Malwarebytes Real-Time Protection layers turned off at every startup

Malwarebytes Premium is an all-in-one security suite which guards the system against ransomware, exploits, malware and also provides web protection. In some systems, Malwarebytes Web protection module may get disabled, and the message Real-Time Protection layers turned off is shown in the notification area at every startup.

Real-Time Protection layers turned off

One or more Real-Time Protection layers are turned off. Turn on all Real-Time Protection layers to block and prevent threats.

The above warning is supposed to appear only when one or more of the following features is turned off:

  • Web Protection
  • Exploit Protection
  • Malware Protection
  • Ransomware Protection

However, Malwarebytes may display the warning at every startup although all four protection settings are turned ON.

real-time protection layers

Real-Time Protection layers turned off

To fix the issue, make sure you’ve updated Malwarebytes to the latest version and restart Windows. If that doesn’t help or if you’re already using the latest version and yet the problem occurs, use these steps:


Step 1: Clean
- Uninstall Malwarebytes
- Reboot your computer.
- Download and run the MBAM-clean tool from the link below. This tool will remove any remnants of earlier versions of Malwarebytes prior to version 3.0.
(For more information, see How-To: Use the Malwarebytes Clean Uninstall Tool | Malwarebytes Support)
** "MBAM Clean Tool Download":
- Reboot your computer

Step 2: Installation
- Download and Run the latest version of Malwarebytes installer from the link below:
** "Download MB3 Installer":
- Locate and double click the file, mb3-setup-consumer.exe, to run the installer:
** You may see a notification explaining that your existing Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, or Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware (Beta) applications need to be uninstalled before you can install Malwarebytes 3.0.
- Press Accept, then follow this prompts on the installer window.
- Malwarebytes will open automatically to the new welcome screen.
- If you have a premium subscription for either Malwarebytes Anti-Malware or Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Proceed to Activation.

Step 3: Activation (Premium Subscribers Only)
- If you do not already have your license key on hand, You can obtain your license info here:
- Press the Activate button in the top right.
** If you only see a My Account button in the top right your license has already migrated over. Please click My Account to verify.
- Copy and Paste your License info to the appropriate boxes.
** If your activation info has an ID press the "My license came with a License ID" _link_
- Click the Activate button to activate your Malwarebytes 3.0 Premium license
- Restart your PC one more time.

Src: Malwarebytes Forums

Information in this post applies if you have Malwarebytes 3.0.x Premium version, either the licensed copy or its 14-day trial version. The free version of Malwarebytes doesn’t have Web, Exploit and Ransomware protection features.

See also

Malwarebytes High Memory (RAM) Usage Problem (version 3.3.1 problem reported on 27/Jan/2018)

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

57 thoughts on “Malwarebytes Real-Time Protection layers turned off at every startup”

  1. V3.0.6 seems to have caused the problem for me. Everything was working until today and now I get this real time protection turned off bubble. That’s really useful as my pc is now unprotected by its own anti malware program.

  2. I didn’t have this problem in 3.0.5 but I have it in 3.0.6 If I start the Web Protection in Settings it says starting then it stops and then the message pops up again and again and again. I have this on 2 of my three machines

  3. Add me to your list – V3.0.6 has the same real time protection problem. Windows 7 Pro x64. I feel like MBAM is using me as a beta tester.

  4. The problem with “Ransomware Protection…” remains with
    If one turns it on you get a “Installing…” (or is it “Initializaing…?) message, which never seems to go away. How long does the installation take?

    I used to have the same problem with “Web Protection. But, I uninstalled the earlier 3.0.6… version, purged the Registry of all “MalwareBytes” entries, shut down, started up, and downloaded the version from the MalwareBytes web site. The “Ransomware Protection…” remains.

  5. Having the same issue here. Suddenly I’m continuously being told that my real time protection is turned off, I click to turn it on, it says “starting”, and then just turns it off again. And yes, I am using version as well.

  6. V3.0.6.1469
    Windows 7 Premium
    Scan shows I am protected but receive warning real-time protection layers turned off. Go to settings to turn on. Shows “starting” but never starts.

  7. February 25, 2017
    I have 3.0.6 I get the error box Real-Time Protection layers turned off with every startup and I can’t find a way to turn them on. I have a feeling I running with no web protection. I am not PC savvy and to me, is not helpful. I’m very unhappy with Malware.

