How to stop Antimalware Service Executable in Windows 10/11

by Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Windows & Software Expert
Madalina has been a Windows fan ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP computer. She is interested in all things technology, especially emerging technologies... read more
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  • The Antimalware Service Executable is a Windows Defender process from Windows 10.
  • If this service uses too many resources, you can stop it using the Registry Editor.
  • You can also stop this task by using a built-in command-line tool from your OS.
  • Installing a third-party antivirus can bypass this problem altogether so give it a try.

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Microsoft Antimalware is antivirus software that protects your system against malware attacks.

This tool uses the same virus definitions and scanning engine as other Microsoft antivirus products, constantly monitoring activities on your computer.

Microsoft Antimalware installs a series of files on your system aimed at protecting your computer against threats.

Sometimes, the tool harms users’ system performance, which determines them to uninstall it.

However, they soon realize this is not an easy task, because there always seems to remain a hidden file running in the background.

The Antimalware Service Executable, MsMpEng.exe runs even after users removed Microsoft’s AV tools, oftentimes leading to a high CPU usage.

I don’t want an antimalware. […] So far I tried turning off Windows Defender, but the process is still running. My last resort would be deleting MsMpEng.exe from C:\Program Files\Windows Defender.

If I try to end it from Task Manager, it says The operation could not be completed… Access is denied. I really do not want it running and I feel that it is slowing down my computer. How can I turn it off?

Antimalware Service Executable is associated with Microsoft Defender, and many Windows 10 users reported issues with this process. Speaking of issues, these are some common problems that users reported:

  • Disable Antimalware Service Executable – There are several ways to disable Antimalware Service Executable on your Windows 10 PC, and in this article, we’ll show you three different methods of how to do that.
  • Antimalware Service Executable causes high memory and memory leak – Many users reported memory issues due to this service. In order to fix the problem, it’s advised to disable Microsoft Defender and check if that solves the issue.
  • Antimalware Service Executable high disk usage – Several users reported high CPU and disk usage due to this error. However, you can fix the issue simply by installing a third-party antivirus.
  • Antimalware Service Executable issues on Windows 8.1, Windows 7 – Problem with this process can affect both Windows 8.1 and 7, but even if you’re not using Windows 10, you should be able to fix the problem with one of our solutions.
  • Antimalware Service Executable running all the time, slowing down computer – Many users reported that this service keeps running all the time on their PC. However, you should be able to fix that using one of our solutions.
  • Antimalware Service Executable can’t end task – If you can’t end this task on your PC, you’ll have to disable or delete Microsoft Defender from your PC to solve the problem.

How can I stop the Antimalware Service Executable?

1. Disable Microsoft Defender

1.1 Disable Microsoft Defender from the Registry Editor

  1. Click on the Windows search option in the Start menu ,type regedit, right-click the option and choose Open as administrator.
  2. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Policies/Microsoft/Windows Defender
  3. Right-click on Windows Defender, select New, and select DWORD.
    disable windows defender registry editor windows 10
  4. Double click the newly created DWORD, name it DisableAntiSpyware, and set the value to 1.

If you find that you can’t access the Registry Editor, having some useful steps to follow will surely help.

If you’re not too fond of Registry Editor, you can also disable Mircosoft Defender by using Command Prompt. By using Command Prompt, you can change your registry with just a single line of code.

1.2 Disable Microsoft Defender using Command Prompt

  1. Search for cmd in Windows search and click on Run as administrator to start Command Prompt with full privileges.
  2. When Command Prompt opens, run the following command and press Enter: REG ADD "hklm\software\policies\microsoft\windows defender" /v DisableAntiSpyware /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
    Antimalware Service Executable high disk usage Win 10

After running this command, your registry will be modified and Microsoft Defender will be disabled.

Using the command line to disable Microsoft Defender is a faster method, and if you’re an advanced user, you might want to try it out.

Some users have reported that they can’t access Command Prompt as an administrator, and this will stop them from making any real changes to their system.

2. Use Group Policy Editor

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter gpedit.msc. Now press Enter or click OK. This will start Group Policy Editor. Antimalware Service Executable can't end task
  2. In the left pane, navigate to the following key: Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Microsoft Defender Antivirus/Real-time Protection
  3. In the right pane, double click on Turn off real-time protection.
  4. Select Enabled and click on Apply and OK to save the changes.
    Antimalware Service Executable eating memory

After doing that, Microsoft Defender will be disabled as well as Antimalware Service Executable.

It’s also worth mentioning that this solution will disable antivirus protection on your PC, so it will remain vulnerable. To protect your PC, you should use this method only as a temporary solution.

Note icon
Note: This solution doesn’t work for those who have a Windows Home version as the Group Policy Editor is not available. However, you can install it using this awesome guide.

