9 Best WordPress Malware Removal Plugins (2022)

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best WordPress malware removal plugins

Do you suspect a malware attack on your WordPress site? Given that a WordPress website is hacked every 38 seconds, you may not be wrong. You need to act fast to contain the damage and make sure that the malware doesn’t cause any big headaches. 

The first thing to do is to scan your site and confirm the presence of malware.

Once you are sure that your website has malware, you need to remove the malware at the earliest. There are several ways to remove malware—you can hire a security expert to clean your site, you can use a WordPress malware removal plugin, or you can do it manually. 

Of the available options, the quickest, easiest, and most effective option is to use the best WordPress malware removal plugin. But which plugin should you use?

There are several malware removal plugins available, and you want to use the very best for your WordPress site. The plugin needs to be reliable and effective, while also being accessible cost-wise. We have researched and tested several plugins to put together a list of the best WordPress malware removal plugins so that you can pick the best fit for your site, without having to rack your brain. 

TLDR: Get rid of malware from WordPress immediately with MalCare. MalCare is the best available malware removal plugin for WordPress. It removes malware from your site in a click and offers emergency cleanup services for difficult cases. Install the plugin and clean your site now.

Best WordPress Malware Removal Plugins for Malware Protection

We decided to test and research WordPress malware removal plugins for ourselves before offering an opinion on which plugins work the best. We researched security plugins as a whole, testing their scanners, firewall, and cleanups to ensure that the plugin offered complete security. In this article, we have focused largely on the malware removal capabilities of these plugins so that you can make an informed decision.

1. MalCare – WordPress Malware Removal Plugin

MalCare - Best WordPress malware removal plugin

MalCare is by far the best security plugin that we have tested, and sure enough, it also turned out to be the best WordPress malware removal plugin that we came across. There were several strong contenders among the competing plugins. But with MalCare’s flawless malware detection and quick cleanups, it easily beats any other plugin. The plugin scanner is very important to malware removal because if the plugin can’t detect the malware present on your site, it won’t be able to remove it. MalCare is definitely the best in class in that regard.

What to expect:

  • Emergency cleanups
  • One-click auto cleanups
  • Deep scanning for malware
  • Scheduled automatic scans
  • Intelligent firewall
  • Excellent support
  • Vulnerability detection
  • WordPress backups
  • Staging
  • Migration
  • Geo-blocking capabilities


  • Quick and efficient cleanups
  • Does not affect server performance
  • Thorough scans
  • Real-time alerts
  • No false alarms


  • The free version does not offer cleanups

Price: Free/ Starting at $99 a year

Additionally, MalCare’s emergency cleanup services are available to you in case the plugin can’t reach your site, or is unable to clean your site for any reason. MalCare’s expert support also guides you through removing Google blacklists and web host suspensions. With MalCare, you also get firewall protection that keeps attacks out, and several other features like an activity log, WordPress backups, geoblocking, staging, and migration. 

But the best part about picking MalCare is this: MalCare does not affect your server performance like many other WordPress malware removal plugins. Which means that you do not have to choose between security and performance.

2. WordFence Malware Cleaner

Wordfence Security
Wordfence Security

Wordfence is easily the most well-known WordPress malware removal service. But is it worth all the hullabaloo? The short answer is maybe. Wordfence is an excellent free plugin, whether as a malware removal plugin, or a complete security plugin. However, the premium version does not justify the price tag. Let’s take a look at why. 

Wordfence offers a scanner, firewall, and repair feature for its free members, alongside other security features. The features work reasonably well, but Wordfence itself claims that the free features aren’t 100% effective. The scanner only works at 65% functionality, the firewall for the free version is updated much after the premium version, and the repair option, while quick, can be dangerous to your site. If you delete a core file by accident when repairing, your site can break.

What to expect:

  • Repair and delete options
  • Manual malware removal as an add-on service
  • Malware scanner
  • End-point firewall
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Login protection
  • Country blocking


  • Easy installation
  • Priority support for premium members
  • Auto-repair option on the free version


  • Manual cleanups are expensive
  • Repair and delete options not foolproof or entirely safe
  • File matching for malware detection
  • False positives in malware scans
  • Incessant alerts
  • High impact on server resources

Price: Starts at $99/year, Premium cleanups at $490 per site

Wordfence premium services only offer a slightly better scanner and a faster firewall. But if you want a proper cleanup, you need to avail of their premium cleanup service which is $490 over and above the premium plan. While they do offer a 1-year warranty, it has several stringent caveats. Additionally, Wordfence affects your website performance, so much so that several web hosts ban Wordfence on their servers altogether.

Having said all of this, there is truly no better malware removal plugin that you can get for free other than Wordfence. But if you want premium security, MalCare is the best choice for a WordPress malware removal plugin.

3. Sucuri Malware Scanner and Cleaner

Sucuri Security
Sucuri Security

Sucuri has become a brand in the WordPress security sphere. If you haven’t used Sucuri, chances are that you have definitely heard of it. But is it the best WordPress malware removal plugin that you can get? Well, let’s clarify the basics first. Sucuri does not offer malware removal as a part of their plugin at all. Sucuri offers malware removal as an additional service to its premium users. We tested Sucuri to see if it lived up to its name, and got some interesting results. 