  8. This is ridiculous. I have the same issue and never had one before downloading the 3.0.6. Malwarebytes needs to get this fixed.

  9. 3/13/17 Current Version on Windows 7 Ultimate: The “Real-Time Protection Layers turned off” message is becoming a real PIA. It seems to come every hour or so. Obviously V3.0.6.1469 has not solved the problem.

  10. I have version and it still says ‘Exploit Protection: Prevents vulnerability exploits and zero-day attacks’ is off. When I click to start it just hangs on ‘Starting…’ until it stops trying and it stays off.

  11. I too am having the same issue. My Real Protection won’t enable. When I turn it on, it says Starting….and that is as far as it goes. It will not turn on. I have version Why did I pay for this if it doesn’t work properly!

  12. I have the same issue ever since installing 3.06 – have used this program for years with no issues – latest download and now everytime I start our computer I get the error message as well about real time layers turned off and it won’t let me do anything even though they are all turned on – hangs the computer. What other programs out there are folks using as I have paid for the premium version and this is a big pain to deal with every time we start our computer and we are using this as our business so don’t want to deal with this every day!

  13. I have the same issue with 3.0.6 on a few of my computers as well. One, which is a laptop running Windows 10, can’t even run the latest version without giving a BSOD. I REALLY miss version 2.xx of Malwarebytes — never had ANY issues there! I am a Premium member also, and wish they would actually fix their **** program!

  14. It appears the MBAM service may be the problem. At the moment it shows as “stopping”, but I cannot restart malwarebytes without a reboot, which would be a lot of trouble at this moment.

    US made software is crap!

  15. Same problem with version package version 1.0.75 update version 1.0.1596. I recommend cancel auto renew and start searching for malware protection that works.

  16. Same problem here. Version

    I keep getting warned that real time web protection is turned off. Sometimes re-booting fixes it. More recently it doesn’t. I try to turn on real time web protection …. nothing happens.

  17. Same problem here. This notification is really bothersome and won’t easily go away. It just randomly appears after starting and won’t go away until the button is pressed. Is a pest and unwanted.

  18. Same issue with v3.0.6 ever since it has installed. Had no issues with earlier version 2.xx. Some times I can exit MB, then restart and it’s fine for several days. Some times I go into MB and restore to default settings under Application and Protection tabs then works fine for several days. I’m lucky, it’s not a daily issue with my several Windows 7 & 10 computers, maybe two or three times a week. Hope they fix it soon. 4/2/17

  19. On 4/01/2017, I installed Malwarebytes on Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 10 systems.
    1) Malwarebytes doesn’t give choice of installing “premium trial”. It always installs it.
    2) With Windows XP:
    a) It hangs “scanning root kits”.
    (Possibly Unwanted Modification)!
    c) It slows LAN traffic (between XP and W10) to take over an hour for a 30-second operation!
    3) With Windows 7:
    -MB3 won’t update definitions
    -crashes on start-up
    -prevents re-installation of mbam-setup-
    -Mbam-clean- doesn’t remove any mbam files!
    4) With Windows 10:
    -no problems so far
    Malewarebytes has ruined a previously good product. I’ve gone back to using 2.2.1.

  20. For me, its “exploit protection” that’s always turned off on bootup. Mine easily turns on but it’s suspicious for it to bootup with it turned off. Seems to me that’s when you really need it.

  21. V3.0.6.1469 on two Windows 10 computers, one 64 bit and on older 32 bit machine – same issues as described by other users. Mostly it’s Web Protection that shows as not started on mine, but sometimes other protection services. Reboot sometimes fixes it temporarily – annoying.

  22. MalwareBytes Premium v3.06 still causing the same problem for me too. Multiple reinstalls have not helped. Will MalwwareBytes post some newer update or solution here, please?

  23. A simple reboot fixed the problem for me. I get that handling all the variables on countless machines isn’t easy and that testing will only uncover so much. Thank you for all your hard work to make this a better product!

  24. Have version on two computers (Win10 – one 32-bit and one 64-bit) with same issue intermittently on both machines. Normally it’s the Web Protection layers that is indicated as being off. A system reboot will sometimes “fix” the problem temporarily.

    I have totally removed Malwarebytes and reinstalled from scratch as recommended on the company’s website, but that does not fix the problem.

    I have stopped recommending Malwarebytes to my computer customers and certainly will not be installing it for any of them until this aggravating problem is resolved.

