How To Fix ‘MsMpEng.exe’ High CPU Usage On PC

On Windows 10, MsMpEng.exe may cause excessive CPU utilization, rendering your computer nearly unusable. This process is part of Windows Defender and isn’t a virus, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility that malware is to blame.

The built-in antivirus can be disabled by adjusting its settings to prevent it from scanning its own files. Installing a new, the more reliable antivirus program can potentially help you fully avoid this problem.

When diving into the realm of computer processes and services, MsMpEng.exe is a term that frequently pops up, especially among Windows users. But what exactly is this executable file?

Is it essential for your system, or is it causing issues? In this comprehensive and SEO-optimized article, we’ll answer all your questions about MsMpEng.exe, including its purpose, common errors, and whether or not it’s safe to delete.

What is MsMpEng.exe?

MsMpEng.exe stands for Microsoft Malware Protection Engine. It is an executable file that is part of Microsoft’s built-in antivirus software, Windows Defender (known as Microsoft Defender Antivirus in Windows 10 and newer versions). This core service runs in the background to scan, monitor, and remove malicious software from your computer.

Causes of MsMpEng.exe Error

Even though MsMpEng.exe is generally stable, users sometimes experience errors. Here are some common issues:

  1. High CPU Usage: At times, MsMpEng.exe may consume a lot of system resources, causing the system to slow down.
  2. Application Conflicts: Running multiple antivirus programs can lead to conflicts, causing MsMpEng.exe to malfunction.
  3. Corrupt Files: Damaged or missing system files can also lead to errors.
  4. Outdated Software: An outdated Microsoft Malware Protection Engine can cause compatibility issues.

MsMpEng.exe High CPU Usage On PC: How To Fix It?

MsMpEng.exe can cause a lot of CPU use on Windows machines, which can lead to other problems. We’ll cover everything you need to know about this procedure, as well as how to resolve some of the most typical problems it causes, in this article.

What is MsMpEng.exe and what does it do? Is it a computer virus? MsMpEng.exe is a Windows Defender core process. It’s not a virus, either. Its job is to examine downloaded files for spyware and quarantine or delete any questionable files.

It also checks your computer for known worms, malicious software, viruses, and other malware. Is it possible to disable MsMpEng.exe? Many Windows users have claimed that MsMpEng.exe causes significant CPU and RAM consumption, sometimes exceeding 80 percent, regardless of the Windows version they are using.

Why Is MsMpEng.exe Using So Much CPU?

This strange behavior of msmpeng.exe can be caused by a number of factors. The utility could, for example, be scanning its own directory. Low hardware resources or obsolete antivirus registry files could also be factors. Of course, it might also be a case of malware on your computer.

There are several free and commercial antivirus applications to select from, and you may delete Windows Defender at any time and replace it with a more reliable antivirus. However, before making such a choice based on msmpeng.exe’s high CPU utilization, you should try the remedies listed below to resolve the problem.

Our customers have claimed that MsMpEng.exe causes significant CPU and RAM use, sometimes exceeding 80 percent, regardless of the Windows version they are using.

1. Prevent Windows Defender 

Step 1: In the search bar, type Windows Security and then select Windows Security from the list of results.

Step 2: Select Virus and Threat Protection from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Under Virus & Threat Protection Settings, select Manage settings.

Step 4: Scroll down to Exclusions and select Add or delete exclusions.

Step 5: Select Add an exclusion and select Folder as the destination.

Step 6: Choose C:Program files windows defender.

Step 7: Validate by selecting Exclude this folder from the drop-down menu.

This technique will stop Windows Defender from scanning its own files, so give it a shot.

2. Limit CPU Usage

Step 1: Select Task Manager from the list by right-clicking the Start button.

Step 2: Select the Details tab from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Set affinity by right-clicking msmpeng.exe.

Step 4: Select the cores that the process is permitted to use.

You can reduce the processing power allocated to the process by following the instructions above, which means you won’t have to deal with a high CPU consumption on that process.

3. Start Your Computer in Safe Mode

For use with Windows 10

Step 1: Go to the Settings menu.

Step 2: Then, under Update & Security, select Recovery.

Step 3: Select Restart Now from the Advanced starting menu.

Step 4: When your computer restarts, go to the Choose an option page and select Troubleshoot, then Advanced Options, Startup Settings, and Restart.

Step 5: You’ll then be presented with a menu of choices. To start your computer in Safe Mode, press F4.

For Windows 7, version 4.2

Step 1: Your computer should be restarted.

Step 2: Before the Windows logo shows, press F8 while your machine is rebooting.

Step 3: Select Safe Mode with Networking and click Enter when the Windows Advanced Options Menu comes on the screen.

If you’re still using Windows 7, follow the steps above to start your computer in Safe Mode.

High CPU Usage

4. Remove Adware

As evidenced by several results when searching for msmpeng.exe, the high CPU consumption side effect appears to be a rather widespread issue, and it could be a source of potentially harmful malware.

Because adware can cause this problem, you should consider utilizing specialized software to eliminate it. In the past, the MsMpEng.exe process has been hijacked by malware, adware, or a virus infection.

In this case, you should do a thorough scan of your PC with reputable anti-malware and anti-adware software to guarantee that no hidden threats are assaulting the system’s core. The software will scan your system in a matter of seconds, identifying and removing any annoyances from your computer.

Always remember to back up all of your important information, personal data files, and photographs to an external device. During or before the removal process, certain infections may render your computer useless.

