December 31, 2019

8 Most Effective WordPress Malware Removal Plugins

Cleaning up a hacked site?

A WordPress malware removal plugin makes things easier. And it’s definitely simpler than doing it all yourself. And as a plus – you save all the hair you would have pulled out in the process!

In this article, we list the 8 best WordPress malware removal plugins. We go over how effective they are at scanning your website for issues and eliminating them as well.

And usually, a plugin that helps you get rid of malware also improves website security to prevent further attacks. So you hit two birds with one shot!

Let’s take a look.

1. MalCare

With MalCare you can get rid of malware with just a single click!

Its malware removal process is completely automated. So even the absolute beginner can use it. All you have to do is sit back and watch as your site is cleaned up. 

It’s quite comprehensive as it not only removes malware from files but also searches your database for any issues. It uses signature matching to detect known malware. But it also goes one step further and uses a change tracker to remove unknown and complex malware as well. 

To protect you from further attacks it plugs all backdoors and blocks malicious parties from entering again.

For continued protection from any security threats, MalCare also comes with a powerful firewall and a scanner to detect any new issues.

Free Version: Available

User reviews – How effective is MalCare?

“I use MalCare on a client’s WordPress publishing site that had serious hacking problems. Since installing it we’ve saved countless hours. The plugin quickly gets rid of malware and viruses… So far it’s the best cleanup tool we’ve used and the site’s speed has really improved.”

– Anonymous via

“All-in-all, great job by the plugin for detecting the malware and by the team to help address the root cause for malware landing on the sites, but when it comes to removing the malware from the site, while the process did work successfully, there was one serious shortcoming in the way it worked: it required manual initiation of the cleanup process by me for every site individually.”

– Haroon Q Raja via

2. Sucuri

Sucuri maintains a free security plugin with a lot of powerful features to harden your website security. But for the purpose of this article, we’ll be focusing on three features – the malware scanner, integrity checks, and the post hack tools.

The Sucuri scanner scans your site for malware, website errors, out-of-date software, security anomalies, and blacklist status. However, note that this is a remote scanner so it can only find issues in your external source code. Sucuri provides a full server-side scan as a premium solution.

File integrity checks are performed on all your WordPress files and you’re alerted if files have been removed, added or modified. You can then take the next steps accordingly – delete added files, restore removed or modified files to a clean version.

The post hack tools are an SOS toolset to prevent the attacker from doing any more damage. So, it helps you reset all your security keys, reset user passwords, reset installed plugins and show available updates for themes & plugins.

Free Version: Available

User Reviews – How effective is Sucuri?

I first used this plugin when it became apparent that a WordPress site I themed, had been hacked…With this plugin, I could identify files that have been modified (and remove them), all while locking down all routes of entry and then resetting users…At the time, this was the only plugin I could find and install in a hurry that was completely free and got me all the way to the safe zone – the post-hack features are second to none

– Jayx via

3. Wordfence

Wordfence is a security plugin that comes with some unique features. Notably, the Wordfence threat defense feed. It updates the Wordfence plugin with the latest malware signatures, malicious IP addresses and more using the information from all the websites that currently use Wordfence.

As a result, it’s scanner gets better and better. The scanner checks core files, themes, and plugins for malware, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects and code injections.

Wordfence also performs source code verification. It compares your WordPress, plugin, theme files with the original files in the WordPress repository. If any changes are found it restores the file to its original clean state.

Free Version: Available

User Reviews – How effective is Wordfence?

“I definitely love how Wordfence notification works. It notifies me of malicious executions and unnecessary files within my installation. Also, it notifies me of malware and blocked it instantly, once when our server got infected and effectively removed that malware.”

Vic Y via

“Finally a company that does what they say they will do, Malware removal and protection after the removal. My websites are cleaned and online again.”

frankfortmyers via

4. BulletProof Security

BulletProof Security comes with an ARQ IDPS. It’s a mouthful to say but quite useful. It is an intrusion detection and prevention system that monitors all your website files. If any of the files have been changed they are either auto-restored or quarantined. Quarantined files can be later viewed and restored or deleted. You can see details of all the changed files on the Dashboard. 

Similarly, the DB Monitor alerts you about any changes made to the WordPress database or when a new table is created.

BulletProof Security also takes regularly scheduled backups of your files as well as your database so they can be easily restored if needed.

Free Version: Available

User Reviews – How effective is BulletProof Security?

