6 Best WordPress Malware Removal Plugins (2021)

Feb 17, 2021

6 Best WordPress Malware Removal Plugins (2021)

Feb 17, 2021

What makes a good WordPress malware removal plugin? 

A good malware removal plugin should have very specific characteristics: 

  • It should remove all traces of malware from the hacked website. Hackers obfuscate malicious scripts so that it’s not easy to identify malware. A smarter malware removal plugin can detect even the most difficult malicious scripts. 
  • It should remove malware without breaking the website. Malicious keywords like eval and base are often used to identify malicious codes but these keywords are found in both good and bad code. This is the issue with manual cleanups: one has to be an expert in WordPress development to distinguish between the two correctly. 
  • The plugin has to clean the website immediately. When a website is hacked, most malware spreads rapidly into every file and folder. Waiting for a week to clean your website is not an option because the losses are exponential. Hackers will use your website to send spam emails, your visitors will continue to have a bad experience, all your SEO efforts would have gone in vain. Moreover, your website will be blacklisted by Google and your web hosting provider
  • It should be able to clean your website more than once without charging for it each time. Malware infections can return. Paying a hefty amount to clean your website over and over will burn a hole in your pocket. 

TL;DR: Clean your website immediately with MalCare. It’ll find hidden malware from every nook and corner of your website. Moreover, it’ll clean your website in under 60 seconds. Install the plugin and clean your website now.

6 Top WordPress Malware Removal Plugins

1. MalCare – WordPress Malware Removal Plugin

For us, MalCare is the only real option on this list. Yes, we know it is our plugin, but it really is that good. Plus, the scanner is free of cost. Run a malware scan on your website right now. 

MalCare is the only Instant WordPress malware removal plugin on this list. Cleaning a website with MalCare is literally a one-click process 99% of the time. When you run the plugin, it scans every nook and corner of your website, and locates the malware with pinpoint accuracy. No digging through folders and files for you, trying to locate a cleverly hidden hack.

In case automatic removal doesn’t work, MalCare’s support team steps in. Unlike other plugins, who charge exorbitant fees for manual cleanups, MalCare’s manual cleanups are included in your subscription. Plus, even though you can request a manual cleanup any number of times, the plugin learns from the hack and you are unlikely to face the same issues again. 

malcare security - best WordPress malware removal plugin

Another reason we love MalCare is that it scans your website on its own server. It won’t slow your website down. That’s super important, because you’re already fending off hackers. You don’t really need page loading and speed issues to add to your woes. 

When we ran scanners on hacked websites, MalCare was the only one that picked up infected files in every folder, and more importantly, was able to clean it up just as fast. We saw that the infections often reoccurred when we ran tests with other cleaners. 


  • Automatic cleanups
  • Superfast malware cleanups
  • Unlimited cleanups for a year
  • Complete malware removal
  • Integrated firewall
  • Priced perfectly for multiple websites
  • 100% money-back guarantee


  • Manual intervention required in special cases

Note: MalCare’s scanner is free. Scan your website with the plugin. If your site is hacked, then upgrade to the premium version.


MalCare’s premium version starts at $99 for a single website. Check out plans for more websites

2. Wordfence Malware Cleaner 

Wordfence is a major name in the industry, but we were disappointed with the plugin on too many occasions.  

One of the first things we noticed was how the scanner would slow the website down significantly. Wordfence creates custom database tables to store scan results on your server, and so your database will get bloated significantly and this will slow down your website.

Secondly, false alarms would send us into a frenzy far too many times. After a point, it becomes a question of crying wolf one too many times.

Finally, the malware removal tool is really expensive. On top of that, during high demand, the charges shoot up. The worst part is that you get charged even if your website got reinfected with the same malware.

Wordfence malware cleaner plugin cost

Despite the expense, cleaning a website with Wordfence is time-consuming, because it is done manually. A particularly complex hack can take up to a few days to clean. Slow and expensive does not make a winning combination. 


  • In-depth investigation report
  • Comprehensive malware removal
  • Repairs hacked files and folders
  • Vulnerability investigations


  • Charged for repeated hacks
  • Long cleanup process
  • Effects website speed
  • False alarms


Wordfence site cleaning service costs $490.

3. Sucuri Malware Scanner and Cleaner  

Sucuri is the biggest name in the world of WordPress security so we were looking forward to trying out this WordPress malware removal plugin. And let me tell you upfront: our findings left us underwhelmed. 

We began by testing the scanner, and found that it missed some very obvious malware infections. They were common infections found on WordPress websites all the time. 

sucuri dashboard

When it came to cleanups, we found that although Sucuri advertises automatic malware removal, you have to raise a ticket to initiate the process. 

