Guide: What is Msmpeng.exe & Should You Remove It?

Has your CPU been at 100% usage lately? Whether you go to the Task Manager in Windows and there look at your procedures tab. You probably have noticed a method known as the msmpeng.exe consuming up all your available CPU.

What is Msmpeng.exe?

“MsMpEng.exe” is Microsoft’s core antimalware executable. It is able to perform the actual background real-time protective scanning for malware, viruses, and worms of files. However, it checks as having been made or updated currently. So it has been used since Windows XP both in consumer-oriented products, (Windows Defender, Microsoft Security Essentials).

Also by the Microsoft enterprise products established for managed software or server environments. Like Forefront Client Security (FCS), meant just for the Windows Server, not endpoint Windows. High CPU usage is a well-known side-effect of “msmpeng.exe”. Often a bigger cause. That users install third-party antimalware products. When such products are installed, Windows Defender is deactivated.

Similarly, it installs in a subdirectory of “C:\Program Files” whose name depends on the OS version: “\Microsoft Security Client” for XP/Vista/Win7, or “\Windows Defender” for Win8/8.1/10. It is uninstalled whether the overall security product name is deleted through the Control Panel. Here we are going to tell you the MsMPEng stands for Microsoft Malware Protection Engine.

Similarly, the .exe extension on a filename just specifies an executable file. The executable files probably, in some cases, is dangerous for your PC.

However, there arises a question that what is msmpeng.exe, and how are also you are able to prevent it from slowing your system down? Alright, unlike what you probably have read elsewhere, it is not malware. It is actually quite ironic because it is associated with Windows Defender, the anti-virus product from Microsoft.

Windows Defender

Windows Defender is an essential anti-malware and also the antivirus program for Windows. That you really should not disable unless you have a third-party program installed. In case, it disables automatically. So in this tutorial, I will go through the various causes. Why it could be utilizing up your CPU and what you are also able to perform to fix it.

Performing a Scan (Msmpeng.exe)

Whether you ever look at task manager whilst Windows Defender was doing a scan. It will actually take up many CPU cycles. Await till the scan is completed and determine your CPU using again. I say with the hope that it should be back to normal.

But unluckily there is not any other method in order to turn the scheduled scan time for Windows Defender. Similarly, it should only do a scan when the PC is idle and outside of active hours. Although, whether you disable your PC, then it probably does the scan whilst you are utilizing it.


Moreover, most automatic scans should not take that long. So whether you are viewing that your PC is running slow for long periods. So then it could be that Windows Defender is spending much time scanning a directory. Or a method that does not have to detect. This brings us to the next capable solution.

Exclusions from Scanning

However, the better way to figure out what to shut out is to perform a full scan. And also view as it goes via all the items on your PC. When you view that it is taking a very long time in a specific directory. When scanning a specific method, you are able to then include that to the exclusions list.

You are also able to perform this by heading to Virus & Threat Protection. Then Virus & Threat Protection settings and at last tapping on Add or remove exclusions.


You are also able to perform a File, Folder, File Type, or method to the exclusion list. However, at a time you include the offending items to the list. The amount of time it takes to full the scan should be cut down significantly.

Disable the Windows Defender

Although the other option is to easily disable Windows Defender. That I do not suggest unless you really must. Another option before permanently turning off the Windows Defender is to install a third-party anti-virus program. Similarly, when you install another anti-virus product, Windows Defender automatically turns off itself. So that the two programs do not interfere with each other.

A couple of methods are also there you are also able to disable Windows Defender on your computer. In Windows 10, Microsoft really does not like you to perform this. So the just option you have in the Security Center is to turn off the real-time protection temporarily.


However, the other way is to just edit a registry setting. You have to head to the regedit on your computer (Tap on Start and type in regedit) and also navigate to the following directory:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender

Although to make a new DWORD (32-bit) Value is known as the DisableAntiSpyware and give it a decimal value of 1. Move ahead and then restart your PC and Windows Defender should be turned off now. You are also able to remove this key. Convert the value to 0 later on to re-enable Windows Defender.

Similarly, the second method to permanently turn off the Windows Defender is to utilize Group Policy. That will just work on Windows 10 Pro or higher versions. Tap on Start and type in gpedit.msc and press enter. Now you have to navigate to the following folder:

Computer Configuration - Administrative Templates - Windows Components - Windows Defender Antivirus

You will here view an option in the right-hand pane know as the Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus. So then double-click on that and choose the Enabled radio button.

Must Read: What Is Yourphone.Exe & Is It Harmful?

(Msmpeng.exe) Conclusion

Hopefully, you do not have to turn off the Windows Defender as it usually does a perfect job of keeping your PC safe from malware and viruses. Whether you have any issues or nothing above worked for you, let us know in the comments and we’ll try to help. Enjoy!

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