10 Ways to Fix Msmpeng.exe High CPU Usage [Updated 2023]


Are you noticing that your device is unusually slower than usual, with an increased disk and CPU usage? This blog post will cover all you need to know about this common issue known as ‘msmpeng.exe high cpu’ usage.

You’ll learn how to diagnose and troubleshoot this problem along with our tips for best practices in order to prevent similar issues in the future.

Key Takeaways

  1. Understand the source and effects of msmpeng.exe high CPU usage to actively monitor and diagnose performance issues on your computer
  2. Use Task Manager & Resource Monitor together to identify programs hogging resources especially MsMpEng related processes
  3. Avoid conflicting software applications as well as keep your system up-to-date with all necessary security patches & updates for optimal performance
  4. Prevent Windows Defender from scanning its own folder, disable real – time protection or reschedule scans, add Antimalware Service Executable (AMSE) to exclusion list and limit CPU usage where possible

Understanding Msmpeng

It is important to understand what causes msmpeng.exe high CPU usage, its effects and how to diagnose and monitor the issue.


Msmpeng.exe is a built-in antivirus program in Windows 10 that helps protect computers from malicious threats such as malware, spyware, and viruses. It can detect and remove these deep-rooted threats that regular antivirus programs may fail to catch while offering real-time protection against future intrusions.

As it actively runs in the background, constantly scanning for potential dangers, Msmpeng.exe can consume large amounts of CPU disk usage depending on the user’s computer resources and settings with regards to threat detection and removal.

Reasons For Msmpeng.exe High CPU Usage

High CPU usage can be caused by other conflicting software applications as well as lack of hardware resources available to Msmpeng.exe for scanning purposes. Additionally, Msmpeng.exe scans its own Program Files\Windows Defender folder which further contributes to higher use of CPU disk space than necessary – making it an even bigger burden on your computer’s performance level .

Effects Of High CPU Usage Of Msmpeng.exe

Msmpeng.exe high CPU usage can have a massive impact on your computer’s performance if left unchecked. High resource consumption can cause slow loading times, difficulty running other programs, freezes and system instability.

Over time these effects will only worsen as the software continues to use more of your available resources until you begin experiencing blue screens or even shutdowns due to lack of space.

When msmpeng.exe begins using up too much of your CPU power, it could lead to slower booting times and application load speeds – potentially freezing any applications that require more intensive processing capabilities such as games or programming tools being used all at once.

Steps To Diagnose And Monitor Msmpeng

1. Using Task Manager

Task Manager is a powerful tool included in Windows for diagnosing the source of high CPU usage, and managing processes that are hogging your computer resources. To access it, hit “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” on your keyboard to launch the Task Manager app window.

When you’re in the Processes tab, you can monitor each process’ current memory consumption as well as the totals for more than one process or service. This includes msmpeng.exe which stands for Microsoft Antimalware Service Executable—the built-in antivirus engine on Windows 10 PCs responsible for scanning files and detecting threats using background scanning as part of Windows Security.

2. Using Resource Monitor

Using Resource Monitor is a great way to diagnose issues. It shows detailed information about the resource utilization of each process on a system, including those related to MsMpEng.exe.

To get started with Resource Monitor, press Windows + R and type ‘perfmon’ in the Run dialog box which will open up the Performance window showing all performance-related objects within easy access from a single screen.

Once you’re there, click “Resource Monitor” under Monitoring Tools at the bottom left corner of this window which will open up Resource Monitor displaying real-time statistics for each application or process running on your computer at that time.

Here you can identify activities by any MsMpEng associated processes as they appear and sort them alphabetically using “Process” tab at top right\\ Idetify current tasks \\Process ID and Process name(MsMpEng).

It then provides CPU usage percentage it is taking along with Disk I/O read/write operations metadata – to track down where exactly high RAM usage (CPU) occurs & what data sourced from disk drive is being cached in memory associated with this service name running After verifying cpu Usage if its exceeding abnormally ,you can even dig deep into specific Disk/.net actions taken by application based on certain events firing .

3. Analyzing Performance Data

Analyzing performance data is an important step in diagnosing and monitoring issues. Data from Task Manager and Resource Monitor can be used to identify the resource hogging processes, as well as to spot security threats like malware or virus activity.

By reviewing performance information generated by Windows Security, such as disk utilization rate, disk queue length, memory pressure readings, interrupted items count, defense stack health state etc., users can determine which program is using a lot of CPU resources System Restore and further narrow down their root cause search.

