Do I need Malwarebytes

My Malwarebytes subscription expired last week. I haven’t renewed it, in fact I uninstalled it several months ago. I uninstalled it because it was sucking battery power, causing the fans to race for hours. Also, it never reported anything at all, so I figured what’s there to lose if I uninstall it. (I’m on a 5 year old Intel MacBook.)

The subscription is $85 I could spend on books or something. I’m only asking because maybe there’s something obvious of value that’s worth the $85.

(Of course, as soon as my subscription lapsed the “today only 50% off if you renew” emails started. Kind of off-putting, those messages.)


I have only used the free version. I have a recurring task to run it every two weeks. I feel I’m generally safe and I’m not sure I have ever found anything on my computer. But I help a lot of people and I’ve seen it flag so much stuff.

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Legit flags or false flags?

I run a scan with the free version of Malwarebytes periodically or if I download something I’m not 100% absolutely sure about. So far I’m happy with that approach, which isn’t costing me a dime and doesn’t use system resources when it’s not running.

There’s also a free Bitdefender scanner in the Mac App Store in case you want a second opinion on whether your system is clean.

If you’re careful and you regularly install OS updates, you probably don’t need anything, with 2 caveats

  1. that doesn’t mean that you couldn’t unwittingly pass something to a Windows user if you share files with them
  2. There are few, if any, vulnerabilities which can be exploited on macOS. Apple is very quick to provide patches for them. But that doesn’t mean that there’s never going to be anything which could affect you.

I figure running a free scan occasionally is similar to buying insurance. I’ll probably never need it, but if I ever do I’ll be glad I did it.

Also, older versions of macOS like the one that may be running on Katie’s Intel MB don’t get security updates as fast as the current version, so they may be more vulnerable.

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For Windows, just the bult-in Defender

For MacOS - nada

Been running that way for years, including when I was IT for medium-sized govt. entities

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I’ve never thought about false flags but I know in some cases, things were seemingly off and when I ran Malwarebytes, it caught a bunch of things. It’s been awhile so I don’t have specifics.

I know two family members had some issues. One was being sent to a page that looked like google search but it wasn’t. It had ads on it.


The free version is very good at spotting ad ware.

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I don’t think you need to subscribe. Like others in this thread I have a recurring task to run a scan with the free version.

It’s picked up malware several times, in my case all in Node Package Manger (NPM) downloads. There is a lot of malware in those types of repositories so if you’re a developer that uses them, it makes sense to do regular scans.

If you only download from the App Store and don’t use any other package managers I’m not sure if you need to really, but better safe than sorry.


I believe that the free version of Malwarebytes more than enough for most Users.

However, when I dealt with “repeat customers” at the Genius Bar who came in for Malware problems on a monthly basis, I WOULD encourage them to purchase the software. If they want to avoid it, then they can pay for it. Saves them time from coming into the store and waiting for an appointment. Saves me from repeatedly giving good advice about not going to sketchy websites or opening emails with links to sketchy websites and not be listened to.

Yes Grandma and Grandpa… I am talking to you, but you still aren’t listening!


Yes Grandma and Grandpa… I am talking to you, but you still aren’t listening!

Hey, hold on there youngun’. I can still hear (and read)! JK…

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Thank everyone for the help. I only subscribed for a year, and never had a problem before, or since I removed Malwarebytes. At least, not a problem I know about :frowning:

I always have current versions of macOS and the security patches (14.5 now). I only buy App Store apps, or from SetApp, and rarely from a developer who provides more features in their own download than the App Store version. (E.g., Curio.). Email is all scanned by SpamSieve. I’ll even avoid Obsidian plugins if the “downloaded” count is lower than 50K, figuring if the plugin has a bad reputation I’ll avoid it. I won’t install software from GitHub. So, overall, I think my anti-malware hygiene is conservative and the extra $85 is better off in my pocket.


Unfortunately that hasn’t been true for years. If you drill down on Apple’s support page you can see references like “An attacker may be able to access user data”, and “An app may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges”. And you can search for the CVE numbers to find more details.

As Apple products have grown in popularity they have also become bigger targets.


Trust me… I’m older than I look.

It’s weird being the same age as old people!