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Add Antimalware Service Executable To Windows Defender’s Exclusion List

If you noticed that the Antimalware Sevice Executable process takes up high CPU on Windows 10, rest assured, you’re not alone. Many Windows 10 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 Sevice 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 10. 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 10. Couldn’t we solve this problem for the safety of our Windows? No, actually you can solve it. Move on to the next part, please.

Change Windows Defender’s scheduling options

For most people, the high memory usage caused by Antimalware Service Executable typically happens when Windows Defender is running a full scan which has been featured on We can remedy this by scheduling the scans to take place at a time when you’re less likely to feel the drain on your CPU.

  • Open the Start menu, type “task scheduler” and click the top result to launch the program.
  • In the navigation pane on the left, double click Task Scheduler Library.
  • Continue to expand these folders and navigate to the following destination: Library/Microsoft/Windows/Windows Defender.
  • When you have opened the Windows Defender folder, double click Windows Defender Scheduled Scan, located in the middle pane.
  • Click the Conditions tab, uncheck all options, and click OK.
  • This will clear your scheduled scans.
  • To protect your computer, it is important to schedule some new scans, but we can do this in a way that will reduce the impact on your system’s performance.
  • To do so, double click Windows Defender Scheduled Scan, select the Triggers tab, and click New.
  • Create a new scan schedule that suits your needs, selecting options that strike the balance between protection and system efficiency.
  • As a guideline, we recommend (at minimum) weekly scans at a time when you’ll be unlikely to notice the increased CPU usage.
  • Repeat the process for the three remaining services (Windows Defender Cache Maintenance, Windows Defender Cleanup, Windows Defender Verification) found in the Library/Microsoft/Windows/Windows Defender folder.

Add Antimalware Service Executable to Windows Defender’s exclusion list

During its scans, Windows Defender checks every single file on your computer – including itself. This can occasionally result in some interesting interactions and is a common source of system lag. To prevent this from happening, you can simply instruct Windows Defender to skip itself when performing a system scan.

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Windows Task Manager.
  • In the list of processes, search for Antimalware Service Executable.
  • Right-click on the process and select Open File Location.
  • In the address bar, you’ll see the full path of the Antimalware Service Executable.
  • Click on the address bar and copy the full path.
  • Open the Start menu, type “windows defender” and click the top result to launch the Windows Defender Security Center.
  • Click on Virus & threat protection, then on Virus & threat protection settings.
  • Scroll down until “Exclusions” and click Add or remove exclusions.
  • In the next screen, click on Add an exclusion, select Folder and paste the path to Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng.exe) in the address bar.
  • Finally, click Open and the folder will now be excluded from the scan.
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