Also the cleanup process takes a while. They clean the website manually which can take a few hours to even a week. For a hacked website, this delay can and will result in escalating losses: money, SEO issues, more potential danger for your users. Delay is bad. 

Despite its many shortcomings, we found Sucuri offers unlimited malware removal so they don’t charge you for rehacks. And after cleanups, they will remove the Google blacklist warning from your website, if required. 


  • Unlimited malware removal
  • Removes blacklists
  • Repairs hacked files and folders
  • Supports WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento


  • Time-consuming cleanup process
  • Unable to detect common malware


Sucuri’s basic plan starts at $199.99 for a single site. 

4. Astra Security

Astra Security is the new kid on the block, but they pleasantly surprised us. 

It takes a while to run the first scan. For large websites, like an e-commerce site, it can take up to an hour for the plugin to scan.

astra security detected malicious text

Astra Security detected malware on our test website and categorized them into High and Critical. Critical files can be deleted automatically with a single click. 

Highly malicious files were just listed out and we were not sure what to do with them. They mark the files as ‘could be malicious’ and you are given an option to view the files.

Which is not really helpful. What are we supposed to do with this information?

Unless you’re a developer, there’s not much use in viewing the files. And even if you were able to identify the file as malicious, you can’t delete it. Astra doesn’t offer you that option. You can, however, place a request for manual cleanups.  

astra security detecting suspicious files


  • Instant malware detection
  • Download scan reports 


  • Scanning can be time-consuming
  • No option to remove suspected malicious files
  • Requires a manual cleanup request to remove malware


Astra Security costs $228 per year. 

5. WebARX

WebARX was a complete disappointment. It could not detect basic malware infections. Instead, it told us that our WordPress core was outdated and that we should update it. But when we updated the core files, they kept stating it was outdated. 

webarx scan results

They even said that our SSL installation was incomplete. But not a word about malware. 

webarx security scan results in dashboard


  • Detects Google blacklist
  • Detects SSL certificate issues


  • Unable to detect common malware


Malware removal is an add-on feature that comes for $3.49 per month.

6. iThemes Security

iThemes Security declared our malware-infected website as clean. It failed to detect the most basic malware infection. 

As we ran the scanner, it took the plugin less than 10 seconds to scan the entire website. We scanned the same website on MalCare, and it detected a few severe malware infections. 

ithemes site scan

From their website, we learned that iThemes utilizes Sucuri’s SiteCheck to scan for malware. SiteCheck runs superficial HTML scans that fail to detect well-disguised malware. 

ithemes sucuri clean

iThemes can’t remove malware on their own. When it detects any malware, you’d have to get your website cleaned by Sucuri. 


  • Offers plenty of security features like brute force protection, updating WordPress secret keys, etc. 


  • Fails to detect basic malware
  • Relies on other plugins to scan and clean website 


iThemes secures your website for $52 per year. 

What Next?

After removing malware from your website you will need to ensure that the website remains protected in the future. 

Our recommendation is to use a WordPress security plugin like MalCare. It has WordPress malware protection features that prevents hackers and bots from accessing your website. 

Also you can take certain measures such as keeping your website updated, protecting WordPress login page, following WordPress hardening measures, taking regular backups of your site using WordPress backup plugins or manually. This measures will ensure that your website is being protected 24×7.

If you have questions or need help installing it give us a shout. We have a team dedicated to supporting website owners like yourself.  


Which is the best malware removal plugin for WordPress?

The best WordPress malware removal plugin is MalCare. It finds the most complex malware that goes ignored in other plugins. No just that, cleanups are super easy with MalCare. All you need to do is click a button and wait for 60 seconds. It’ll remove every trace of malware from your website. Install MalCare malware removal now

Looking for a different plugin? Check out our list of the best WordPress malware removal services.

How do you remove malware from WordPress?

To remove malware from your WordPress website, you need a WordPress malware cleaner plugin. MalCare is one of the best plugins out there. All you need to do is install the plugin and it’ll scan your website from end to end. It’s that easy. Cleanups are super easy too.  All you need to do is click a button and wait for 60 seconds. It’ll remove every trace of malware from your website. Install MalCare malware removal now

Once you’ve cleaned your site, we recommend checking out our WordPress Security Guide.

How to choose a WordPress malware removal plugin?

To choose a WordPress malware removal plugin, you need to consider the following:

  • It should remove all traces of malware from the hacked website. 
  • It should remove malware without breaking the website. 
  • The plugin has to clean the website immediately. 
  • It should be able to clean your website more than once without charging for it each time.
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