Msmpeng.exe is a Windows Defender core process. Unlike what most users think, this is a useful service that protects your PC from malware and viruses. Whenever new software is installed on your computer, this scans it to find any suspicious files that may harm your device and move it to the ‘Quarantined’ section. You can later check it and decide if you want to keep it or remove it.
Now, is it safe to delete it? Well, it depends whether you already have a third party anti-malware installed on your PC. Otherwise, removing or disabling this will make your computer vulnerable to malware. In any case, it is recommended not to delete this.
Although msmpeng.exe should consume only a small amount of memory, some Windows users often complain about msmpeng.exe consuming too much CPU that slows down their system. This can happen for several reasons. If you are facing the same issue, here are a few tips and tricks that you can try to free up RAM space.
- Update Windows
- Excluding Windows Defender directory search
- Reduce the CPU usage of msmpeng.exe manually
- Turn off the Windows Defender
- Install a third-party Antivirus
Solution 1 – Update Windows
Check if any updates are pending on your Windows PC. This can be one of the reasons why your PC might be slow and not working properly. And that’s why you are getting msmpeng.exe antimalware service executable process in your task manager.
To update Windows, please follow these steps:
Step 1: Press Windows Key+I and Settings will open up.
Step 2: From all the options, click on Update & Security.
Step 3: Click on Check for Updates (you require to have an internet connection).
Step 4: Once finished, reboot your PC.
This is just a workaround. If the problem of msmpeng.exe high cpu still persists, it’s time to get a little technical.
Solution 2 – Excluding Windows Defender Directory Search
Step 1: In the Windows search box, type Virus & Threat Protection.
Step 2: Go to ‘Virus & Threat Protection’ and click on Manage Settings.
Step 3: Click Add or remove exclusions in ‘Exclusions’.
Step 4: Click on Add on Exclusion and click on Folder.
Step 5: Copy and paste ‘C:\program files\Windows Defender’ beside ‘Folder:’
Step 6: Click on Select Folder.
Step 7: Reboot your device to save the changes.
Solution 3 – Reduce the Cpu Usage of Msmpeng.exe Manually
Step 1: Open the task manager by clicking Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
Step 2: Go to Details
Step 3: Right-click on ‘MsMpEng.exe’
Step 4: Click on Set affinity.
Step 5: Allocate the value you want and then reboot your computer.
This will make sure that msmpeng.exe uses only the allocated amount of memory. It is highly unlikely that it will eat up RAM even after this. But if it does and you are still wondering “can i end antimalware service executable”, try the next method.
Solution 4 – Turn Off the Windows Defender
You can disable msmpeng.exe by turning off the Windows Defender. But unless you have third-party antivirus software installed, this is an extremely risky thing to do. Windows Defender has disabled automatically if you have a third party anti-malware in your system.
However, if you are willing to take the risk, this is how you can temporarily disable the Windows Defender:
Step 1: Press Windows Key+R.
Step 2: Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
Step 3: There will be a window named ‘Local Group Policy Editor’. It is available only on Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows.
Step 4: In the location found, navigate to Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Windows Defender Antivirus.
Step 5: Double click on the option Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus.
Step 6: Click on Enabled.
Step 7: Click Apply and finally OK so that changes can be applied.
Step 8: Reboot your device to save the changes.
This will solve the problem of msmpeng.exe antimalware service executable process but at the same time, leaves your computer vulnerable to malware. It’s advisable to consider other options rather than this. More solutions are mentioned below.
Solution 5 – Install a Third-Party Antivirus
If none of the above options work, this remains the best option. Installing a third-party anti-malware will stop the Windows Defender and will become the default antivirus. There are plenty of choices, both paid as well as free. A good third party antivirus can keep your PC safe and you will not need Windows Defender anyway. This will most likely end your problem of msmpeng.exe high CPU usage.
People often ask- ‘Can I end the Antimalware Service Executable?’ Well, you can, but that would mean disabling the Windows Defender from your computer, which is not a smart thing to do. Msmpeng.exe is not a virus or a spyware. It is an important tool. Thus, instead of deleting it, it is better to find ways of reducing its memory consumption and that can be done by following the solutions we have tried to provide here.