In order to review this information correctly one must open up both Task Manager and Resource Monitor on their device. To access these tools open up the Start menu then type “Task Manager” for Task Manager or “Resource Monitor” for Resource Monitor into the Search Bar.

Once opened users should look through either feature for processes that are taking up more than expected amounts of RAM/CPU Usage/Disk Activity etc., then click specifically on those processes for further inspection and analysis.

Solutions To Reduce Msmpeng.exe High CPU Usage

1. Prevent Windows Defender From Scanning Its Own Folder

One of the most effective ways to reduce msmpeng.exe high CPU usage is to prevent Windows Defender from scanning its own folder. To do this, open the Windows Security app and go to Virus & threat protection > Manage settings under Exclusions. Here you can add an exclusion for a process, file or folder with just the click of a button. When adding an exclusion for the Windows Defender folder, be sure to check off both box types (files and folders) if prompted. This will ensure no part of it is scanned by MsMpEng and help keep more CPU disk space available for other processes in your system.

Additionally, adding Antimalware Service Executable (AMSE) to the exclusions list can also limit MsMpEng’s activity on files related to AMSE itself, further reducing resource consumption from MsMPeng running scans unnecessarily on these files again and again over time.

2. Disable Real-time Protection And Reschedule Windows Defender Scans

Disabling real-time protection and rescheduling Windows Defender scans can help to reduce the CPU disk usage caused by msmpeng.exe as a part of the Antimalware Service Executable process.

To do so, you can use the Task Scheduler app to limit resource utilization and the Windows Security app to add the Antimalware Service Executable (AMSE) file to an exclusion list.

  • First, open the Task Manager by right-clicking on your taskbar and selecting “Task Manager” from the context menu or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Escape on your keyboard. Once you have opened the Task Manager, Go to the “Processes” tab then select “View > Select Columns” and click on “CPU Time”. Now in this section, check for any process that is consuming high amount of CPU resources in percentage or CPU time such as MsMpEng.exe and take note of its PID (Process ID).
  • Next, open Resource Monitor by going to Start > Type “Resource Monitor” in search box > Select it from results list > Click on “CPU” tab once its window is opened. Here sort processes by Source > Checking running services associated with MsMpEng > Expanding those entries for details about what they are doing then diagnose its performance data using Acronis Performance Monitoring.
  • After that, if possible try reducing CPU usage of MsMpEng process using Windows task scheduler or using Limit CPU usage setting in Windows Defender GPMC console but please keep in mind that reducing frequency & duration of scans can also increase chances for their malware infection so make sure you well aware about security risk by doing this.
  • Afterward , go back to Task Scheduler App > Find Windows Defender Updater service entry > Open it > Check under Conditions Tab and uncheck all settings that suggest it will start when system is idle. This will restrict Windows updating itself at times when it utilizes more than a certain amount of resources like while browsing internet or running some other tasks user might be working on.
  • Lastly, access Windows Security settings App via Settings Panel > Click On “Virus & Threat Protection Section” under Windows Security group> Select “Virus & Threat Protection Settings” option under Real-Time protections group> Select Exclusions tab option & Add msmpeng file from C:\Windows\System32 folder

3. Scan Your Computer For Malware

Malware is a type of malicious software, designed specifically to harm devices or steal confidential information from them. Malware can profoundly impact any system’s performance; hence it should be treated with utmost importance.

It is important to scan your computer regularly for potential malware threats as these can cause the msmpeng.exe process to have high CPU usage which can reduce battery life and slow down the overall performance of your device.

Failure in doing so may result in data breach, identity theft, and compromised security – all leading up to disastrous consequences on personal and financial level if not addressed adequately at an early stage.

4. Change Windows Defender Scheduling Settings

Adjusting Windows Defender settings can help to reduce msmpeng.exe’s high CPU usage:

  1. Launch Task Scheduler from the Start menu.
  2. Select ‘Task Scheduler Library’ in the left pane and locate ‘Windows Defender’ section in the middle pane.
  3. Double – click “Windows Defender Scheduled Scan” in the middle pane and select ‘stop scanning’ under Actions section on the right side of window to pause scanning while changing the schedule or permanently disable it if necessary.
  4. To change the time for scheduled scans, double-click on Windows ‘Defender Scheduled Scan’ located in ‘Task Scheduler Library’, go to Triggers tab at the top, click on edit and set a new scheduled time for scans to run as desired.
  5. Once done click “OK” and you’re all set!
  6. Disable real-time protection by double-clicking Windows Defender Service in Services app from Administrative Tools menu or Control Panel search box, setting startup type as manual or disabling real-time protection from “Settings” tab if available depending upon your set up configuration and restart computer if asked to do so by system.
  7. You may also try adding Antimalware Service Executable (AMSE) to Windows Defender’s exclusion list by going into Windows Security > Virus & threat protection > Exclusions > Add or remove exclusions.