  25. I have the trial 3.1.2 and it was fine up until the other day it just stopped and now I can’t get it to come back on and it’s now stuck forever at “starting”.

  26. I have the same problem and I did everything to try and fix it without any success. I even reinstalled to the newer version and did a hard reboot without any luck. I guess I won’t be renewing my Malwarebytes Premium since I don’t even know if it is working.

  27. Same issue:
    Windows 10 Pro
    Component package version: 1.0.1974
    Update package version: 1.0.1974

    Behavior: Web Protection won’t turn on. Hangs @ starting and then resets to off

  28. Perfect! Just in time for the massive wannacry ransomware threat – MBAM stops working, as everyone has said here. On 5/17/16 MBAM just allowed cerber ransomware to sail on in and encrypt and infect my entire PC. I will NEVER buy this POS product again. I just emailed these morons that I am DONE. You have to email these jerks just to turn off auto renew. That is BS!

  29. Running Windows 10. Malwarebytes Premium version Web protection will not activate. Tried rebooting. Tried turning off VPN. Problem started this morning.

  30. 1. Right click the MBAM systray icon.

    2. Select “Quit Malwarebytes.” This will cause the Windows Action Center to red-flag your anti-virus programs.

    3. Click the flag (Action Center) and select “Check Anti-virus programs. This will cause a pop-up to appear listing the status of your anti-virus programs.

    4. Select Malwarebytes.

    5. Click “Turn On.” Wait a few seconds.

    The big MBAM systray pop-up telling you to turn on protection will probably still show up one more time (It did for me), but if you open MBAM BEFORE clicking “Turn On” you should see that all the layers are, in fact, on. So you can simply X out of the pop-up without clicking anything.

    Both these issues (Not starting all protections, and the systray pop-up) are BUGS that I’m sure MBAM will get worked out, but it is annoying and concerning.

    Note: If you don’t turn off your other programs before starting this list, the Action Center won’t flag the problem and you won’t have access to the Windows feature in step #2. However, after you’ve gone through all the steps, and MBAM is fully working, you can turn your other programs back on without it changing MBAM’s status. At least that was the case with MS Security Essentials. If you’re running something else you’ll have to see for yourself how it affects MBAM

  31. I fixed mine!! I have the 3.0. I went to scans and chose Hyper scan, it ran (threat scan wouldn’t) and showed all protections on. Then I went back to scans and chose Threat scan this time. It ran, and showed all protections on!! woohoo

  32. Not fixed in V3.06 as this problem just cropped up for me IN this version. In checking, the protections window, real time IS turned off and this has happened when my system is running and not just at startup.

  33. Same problem with on Windows 10, 1703 (Creators). Web protection just says “starting …” then turns “off”.

  34. Malwarebytes premium, version :
    on the protection tab
    under Real-Time Protection heading
    switch: Malware Protection: Prevents malware infections
    symptom: it’s turned off.
    action: when i turn it back on, it turns itself back off a second later.

    what to do?

  35. This is how I fixed it. Right clik on the task bar icon, uncheck Exploit protection, then close MB and restart, the web protection is now on. Go back and right clik on your icon in your task bar again and place a check mark by exploit protection and everything is working once more!

  36. My 3.1.2 version is still working great..two days now. Follow these directions…again:

    This is how I fixed it. Right clik on the task bar icon, uncheck Exploit protection, then close MB and restart, the web protection is now on. Go back and right clik on your icon in your task bar again and place a check mark by exploit protection and everything is working once more!

  37. just had 3.2 happen today, it JUST updated to 3.3 and seemed to fix the issue, so… Updating to the latest version seemed to help me. I did try about 30 minutes ago and it said no updates, then did it again, it said downloading updated version…. so go fig… sigh…. I love the program, but sheesh… I have had it forever, back when 20 bucks got you a lifetime subscription. 😀

  38. What fixed this issue for me,
    Click on “Settings”
    Click on “Protection” tab
    Scroll down to “Updates”
    Click “On” to turn “Off”
    “Close” then “Quit” Malwarebytes (3.3.1)
    Manually update on Startup

  39. I have premium, paid $70 Canadian for 1-year – Realtime is turned off – won’t turn on. Wow, this was expensive for not having Realtime!

  40. MB V3.3.12183
    CP 1.0.262
    UPV: 1.03545

    Still having the same issues, it will start correctly then 2mins later it will notify again and again. getting tired of this I had to uninstall and re-install this every now and then their update messes things up.


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