High Memory, CPU, Disk Issue By Using Antimalware Service Executable – Solved

Antimalware Service Executable

The Antimalware Service Executable is an important process of Windows Defender which is the default anti-virus and anti-malware software of Windows 10. This process is infamously known for using high memory, CPU and disk. So if you have a lower-end computer, you might end up with a far slower system than expected.

So in this article, we will talk about how you can control the Antimalware Service Executable to get back some of the high memory, CPU and disk space and have a smoother overall experience. You will be pleased to know that the process is rarely straightforward, so let us jump straight into it.

Antimalware Service Executable

Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open up the Task Manager. Scroll through the background process list, and look for Antimalware Service Executable and its corresponding file msmpeng.exe. This is the process behind your laggy computer.

This process helps Windows Defender to continuously monitor your computer for potential threats and provide real-time protection against malware. Another Windows Defender feature is ‘Full Scan’ which scans your whole computer for infected files and programs. This feature is heavily dependent on your CPU.

Disabling these features will certainly make your computer faster, but also it is the only wall between your PC and the viruses. That is why we need to look for better ways to resolve the issue.

High Memory, CPU, Disk Issue -Fix

1. Schedule Windows Defender Task

As mentioned earlier, the high memory usage by the Antimalware Service happens when Windows Defender starts the full scan. To remedy it, you can schedule this task whenever you want.

Task Scheduler
Task Scheduler
  • Press Start and search for ‘task scheduler’.
  • Click on the first result and launch the program.
  • On the left panel, double click on the ‘Task Scheduler Library’.
  • Expand the ‘Microsoft’ folder.
  • Go to ‘Windows’ and then ‘Windows Defender’.
  • On that folder, double-click on the third option, called ‘Windows Defender Scheduled Scan’.
  • A new window will appear, on it click on the ‘Conditions’ tab.
  • Uncheck all the options and click ‘OK’.
  • Now go to the ‘Triggers’ tab.
  • Click on ‘New’.
  • Now create a task depending on your usage habit. Select a time when you will not use the computer. For security, opt-in for the weekly scan.
  • Now repeat the whole process for all the other options on the ‘Windows Defender’ folder, which are ‘Windows Defender Cache Maintainance’, ‘Windows Defender Clean Up’ and ‘Windows Defender Verification’.
New Trigger
New Trigger

2. Add Antimalware Service to Windows Defender Exclusion List

When Windows Defender starts the scan, it checks all the files on your computer, including its own folders. This interaction takes a long time to complete, so you can remove it to save some time.

  • Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Windows Task Manager.
  • Search for the process Antimalware Service Executable.
  • Right-click and select ‘Open File Location’.
  • Copy the whole address bar of the folder you are sent to.
  • Press Start and look for Windows Defender, open it.
  • Go to ‘Virus & threat protection’ tab.
  • On ‘Virus & threat protection settings’ you will see a ‘Manage settings’ option, open it.
  • Look for ‘Exclusions’ and select ‘Add or remove exclusions’.
  • Select ‘Add an exclusion’, select folder and paste the address you copied earlier.
  • Press ‘Select folder’.

Related Article: How to Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming and Performance

3. Check Your Computer with Other Antivirus Program

If the problem still persists, your computer might be already affected by malware which was somehow missed by Windows Defender. In that case, you can run a full system scan with third party anti-virus and anti-malware programs.

There are many free but powerful programs available online, like Avast Free Antivirus and Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition. Install whichever you like and run a full scan. If there are any issues, the program will help you to remove it.

4. Disable Windows Defender

If you are happy with the new free antivirus you just installed, you can disable the processes for Windows Defender. You can use Registry Editor to permanently stop the processes, but I will recommend stopping those from the software itself.

Disable Windows Defender
Disable Windows Defender
  • Press Start and look for ‘Windows Security’.
  • Open the first app and go to the ‘Virus & threat protection’ tab.
  • Look for ‘Virus & threat protection settings’ and click on ‘Manage settings’.
  • Disable all the options. If you encounter any pop-ups, select ‘Yes’.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, this article helped you to resolve your issue. Day by day Microsoft is pushing updates to Windows Defender to make it better. If you are not encountering too much pressure on your PC for it, I would recommend not to tinker with it as it comes pre-installed for free.


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