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.
MsMpEng.exe is a part of Windows Defender and runs under the process name of Antimalware Service Executable. It is a builtin antivirus software that comes pre-installed with Windows 10 operating system. Although the program is free, it is not ranked as “the best” AV engine out there, and several other security applications surpass Windows Defender in its efficiency and functionality.
Additionally, Windows Defender can also sometimes use an inadequate amount CPU power, as well as increased memory usage, which is obviously not a beneficial trait. In some severe cases, the CPU usage of Antimalware Service Executable reached nearly 100%, which made computer operation almost impossible.
Users were baffled and wanted to find a way to fix high CPU usage by Antimalware Service Executable. Fortunately, you have come to the right place, as our experts prepared a detailed guide on how to do that.
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, quarantine 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 for 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- outdated Windows Defender definitions;
- outdated Windows Defender registry files;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 fixes below.
This video contains information about eliminating this issue:
Solution 1. Change Windows Defender’s Schedule
Windows Defender using a lot of CPU power during full system scan is normal. All users have to do is just wait until the scan is complete (for their own computer safety). A full scan is needed, and users should run it from time to time. However, some machines are incorrectly set to run it daily, increasing the CPU usage of the process. As a result, users have an impression that Windows Defender is using way too much CPU power in general. Thus, you should make sure that scans are scheduled correctly:
- Press Windows key + R, type taskschd.msc, and press OK.
- Navigate to the Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Windows Defender directory.
- Locate the Windows Defender Scheduled Scan, right-click on it, and select Properties
- Select Properties and open Conditions tab.
- Uncheck all given conditions and click OK to approve the changes.
- Now reschedule Windows Defender. Go to Properties, and pick Triggers tab
- Click on New
- Select the Monthly option or Weekly.
- Now select the preferred Day and enable it.
- Click OK and close all windows.
Solution 2. Scan your computer for viruses
Beware that every executable or a process running in the Task Manager can be malicious. Hackers can name the malicious file however they want to reduce the chance of detection. Thus, if Antimalware Service Executable process indicates high CPU usage, it is wise to first consider virus infection, as such threats like crypto-mining malware abuse systems resources to mine digital currency.
First of all, run a full system scan with Windows Defender or another security utility. 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 the Defender. If the scan did not show any integral violations, please try the following Antimalware Service Executable CPU usage optimization methods.
Solution 3. Prevent Windows Defender from scanning its directory
- Press Windows key and type Windows Defender settings.
- Double click the option to open its Settings.
- Pick Open Windows Defender Security Center
- Go to Virus & Threat protection > Virus & Threat protection settings
- Scroll down to find Exclusions and click on Add or remove exclusions
- Select Add an exclusion and click Exclude a folder
- Copy and paste the c:\\program files\\windows defender path
Solution 4. Manually limit the MsMpEng.exe CPU usage
It is possible to manually limit the CPU usage that is taken by MsMpEng.exe, but it is not recommended if the process is legitimate, as it can limit the capabilities of the program.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + ESC to open Task Manager.
- Click More details and open Details tab.
- Find and right-click the msmpeng.exe file and select Set affinity.
- Select the CPU limit threshold and close Task Manager.
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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