What to expect:

  • Manual cleanups by experts
  • Server-side scanner
  • Firewall protection
  • Brute force attack protection
  • Activity log
  • Vulnerability detection


  • Easy installation
  • Manual cleanup was quick and flawless
  • Unlimited manual cleanups with premium subscriptions


  • No auto-cleanups
  • Malware scanner not effective
  • Firewall difficult to configure
  • Constant alerts
  • Complicated settings

Price: Starting at $199/year

Sucuri has two scanners, an online scanner, and a server-side scanner. The online scanner can only scan the frontend of your site. So we tested the server-side scanner as well, which did not detect the malware on our site at all. Now, while we are looking for malware removal, how will you remove malware if you cannot detect it at all? 

After the dismal scanner, Sucuri’s firewall was what gave us the most trouble. The installation was very complex and confusing. And to set up the firewall, we had to look up several technical details. If this was the case with us, we can only imagine how non-technical users fare with Sucuri.

We then put their WordPress malware removal service to test. We reached out to them and informed them that we have detected malware on our site and needed them to clean it up. To our surprise, our site came back squeaky-clean within 10 hours! So while there may be several issues with the security plugin, Sucuri’s malware removal was on point.

4. Astra Security Suite

Astra security suite

Astra’s security plugin also offers WordPress malware removal protection for its premium users. Astra is a feature-rich plugin that offers scheduled scans, firewall protection, manual cleanups, and more. Astra’s best quality is that it has a very intuitive interface which makes the use of the plugin very easy. And like Sucuri, Astra’s malware removal services are also an add-on to the plugin’s premium users. 

What to expect:

  • Manual malware cleanups
  • Malware scanning
  • Firewall protection
  • IP blocking
  • Login security


  • Easy installation
  • Strong firewall
  • Security audits
  • Intuitive dashboard


  • No auto-cleanups
  • Too many notifications
  • Complicated features

Price: Starting from $249 a year

Depending on your plan, Astra prioritizes any cleanup requests from its members and it could take anywhere between 4-12 hours for a cleanup. Starting at $249 a year, Astra security is definitely an expensive investment. Given that you can get the same level of security and more with MalCare at less than half the price, we do not recommend the Astra security suite.

5. CleanTalk Security

CleanTalk Security

CleanTalk Security is one of the lesser-known malware removal plugins for WordPress sites. Incidentally, it is one of the most affordable ones too. At $9 a year, the plugin barely costs anything and offers all the basic security features like a malware scanner, firewall protection, and malware removal. However, CleanTalk’s malware removal feature is like that of Wordfence’s repair feature. 

What to expect:

  • Automatic malware removal
  • Malware scanner
  • Web application firewall
  • Geoblocking
  • Audit logs
  • Login security
  • Two-factor authentication


  • Easy removal of spam comments
  • Scheduled scans


  • Automatically deletes infected files
  • Basic UI
  • Inadequate support

Price: Starting at $9 a year

CleanTalk automatically deletes infected files detected in its scans. Therefore, it is safe to say that CleanTalk’s WordPress malware cleanup is largely dependent on its scanner. While this is true for all plugins, in this case, a false positive can even break your site. CleanTalk users also complain about their support often, which is crucial for WordPress malware removal plugins. So if you are looking for malware removal on a budget, we’d recommend Wordfence’s free version over CleanTalk.

6. BulletProof Security

BulletProof Security

BulletProof Security offers a repair option in lieu of proper malware cleanups. BulletProof Security is a rare security plugin that offers a lifetime license instead of a subscription-based model. But that factor also affects its support and updates.

What to expect:

  • Repair feature for malware cleanups
  • Malware scanner
  • Firewall protection
  • Security logs
  • Database backups


  • One-click setup
  • Customizable


  • Repair options allow for file deletion—dangerous
  • Firewall limited to plugin files
  • UI is not beginner-friendly

Price: $69.95

BulletProof Security offers a repair option, which allows you to delete any malware-ridden files that it finds. If these are false positives, deleting these files can break your site or certain features on your site affecting its UX and performance. The plugin offers database backups and security logs as additional features, but any partial backups can prove to be more trouble than you bargained for. 

Moreover, BulletProof Security has a technical UI that is not beginner-friendly, and its firewall protection is limited to plugin files only. This does not instill confidence regarding BulletProof’s efficacy.

7. Cerber Security

Cerber Security

Cerber Security is one of the few WordPress malware removal plugins that offer auto-cleanups. This makes Cerber Security a good choice for WordPress sites, given that quick malware cleanups are very important to ensure that the damage caused by malware is contained. However, Cerber’s auto-cleanup feature is not comprehensive like that of MalCare’s. The auto cleanup feature allows you to delete infected files just like the repair option on Wordfence.

What to expect:

  • Auto-cleanups
  • Malware scanner
  • IP blocking
  • Login security
  • Two-factor authentication


  • Scheduled scans
  • Easy to use


  • Automatic deletion of files
  • Affects website performance

Price: Starting at $99 a year

Apart from auto-cleanups, the features in the Cerber Security plugin aren’t very impressive. Cerber Security does not offer firewall protection or manual cleanups to count as a complete security solution, and is also known to adversely affect website performance. 

