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Do Malware Programs Cancel Each Other Out?

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 by | Filed Under: Security Help

You probably already know that it’s not a good idea to run two anti-virus programs on your computer. They can basically end up cancelling each other out. You probably also know that it’s a good idea to have a malware program in addition to your anti-virus. But recently we’ve had several readers ask, “Will two malware programs cancel each other out?”


The reason why anti-virus programs conflict with each other is that these type of programs want to be your everything. They generally run in the background all the time to give you real-time virus protection.  They scan every single file added to your computers to block instrusions and try to immediately catch anything suspicious that’s made its way onto your computer. Two of those programs running at the same time would be a tremendous strain on the memory of your computer. Anti-virus programs also scan for malware, but are usually called anti-virus programs to let you know that they are resident programs that will run in the background while you go about your day. Their goal is to stop the trouble before it starts.

Most malware scanner programs only run when they’re activated or when you’ve scheduled a scan and they stop running when that scan is done.  Why would you need more than one program? No program is perfect. An anti-virus could let something get through or you could accidentally give the OK for something to be installed that has some type of hijacker on board. A Malware program will go through and double-check everything for you.  It never hurts to get a second opinion.


One additional Malware program is probably enough, I’d suggest Malware Bytes.  But if you want to use two malware scanners, go ahead and give it a try. It shouldn’t be a problem.

~ Cynthia

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One Response to “Do Malware Programs Cancel Each Other Out?”

  1. Shanker says:

    Hi Cynthia,, in their Pro version, offers memory resident feature for real time check. Will that have any clash with the AV in memory?

    Some of the programs I recall, offer co-existence with the AV on board. How do they do it?

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