Also Read:

  1. Microsoft Backtracks on Changing Default Browsers
  2. Is Windows 11 A Success So Far?

5. Reschedule Windows Defender

Step 1: Enter task scheduler by pressing Windows Key + S. From the list of results, choose Task Scheduler.

Step 2: Navigate to Task Scheduler Library > Windows Defender in the left pane when Task Scheduler launches.

Step 3: Double-click Windows Defender Scheduled Scan in the right pane.

Step 4: Go to the Conditions tab in the Properties window when it opens. Make sure the choices to Start the task only if the computer is idle, Start the task only if the computer is on AC power, and Start only if the following network connection is accessible are all turned off. To save the changes, click OK.

Step 5: Return to the Properties window and select the Triggers tab. To begin, select New.

Step 6: Select the desired properties and choose Weekly or Monthly. When you’re finished, click OK to save your changes.

Step 7: Return to Task Scheduler and apply the identical modifications to all Windows Defender tasks. Windows Defender Cache Maintenance, Windows Defender Cleanup, and Windows Defender Verification should be the only tasks left.

MsMpEng.exe and significant CPU utilisation are sometimes caused by Windows Defender. To resolve this issue, repeat the procedures above to reschedule Windows Defender.

This is a more complicated solution, but if you follow our instructions carefully, you should be able to complete it. Keep in mind that when Windows Defender starts scanning, excessive CPU utilisation will return.

You can, however, arrange the scan to take place once a month to avoid this issue.If you don’t like the built-in scheduler, check out our list of the best Windows task scheduler software and replace it with something better.

6. Disable Windows Defender

Use the Group Policy Editor to make changes.

Step 1: Enter gpedit.msc by pressing Windows Key + R. Click OK or press Enter.

Step 2: The Group Policy Editor will launch now. Keep in mind that this feature is only available on Windows Pro and Enterprise.

Step 3: Navigate to Computer Configuration in the left pane, then Administrative Templates, Windows Components, then Windows Defender Antivirus.

Step 4: Double-click Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus in the right pane.

Step 5: Select Enabled in the Properties window that appears, then click Apply and OK to save your changes.

You won’t be able to use the Group Policy Editor if you have a home version of Windows. You can, however, install it at any moment. Here’s an excellent resource for learning how to do it.

Use the Registry Editor

Step 1: Enter regedit by pressing Windows Key + R. Click OK or press Enter.

Step 2: Navigate to the following path in the left pane when the Registry Editor opens:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender

Step 3: Look for the DisableAntiSpyware DWORD in the right pane. If this DWORD isn’t already there, right-click the empty spot and select New, then DWORD (32-bit) Value from the menu. Now double-click the new DWORD and give it the name DisableAntiSpyware.

Step 4: To save the changes, set the Value data to 1 and click OK.

If you are unable to launch Group Policy Editor on your computer, you may be able to resolve the issue by editing your registry. Follow the methods outlined above to accomplish this.

If you’re still having issues with MsMpEng.exe and high CPU utilisation, you may be able to solve the problem by just turning off Windows Defender. Install a third-party antivirus software before disabling Windows Defender to protect your computer. Windows Defender will be disabled as a result of the adjustments, and the issue should be rectified.

7. Disable Sample Submission

Step 1: Navigate to the Update & security section of the Settings app.

Step 2: Go to the left-hand menu and select Windows Security, then click Open Windows Security.

Step 3: Select Virus and Threat Protection from the drop-down menu.

Step 4: Under Virus & Threat Protection Settings, select Manage settings.

Step 5: Turn off Automatic sample submission by looking for it.

According to users, the Sample Submission feature can cause issues with msmpeng.exe’s high memory and CPU use. This feature reports questionable files to Microsoft for further investigation.

Although this is a beneficial procedure, it can result in issues. To resolve this issue, we must first disable this feature by following the steps outlined above. After then, check to see if the problem has been resolved. Under Virus & Threat Protection Settings, select Manage settings.

What is MsMpEng.exe Used For?

Core Functions of MsMpEng.exe:

  1. Real-Time Protection: It offers real-time monitoring to immediately detect and neutralize threats.
  2. Scheduled Scans: It carries out periodic full-system scans to identify any malware that may have bypassed the real-time shield.
  3. Resource Management: MsMpEng.exe manages resources smartly so that scans do not hog all the CPU and RAM, ensuring that the computer remains usable during antivirus operations.

Is it Safe to Delete MsMpEng.exe?

The short answer is no, it’s not advisable to delete MsMpEng.exe if you are using Windows Defender as your primary antivirus solution. Doing so will disable key protection features and leave your system vulnerable to threats. If you are experiencing problems with this executable, there are other ways to resolve the issue:

  1. Update Software: Make sure your operating system and Windows Defender are up-to-date.
  2. Scan for Malware: Sometimes, malware disguises itself as system processes. Run a full scan to rule this out.
  3. Check for Conflicts: If you have other antivirus software, consider uninstalling them to see if it resolves the issue.
  4. Resource Allocation: You can set CPU usage limits for MsMpEng.exe from the Windows Defender settings.


We hope that by following the steps outlined above, you were able to solve this vexing problem. Because this is an antivirus issue, you should also look at our list of the top antiviruses for your PC with limitless license validity and select the best solution for you.

MsMpEng.exe is a critical component of Windows Defender, aimed at safeguarding your system from malware and other threats. While it may sometimes cause errors or high CPU usage, these issues are generally resolvable without needing to delete the executable.

It’s crucial to remember that MsMpEng.exe is an essential part of your system’s security framework and should not be removed unless you have a compelling reason and a reliable alternative in place.