FIX: Antimalware Service Executable High CPU / Disk usage

Sinziana Mihalache
by Sinziana Mihalache
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Sînziana loves getting people to better understand products, processes, and experiences beyond a simple user guide, either in writing or making use of images. She joined the team after a long-term collaboration with one... Read more
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  • The Antimalware Service Executable process might cause high CPU and memory usage in your PC.
  • The process is part of Windows Defender and you should think twice before deactivating it.
  • You can disable the Antimalware Service Executable if you use a third-party antivirus tool.
  • Turning off the Windows Defender auto-scan feature will surely get rid of the issue. 
high cpu usage fix
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A lot of users have taken to the dedicated forums lately concerned about the fact that Antimalware Service Executable is eating a lot of their device’s resources.

This is how a user described the impact on his device:

I noticed my PC running Antimalware Service Executable as a background process. All day, my CPU has gone from idling at about 3%, to then suddenly spiking up to 100% usage. This happens every 30 sec. for a duration of about 5 sec.

Bottom line, the service comes installed on any Windows 10 computer and one only notices it when it truly starts working, which might coincide with your working hours.

Why is Antimalware Service Executable so demanding?

The service is part of Windows Defender, and it runs in the background on a daily basis. It might even start upon booting, especially if the antivirus solution is marked to also wake up upon startup.

You can notice the service if you open Task Manager, since it will remain active while it’s running. You will also be able to see how many resources it takes.

Indeed, the Antimalware Service Executable will use a large amount of the CPU when scanning the device for malware, or when a certain running program causes Windows Defender to monitor it in real-time.

Is it safe to disable antimalware service executable? There are some working solutions to reduce antimalware service executable memory usage listed below.

Note icon
NOTE
If you choose to stop the service, make sure to check out this guide on how to disable antimalware service executable safe and secured.

How do I fix Antimalware Service Executable high CPU usage?

1. Turn off Windows Defender and use another security tool

Turning off Windows Defender altogether might help, however, your device will remain unprotected. Which is not the desired result.

Instead, you should install a third-party antivirus to still be covered against threats, while disabling Windows Defender at the same time.

You should look for antivirus software that is known for its powerful protection capabilities. Ideally, one that also uses advanced machine learning to detect even the most hidden viruses.

The software also scores excellent when it comes to false positives, which means it will not detect unharmful programs as being potentially threatening and block them.

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2. Find the monitored program and whitelist it

  1. In Settings, open Update & Security, then Windows Security.
  2. Choose Virus & Threat protection.
  3. Search for Virus & Threat protection settings and click on Manage settings.
  4. Scroll down to Exclusions, click on Manage exclusions, and add the respective program. (It can also be a file or process.)

3. Disable Windows Defender auto-scan

  1. Press the Windows Key + S and type in App & Browser control.
  2. Select it and make sure it is turned Off.

The program has a Reputation-based protection feature, which, if activated, will automatically scan for potentially malicious files, apps, and websites.

Apart from this, turning off real-time protection might also help. Do this from Virus & Threat protection settings and toggling the Real-time protection button.

Hopefully, it is now more clear for you why the Antivirus Service Executable takes up so much CPU and how or if you should stop it.

Take a closer look at our thorough list of unlimited validity antivirus software to see more awesome security products that are trusted by millions of people around the world.

We encourage you share your experience with the service and tell us which of our solutions worked for you in the comment section below.

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