Antimalware Service Executable High CPU

This article explores the issue of high CPU usage caused by the Antimalware Service Executable and provides solutions and recommendations to resolve the problem.

Nene Aly

By Nene Aly / Updated on March 6, 2024

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The Antimalware Service Executable is a core component of Windows Defender, responsible for performing real-time scans and file monitoring for malware. However, in some cases, users may experience high CPU usage by this process, causing performance issues. This article aims to explain the problem, its causes, and provide solutions to effectively manage the CPU usage of the Antimalware Service Executable.

The Problem: Antimalware Service Executable High CPU Usage

High CPU usage by the Antimalware Service Executable can significantly impact the overall performance of the system. This issue is commonly reported by Windows users and can cause slow response times, system freezes, and excessive heating of the CPU. It is crucial to identify and address the root causes of this problem for smoother system operation and enhanced productivity.

Possible Causes of High CPU Usage

1. Real-time scanning: Windows Defender performs real-time scanning of files and processes, which increases CPU usage.
2. Large number of files: If the system contains a vast number of files, the continuous scanning by Antimalware Service Executable can consume substantial CPU resources.
3. Software conflicts: Third-party applications or security software conflicts with Windows Defender can lead to increased CPU usage by the Antimalware Service Executable.

Solutions for High CPU Usage

1. Disable Windows Defender real-time scanning:
- Open Windows Defender Security Center
- Go to Virus & Threat Protection settings
- Turn off Real-time Protection
- Maintain another reliable antimalware software
- Perform regular manual scans.

2. Exclude folders from Windows Defender scanning:
- Open Windows Defender Security Center
- Go to Virus & Threat Protection settings
- Click on 'Add or Remove Exclusions'
- Add folders or file types that don't require real-time scanning.
- Save the changes and monitor the CPU usage.

3. Optimize Windows Defender performance:
- Update Windows Defender to the latest version
- Enable automatic sample submission for quicker threat detection
- Configure Windows Defender to scan files only when the system is idle
- Adjust the scanning schedule to non-work hours for minimal disturbance.
- Limit the CPU usage of Antimalware Service Executable using the Task Manager.

Recommended Software

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: Proven as one of the best antimalware software, Malwarebytes offers real-time protection, automatic updates, and customizable scanning options. Its user-friendly interface and efficient threat detection make it a popular choice among users. However, the free version lacks some advanced features that are present in the premium version.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I check the CPU usage of Antimalware Service Executable?
A: Open the Task Manager by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting 'Task Manager.' In the 'Processes' or 'Details' tab, locate the 'Antimalware Service Executable' entry and check its CPU usage.

Q: Why does Antimalware Service Executable use high CPU on Windows 10?
A: The Antimalware Service Executable performs real-time scanning and file monitoring, which can consume significant CPU resources, especially when there are a large number of files to scan.

Q: Can I disable Antimalware Service Executable?
A: While it is not recommended to entirely disable Antimalware Service Executable, you can temporarily disable Windows Defender's real-time scanning or exclude specific folders from scanning to manage the CPU usage.

Q: Will disabling Windows Defender affect my system security?
A: Disabling Windows Defender's real-time scanning can expose your system to potential security risks. It is recommended to use reliable alternative antimalware software if you choose to disable it.

Q: How often should I perform manual scans with Windows Defender?
A: It is advisable to perform manual scans at least once a week to ensure comprehensive protection against malware and other threats.

Q: How do I limit the CPU usage of Antimalware Service Executable?
A: Open the Task Manager, go to the 'Processes' or 'Details' tab, locate 'Antimalware Service Executable,' right-click on it, select 'Set Affinity,' and uncheck one or more CPU cores to limit its usage.


High CPU usage by the Antimalware Service Executable can hinder system performance and productivity. Understanding the causes and deploying effective solutions can help mitigate this issue. With the recommended software and necessary configuration changes, users can strike a balance between system security and CPU utilization, ensuring smooth operation without compromising on protection.

Nene Aly
Nene Aly · Editor