Protection by clicking on the Off link or through Settings, perform the following steps:

  • From the Dashboard, Under Scan Status, click on Current next to Updates. The software will attempt to update the database to the most current version. However, at this point, the Web Protection will not be turned on. Proceed to the next step.

malwarebytes update current

  • Right click on the Malwarebytes taskbar icon and click on Quit Malwarebytes. Then restart Malwarebytes and the Real-Time Protection should now turn on when you click on the Off link.

quit malwarebytes

If the problem is not solved at this point, restart your computer once and it should be resolved.

Method 2: Reinstall Malwarebytes (Works with Malwarebytes 3.3 and above)

As of the latest Malwarebytes update, some of the users may not be able to turn on the real time protection by following the above method. In this case, download the latest version of the software again from Malwarebyte’s official website and reinstall it. You do not have to uninstall the previous version. Once the reinstallation is done, all the real time protection will turn on without any issues.

Method 3: Running the Compatability Troubleshooter

If you were unable to solve the problem using the aforementioned method, try the following steps:

  • Quit the program by right clicking the Malwarebytes icon on Windows taskbar and clicking Quit Malwarebytes.
  • On your Desktop, locate the Malwarebytes icon and right click on it. Select Properties.
  • From the Compatability tab, click on Run the Compatability Troubleshooter button and let the troubleshooer complete the process.
  • Your problem should now be resolved.

6 thoughts on “How to Fix Malwarebytes Real Time Web Protection Not Turning On”

  1. We are a company with a global deployment of >4000 endpoints running Malwarebytes and cannot leave these instructions to the end user. We are at risk and will give Malwarebytes another week to fix or we will be moving to Sophos Cloud. In addition, I cannot recommend Malwarebytes to other CISO’s, CIO’s or other IT professionals who are looking for a solution to protect their organizations.

    1. Hi Jason, you are correct. These instructions are suitable for those who use Malwarebytes on personal devices. The error is quite silly and should be eliminated by Malwarebytes to prevent recurrence. However, it keeps happening from time to time. It is a good choice to switch to a more reliable security solution provider to ensure that your corporate network is always protected.

  2. This problem occurs constantly ever since I got the Premium version years ago. I eventually get it fixed (but it’s a pain ever time) usually I have to uninstall and reinstall and reboot several times. I can’t believe that this bug has not been fixed yet.

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