MalwareBytes: Context menu lost

December 28, 2017

This post is for me in case this ever happens again. If it helps you too, great. But if it doesn’t work for you, don’t ask me for help as I don’t have any knowledge of the MalwareBytes AntiMalware (MBAM) program — instead, contact MalwareBytes directly (https://www.malwarebytes.com/).

NOTE: Start with the info at the end of this post under ‘Update June 2018’ first. If that doesn’t solve it, then try the Registry thing immediately below.

What happened

MalwareBytes notified my husband of an upgrade (to v3.3.1) and he did the right thing and downloaded and installed it. But he lost the right-click menu option to ‘Scan with MalwareBytes’ in Windows Explorer. We reset the MBAM setting for the context menu (this will often work — turn it off, then on again; if it works, read no further!), rebooted the machine, downloaded and installed any upgrades (there were none), and gave up in despair as it was Christmas and my IT people were on leave and only available for emergencies. This wasn’t an emergency — just an inconvenience to have to manually scan a folder via the main MBAM interface.

Today, my IT people were back on deck so it was time to get it sorted out.

After checking user forums etc. my IT guy got back to me and checked the Registry settings. Nothing seemed untoward. Then he uninstalled MBAM (there’s a specific process he did for this, including using the proper MBAM clean-up tool, stopping MBAM and other services such as SuperAntiSpyware and Webroot, rebooting the machine, reinstalling a new copy of MBAM from their website, rebooting, enabling the other services etc. — I left him to it!).

But the end result was the same — still no right-click option to ‘Scan with MalwareBytes’ in the context menu.

Then he had a brainwave — I had told him earlier this afternoon that my MBAM upgrade to v3.3.1 went through successfully a couple of days ago AND that I had the right-click scan option. Both were Windows 7 machines.


He checked the Registry on my PC and found a setting for the context menu for MBAM, which wasn’t on my husband’s PC and which wasn’t where he’d expected to find it. He saved that setting, copied it to my husband’s PC, then merged it into my husband’s Registry. After a reboot, we had the context menu back!

For anyone else who has this issue, check for this Registry entry:

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\

If it’s missing, you’ll probably need to contact MBAM to get the details for it.

Update June 2018: It happened again, and the Registry fix didn’t work. However, my IT people found there’s a known bug in MBAM — if you have notifications turned off, and there’s an upgrade, the program thinks you don’t want the context menu (and/or web protection?) either, so turns it off. The solution if you lose either of these functions is to:

  1. Turn off the context menu setting.
  2. Quit MBAM (exit, not just close it).
  3. Open MBAM.
  4. Turn on the context menu setting.
  5. Quit MBAM.
  6. Open MBAM.
  7. Turn on the notification setting.
  8. Quit MBAM.
  9. Open MBAM.
  10. Check if the context menu is back by right-clicking a desktop icon or a file/folder in Explorer. If so, continue.
  11. Quit MBAM.
  12. Open MBAM.
  13. Turn off notifications.
  14. Quit MBAM.
  15. Check to see if the context menu is still working.

You may have to repeat this each time MBAM is updated, until the issue is fixed.



  1. Awesome, thanks for the work around!!

  2. Didn’t start working for me until AFTER I turned the notifications back off and then exited out. Then all of a sudden — voila!

    Thanks for pointing out this “pound on the TV set” type of toggle. MBAM has a lot of usefulness but gets more squirrelly with every update.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: