If you noticed that the Antimalware Service Executable process takes up a high CPU on Windows, rest assured – you’re not alone. Many Windows users also report this problem. More importantly, you can fix this problem by yourself without asking a technician for help.

In this article, you’ll learn what Antimalware Service Executable exactly is and how to fix its high CPU usage issue.


What is Antimalware Service Executable?

You may know Windows Defender in your Windows, it’s an antivirus software built in Windows. Antimalware Service Executable is one of the background-running services in Windows Defender. It’s also known as MsMpEng.exe, you can find this on the Details tab in your Task Manager.

 Antimalware Service Executable is running to scan the malware and spyware when you access them. It will detect if there’s anything harmful. Besides, it also takes a background scan of your system for any viruses or worms. Its scanning relies heavily on your computer’s CPU, that’s why you find it’s eating the CPU usage on your Windows. Couldn’t we solve this problem for the safety of our Windows? No, you can solve it. Move on to the next part, please.


Fixes for ‘Antimalware Service Executable high CPU‘:

  1. Change Windows Defender’s schedule
  2. Add Antimalware Service Executable to Windows Defender exclusion list
  3. Check Real-time protection settings
  4. Bonus tip  <Try this additional tip if your computer still runs slowly>

Fix 1: Change Windows Defender’s schedule

The error is mainly due to its real-time protection feature. So we can change Windows Defender’s schedule to fix it.

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type taskschd.msc and press Enter.

2) Double-click on Task Scheduler Library Microsoft Windows.

3) Double-click Windows Defender in Windows. Then double-click Windows Defender Scheduled Scan.

4) Uncheck Run with highest privileges.

5) Uncheck all the items in the Conditions section. Then click OK.

With the steps above, your error should be fixed now.

If unfortunately, it doesn’t work, please don’t be frustrated, try the following method.


Fix 2: Add Antimalware Service Executable to Windows Defender exclusion list

High CPU usage can signal issues with Windows Defender real-time scanning. A troubleshooting step is to add the Antimalware Service Executable to Defender’s exclusion list. This prevents scanning of the file, potentially stopping unnecessary scans causing high CPU.

Below we’ll show you how to do this.

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key to open the Start menu. Type virus, and click Virus & threat protection from the list of results.

win11 - add Antimalware Service Executable to the exclusion list of Windows Defender

2) Find Manage settings under Virus & threat protection settings and click on it.

3) Scroll to the bottom and click Add or remove exclusions.

win11 - add Antimalware Service Executable to the exclusion list of Windows Defender

4) When you’re asked for permission, click Yes to proceed.

5) Click Add an exclusion. From the drop-down menu, select Folder.



Then select the following path:

C:\Program files\Windows Defender

Then restart your computer and check if it still consumes high CPU and RAM resources.

Fix 3: Check real-time protection settings

Another workaround for this issue is turning off the real-time protection.

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key to open the Start menu. Type virus, and click Virus & threat protection from the list of results.

win11 - add Antimalware Service Executable to the exclusion list of Windows Defender

2) Find Manage settings under Virus & threat protection settings and click on it.

win11 - add Antimalware Service Executable to the exclusion list of Windows Defender

3) Scroll a little bit and click on the switch to turn Off Real-time protection.

Turning off Real-time protection leaves your device vulnerable, so make sure you re-enable the setting after the troubleshooting.

Still Running Slow?

If, after trying the above, your PC is still running slow, we highly recommend you scan your Windows OS for faulty files or missing system components.

There are two ways you can do this:

  • Option 1 – Automatically (Recommend)
    Use the Windows repair tool Fortect to fully analyze your computer environment and identify the cause of the monitor issues. This will deal with issues related to system errors and critical system files.
  • Option 2 – Manually
    Use Windows built-in tool System File Checker to check for corrupt, damaged system files and repair them. However, this can only help you fix issues related to major system files, and it won’t be able to help with issues caused by damaged DLL, Windows Registry keys, etc.

Option 1 – Repair corrupted files with Fortect

Fortect is a professional Windows repair tool that can scan your system’s overall status, identify faulty files, and replace them automatically. In this way, you get an entirely fresh system with just one click and without losing any programs, settings, or personal data. (Read Fortect Trustpilot reviews.)

Here’s how to use this tool to repair broken system components in just one click:

1) Download and install Fortect.

2) Open Fortect and run a free scan on your PC.

Wait for Fortect to scan your PC. This may take a few minutes and you’ll get a detailed report of your PC status after this.

3) You can review a summary of the issues detected after the scan is finished. Click START REPAIR to start the repair process. This requires the full version – which comes with a 60-day Money-Back Guarantee.

The Pro version of Fortect comes with 24/7 technical support. If you need any assistance, please contact Fortect support:
Email: support@fortect.com

Option 2 – Run System File Checker

System File Checker is a Windows built-in tool that can help you scan for and repair any corruptions of your system files. Follow the instructions to see how to use it:

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows key and X at the same time, then click Windows PowerShell, or Terminal (Admin) if you’re on Windows 11. 

2) Click Yes when a UAC prompt is triggered.

3) Type sfc /scannow, then press the Enter key on your keyboard. Leave the Command Prompt window on until the command completes. 

So that’s it for this guide. Hopefully, it helped. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions.

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