Fix: High CPU Usage By Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng) on Windows 10

Fix: High CPU Usage By Antimalware Service Executable

Every so often, the built-in tools that though help the PCs to remain secure against malware attacks, can make things delayed.

Let me explain:

Did you ever run up against something like this:

Fix: High CPU Usage By Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng) on Windows 10

If so, then this triggers up the mind that there is something that’s causing extremely high CPU usage on Windows 10.


In fact, it is the ( Antimalware Sevice Executable ) also known as ( MsMpEng.exe.)

What is antimalware service executable?

I’m sure you know well about Windows Defender in your Windows or at least heard of the name. Nevertheless, it is a built-in antivirus in Windows 10.

Antimalware Service Executable” is one of the background-running services in Windows Defender. You can find this on the Detail tab in your Task Manager.

What Antimalware Service Executable does?

It simply runs a scan over malware and spyware to detect anything harmful that hangs on your PC. It, similarly, takes a background scan of your system for any viruses or worms.


How does it harm a PC?

Actually, this service relies heavily on your computer’s CPU. That means, it is eating the CPU usage – extensively!

It is likely because of:

  • The fact that the program is constantly scanning files, connections and related applications in real-time to provide real-time protection.
  • The service does a full scan. As a result, it slows down your system and increases the CPU usage. Because of its full scan feature, you may experience lag and delays and hence, the CPU.

Fixes for Antimalware Service Executable High CPU

Follow the methods below to fix the antimalware service executable:

Change Windows Defender’s schedule


Windows Defender does real-time protection and that is the main cause of the error. You can change Windows Defender’s schedule to get around to the problem.

  • Fire up “Run dialog box”.
  • Type “taskschd.msc” and click “Enter”.
  • On the appearing window, double-click on Task Scheduler Library Microsoft Windows.
  • Now, double-click (Windows Defender) in Windows. Then double-click (Windows Defender Scheduled Scan).
  • Now, on the General tab see down and uncheck (Run with highest privileges) box.
  • Next, uncheck all the items in the Conditions section.
  • Click OK.

Your problem should not be there anymore.

If you are still stuck, make it onto the next step.

Add Antimalware Service Executable to Windows Defender exclusion list


It’s simple.

  • Open the Windows settings.
  • Tap on “Update & security
  • On the left pane click Windows Defender and click (Add an exclusion) in Exclusions.
  • Click Exclude a .exe, .com or .scr process
  • Next, type MsMpEng.exe therein.
  • Hit “OK”.

You have now successfully added Antimalware Service Executable to the Windows Defender exclusion list.

So what happened?

The error is solved. Cheers!


Turning off Windows Defender / Disable Windows Defender

There are two approaches to it.

  1. Disable Windows Defender from Local Group Policy Editor
  2. Disable Windows Defender from the Registry

Let’s break things down:

Disable Windows Defender from Local Group Policy Editor

  • Launch the Run command.
  • Type gpedit.msc in there.
  • This will open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  • Next navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender.
  • A window will show up. Simply navigate to and double-click the settings named (Turn off Windows Defender).
  • Select the “Enabled” option. This will disable Windows Defender.
  • Confirm the series of prompts.
Fix: High CPU Usage By Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng) on Windows 10

This method disables the Windows Defender, and hence most likely solves the problem.


Disable Windows Defender from the Registry

  • Fire up the Run box.
  • Type “regedit” in the box. Tap “Enter”.
  • Navigate to (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender).
  • If you see a registry entry named (DisableAntiSpyware), double click it and change its value to (1)
Fix: High CPU Usage By Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng) on Windows 10
Disabling Windows Defender can return CPU usage to normal.

Remove Bad Updates

Windows defender sometimes identifies certain Windows files as viruses. This is due to the fact that it acquires bad definition updates.

Nevertheless, we will remove these updates using the command prompt.


For that:

  • Open up the Run box.
  • Type “cmd” in there. Press “Shift” + “Ctrl” + “Enter” to open cmd as administrator.
  • Now, type in the following commands:
"%PROGRAMFILES%\Windows Defender\MPCMDRUN.exe" -RemoveDefinitions -All

One important thing:

(Keep the commas in the command).

  • Follow the command with another command and press enter.
"%PROGRAMFILES%\Windows Defender\MPCMDRUN.exe" -SignatureUpdate
  • Wait a while and let the process to complete.
  • Check if the issue is still there.

Scan for Malware


Malware could have infected the MsMpEng.exe process. You can use Malware bytes to scan for these.

Adding Antimalware Service Executable to Windows Defender Exclusion List

Now, I want to hear what you say.

Did you turn the CPU usage back to normal? If so, share which method did the delight.


Or maybe, you have some queries that are still running through your mind?

Whatever the case, do let us know in the comments.

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