8. Anti Malware Security and Brute Force Firewall

Anti-malware security and brute force firewall plugin

The Anti Malware Security and Brute Force Firewall is a plugin developed by Eli Scheetz. The plugin offers basic security such as malware scanning, cleanups, firewall security, and more. While this plugin is supposedly free for its users, it really isn’t. Most features are locked for users who donate $29 and above, which is still a reasonable price for security, but claiming it to be a free plugin may be misleading.

What to expect:

  • Malware cleanups
  • Malware scanner
  • Firewall security


  • Free scans
  • Easy installation


  • Confusing interface
  • Not free as advertised
  • Scan settings are very complicated

Price: Free*

Another shortcoming of the plugin is that the interface is extremely confusing. You are given several options for scanning, and firewall protection—tasks that should be more or less intuitive to understand. 

9. Defender Security

Defender Security

The final plugin in this list is the Defender Pro, developed by WPMUDEV. The free Defender plugin is available on the WordPress repository and offers scanning, firewall protection, login security, and audit logging. But for the Defender Pro, you need to download it from the WPMUDEV website, and it offers additional features such as restore and repair, and manual cleanup services.

What to expect:

  • Restore and repair options
  • Manual cleanups
  • Scheduled security scans
  • Firewall protection
  • Login protection and masking
  • Audit logging
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Blocklist monitoring
  • Vulnerability reports


  • Emergency cleanup services
  • 21-day free trial


  • Repair option is dangerous

Price: Starting at $60 a year

The Defender Pro’s emergency cleanup services are an add-on, but you can avail the repair option, which is similar to the repair option on other plugins. At $60 a year, the Defender Pro is a decent security solution, but just as a malware removal plugin, it falls short as the cleanup services are add-ons and the repair option can be dangerous for your site.

Factors to consider when choosing a malware removal plugin for WordPress

When you’re choosing the best malware removal plugin for WordPress, there are certain aspects that you should consider to make sure that the plugin you choose is reliable and secure. According to your specific requirements, the right plugin can vary, but these factors make a huge difference in the efficacy of malware removal:

  • Malware scanning: The quality of the malware scanner on your malware removal plugin is very important. If the WordPress malware cleaner plugin cannot detect the malware, the chances of it being able to remove the malware are very low. 
  • Cleanup time: When it comes to malware, the longer it stays on your website, the more damage it can cause. Therefore, the time taken by the WordPress malware removal tool to clean up your website is very important.
  • Reliable support: Given that you’re looking for a critical service like malware removal, if anything goes wrong, support is essential. You need to find a malware removal plugin that offers fast and reliable support.
  • Firewall protection: A good malware removal plugin also offers preemptive protection. A plugin with a strong firewall will stop attacks before they infect your website.
  • Website performance: Finally, your WordPress security should not affect your site performance. Often WordPress malware removal plugins overload your website server and slow down your site. Plugins like Sucuri and Wordfence are notorious for this. You need to find a plugin that does not make you choose between security and performance.

When to use a WordPress malware removal plugin? 

If you are wondering whether you need a malware removal plugin or not, the answer depends on why you are reading this article in the first place. If you suspect, or are aware of malware presence on your site, then YES, you definitely need to use a WordPress malware cleanup service or plugin. 

But there are other reasons to use one too. Most WordPress malware removal plugins also work as security plugins, and can be effective as preventative security measures for your WordPress site. With a security plugin like MalCare, you can get intelligent firewall protection, login protection, and daily scans to ensure that malware attacks do not cause any damage to your site. 

Final Thoughts

We hope that we have been able to inform your decision regarding which WordPress malware removal plugin works best for your site. Depending on what your exact needs are, one of these plugins is sure to fit your needs. 

However, WordPress sites are often attacked by hackers because the returns are higher with WordPress sites. If yours is a high-value site, and you want to secure it well, a complete security solution like MalCare will allow you to protect your site, ward off any attacks, and help you contain the damage in case of a hack.


If you have any more questions about malware removal, and how security plugins work, feel free to reach out to us.


What is the best malware removal plugin for WordPress in 2022?

The definition of best can vary according to factors such as budget and priorities. But from a strictly security-based perspective, MalCare is hands-down the best WordPress malware removal service currently available. MalCare allows you to schedule daily scans, protects your site with an intelligent firewall, and allows you to clean up malware with a single click. MalCare also offers several other features that make security a breeze for WordPress admin.

How do I remove malware from a WordPress plugin?

In order to remove malware from any of your plugins, you need to look for a security plugin like MalCare that scans your entire website, and detects even the hidden traces of malware on it. Once the malware is detected, you can upgrade your MalCare plan to remove this malware from your site with one click. 

How do I scan WordPress for malware?

In order to detect malware on a WordPress site, you need to scan your site with a malware scanner. There are different types of scanners: online ones and site-level ones, for instance, depending on where the scanner is installed and which parts of the website it is able to scan. Therefore, not all scanners are effective and there are those that will miss malware altogether.

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