How to stop Antimalware Service Executable in Windows 10

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • Windows 10 comes with its built-in security tool called Windows Defender. Over the years, many independent tests confirmed Windows Defender is one of the best antivirus tools for PC, so you can fully rely on it.
  • Windows 10's built-in antivirus uses multiple real-time background-running processes, such as the Antimalware Service Executable to protect your PC.
  • But the Antimalware Service Executable can cause a lot of issues on Windows 10. In this guide, we'll show you what to do if the tool triggers high disk, CPU and memory usage.
  • This guide is part of our Windows 10 Troubleshooting Hub. Feel free to bookmark it for more useful guides.
stop Antimalware Service Executable

Microsoft Antimalware is an 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 has a negative impact on 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 FilesWindows 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?

How can I kill Antimalware Service Executable?

Antimalware Service Executable is associated with Windows 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 Windows 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 Windows Defender from your PC to solve the problem.

1. Disable Windows Defender from the Registry Editor

  1. Press Windows Key + R, type regedit in the search box and hit Enter to launch the Registry Editor.
    Antimalware Service Executable high CPU Windows 10
  2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender
  3. Right-click on Windows Defender > select NewDWORD.
    disable windows defender registry editor windows 10
  4. Double click the newly created DWORD > name it DisableAntiSpyware > set the value to 1.

Can’t access the Registry Editor? Things aren’t as scary as they seem. Check out this guide and solve the issue quickly.

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

This is quite simple and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Now choose Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin) from the menu.
    Antimalware Service Executable memory leak
  2. When Command Prompt opens, run the REG ADD “hklmsoftwarepoliciesmicrosoftwindows defender” /v DisableAntiSpyware /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f command.
    Antimalware Service Executable high disk usage Win 10

After running this command, your registry will be modified and Windows Defender will be disabled. Using the command line to disable Windows Defender is a faster method, and if you’re an advanced user, you might want to try it out.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look on this guide.

2. Use Group Policy Editor

According to users, you can stop Antimalware Service Executable simply by making a few changes to your group policy. This is relatively simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  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
    Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Windows Defender Antivirus/Real-time Protection

    In the right pane, double click on Turn off real-time protection.

  3. Select Enabled and click on Apply and OK to save changes.
    Antimalware Service Executable eating memory

After doing that, Windows 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 your PC will be vulnerable.

In order to protect your PC, you should use this method only as a temporary solution.

3. Install a third-party antivirus to replace Msmpeng.exe antimalware service executable

Antimalware Service Executable is a process closely related to Windows Defender. However, Windows 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 least impact on resources.

Panda is probably the best low resource Antivirus. Choosing this antivirus you will reduce CPU load and help your system achieve its highest performance.

panda windows 10 antivirus

Panda utilizes cloud processing to protect PC thereby removing the need for heavy software updates and demanding scans. Here are its most important features:

  • Real-time antivirus protection
  • Ransomware attack prevention
  • Safe online shopping and banking
  • Blocking of dangerous websites
  • VPN for private, anonymous Internet access

Find out which service suits your needs best and get 50% discount now.

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

FAQ: Learn more about Antimalware Service Executable

  • What is Antimalware Service Executable?

The Antimalware Service Executable, also known as MsMpEng.exe is a Windows Defender process that’s running in the background scanning your computer for malware, viruses and spyware.

  • Is Antimalware Service Executable a virus?

Antimalware Service Executable is not a virus, it is a key Windows Defender process what’s visible in the Task Manager list of running processes when the tool is actively scanning for computer for malware.

  • Do I need Antimalware Service Executable?

If Windows Defender is own antivirus of choice, then yes, you do need Antimalware Service Executable. Although this process may use too much CPU and memory when scanning your computer for malware, it’s a key component of Windows Defender.

  • How to stop Antimalware Service Executable?

There are several ways you can stop Antimalware Service Executable:

  1. Disable Windows Defender
  2. Stop the Windows Defender service
  3. Delete Windows Defender directory
  4. Install a third-party antivirus.

Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page with more methods to help you disable the Antimalware Service Executable. If you want to read more about the best antivirus solutions for Windows 10, check out our collection of guides.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in July 2016 and was revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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  • This disabled windows defender on my computer but antimalware service executable is still taking up all of my disk and half of my ram