5. Add Antimalware Service Executable To The Windows Defender’s Exclusion List

Adding Antimalware Service Executable to the exclusion list of Windows Defender can help reduce strain on system resources, freeing up computing power for other tasks or applications running concurrently. This is done by accessing the “Virus & threat protection” settings in the Windows Defender Security Center and adding msmpeng.exe to the exclusion list.

Benefits of doing this include:

  • Reduced CPU usage when other processes are running
  • Faster access times for programs and files
  • Increased productivity due to fewer interruptions from MsMpEng.exe scans
  • Improved computer performance overall as more resources are available for other tasks.

Adding Antimalware Service Executable to the exclusion list should only be done after making sure that there is a third-party antivirus program installed since disabling or removing MsMpEng.exe will leave computers vulnerable to malware attacks and other threats. Moreover, it must also be noted that while adding msmpeng.exe to the exclusion list reduces its CPU usage, it may also disable real-time protection so users should take caution before taking this step.

6. Limit CPU Usage

Limiting the amount of CPU used by MsMpEng.exe can help reduce strain on system resources and improve computer performance. To do this, users can navigate to the Task Manager, right-click MsMpEng.exe, select “Set Affinity” from the drop-down menu and then uncheck one or more CPU cores that are being used by the process.

This will limit how much processing power is allocated for Windows Defender which in turn should result in lower CPU usage and a better user experience. Additionally, users should ensure that any third-party antivirus software is disabled as it may interfere with Windows Defender and cause unnecessary high CPU usage.

Following these steps should help to reduce high CPU usage caused by MsMpEng.exe while still ensuring that Windows Defender remains active and providing adequate protection against threats.

7. Disable Sample Submission

Disabling sample submission is one of the steps to reduce high CPU usage from msmpeng.exe in Windows Defender. Sample submission allows Windows Defender to send data about any malicious content identified on the computer to Microsoft, so that Microsoft can look into it and create a signature-based protection against that malware. Generally, sample submission does not require high amount of resources but if enabled, it might contribute to msmpeng.exe’s high CPU disk usage over time.

To disable sample submission:

  1. Open Start Menu and type “Windows Security” and open the application.
  2. Click on Virus & threat protection > Manage settings > Scroll down to Exclusions > Select Add or remove exclusions
  3. On the right side of Panel select Add an exclusion and select Sample Submission
  4. Select Exclude this file or folder toggle button to disable sample submission
  5. Press Save Changes and Exit

It is important to note that disabling sample submission will affect system security since it will prevent Windows Defender from sending data about any malicious content identified on your computer to Microsoft but it will ultimately help in reducing high CPU usage caused by msmpeng.exe without compromising system security too much by monitoring potential threats on a regular basis with other security applications such as upgrading anti-virus software, scanning the system periodically and avoiding clicking suspicious files and websites etc

8. System Restore

The previous subtopic discussed how to disable Sample Submission in Windows Security to reduce the high CPU usage of MsMpEng.exe. Another solution is System Restore, which can be used to roll back the system to an earlier state and undo changes that have caused system instability or degraded performance.

System Restore works by creating restore points that capture a snapshot of all system files and settings at a certain point in time, allowing users to revert the computer back to that moment if necessary.

To use it, open the Start menu and type “System Restore” into the search box, then click on Create a restore point. From there, click Next and follow the on-screen instructions for restoring the computer back to an earlier state.

9. Reset The PC

Resetting a computer’s operating system back to its factory settings is an effective solution.

By resetting the PC, all apps and programs installed after purchase will be removed, essentially returning the machine back to its original state beside any hardware changes or upgrades which were done by the user.

This can help get rid of conflicts that may have been caused by software installations that resulted in excessive CPU utilization due to msmpeng.exe being affected adversely.

