What Is “Antimalware Service Executable” and Why Is It Running on My PC?

Wondering what ‘Antimalware Service Executable’ is and why it’s running on your PC?

Often enough, when opening your Task Manager for the first time, you’ll notice a lot of programs are running on your computer. Tasks like svchost.exe, rundll32.exe, and so on inhabit your system without any obvious purpose.

Well ‘Antimalware Service Executable’ is one of these ambiguous tasks, until today. In this article, we will explain to you what this program is, what it does, why it’s essential to have, and why it uses so much of your CPU at times?

So without further ado, Let’s get started!


What is Antimalware Service Executable?

Are you familiar with Windows Defender? Installing an antivirus program in your system is one of the best and most important things you can do to keep your computer healthy and alert.

Malware programs are one of the biggest reasons behind a corrupted computer. Without an antivirus software protecting your system, you run the risk of putting your PC defenseless against intruders.

Because some antivirus companies are shady or aren’t always performing the best they can without urging you to buy their premium versions, Microsoft included a default antivirus program called Windows Defender. The Defender comes with many features and regular updates to make sure it protects you 24/7 against new threats. One of the many features this antivirus provides is the ‘Antimalware Service Executable’ function.

antimalware service executable

Antimalware Service Executable, or MsMpEng.exe, is a background process run by Windows Defender to instantly scan for viruses any files or applications you open.

This background process runs all the time and functions like a parole officer by a gate, whereas Windows Defender can be visualized as an entire army. The parole officer looks through all the files that you open, making sure that no virus escapes or infiltrates your system.


Why Does Antimalware Service Executable Need So Much Processing Power?

We’re guessing that the only reason you’re scouring the internet for questions regarding this program is that it’s using so much of your CPUs performance.

Chances are that whenever you see this program ramping up its CPU usage, it’s probably updating your Windows Defender, scanning for background viruses, or looking through a large set of files you’ve just opened.

Although Windows Defender is optimized to do background scans and install updates when your computer is idle, it isn’t uncommon for it to initialize any of these CPU-intensive processes while you’re working or playing.

CPU-intensive antivirus programs are completely normal and inherently require a lot of processing power to navigate between files for corruption or malware. On stronger PCs or laptops, this shouldn’t be a problem as processing technologies are improving as well as software algorithms. Here’s how you can fix high CPU usage from Antimalware Service Executable.


How To Disable Antimalware Service Executable?

“But what if I am running on a low-end laptop/PC, and the “Antimalware Service Executable” program is consuming too much of my CPU for me to do anything else efficiently?”

No worries! There are steps you can take to disable the CPU-intensive feature, but these last only temporarily.

You see, tech-savvy individuals may notice when Windows Defender has been turned off or have the knowledge to manually turn it off if they want to, but our older generations don’t. Older individuals who aren’t as familiar with how PCs function but are required to use them for work are at the highest risk of malware attacks.

Microsoft programmed Windows to always have an antivirus software, so if your PC doesn’t have another one installed, then Windows Defender will automatically reactivate itself within a couple of hours to protect your system. This might seem like a bummer, but there is a way around it.

First off, let’s disable Windows Defender so you can have a couple of hours with that extra processing power.

Here’s how you can disable Windows Defender:

  1. Go ahead and open your Start menu by pressing on your Windows key.
  2. Now, type in ‘Virus and threat’ and click on the system settings result that is returned by your query.
  3. Scroll down and click on Manage settings under the words Virus & threat protection settings.

what is antimalware service executable

  1. Finally, several options should be available but what you’re looking for is Real-time protection. Disable this feature.

Windows Defender and all its background processes should be completely closed now, freeing up all the CPU performance it used.


How To Disable It Permanently.

For the long-lasting solution, disabling Windows Defender permanently is pretty simple. All you need to do is install a third-party antivirus software to protect your system instead of Windows Defender. However, this step can be tricky as many antivirus companies are often subject to controversies and conspiracies.

Since antivirus programs have the permission to access your entire computer’s files, this breach in security should only be given and allowed to the most trusted brands. But it’s not always easy to find a free, efficient, and trustworthy antivirus program that can offer the same level of protection that Windows Defender does.

what is antimalware service executable

Although it’s just a default program, Windows Defender is notably a really good antivirus program. The software is directly linked to Microsoft and its servers so you can best be certain that it receives regular updates of the most recent viruses every day.

Personally, we recommend that you keep using Windows Defender for any important antivirus scans but install a third-party antivirus program so you can disable Defender’s CPU-expensive background processes.

Now that you have reached the end of this article, we hope that this post helped provide a great explanation that helped you understand what ‘Antimalware Service Executable’ is and why it’s on your PC. If you have other questions related to this article, please feel free to leave a comment below.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Mako Young

    Mako is a staff writer at Saint. He's been writing about tech for more than a decade. When he isn't reading about the latest news on Apple, he's busy studying cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, cloud computing, and other IT-related sectors. His exceptional work graces technology and Apple-related blogs like How-To Geek, VEED.io, Macgasm, onMac, PhotoWorkout, GameRant, and many more. He also has a Bachelors in Computer Science and has been writing since 2018, with over 400 posts published. LinkedIn X (Twitter)

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