BulletProof Security Pro is, in one word, GREAT!, a plugin that does what it promises and that leaves you with peace of mind knowing that your website will be protected and safe, its powerful AutoRestore functionality, this is a great sentinel that does not allow something strange to alter your files, just to mention one of the many features of this plugin.

supportrvl via

5. Cerber Security & Protection

Cerber Security & Protection scans all the files on your WordPress website for viruses and malware. It also scans for trojans which are malicious code disguising itself as useful software.  

You can schedule scans on a daily or hourly basis for all your plugins, themes and files. It keeps an eye out for new or modified files on your website. 

Once the scan is complete, it automatically removes malware, viruses, trojans in addition to recovering WordPress files. It also sends out email alerts for security issues and generates reports.

Free Version: Available

User Reviews – How effective is Cerber Security & Protection

“You can see how it blocks suspicious activities in real time. It tells you where there may be infected files to clean, which it does to restore the originals in the paid version. It is very easy and fast to use and I have not noticed that the web slows down as I notice with other plugins”

David Gracia via

“My website was infected with some kind or backdoor viruses and the attacker used to send out a lot of emails, My hosting couldn’t help me and i started searching for security plugins and found many but none of them could actually work and most were expensive so i finally stumble upon WP Cerber which was free and it started working as soon as i activated it.”

Gamea Holic via

6. iThemes Security Pro

The plugin uses Sucuri’s Sitecheck scanner to look for malware on your websites. With iThemes Security, you can schedule scans and be alerted by email if a problem surfaces.

It detects if a file has been changed, added or removed and will alert you about the same so you can fix the problem as needed. 

You can also schedule regular backups and have them be emailed to you. This way, in case of an issue, you can conveniently and quickly restore your site to its original condition.

In addition to that, iThemes Security will help you harden your website security and protect it from further attacks.

Free Version: Available

User Reviews – How effective is iThemes Security Pro?

“Good plugin for security…..Using iThemes for the last few years and it helped me to secure and block a good number of attacks over my website’s.”

Jose Varghese via

Recommended for you : iThemes Security vs Wordfence

7. VaultPress

VaultPress is a backup focused security plugin. It takes automated backups that get stored in offsite storage. If an issue arises the plugin also effortlessly restores your website

VaultPress also scans your files and automatically detects viruses and malware. It fixes detected problems with just a click. And also protects your website by blocking spammers. 

Note that VaultPress is now part of JetPack. You need a JetPack subscription to use VaultPress services.

Free Version: Available

User reviews – How effective is VaultPress?

Easy to install, configure and use. Its plugin gives the ability to schedule regular backups at interval selected by you. Also it has a great restore process in itself.

Ankit Kumar S. via

This plugin saved my life (or at least my sanity)….. I had spent hours upon hours making changes and enhancements to get the site to look the way I wanted it to look. I was able to restore it quickly and I can tell you this license is the best money I’ve spent on my site so far.

Anonymous via

8. Defender Pro

Defender Pro scans WordPress files to detect any vulnerabilities or changes made. It also automatically restores and repairs changed files. 

Plugin and themes that you installed are checked for any known issues, weak points or suspicious activity.

Your website is scanned automatically and a report is generated. Based on the issues that turn up in the scans it gives you suggestions and definite one-click actions you can take to resolve the issues.

On top of that, an audit log documents everything so you know what the cause of any security issue is.

User Reviews – How effective is Defender Pro?

I use this on my website because of how amazing it is…. It scans my files, gives me tips on how to harden the security of my website, gives me a free Two Factor Authentication solution!

sebwpsitesforkids  via

Over to you

Getting your site hacked is scary. You put so much work into setting it up just the way you like it. Only to have it be spoilt by someone else. Malware removal plugins are an easy way to return your website to its former glory.

All of the plugins listed above also come with the added advantage of having features that protect your site and defend it against future attacks. Attacks on WordPress sites are not uncommon, so continued use of these plugins is a good idea.

On top of that, there are always some simple tips you can follow to improve your website security. If not, there are also other security plugins you can look into for your website. 

Which plugin did you end up picking for our website? Did it help you get rid of malware on your website? Are there any other plugins you would recommend? Let us know in the comments! 🙂 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this blog post might be affiliate links. When you purchase through a link on our website, we receive a small commission, at no added cost to you, which helps us run Epitrove and keep producing great content. This does not influence our recommendations; we only recommend products we work with or love. Thank you for your support!

Lavanya Deshmukh
Lavanya Deshmukh

Computer Engineer, food enthusiast and die-hard Harry Potter fan that now writes content full time for Epitrove


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