How To Fix Antimalware Service Executable High CPU Usage

Antimalware Service Executable is a part of Windows Defender introduced only for Windows 10. It plays the role of an already installed antivirus program for your system. It is an upgraded version of Microsoft Security Essentials, an antivirus for windows 7.

Why Antimalware Service Executable is important:

Now we know what Antimalware Service Executable is, let us explain why it is important.  It always runs in the background of Windows Defender if you don’t have a proper antivirus program installed in your PC.

It detects viruses and keeps you safe from spam pop-ups, threats from different malware and web. It is regarded as a vital too because it monitors the activities on your PC and provides protection from viruses and other such attacks.

While it runs the scans over newly downloaded files, your system may get hanged or slows down its working. One should not get frustrated as there is high CPU/disk usage. Therefore be patient and don’t be afraid as it is important for the safety of your system.

It may take a few hours to scan large files for the sake of your system’s protection. As soon as it is completed, your system will run with normal speed.

What is MSSMPENG.EXE Antimalware Service Executable?

We often see the two terms used together as they are very closely related. They have a minor difference that Antimalware Service Executable is a process while Msmpeng.exe is a file within Windows Defender or more specifically in the ‘Task Manager’.

Antimalware Service Executable; High CPU/Disk/Memory Usage:

Antimalware Service Executable runs almost all the time in the background of your computer hence, it can slow the performance of your computer.  When it runs a Real-time scan or Full Scan operation, your system will likely hang up or become slow for several hours (mostly the reason behind people’s problems).

Antimalware Service Executable

Most people find this annoying as they face problems like antimalware service executable high CPU usage or antimalware service executable high disk usage.

How To Fix Antimalware Service Executable High CPU/Disk Usage:

Antimalware service executable high CPU usage or high disk usage is one of the most common problems in windows 10 users. If you want to get rid of this problem, follow one of the following three steps.

  1. Exclude it from Windows Defender:

You can solve this problem by adding Antimalware Service Executable to the exclusion list of Windows Defender. By doing this Windows defender skips itself from scanning and there from prevents you system from lagging as CPU usage will be less. For this, you should go through the steps given below:

  • Go to the “Task Manager” app by searching for it in the task bar.
  • Search for “Antimalware service executable” in “Windows processes”. Right click and then click on “Open File Location” which opens a new window.
  • Search for “MsMpEng.exe” and copy its path (location).
  • Now open Settings> Update and Security> Windows Defender> Virus and Threat Protection
  • Go to ‘Virus and Threat Protection Settings’, and go down to click on “Exclusions”.
Virus and Threat Protection Settings
  • As it is opened, open “Add an Exclusion” and then click on file option. Paste the link there and finally click “Exclude the file”. You can check you CPU/Disk usage now.
Exclude the file
  1. Disable Windows Defender by Registry:

If the above stated method doesn’t work, you would probably want to remove Window’s Defender from you PC, which is not a good idea at all, because it will expose your computer to external cyber-attacks. If you really want to take this step, make sure you install a good anti-virus software (like Avast antivirus) on your computer to prevent from any damage caused by viruses and malware in the absence of Windows Defender. Follow the following steps to disable/remove Windows defender.

  • Press Windows+R keys together which opens a small window. Type “regedit.exe”. Click OK.
  • In the left side, click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE> Software> Policies> Microsoft> Windows Defender.
  • You will see a DisableAntiSpyware key on the right side. If not then right click in the navigation window, and go into new> DWORD (32-bit) value.
DWORD (32-bit)

Rename it as “DisableAntiSpyware”. Its ‘Value Data’ should be reset to number “1”, as you double click it.

  • Click OK and restart your computer. You will see that Windows defender has been disabled.

Also Check: Remove Activate Windows Watermark Permanently

  1. Disable windows defender by Local Group Policy:

Here is stated another method to disable Windows Defender for users with antimalware service executable high CPU usage and antimalware service executable high disk/memory usage issues.

It will still not be disabled completely because it is an initial part of Windows 10 system. But it will make a big influence. You must install another antivirus for precautions against malware attacks.

  • First step is same as that in former method except that you would have to type “gpedit.msc” in the small window and click OK.

A new editor will be opened called ‘Local Group Policy Editor’. Click on Computer Configuration and go to Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender.

Computer Configuration

In the right panel, click on Turn off Windows Defender. Double click it. You will see that it is disabled at first. Select the Enabled option. Click OK and Apply.

Turn off Windows Defender
  • After closing this window, restart your computer.
  • Now go to “Task Manager” to check if CPU/Disk/memory usage has lessened to a significant amount.
  1. Install and Run Anti-Malware Application:

You might also be facing Antimalware service executable high disk or high CPU usage if a malware has harmed MsMpEng.exe file by infecting it with some virus to which it does not have the capability to cope with.

In such case install any antimalware app to remove such Malware. After scanning the file and removing malware, you will notice quite a change in CPU and memory usage preventing from slow working of your system.


We conclude that Antimalware Service Executable or MsMpEng.exe is not a bad thing for your computer as it monitors and protect the activities on your PC. It is healthy for a Windows 10 user to let it run and appreciate it as it is a lot better than previous antimalware softwares by Windows. And the problems it causes can be solved easily.

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