[Solved] Antimalware Service Executable High CPU on Windows 10


Have you ever witnessed a slower PC even with fewer applications opened? When you open task manager and noticed that “Antimalware Service Executable” is taking up More CPU, RAM and even 90 to 100% of your disk as shown below.antimalware service executable process in task manager

Don’t worry about it.

We have some solutions to solve this CPU hungry process. But why that process is actually running on my Windows 10 PC?fix antimalware service executable

What is Antimalware Service Executable?

Well, it is actually the Windows Defender which is inbuilt antimalware software for Windows 10. It is also known as MsMpEng.exe. The only reason Antimalware Service Executable service running in the background is to scan your Windows 10 PC for any malware and spyware. It just works like every antivirus software. It will provide security but this scan will also take a lot of CPU resources to do the scan which will slow down your PC.

You can even notice when we expand Antimalware Service Executable in the task manager as shown below.

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How do I Fix Antimalware Service Executable taking High CPU on Windows 10?

There are 3 ways to solve this issue which will reduce the consumption of resources on your PC.

#1. Change Windows Defender Scheduled Scan

  1. First, open task scheduler by Windows+R and type “taskschd.msc” and hit enter.taskschd.msc in windows run tool
  2. In Task Scheduler, just double-click on Microsoft -> Windows.task scheduker
  3. Now, just scroll down and you will notice Windows Defender. just on it, which will open its options.task scheduler windows defender
  4. Double-click on Windows Defender Scheduled Scan option Shown in Windows Defender tab.
  5. Now, you will be presented with various tabs and options. In General tab, you need to uncheck “Run with highest privileges” option to reduce its priority.disable windows defender scheduled scan
  6. Next, move to conditions tab and uncheck all the options and hit OK to save changes.disable conitions in windows scheduled scan
  7. Restart your PC and you can now see that Antimalware Service Executable windows 10 is using less CPU, Memory and disk usage.

#2. Add MsMpEng.exe to Windows Defender Exclusion List

This is a quite simplest method to disable the high usage of that service but has a lot of steps.

  1. First, open Windows Defender Security Center by searching in Windows Search bar or open settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Defender and click on Open Windows Defender Security Center.
  2. Once opened Windows Defender, Click on Virus & threat protection.windows defender
  3. Now, click on Virus & threat protection settings.virus and threat protection settings
  4. Next, scroll down until you find Exclusions and click on Add or remove exclusions.add or remove exclusions settings
  5. In exclusions page, click on ‘+‘near to Add an exclusion and select process option from the drop-down.exclude process in windows defender
  6. You need to enter the name of the process in the text box provided. Just enter “MsMpEng.exe” and click on Add button.add MsMpEng.exe to process exclusion windows defender
  7. That’s it, now you have added the Antimalware Service Executable to the exclusion list and it will take fewer resources on your Windows 10 PC. Just restart your computer to notice changes.

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#3. Disable Windows Defender (not recommended)

This is the recommended way, as it will completely turn-off antivirus and malware protection for your PC. I don’t recommend to try this option unless you have an alternative antivirus or anti-malware software running on your PC.

  1. First, you need to open Registry editor by pressing Win + R and type “regedit” and hit Enter or click OK.regedit in Windows 10 run tool
  2. Now, once you are in Registry editor, Browse through HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Policies -> Microsoft -> Windows Defender Antivirus.
  3. In Windows Defender Antivirus, you need to add new value by right-clicking on empty space on the right side and click on New to select DWORD (32-bit) Value.add new DWORD value in registry editor
  4. Just rename the created key to DisableAntiSpyware.registry variable to disable windows defender
  5. Now, double-click on the newly created key and change the value data to 1 from 0 and click on OK.disable windows defender registry editor
  6. Just, restart your computer to see the changes. That’s it, you have permanently disabled Windows Defender and if you want to enable it back then just follow the same steps and change value data to 0.

After you followed any or all of the methods mentioned. You will able to avoid the Antimalware service executable from taking all your PC resources. You can get the similar result as below image after following the above methods.antimalware service executable high cpu usage fixed

Hope, you liked this tutorial. If you have any issues after following these methods the comment down in comments sections. I will try my best to solve your issue.


  1. Hey! I tried doing all 3 of those things, and even after fully disabling windows defender the Antimalwarse Service Executable process continue to run. I also ran CC Cleaner to go through the registries and ran Malwarebytes to do a full scan. My computer is about 5 years old but I'm not sure how much the hardware can affect the software. Any idea what else might be causing it?

    • I think it's not about the hardware. Did that process is taking more 40% resources of your PC or less than 20%? If possible share a screenshot of your task manager for the reference. You can use https://prnt.sc/ to upload screenshot and share here. 🙂

  2. You could also upgrade from an HDD to an SSD. Scan times should be reduced significantly which means that this problem will no longer bother you all that much.

    • Hi George,

      No, that will only reduce the disk usage but not RAM and CPU usage. That process will take huge resources even with a high-end PC.

      • Yes, it does take a lot of resources but for a shorter amount of time. A full scan takes about a minute on my Computer with an SSD. Currently using a Core i5 3rd gen with 8 gigs of RAM.

        • Hi George,

          Yes, but most people won't have SSD on their PC. It is an easy option to make Antimalware service executable take fewer resources instead of purchasing an expensive SSD. 🙂

  3. Windows Defender + Malwarebytes free does the trick for me.

    Mb has saved my ass a number of times in the past if you like niether an alernative might be Emsisoft.

    These days neither an SSD or even an HDD are that different performance wise, not unless your running CAD simulations all day. Most effective av and antimal software do little to nothing on the performance end regardless of hardware setup, unless your running an ancient machine with an out dated os then your mileage could vary.

    • Hi Charles,

      I too use both Windows Defender and Malwarebytes and this combination is best of all. Windows defender is good as basic antivirus but Malwarebytes does a pretty great job in detecting malware and blocking them. Well, i hope this article helped you reduce the CPU or memory usage. Keep visiting. ?


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