How to Fix High CPU Usage By Antimalware Service Executable – MsMpEng

What is antimalware service executable? Antimalware Service Executable like TiWorker.exe and Windows Module Installer are some of the main culprits that cause computers to have high CPU usage. This one, in particular, relates to  MsMpEng (MsMpEng.exe) a Windows Defender service. The high CPU usage occurs due to Defender’s real-time feature. I.E the feature that protects your computer in real time.

However, the Full Scan feature also triggers high CPU usage from time to time. The scans occur based on your Windows Defender set up.  When it performs these scans, expect to experience slowness and limited access/response from your input/interactions with the system. Normally, the system regains access to the CPU resources once Windows completes the scan. However, should the msmpeng.exe antimalware service executable high CPU persist, here’s what you need to do.

Reschedule Windows Defender Scan

Full Scan only needs to be done once a week or month. Scheduled scans that occur daily, when the computer wakes up from sleep, or when it’s connected to a network will cause CPU issues.

  • Open the Start Menu and search Administrative Tools. 
  • From the Administrative Tools choose Task Scheduler. Double click to open it.
  • From the left pane of Task Scheduler search for the following path:
  • Library/Microsoft/Windows/Windows defender
  • In the Windows Defender Folder, find “Windows Defender Scheduled Scan”, click on it and then choose Properties.
  • From the Properties Windows, click on the Conditions Tab and un-check the options under Idle, Power, and Network. Click OK.
  • Once done, Reschedule Windows Defender. Click the Properties from the right pane again, and this time choose the Triggers tab and Click New.
  • Here, choose the Weekly option or Monthly, as per your preference, and then choose the Day, Click OK and enable it.

The above steps re-schedules Defender. When the scan runs as per the schedule, expect High CPU Usage. For further optimization, repeat the above steps for the three other schedules:

  • 1: Windows Defender Cache Maintenance
  • 2: Windows Defender Cleanup}
  • 3: Windows Defender Verification)

Set Windows Defender To OFF

Given that the main cause of this issue is Windows Defender, you can uninstall the program. However, be sure to replace Windows Defender with another antivirus program. There are two ways to do remove Windows Defender:

  • Use the Local Policy Editor
  • Use A Registry Tweak

Local Group Policy Editor

  • Press the Windows Key + R, type in gpedit.msc in the Run dialog box and click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  • In the Local Group Policy Editor, go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender.
  • Now, look for a setting named Turn off Windows Defender and double-click it.
  • Select the Enabled option to disable Windows Defender. Click Apply then OK.

This disablesWindows Defender. However, you may need to restart the computer to ensure that it completely disables the program.

Using the Registry

  • Press the Windows Key + R, type in regedit in the Run dialog box.
  • Click OK to open the Windows Registry.
  • In the Registry Editor, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
  • Find the entry named DisableAntiSpyware, double-click to edit it and change its value to 1.

Add Antimalware Service Executable to Windows Defender Exclusion List

Lastly, you can add MsMpEng.exe to an exclusion list. By doing so, it considerably reduces the CPU consumption of the service. Follow the steps below to edit the exclusion list:

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Windows Task Manager.
  • In the list of processes, look for the Antimalware Service Executable process.
  • Right-click on it and select “Open File Location” to see the full path of the executable.
  • You ought to see the file MsMpEng highlighted.
  • Click on the address bar and copy the location of the file path.
  • Hold the Windows Key and Press I, choose Update and Security, then Choose Windows Defender from the left pane.
  • Scroll down and choose > Add an exclusion “under exclusion” > Exclude a .exe, .com, .scr process, or File Type.
  • Now, paste the path to MsMpEng.exe

Check Task Manager. The process should now consume much a less of your processor. Paste the full path to the folder you copied and then add \MsMpEng.exe to it. Click OK to save changes.

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