The CPU Usage for the Malwarebytes Service should be minimal when Malwarebytes is idle, and when performing a scan, it shouldn’t exceed 30 – 50% usage on most systems.
If the CPU usage exceeds these values, there’s likely some underlying issue with the Malwarebytes version you’re using, or some of its configurations.
In this article, we’ve detailed how you can find the exact reason behind the Malwarebytes Service High CPU Usage issue, and troubleshoot it accordingly.
What Causes Malwarebytes Service High CPU Usage?
How to Fix Malwarebytes Service High CPU Usage?
If the CPU usage is excessively high, you can end the Malwarebytes Service via the Task Manager. As this is only a temporary fix, you should apply the solutions listed below to fix the issue at its root.
Control CPU Usage From Settings
Malwarebytes also allows you control the CPU usage when scanning. If you’re facing high CPU usage during a manual or scheduled scan, the following steps should be helpful:
- Launch Malwarebytes and go to Settings > Advanced.
- In the CPU Usage section, set the CPU usage to Low or Medium. Do note that the scan will take a bit longer to complete with these settings.
Resolve Antivirus Conflict
If you’re using a third-party antivirus alongside Malwarebytes, it’s possible that the antivirus is misinterpreting Malwarebytes as a threat. This antivirus conflict could be what’s leading to the high CPU usage. As such, you can try adding Malwarebytes to the antivirus exclusion list with the following steps:
- Launch the Antivirus and open Settings.
- Look for the Manage Exclusions or similar option and press Add:
- Add the following folders to the exclusion list:
- If the CPU usage issue persists, add the following items as well:
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\mbae64.sys (Only present on 64-bit machines.)
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\mbae.sys (Only present on 32-bit machines.)
Some users reported that adding Malwarebytes to the exclusion list wasn’t sufficient, and they had to remove the antivirus entirely. Here’s how you can do the same on Windows:
- Press Win + R, type
appwiz.cpl, and press Enter.
- Select the antivirus from the list, press Remove / Uninstall, and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Once it’s uninstalled, restart your PC. If the CPU usage is fixed, you may want to switch to Windows Defender or a different antivirus. However, if the CPU usage still persists, then the issue may be with Malwarebytes itself rather than the antivirus. You can reinstall the antivirus in such cases.
On Macs, you can follow the steps listed below to remove the antivirus:
- Press Command + Spacebar to bring up Spotlight and search the antivirus.
- Hold Command and double-click the Antivirus.
- In the Finder, select File > Move to Trash.
- Input your account credentials if prompted. Next, select Finder > Empty Trash to remove the antivirus.
If you’re using an older version of Malwarebytes, updating to the latest stable version may resolve the high CPU usage as most bugs and similar issues are patched in the newer versions. Here’s how you can update it on Windows:
- Launch Malwarebytes and click on the Settings cog from the top right.
- Select General > Application updates and click on Check for updates. Alternatively, you can also go to About > Version information and check for updates from there.
- If an update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to install it.
Here are the steps to update Malwarebytes on Mac:
- Launch Malwarebytes.
- Click on Malwarebytes from the menu bar and select Check for updates.
- After the update is downloaded, press Install Now and follow the on-screen instructions.
Clean Install Malwarebytes
A lot of users reported that they fixed the high CPU usage by removing Malwarebytes entirely and performing a clean install. You can do the same using the Malwarebytes Support Tool or the MBAM Clean Tool.
Reinstall Using Malwarebytes Support Tool
Here are the steps to perform a clean install using the MB support tool:
- Download and install the MB support tool if you haven’t already.
- Launch the support tool and select Advanced from the left pane.
- Click on Clean and accept the confirmation prompt to proceed with the cleanup.
- When prompted, restart your computer. Afterward, accept the prompt to perform the post-reboot cleanup.
- Finally, accept one more prompt, click Install, and follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall Malwarebytes.
Reinstall Using MBAM Clean Tool
If you’re on the premium version of Malwarebytes, you may want to look up the Activation ID and Key before uninstalling. We recommend referring to this support article for steps regarding the same. However, if you’re using the free version, you can just follow the steps listed below instead:
- Download the MBAM Clean tool if you haven’t already.
- If you’re using an antivirus, close it temporarily to prevent any conflicts.
- Open the tool, follow the on-screen instructions, and restart your PC when prompted.
- Download and install the latest Malwarebytes version. You can re-enable the Antivirus afterward.
Stop Malwarebytes Service From Running
If the other fixes didn’t resolve the high CPU usage, you can simply stop the Malwarebytes Service from running as well. Here are the steps to do so:
- Right-click the Malwarebytes icon from the taskbar and select Quit Malwarebytes.
- Press Win + R, type
services.msc, and press Enter.
- In the Services utility, locate the Malwarebytes service and double-click it.
- Stop the service, change the Startup type to Disabled, and press OK.
While this will fix the high CPU usage, there is a caveat. You can still perform manual scans, but you can’t enable Real time protection without the service running. As such, you should only disable the service if the other solutions didn’t work.
Analyze Log File
You can use the Malwarebytes Support Tool to generate troubleshooting logs which should give you a good idea of what the underlying issue is. Here are the steps to do so:
- Download and install the Malwarebytes Support Tool if you haven’t already.
- Launch the tool and switch to the Advanced tab.
- Select Gather Logs and accept the confirmation prompt.
- Once the log is generated, you can either analyze it yourself or contact the Malwarebytes Support Team for help. Either way, the log should help you figure out the exact problem, and once that’s done, you can apply the appropriate solutions from the sections below.
How To Remove Malwarebytes Service?
First of all, you can stop the Malwarebytes service from launching at startup and running at all via the Services Utility. If you wish to remove the service entirely, you’ll have to uninstall Malwarebytes instead. For proper removal, it’s best to use the MBAM clean tool or the support tool. We’ve detailed the necessary steps for the aforementioned things in the article above.