Stopping Antimalware Service Executable from Hijacking Your CPU

As your personal computer spirit guide, I feel your frustration when Antimalware Service Executable brings work to a grinding halt by hogging processing power. This CPU hangry application giving you the cold shoulder? Not on my watch!

Arm yourself with knowledge below to force this bully into submission once and for all. You‘ll soon lift the productivity-blocking curse it inflicts.

What Exactly is Going On Here?

Let‘s demystify what this rogue program actually does:

  • Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng.exe) = Background process in Microsoft Defender antivirus
  • Scans files and system areas for malware infections
  • Runs constantly to catch threats in real-time

Normally it quietly checks for troublemakers without a fuss. But occasionally this silent defender gets a little too eager in its job.

Sudden spikes in CPU usage frequently stem from:

  • Scheduled antivirus scans kicking off
  • Malware detection triggering aggressive deep scanning
  • Conflicts with other antivirus programs
  • Buggy Windows updates altering configurations

Left unrestrained, Antimalware Service Executable may crawl up to 90-100% CPU utilization and refuse to budge!

Frustrating Impacts on Performance

This scanning overdrive severely slows down your computer when left unchecked:

✘ Applications freeze or won‘t launch

✘ Videos and programs stutter

✘ Fans spin loudly from overheating

✘ Whole system becomes laggy and unresponsive

✘ Computer may even shut down abruptly!

Let‘s rein in this thorn in your side, shall we?

Take Back Control: Proven Fixes

Regulating when scans occur and lowering their priority is key to freeing up cycles hogged by the process.

Let‘s walk through adjustments together, friend. I‘ll provide illustrated steps and pro tips each step of the way.

Adjust Scheduled Scan Settings

Microsoft Defender automatically runs background scans on a set schedule to catch threats. While commendable vigilance, this leads directly to resource contention issues.

We can throttle back the eagerness through Task Scheduler:

Task scheduler applet

  • Open Task Scheduler via the Windows start menu
  • Navigate to Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Windows Defender
  • Right click on Windows Defender Scheduled Scan and choose Properties
  • Adjust scan duration, recurrence, exclusions and other preferences to your liking!

I suggest keeping regularly scheduled scans, but reducing their length or frequency. This way your system stays protected without enduring marathon scanning sessions.

Pro Tip: Schedule tasks during times of lighter computer usage to avoid conflicts.

Lower Antimalware Service Executable Process Priority

When scans do run, you can minimize their impact by directing Windows to focus elsewhere.

We simply reduce process priority:

Task manager detail view

  • Open Task Manager with CTRL+Shift+Esc
  • Go to the Processes tab
  • Right click msmpeng.exe and select Go to details
  • Right click again and set priority to Low

Now your active programs and tasks take precedence while scans chug along in the background.

But beware! This priority reset after every reboot.

Exclude Sensitive Folders from Scanning

Preventing antivirus from scanning protected Windows folders also avoids self-triggered spikes.

Let‘s skip needless checks:

Windows defender exclusions

  • Open Windows Security Center
  • Go to Virus & Threat Protection
  • Select Manage Settings > Exclusions
  • Add exclusion for Windows Defender folder (usually in C:\ProgramData) or MsMpEng.exe itself!

This keeps the rabid process from sniffing its own hind parts.

Additional Fixes (Use Carefully!)

If you still feel shackled by Antimalware Service Executable, further options include:

  • Disabling automatic sample submission
  • Turning off real-time protection entirely
  • Switching to lightweight third party antivirus programs like Avast

I suggest exhausting other remedies first, as protection remains important. But swapping out the problematic Microsoft antivirus can eliminate self-inflicted bottlenecks.

Parting Advice

Whew, we covered a lot of ground! Let‘s recap the key takeaways:

  • Schedule Windows Defender scans during lower usage periods
  • Set the MsMpEng.exe process to Low priority to lessen impact
  • Exclude sensitive system folders from unnecessary scanning

Follow these steps to keep your computer‘s defenses up without enduring paralyzing scanning storms!

With your newfound knowledge, soon Antimalware Service Executable will give your CPU cycles a wide berth. Congratulations escaping its clutches!

Now go and reclaim your unrestricted computing freedom, friend! Your next great project awaits unshackled from the burden of desktop drudgery.

Until next time,
Your PC Spirit Guide