Android

Pro tip: Use Malwarebytes wisely to prevent Android slowdowns

Malwarebytes is a great app for protecting your Android device. However, if you find this tool taking up too much of your devices resources, Jack Wallen has the solution.

Malwarebytes

No platform is completely immune to malware -- not even Android. To this end, I always recommend protection. One such solution happens to be my often-recommended solution for the Windows desktop: -- Malwarebytes.

The Malwarebytes Android solution is amazingly effective and simple to use. But there could be one drawback -- resource consumption. By default, Malwarebytes installs as a real-time scanner. With this set up, you might notice a hit on your battery life and responsiveness of your smartphone or tablet (depending upon the device in question). If your device seems to be less than optimal (though malware free), you might need to make use of Malwarebytes in a different fashion.

Real time vs. manual scanning

As a real-time scanner, Malwarebytes will constantly be running in the background to check for malicious code on your device. This is what (most likely) has caused your battery life or device performance to suffer. To solve that problem, you'll want to disable the real time scanner and run Malwarebytes manually. I'll show you how.

Disabling real time scanning

This is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open up Malwarebytes
  2. Tap the overflow menu (three vertical dots in the top right corner)
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap to disable Real-Time Protection (Figure A)

That's it.

Figure A

Figure A

Malwarebytes running on a Verizon-branded HTC One Max.

The catch

Here's the deal -- now that you've disabled real-time scanning, you have to manually run the scan on your device. I highly recommend doing this at the end of each day (to ensure a clean device). To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open up Malwarebytes
  2. Tap the SCAN button (Figure B)
  3. Allow the scan to complete

Figure B

Figure B

Running Malwarebytes manually.

Ideally, you should allow Malwarebytes to run as a real-time process to ensure a constant malware-free platform. But, in the event your device doesn't perform well with this option enabled, you should use Malwarebytes as a manual scanner rather than remove it.

Android has become one of the most widespread platforms on the plant. However, that popularity comes with a price -- malware. To keep your device safe, make use of a malware scanner (such as Malwarebytes).

What do you think? Does Android benefit from anti-malware software? Do you think Google is taking the right steps to prevent malware from even making it into the Play Store? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

3 comments
cdaniels
cdaniels

Definately agree that anti-malware is necessary no matter what your platform. My 'personal' shop is 100% Android and I run anti-malware on every device.  I'm surprised that Malwarebytes doesn't offer a middle of the road approach, scan on a predetermined schedule. Sometimes you want real time scanning, but when you don't it would be nice not to have to remember to scann at the end of the day or at midnight :-)

sjs
sjs

How does MalwareBytes on Android realtime protection compare to the LookOut app I have had installed since my first Android phone (now on 3rd and have 2 Tabs too) and the realtime protection that CleanMaster app (still deciding whether to leave it enabled or turn it off, not using much resources) just rolled out in a recent update?