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If your files are infected with malwares, security applications can slow down your PC. For Windows 10 users, the high CPU usage by Antimalware Service Executable files has become a major concern.

You can check out the different ways to fix this problem. Methods presented below can help you dig deep into what causes the MsMpEng.exe file to take up high CPU.

What is Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng.exe)?

The Antimalware Service Executable process (MsMpEng.exe) is a background service for Windows Defender. It checks files for malware every time you access them.

You can find the .exe file running in the background when your Windows Defender is enabled. The process scans threats and malwares, and thereby consumes high amount of CPU and computer memory.

6 Simple Ways to Fix High CPU Usage Caused by MsMpEng.exe

So, here are a few ways in which you can lower the high CPU usage of MsMpEng.exe file.

1. Add MsMpEng.exe to Windows Defender Exclusion List

You need to add MsMpEng.exe to an exclusion list on the Windows Defender. For that, you’ll need the Windows Task Manager.

  • Press the shortcut keys to open Windows Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc)
  • You can also press ‘Windows’ and ‘R’ keys to open the Run program, type ‘taskmgr’ in the Run dialog box, and press the Enter key to launch Windows Task Manager
  • In the Task Manager window, click on the tab for Processes

Add MsMpEng.exe to Windows Defender Exclusion List

  • Browse the list of processes and look for exe (Antimalware Service Executable) file
  • Right-click on it, and choose ‘Open File Location’ from the drop down menu
  • Now, you’ll see the file highlighted
  • Copy the address to file location (file path)
  • Now, hold the ‘Windows’ key and press ‘I’ key to launch Windows Settings
  • Click on ‘Update and Security
  • Go to Windows Defender
  • Scroll down the left pane and click on Add an exclusion “under exclusion”

Add MsMpEng.exe to Windows Defender Exclusion List

  • Now, select the option – Exclude a .exe or .scr process or File Type

Add MsMpEng.exe to Windows Defender Exclusion List

  • Here, paste the file path you copied earlier
  • Click on ‘OK’ to save changes

Adding the process to Windows Defender’s exclusion list may stop it from consuming more CPU memory. However, this method won’t work if the MsMpEng.exe is corrupted.

2. Run SFC Scan

If corrupted files are causing this high CPU usage by Antimalware service executables, you can use System File Checker (SFC). It is a free solution to scan for corrupted .exe files and program components.

To run an SFC scan,

  • Type ‘cmd’ in the Windows 10 search box
  • Go to Command Prompt program from the search results
  • Right-click on it and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the context menu
  • Type the command ‘sfc /scannow’ in the Command Prompt window

Run SFC Scan

  • Press the Enter key to execute the scan
  • Wait for the scan to finish (this make take a couple of minutes)
  • Restart your PC

Check if your computer’s memory is still being drained by MsMpEng.exe file.

3. Use Antimalware Apps

An antimalware software can reduce the high memory usage by antimalware service executable process. You can download free software to fix this issue.

Here are some free antimalware software suitable to fix the high memory usage of MsMpEng.exe file.

If a malware has infected the MsMpEng.exe process, you can use such software to scan and fix the file.

4. Put Windows Defender on Hold

You can also try rescheduling Windows Defender to check if the CPU usage of MsMpEng.exe gets reduced.

  • Go to the Start menu on your Windows 10 Desktop
  • On the left-side, you’ll see Administrative Tools
  • Click on it
  • Now, choose Window, and then Task Scheduler

  • Follow the path – Library/Microsoft/Windows/Windows Defender

Put Windows Defender on Hold

  • Here, locate ‘Windows Defender Schedule Scan
  • Click on it and select ‘Properties
  • Select the ‘Conditions’ tab
  • Here, uncheck the option – Idle, Power and Network
  • Click on OK
  • Now, go back to Properties window
  • Right pane shows the Triggers tab
  • Click on New in the Triggers tab
  • Choose between the Monthly and the Weekly option (your preference)
  • Now, choose the Day to schedule the scan
  • Click on OK to save the rescheduling changes on Windows Defender

You can repeat this same process for rescheduling Windows Defender Cleanup and Windows Defender Verification. The whole point of rescheduling such important scans is allowing your CPU to expend less memory.

5. Turn Off Windows Defender with Local Group Policy Editor

You can try disabling Windows Defender with a Local Group Policy edit. It can naturally end the MsMpEng.exe process and stop the high CPU usage.

  • Open the Run dialog box (Press together – Windows and R keys)
  • Type ‘gpedit.msc’ and press the Enter key
  • Local Group Policy Editor opens up
  • Now, you need to navigate to the Local Group Policy
  • Here, expand the Computer Configuration folder
  • Now, navigate to the Administrative Templates sub-folder
  • Expand the Windows Components folder, and then the Windows Defender folder
  • Here, you’ll search for and open a policy named “Turn Off Windows Defender

Turn Off Windows Defender with Local Group Policy Editor

  • Click on OK to save changes

If this doesn’t work, try disabling Windows Defender with the Registry Editor.

6. Disable Windows Defender with Registry Editor

To turn Windows Defender off,

  • Press the ‘R’ key while holding the ‘Windows’ key to open Run dialog box
  • Type ‘regedit’ in the box
  • Press the Enter key or click on OK
  • You see the Registry Editor window open up
  • In the window, you need to navigate to a specific registry
  • Now, expand >Policies>Microsoft>Windows Defender
  • Here, you search for a value called ‘DisableAntiSpyware

Disable Windows Defender with Registry Edito

  • Now, double-click on its value
  • Adjust the Value Data to 1

You’re done! The registry editor has disabled Windows Defender spyware processes to save your computer’s memory.

If you have any better solution or fix for this issue, let us know in the comments below.

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1 comment
  1. handy rusandi berbagi73
    September 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

    I use malwarebytes to protect my system, and combine with eset internet security.

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