How To Manually Download Definition Updates For Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Want to know how to download latest database update of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for offline install? We will show you two simple ways to do that.

Off-late, I am getting a lot of questions asking how they can manually download the latest definition for Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware. I use the free version of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware (MBAM) to occasionally scan my computer for malware and other threats. I have always used the built-in online updater to get the latest definition before scanning. After getting all these requests, I started my quest to find out, how to get the latest database of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware on a computer that cannot access the Internet? I found two simple ways by which the mission can be accomplished!

The first step to manually update MBAM requires access to a working computer. This PC should have access to the Internet and should have a copy of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware installed. After updating the copy of Anti-Malware from the Internet in this computer, open the database location as stated below. Copy the database file “rules.ref” to your PC in the same database location according to your operating system.

You can manually copy the database from here using a flash drive or CD to the PC which needs the latest definition. In the target computer, you have to paste the definition update in the same location as stated below.

  • For Windows XP and 2000 users, open and copy from the following location:C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\rules.ref
  • Windows Vista and Windows 7 users, open and copy from the following location:C:\ProgramData\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\rules.ref
Note: Starting with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.60, you must also copy the file database.conf located within the Configuration folder which is present in the same folder as rules.ref listed above.


If the first step is not possible, you can do a manual update of MBAM definition files using mbam-rules.exe file. Click on the download link below (you will get a Google redirect page, don’t worry, just click on the mbam-rules.exe link to continue there.)

Download mbam-rules.exe | Mirror for mbam-rules.exe

Please NOTE: The second method of MBAM manual update will always be not the latest as compared to the updates from within the program or using the first method. Furthermore, the second method of downloading the mbam-rules.exe to manually update the definitions now only works with versions of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware before 1.60. So, if you’re using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.60, you’ve to follow the first method to manually update the program.


  1. Mike S says

    Is the malwarebytes server down a lot? I can’t get to their site or the manual update, I can’t get to either link you posted.

    • says

      Hi Mike S,
      I have checked the download link again, it works. If its not working for you, try again after some time. Due to high server load, the link sometimes gets offline or doesn’t work.

  2. Sadboy says

    there is malware / spyware that stops you from updating programs like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Ive got some on my system and short of a re install I see no way of getting rid of it. Ive even downloaded a set of update rules on a machine with out malware and it wouldn’t install the updates on my infected machine

    • says

      Hi Sadboy,

      Try renaming mbam-rules.exe to something else. Sometimes renaming the file bypasses these malwares. You can try the first method mentioned in this article. Just get any friends computer, install MBAM into that PC, download the updates, and copy the rules.ref file to your PC.

      Hope this helps you out. :)

  3. Katt says

    I have downloaded the mbam-rules.exe several time but when I run the exe the software never updates to whatever the version is in the exe (and I do know its different), it stays the same as when I installed Malwarebytes originally. I also copied the current version of rules.ref from my desktop to the computer, same deal. It like it never see a newer version.

  4. Tony Rome says

    I installed Malwarebytes on a PC which didn’t have internet access and the database couldn’t therefore be updated. So, on another PC, I installed and updated the software, then copied the rules.ref file mentioned in this article above from the one PC to the other. However, when starting Malwarebytes on the updated PC, I get the message that the database is missing or corrupt!

    • says

      We’ve updated the post. Please see the important note for Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.60 users in the post.

      Hope this will solve the problem with manual updating. :)

  5. Eldon Warman says

    I have Windows 7 SP1 Home Prem. I recently installed Malwarebytes (free version). It does not show the files ‘rules.ref’ nor ‘database.conf’. I did the update, but no files show the date of a current update. ??

  6. Jensen_G says

    Method #1 did not work for me using the first set instructions. I replaced the files, but MWB still reported an out-of-date version.

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