Tech Guide
What Is Antimalware Service Executable and How to resolve it?

What Is Antimalware Service Executable and How to resolve it?

The Antimalware Service Executable process plays an essential role in the Windows Defender Service bundled with Windows 10. Though, it’s also notorious for consuming far more than its fair share of CPU processing power and can even single-handedly reduce your computer’s speed to a glacial crawl.

If you are using Windows Defender and have marked high CPU usage for abnormally long periods, you’ll be pleased to know that the issue can quickly be resolved.

In this guide, we’ve put together a few easy steps you can serve to prevent Antimalware Service Executable from hogging your system’s resources and keep your machine running smoothly.

Antimalware Service Executable High Memory
Antimalware Service Executable High Memory

What is the msmpeng.exe Antimalware Service Executable? 

Do you use Windows Defender to guard your PC? If so, navigate to the Windows Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc or Start Menu > Task Manager), scroll through the list of background processes, and you will see a method called Antimalware Service Executable and its related file msmpeng.exe.

This method allows Windows Defender to regularly monitor your computer for potential threats and provide real-time protection against malware and cyberattacks. At the same moment, however, it can also be the root of disproportionately high CPU usage.

Another Windows Defender feature that may be a culprit for slowing down your PC is its Full Scan, which performs a comprehensive check of all files on your computer. Unfortunately, full scan relies heavily on the CPU and is not afraid to use whatever resources your system has available; thus, you may experience lag, delays, hanging, and other system disruptions when it is running.

While it is common for antivirus applications to consume system resources when running a scan, Windows Defender is far greedier than most. It is known to use excessive CPU for long periods and carry out scans right when you wake up the computer to send an email or check a website quickly.

Although this can be frustrating, you mustn’t disable Windows Defender without installing another IT security solution. After all, it may be the only thing that lasts between your PC and the bad guys!

Antimalware Service Executable High Cpu
Antimalware Service Executable High Cpu

 How to Fix Antimalware Service Executable?

Solution 1: Change Windows Defender’s scheduling options 

For most souls, the high memory usage created by Antimalware Service Executable typically happens when Windows Defender runs a full scan. We can remedy this by scheduling the scans to take place when you’re less likely to feel the drain on your CPU.

  • Start the Start menu, enter “task scheduler,” and press the top result to launch the program.
  • Inside the navigation panel on the left side, double click Task Scheduler Library. Proceed to extend these folders and move to the subsequent destination: Library/Microsoft/Windows/Windows Defender.
  • When you have started the Windows Defender folder, double click Windows Defender Scheduled Scan, positioned in the middle pane.
  • Click the Conditions tab, uncheck all options and click OK. This will clear your scheduled scans.
  • To protect your PC, it is necessary to schedule some new scans, but we can do this in a way that will decrease the impact on your system’s performance. To do so, double-click Windows Defender Scheduled Scan, select the Triggers tab, and click New.
  • Create a new scan schedule that suits your needs, selecting options that balance protection and system efficiency. As a guideline, we suggest (at minimum) weekly scans at a time when you’ll be incredible to notice the increased CPU usage.
  • Repeat the process for the three remaining services (Windows Defender Cache Maintenance, Windows Defender Clean-up, and Windows Defender Verification) found in the Library/Microsoft/Windows/Windows Defender folder.

Solution 2: Add Antimalware Service Executable to Windows Defender’s suspension list

While its scans, Windows Defender monitors every single file on your computer – including itself. Unluckily, this can infrequently result in some interesting interactions and is a common source of system lag. To stop this from happening, you can direct Windows Defender to skip itself when performing a system scan.

  • Hold Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start the Windows Task Manager.
  • Inside the list of processes, look for Antimalware Service Executable. Right-click on the process and press Open File Location.
  • Inside the address bar, you’ll find the full path of Antimalware Service Executable. Press on the address bar and copy the entire path.
  • Open the Start menu, type “windows defender,” and click the top result to launch the Windows Defender Security Center.
  • Press on Virus & threat protection, later on, Virus & threat protection settings.
  • Scroll down to “Exclusions” and press on Add or remove exclusions. In the next screen, click on Add an exclusion, select Folder, and paste the path to Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng.exe) in the address bar. Finally, click Open, and the Folder will now be excluded from the scan.

Solution 3: Disable Windows Defender

If the issue persists after applying the initial two fixes, you might be tempted to disable Windows Defender altogether. Though, keep in mind that doing so leaves you unprotected from a range of cyberattacks. Therefore, you must install a powerful anti-malware product on your PC before removing Windows Defender.

Disable Windows Defender altogether using the Registry Editor.

  • Hold Windows Key + R to start the Run Dialog Box.
  • In the Run Dialog Box, type RegEdit and click OK to open the Registry Editor.
  • In the navigation pane on the left, double click the folders to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender.
  • If you see a registry entry named DisableAntiSpyware, double click it and place its value data to 1.

4b. If you do not find a registry entry titled DisableAntiSpyware, right-click in the main Registry Editor Pane and choose New > DWORD (32 bit) Value.

4c. Name this new registry entry DisableAntiSpyware. Double click it and fix its value data to 1.

Solution 4: Check for malware infections

Something eviler may be causing Windows Defender to disrupt your computer’s performance. Run a full system scan using a reputable and lightweight anti-malware solution to check your computer for any malware that may be affecting your computer’s ability to run smoothly and safely.

Windows Defender is an important tool, especially since it comes free with your operating system, but it can certainly put a drain on your system’s CPU. However, by following the steps described in this article, you’ll be able to take control of Antimalware Service Executable and keep your computer running at full speed.

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