Beware when updating Malwarebytes Free – it will start you on a trial of the paid version (again)

If you use Malwarebytes Free, then following its invitation to “Get the new version free of charge” might lead you to think that it will replace the older free program with a newer free program. But no, they don’t miss the opportunity to install a trial version of the paid program instead. As soon as the trial runs out they will invite you to pay for it.

Several of my IT support clients have been confused by this process and ended up paying for the premium version when they just wanted to keep the free one up to date.

The good news is that it is possible to continue with the free version even after a product update and, given that it’s always advisable to keep security programs up to date, I think it’s worth jumping through a couple of hoops to get where you want to be – ie the latest free version.

To update Malwarebytes and keep to the free version:

  • Click on the “Install now” link (see figure 1, the second red ellipse).
  • Once the new version has been installed, you will see a window that tells you that “Your 14-day Premium trial starts now”. Just click on the “x” to close this window.
  • Click on “Settings” at the left side of the window and then click on the “Account details” tab near the top of the window (see Figure 2).
  • Click on the button marked “Deactivate premium trial” (Figure 2 again).
  • You will then see a message that your premium trial has expired and that your program will revert to the free version.
  • Check the top lefthand corner of the window and you will now see that, once again, you are using the free version. If you had noted the version number that appears at the top line of the window before embarking on the update, you would see that it has now been incremented to reflect the fact that you have a new version.

Malwarebytes give us a great program free of charge. They give us such a good program, in fact, that there is no need to pay for a “premium” version. They also make it relatively easy to revert back to the free version. Just a pity that they feel the need to risk confusing and misleading us by automatically installing a trial paid version when all we wanted was the latest free version.

Malwarebytes Figure 1

Figure 1. You can check the version number and whether it is the free one by looking at the top left. Click “Install Now” to update the program.

Malwarebytes Figure 2

Figure 2. Click “Settings” at the left, then “Account Details” at the top, and then “Deactivate Premium Trial” at the bottom, to revert to the free version.

Malwarebytes Figure 3

Figure 3. Check at the top that you have reverted to the free version (and see the new version number). See the second ellipse for the reassurance that the product “never expires”.

© 2011-2019 David Leonard
Computer Support in London
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