3. Install a third-party antivirus

Antimalware Service Executable is a process closely related to Microsoft Defender.

However, Microsoft Defender won’t run side by side with a third-party antivirus, so if you’re having problems with Antimalware Service Executable, you might want to install a third-party antivirus.

There are many great antivirus tools available on the market, but the best solution is to choose a good antivirus with the least impact on resources.

The tool recommended below is probably the best low-resource Antivirus. Choosing this antivirus will reduce CPU load and help your system achieve its highest performance.

It utilizes cloud processing to protect PC thereby removing the need for heavy software updates and demanding scans.

After you install a third-party antivirus, Microsoft Defender will automatically turn itself off and your problem should be resolved.

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4. Disable Microsoft Defender

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. From the menu on the left select Windows Security.
  3. Now in the right pane click on Open Windows Security.
  4. A new window will now appear. Select Virus & threat protection.Antimalware Service Executable high disk usage Win 10
  5. Choose Virus & threat protection settings.
    Antimalware Service Executable Windows 8.1
  6. Disable Real-time protection. If you want, you can disable all other options on this page as well.

If you’re having problems with Antimalware Service Executable, you might be able to solve them by disabling Microsoft Defender.

After doing that, Microsoft Defender will be disabled and you won’t have any more problems with Antimalware Service Executable.

This solution implies using the Settings app but some users have complained on online forums that they can’t access the app at all.

5. Delete the Microsoft Defender folder

  1. Press the Windows key + E to start File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to C:\Program Files directory and locate the Microsoft Defender folder.
  3. Take ownership of Windows Defender folder.
  4. Now delete the Windows Defender directory.

According to users, they managed to fix the problem with Antimalware Service Executable simply by deleting the Windows Defender folder.

We have to mention that Microsoft Defender is a core component of Windows, and by deleting it you can cause other issues to appear, so you’re deleting this directory at your own risk.

Before you delete the directory, it’s a good idea to create a backup of your files and a System Restore point so that you can easily restore your PC if anything goes wrong.

After removing this folder, Microsoft Defender will be deleted from your PC, and your issue should be resolved.

Keep in mind that Windows Update will install Microsoft Defender again after every update, so you’ll need to repeat this process after every update.

Deleting core Windows components is a risky solution intended for advanced users, and we’re not responsible for any new issues that can appear after deleting the Windows Defender folder.

As we mentioned already, to delete the folder, you first have to take ownership of the Windows Defender folder.

If you’re not sure about how to create a restore point and how would that help you, having clear information is of paramount importance.

6. Stop the Windows Defender service

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog. Now enter services.msc and press Enter or click OK.
    Antimalware Service Executable Windows 7
  2. The Services window will now appear. Double click the Windows/Microsoft Defender Antivirus to open its properties.
    Antimalware Service Executable slowing down computer
  3. Set the Startup type to Automatic and click the Stop button to stop the service.
  4. Now click Apply and OK to save the changes.

If you’re having problems with Antimalware Service Executable, you might be able to solve the issue simply by disabling the Microsoft Defender service.

After you disable this service, the problem should be completely resolved and things should get back to normal.

7. Disable scheduled tasks

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter task scheduler. Now choose Task Scheduler from the menu.
  2. In the left pane navigate to Task Scheduler Library, select Microsoft, then Windows, and choose Windows Defender.
  3. In the right pane, you should see 4 tasks available. Select all four tasks and disable them. Some users are suggesting deleting them, so you might want to try that as well.
    Antimalware Service Executable disable Windows 10

Once you disable these tasks, the problem with Antimalware Service Executable should be completely resolved.

For Windows Defender to work properly, certain tasks had to be scheduled, and that can cause problems with Antimalware Service Executable. You can fix the issue simply by disabling the scheduled tasks.

If Task Scheduler is not your ideal option, take a look at our selection with the best task scheduler software and choose another software.

We hope that our solutions helped you learn how to stop the Antimalware Service Executable and fix this problem for good.

Even if you turn off Antimalware Service Executable, don’t leave your system unprotected. You can use any of the antivirus software options from the best antiviruses with an unlimited license list.

For more suggestions or questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to check them out.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Antimalware Service Executable, also known as MsMpEng.exe is an anti-malware Windows Defender process. If it uses too much CPU or disk space, we have a guide will help you fix the Antimalware Service Executable issue.

  • Antimalware Service Executable is not a virus, it is a key Windows Defender process visible in the Task Manager. Read our guide on how to stop all processes in Windows 10 if needed.

  • If Windows Defender is your own antivirus of choice, then yes, you do need Antimalware Service Executable. However, we have a top with the best antivirus software for Windows 10.

  • You can stop Antimalware Service Executable using the Registry Editor or Command Prompt. We have a complete guide on how to stop the Antimalware Service Executable.

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