Unable to activate Real-Time Protection in Malwarebytes for Mac

On macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) and later, Malwarebytes for Mac requires user approval to allow Real-Time Protection. Apple requires that you click Allow under your System Preferences in order to approve the Real-Time Protection feature. See Malwarebytes for Mac installation  for more information.


Activate Real-Time Protection tips

Unfortunately, there may be technical issues when trying to activate Real-Time Protection. Try one or all of the following tips to address the issue.


Allow button disappears after 30 minutes

The Allow button will only appear for 30 minutes after Malwarebytes attempts to activate Real-Time Protection. If more time passes, you will need to open Malwarebytes and begin the process to activate this feature. See steps below.


  1. Open Malwarebytes for Mac.
  2. If using Malwarebytes for Mac version 3.4, click the Turn on Protection button on the Dashboard.
    If using version 3.3 or earlier, the button will instead read Fix.
    Image of Turn Protection On button located on the Malwarebytes dashboard.
  3. Click Activate Protection on the next window.
    Image of Activate Protection button in Malwarebytes for Mac.


Allow button doesn’t appear or Activate Protection button doesn’t work

Damage to a particular system-managed folder on the macOS can cause this malfunction to happen. This problem will cause issues with installing other software and the folder is not easily fixed.The easiest solution to fix this folder is to reinstall your system.


You can follow Apple’s guide to install the new system on top of the existing one, which will not erase the hard drive or disrupt your data. Just in case, we recommend that you back up your data using cloud storage or another storage device. Steps are found in the link below.


How to reinstall macOS – Apple Support 


You should be able to activate Real-Time Protection in Malwarebytes once the system is reinstalled.


Allow button appears but does not work when clicked

Apple will not permit any simulated or remote clicks on the Allow button in an effort to prevent attackers from installing malicious programs without your knowledge. You will not be able to click the button while connected to any form of screen sharing.


You may also have difficulty clicking the Allow button if your Mac is connected to peripherals like docking stations, or if your Mac has certain software installed (tablet drivers, third-party mouse). Disconnect all third-party peripherals and click the button using the Mac track pad or an Apple mouse connected directly to your Mac.


If problems persist, you may need to disable third-party software on your Mac by restarting your computer in safe mode. Steps are found in the link below.


Use safe mode to isolate issues with your Mac – Apple Support 


Carefully read the section “How to tell if your Mac is started in safe mode” to ensure you are in safe mode. If not, try the steps again.


Once in safe mode, reinstall Malwarebytes for Mac, then repeat procedure at the top of this article to Activate Protection. After Malwarebytes has been reinstalled, and Real-Time Protection activated, restart your computer normally.






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