What is Anti Malware Services Executable, and what purpose does it serve on computers?


Anti-Malware Services Executable is a component of Windows Defender. Windows Defender is a built-in Antivirus found in a Personal Computer (PC). The Anti-Malware Services Executable is one of the backgrounds running services in Windows Defender. It is also known as, “MSMpEng.exe” which can be found on the Details tab in the task manager of any PC.

Anti-Malware Services Executable runs to scan malware and spyware on the files a user accesses and it detects if there is something harmful. Moreover, it also takes a background scan of the computer to check for any viruses or worms. It’s scanning extensively relies on a computer’s Central Processing Unit (CPU). This is why users find that it consumes a lot of the CPU’s usage on Windows.

To curb the usage, there are fixes available which users can apply.

  1. antimalware service executable high cpu
    antimalware service executable high cpu

    Change Windows Defender’s Schedule:

Anti-Malware Services Executable takes a toll on the CPU mainly because of its real-time protection feature. Therefore, users can change the Windows Defender’s schedule to fix that.

They can do so in the following ways:

  • On the keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to invoke the Run box.
  • Type “taskschd.msc” and then press enter.
  • Then double click on Task Scheduler Library>Microsoft>Windows.
  • Double click Windows Defender in Windows and then double click Windows Defender’s Scheduled Scan.
  • Then uncheck Run with highest privileges.
  • Uncheck all the items in the Conditions section and then click ok.

With the steps mentioned above, the error should be fixed. If it doesn’t work there is another method users can try.

what is antimalware service executablewhat is antimalware service executable

  1. Add Anti-Malware Services Executable to Windows Defender’s Execution List:

Users can apply this fix by following these steps:

  • On the keyboard, press the Windows logo key and I at the same time to open the Settings window.
  • Click Update & Security.
  • Click Windows Defender’s then click Add an exclusion in Exclusions.
  • Click Exclude a.exe, .com or .scr process.
  • Then type MsMpEng.exe. Then click OK.

This way, the Anti-Malware Services Executable will be added to Windows Defender’s exclusion list and the error will hopefully be fixed.

However, after trying the above fixes, the PC still runs slow, it is recommended that users update all the available device drivers. The latest drivers help the computer to run stable and quickly.

There are two ways the users can update their device drivers – manually and automatically.

  • Users can update their drivers manually by going to the manufacturer’s website and search for the most recent correct driver for the exact device. Users need to bear in mind that they choose only those drivers which are compatible with their variant of the windows version.
  • Users can update their drivers automatically with the help of “Driver Easy.” Driver Easy is a tool that can automatically recognize the user’s system and find the correct drivers for their device and variant of the windows system and it will download and install them correctly.

[wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: Why does Anti-Malware Services Executable use, so much of the CPU?”]A: If users see the Anti-Malware Services Executable process using a large amount of the CPU, then it is probably scanning the computer for malware. Similar to other antivirus tools, Windows Defender performs regular background scans of the files on the computer. Further, it also scans the files when the user opens them and frequently installs updates with information about new malware. This CPU usage could also indicate that it is installing an update or that a user has opened a large file therefore Windows Defender needs more time to analyze. [/wps_faq][wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: When does Windows Defender usually perform background scans?”]A: The Windows Defender performs background scans when the user’s computer is idle and isn’t being used. Nevertheless, it may still use CPU resources performing updates or scanning files as user opens them even when using the computer.[/wps_faq][wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: Can Anti-Malware Services Executable be disabled?”]A: It is recommended not to disable the Windows Defender antivirus if a user doesn’t have any other antivirus software installed on their computer. However, if the users wish to disable it, they can do so by opening the Windows Defender Security Centre application from the Start menu, navigate to Virus & Threat protection, Virus & Threat Protection settings and disable Real-Time protection. Users need to bear in mind that this is just temporary and Windows Defender will re-enable itself after a short period if it doesn’t detect any other antivirus app installed.[/wps_faq][wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: Is there a way to use both the antivirus program of a user’s choice and Windows Defender?”]A: Yes, there is, users can go to Windows Defender Security Centre, then click Virus & Threat protection, and then they can expand their Windows Defender’s Antivirus protection by enabling periodic scanning. This way, the Windows Defender will perform regular background scans even if the user is using another antivirus program, potentially catching things the main antivirus might miss.[/wps_faq][wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: Is Anti-Malware Services Executable a virus?”]A: There haven’t been any reports of viruses pretending to imitate the Anti-Malware Services executable process. The Windows Defender is itself an antivirus so it is designed to stop any malware attempting to do this in its tracks. [/wps_faq]


To conclude, it would be safe to stay that Anti-Malware Services Executable plays a fundamental role in Windows Defense against viruses and malware. The Windows Defender provides a Real-Time protection feature which explains why it uses too much of the CPU. However, its role outweighs the functions it performs, since it looks for viruses in any of the operating files of the computer and takes countermeasures to curb it. However, despite the load on the CPU, there are fixes available to restrict extensive use of the CPU which has proven to be very effective.