Along with this advantage comes one major downside; users must reinstall all their previously installed applications and set up their preferences again as they were before performing a system reset.

10. Try A More Reliable Antivirus

Having a good antivirus program installed on your computer is essential, especially when dealing with high CPU usage caused by Msmpeng.exe.

This resource-intensive file can cause significant strain on your computer due to its heavy workload and having an effective program that monitors for malicious software being installed onto the PC can help keep it from overloading itself.

Generally, the best practice is to install reliable third-party security programs as opposed to relying solely on malware protection built into Windows 10 like Msmpeng.exe as they are more comprehensive in their coverage and prevent threats more efficiently than others do.

For example, using Windows Defender ATP might offer additional levels of protection against viruses or other forms of malicious software, potentially providing higher levels of detection compared to Msmpeng.exe alone which only targets certain categories of threats such as spyware or adware.

Furthermore, some antiviruses have features designed specifically for preventing future high CPU usage through limiting the amount allocated to particular processes during scan times.

If all the above fails, it’s best to get in a touch with a PC technician near you.

Third-Party Solutions

It is important to consider available third-party solutions for managing msmpeng.exe performance such as Windows Defender ATP and Antimalware Service Executable (AMSE) in order to increase security while reducing high CPU usage.

Windows Defender ATP

is a third-party solution that can help monitor and manage high CPU usage related to the built-in Windows 10 antivirus program, msmpeng.exe. Providing enhanced malware detection, background process control, resource monitoring and threat protection against ransomware attacks and malicious activity on your computer system, this advanced security application offers various additional features above the standard Windows Defender services.

It allows users to view in real time which processes are hogging resources so preventive measures can be taken before these take up too much CPU processing power. Users can set custom rules for scans for improved performance or even control how their networks function over certain periods of time using its user interface for managing this information easily from one dashboard.

Antimalware Service Executable (AMSE)

AMSE is a component of Windows Security that works to detect, quarantine, and remove malware from the system. It runs in the background continuously scanning files using realtime protection to ensure that any malicious activity is flagged before it can cause damage.

AMSE constantly monitors activities on the computer as well as potential online threats and reacts appropriately based on programmed settings. However, due to its highly active nature, AMSE can often consume high amounts of CPU leading to slow overall system performance or reduced battery life.

Tips For Preventing Future High CPU Usage From Msmpeng.exe

Keeping Your System Updated

Keeping your system updated is key for optimal msmpeng.exe performance and overall security of the computer, as new vulnerabilities are continuously being identified and patching these vulnerabilities will help mitigate potential threats.

Updating also helps to ensure stability in the system – meaning that there is less chance of a crash or other glitches occurring on the PC. Computer owners should have frequent check-ins when it comes to updates; manually checking for Windows 10 updates at least once every two weeks is ideal, however allowing automatic updating can easily take care of this task for you.

Installing these patches helps protect against malicious software and hackers taking advantage of any existing security holes they may find during scans.

Avoiding Conflicting Software

When it comes to managing msmpeng.exe performance, avoiding conflicting software is of utmost importance. Software applications that aren’t compatible with Windows Security, formerly known as Windows Defender can have a detrimental effect on the scanning capabilities of Msmpeng.exe and lead to high CPU usage of both the application and system resources.

To avoid this problem, users must be aware that certain types of antivirus programs such as third-party complimentary security products may cause conflicts between different suites when installed together or on the same system – leading to resource contention and slowed performances.

Using A Strong And Updated Antivirus Program

Maintaining a secure environment on your computer is essential in today’s digital world. One of the most important steps you can take to ensure that dangerous malware, viruses and malicious activities don’t harm your system is by using a reliable and up-to-date antivirus program such as Windows Defender.

Malware, ransomware, worms, hardware damages – these are just some of the threats we face every day when browsing the internet. To protect our systems against these threats, it is essential to use an accurate antivirus program that regularly updates its virus definitions so that new threats cannot penetrate our devices unprotected.


In conclusion, it is important to ensure that msmpeng.exe is operating at optimal performance in order to protect the system from potential security risks.

To reduce high CPU usage of msmpeng.exe, users should diagnose and monitor the process regularly as well as take steps to exclude certain files and reschedule scans.

Additionally, setting up a third-party antivirus program can provide an additional layer of protection.

By following these steps, users can prevent future high CPU usage caused by msmpeng.exe and keep their systems running optimally for maximum security and performance.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...