The Ultimate Guide to Antimalware Service Executable

Antivirus usually plays a vital role in defending computers, PCs, and laptops from dangerous viruses. Windows 10 includes in-built antivirus that acts as a windows defender and runs in the background. The Antimalware Service Executable program is also known as MsMpEng.exe and is part of the Windows operating system. Though it is infamous for consuming a fair amount of CPU processing power, yet it is helpful in monitoring your computer and keeps it protected against malware and cyberattacks.

What is Antimalware Service Executable?

Windows Defender is an inbuilt feature of Windows 10 and is a successor to the free Microsoft security essentials antivirus for windows 7. It ensures that all windows 10 users have antivirus in their systems if they have not installed one. Moreover, if you already have any antivirus application installed and it is out of date, the windows defender will replace it and will activate automatically.

Antimalware Service Executable always keeps running in the background. It keeps a check on files and other documents for malware, performs background system scan for dangerous viruses, installs antivirus definition updates, and many other tasks of a security application.

It also allows the users to configure Windows defender, perform scans and check its history from the windows defender security center application included with Windows 10. It is not only easy to use but simple to install also. You can use the below-mentioned options to launch Antimalware Service Executable:

  • Use the windows defender security center shortcut in the start menu.
  • Right-click the shield icon and click on the open tab.
  • Go to settings, then click on the update and security option, and choose windows defender to open windows defender security center.

Read: How To Fix Windows Error 0x80072ee7?

Why it consumes much CPU processing power?

If you found Antimalware Service Executable consuming much CPU processing power, you need not worry as it shows that the program is canning files for malware in the background. Like other antivirus tools, windows defender continuously runs in the background and scans the files stored on your computer. It almost performs all the tasks related to a security application. No matter whether you are using any file, or not, it will scan it thoroughly. It also keeps a check on the latest updates of the software and installs it on your computer. More is the CPU power consumption; more are the tasks performed by Antimalware Service Executable.

Some users believe that windows defender works only when the system is in idle condition but actually, it is not so. The Antimalware Service Executable runs in the background and performs the scanning of all the files stored in the system and also when you open them. But if you are sitting in front of the PC and are working on it, the program will stop working in the background. Thus, if you find more consumption of CPU power, you must be pleased to know that windows defender is scanning your files to protect them from virus attacks. 

Can you disable Antimalware Service Executable?

It is not recommendable to disable Antimalware Service Executable if there is no other antivirus installed in your system. In fact, there is no option available to disable it permanently. But if you truly want to disable the Windows Defender, you can do it temporarily. Just follow these steps and disable it for some time:

1. Open the windows defender security center application.

2. Navigate to the virus and threat protection tab.

3. Open virus and threat protection settings.

4. Click on disable the “real-time protection” option.

Following these steps will help you to disable the windows defender for some time but it will re-enable after a short period if it does not find any other antivirus that gets installed on your computer. 

You might find some misleading information related to the windows defender disable task online but do not pay attention to it. Windows defender performs a background scanning function just to safeguards your files from malware, and thus, you can’t disable it. If you think you can disable its tasks in the task schedular, it won’t help. You can only disable it permanently by installing any other antivirus in your system. Also, when it will become out of date, the windows defender will deactivate it and re-activate it automatically.

However, you have both the options to choose windows defender and other antivirus software for your computer. If you choose to go for other antivirus software, you can still enable periodic scanning by expanding windows defender antivirus options. It will perform background scanning periodically and will provide a second option to catch the things you find unsuitable for your system. 

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How to fix Antimalware Service Executable high CPU usage?

Though all antivirus software consumes system resources while running in the background yet windows defender consumes much more than others. Although it irritates sometimes, you are suggested not to disable it if you do not have any other antivirus software installed on your computer. 

So, it is better to let the program perform its functions and focusing on some basic steps to prevent your system from repeating the same mistake:

1. Change windows defender’s scheduling options

According to some users, the windows defender consumes the highest power when it runs a full scan of the system. Well, if you do not want your CPU power to be used much, you can reschedule the scans as per your suitability. For this, you need to follow these steps:

1. Open the start menu and search the task scheduler.

2. Double click on the task scheduler library and expand the included folders. Follow library > Microsoft > windows > windows defender.

3. Once you reach your destination, double click on windows defender scheduled scan.

4. Click the Conditions tab, uncheck all the options and click on the ok button.

5. Double click on windows defender scheduled scan and select the triggers tab. Click on the new option.

6. Create a new scan schedule. 

7. Repeat the same process for windows defender cache maintenance, windows defender cleanup, and windows defender verification by following library > Microsoft > windows > windows defender folder.

Read: How To Open IFO, BUP, VOB Files On Windows 10?

2. Add antimalware service executable to windows defender’s exclusion list

When the windows defender performs scanning of the computer, it checks all the files on the system and can even result in system lag sometimes. So, to prevent this task, you can simply add antimalware service executable to windows defender’s exclusion list by following these steps:

1. Press ctrl + shift + Esc

2. Search antimalware service executable. Right-click on the process and select open file location.

3. Click on the address bar and copy the full address.

4. Open the start menu and type windows defender.

5. Click on virus and threat protection and go to the settings.

6. Click on add or remove exclusions. Click on add the exclusion, select folder, and paste the address in the address bar.

7. Click open, and you will find the folder excluded from the scan. 


Windows defender is a valuable tool, and since it comes free with Windows 10, it provides much more convenience to safeguard your system from malware. Though it can be disabled and added to the exclusion list if required yet, you are suggested not to do so. It not only keeps a check on threats and virus attacks but also performs almost all functions of a security application. Thus, follow the required steps to minimize its background usage and make maximum use of it. This windows defender will surely enhance your system’s ability to run smoothly and safely. Stay tuned with us at to get all the related updates. You will not face any kind of issue while exploring through the content we have presented for you!

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