How to Fix High CPU Usage by Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng.exe)?

by Jake Doe - -


Issue: How to Fix High CPU Usage by Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng.exe)?

My PC sometimes gets extremely slow and after checking Task Manager, I found the Antimalware Service Executable process sucking up CPU. I’m not sure if that’s the culprit, but disabling the process accelerated system’s performance. However, this process is reactivated automatically, so I would appreciate your help.

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Solved Answer

Windows Defender is an antivirus utility developed by Microsoft and pre-installed in Windows 10 operating systems. Although it comes as a default antivirus, it’s a matter of choice whether to use it or not. According to security experts, Windows Defender is powerful enough to protect Windows from both malware, potentially dangerous apps, files, and malicious viruses. However, Windows Defender has a bunch of shortages, one of which is inadequate CPU usage.
Few people noticed their PC’s going slow and, after checking the processes on Task Manager, it turned out that the “Antimalware Service Executable” CPU usage is just too high. While CPU usage may reach 60%, disk usage may

Showing Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng.exe) high CPU usage

strike nearly 100%.

“Antimalware Service Executable” is one of the main Windows Defender processes, which is also known as MsMpEng.exe. This file is responsible for Real-Time Protection service, meaning that it’s task is to scan downloaded files for spyware/worms/virus/malware, terminate them, and eventually remove. Usually, the MsMpEng.exe or Antimalware Service Executable CPU usage gets high when the device owner uses Bluetooth, connects the HDD or downloads some data. According to Windows certified technicians, the reasons of MsMpEng.exe high CPU usage may be the following

  • low hardware resources;
  • outdated Windows Defender definitions;
  • outdated Windows Defender registry files;
  • virus infection;
  • Windows Defender scans its own directory.

Definitely, you can uninstall Windows Defender and that would work as “Antimalware Service Executable” high CPU usage fix perfectly. However, Windows Defender is a powerful antivirus, which is perfectly compatible with Windows 10 OS, so before switching to a third-party utility, try the following fixes:

A Guide on How to Fix High CPU Usage by Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng.exe)

First of all, run a full system scan with Windows Defender or another security utility to check if the system is not infected with malware. Since Windows Defender’s current state is questionable, you can use Reimage. This optimization utility comes with an inbuilt virus protection feature and can function with Windows Defender in tandem. It means that you won’t have to disable or remove Defender. If the scan did not show any integral violations, please try the following Antimalware Service Executable CPU usage optimization methods:

Prevent Windows Defender from scanning its directory

  1. Press Windows key and type Windows Defender.
  2. Double click the Windows Defender option and open its Settings.
  3. Select Add an exclusion and click Exclude a file.
  4. Copy and paste the c:\\program files\\windows defender patch.
  5. To confirm the selection, click the Exclude this folder option.

Manually limit the MsMpEng.exe CPU usage

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + ESC to open Task Manager.
  2. Click More details and open Details tab.
  3. Find and right-click the msmpeng.exe file and select Set affinity.
  4. Select the CPU limit threshold and close Task Manager.

Change Windows Defender’s Schedule

  1. Press Windows key + R, type taskschd.msc, and press OK.
  2. Navigate to the Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft  > Windows > Windows Defender directory.
  3. Locate the Windows Defender Scheduled Scan and click it.
  4. Select Properties and open Conditions tab.
  5. Uncheck all given conditions and click OK to approve the changes.
  6. Now reschedule Windows Defender. Use the right pane to open Properties.
  7. Open Triggers tab and click New.
  8. Select the Monthly option or Weekly.
  9. Now select the preferred Day and enable it.
  10. Click OK and close all windows.

If none of the methods above helped to fix high CPU usage by Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng.exe), please contact us and we’ll try to help you individually. If, however, you prefer using another antivirus tool, you should simply download it from the official website. Windows Defender will then be automatically disabled.

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