Combining Windows Defender antivirus capabilities with Malwarebytes anti-malware protection would be great, but is this really advisable? Can you run Windows Defender and Malwarebytes at the same time?
It is perfectly fine to run Windows Defender and Malwarebytes together because Malwarebytes is coded to also run alongside antivirus programs. Malwarebytes will complement Windows Defender’s protection to make your PC safer without affecting its performance.
This is the best combination for your security. You will see a lot of advanced users going for this combination on forums like Reddit.
(You can also run Malwarebytes with other antivirus programs, but do you really need antivirus software if you have Windows Defender?)
If you are running Malwarebytes Free, you can download Malwarebytes and run it without a problem.
If you are running Malwarebytes Premium, you need to tweak a few settings to ensure Windows Defender and Malwarebytes run simultaneously without conflicts.
You will see below what you need to do in this case.
How to Run Windows Defender and Malwarebytes at the Same Time
If you are running Malwarebytes Premium, you need to follow two steps to prevent conflicts with Windows Defender.
First, you need to turn off “always register Malwarebytes in the Windows Security Center” on Settings, and then you should set up exclusion in both Malwarebytes Premium and Windows Defender.
I will show you how to do both next.
How to turn off Always Register Malwarebytes in the Windows Security Center
This step is essential because if you keep this setting, Malwarebytes Premium will turn off Windows Defender from running in the background.
- Open Malwarebytes and click on the Settings icon in the upper-right corner.
- On the Settings window, go to the Security tab.
- Under Windows Security Center, turn off Always register Malwarebytes in the Windows Security Center:
How to Set up Exclusion in both Malwarebytes Premium and Windows Defender
This step’s settings will ensure that both Malwarebytes and Windows Defender can run together.
First, we will add Windows Defender to the Malwarebytes exclusion list by doing the steps below:
- On the Malwarebytes main window, click on the Settings icon in the upper-right corner.
- On the Settings window, go to the Allow List tab.
- On Allow List, click on the Add button:
- Click on Allow a file or folder:
- Click on Select Folder and select the following folders.
C:\Program Files\Windows Defender
C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Defender
- Under exclusion rules, select Exclude from all detections, and then click Done:
On Windows Defender
Next, we will add Malwarebytes to Windows Defender exclusions:
- On Windows Search, enter Windows Security and click on Open.
- On Windows Security, click on Virus & threat protection:
- Under Virus & threat protection settings, click on Manage settings:
- Under Exclusions, click on Add or remove exclusions:
- Click on the Add an exclusion and select Folder. Add the following folders:
- Malwarebytes documentations recommend adding the following files if needed:
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\mbae64.sys (Only present on 64-bit machines.)
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\mbae.sys (Only present on 32-bit machines.)
With all these steps done, you are ready to run Malwarebytes Premium and Windows Defender at the same time without any conflict.
(One of the key features of Windows Defender is the Core Memory Integrity feature, but do you know what is Core Isolation Memory Integrity and whether you should turn it on?)
You can run Windows Defender and Malwarebytes at the same time without any issue since Malwarebytes was coded to also run with another antivirus. This will add an extra layer of protection to your computer.
If you are running Malwarebytes premium, turn off the “always register Malwarebytes in the Windows Security Center” and add Malwarebytes to Windows Defender exclusions. Do the same in Malwarebytes by adding Windows Defender to its exclusion list.
This will ensure that you can enjoy maximum protection without any software conflict and avoid issues like Kaspersky Launcher lab’s high CPU usage.
If you are a gamer, check this article to learn how to block games exe in Windows Firewall.