Fix: MsMpEng.exe causes high CPU usage on Windows 10, Windows 7

Msmpeng.exe, Should I block it? Wooah Wooah, cool down. Before getting into extreme decisions, it is always better to know what MSMPENG.exe is and how does it safeguard your data.  Actually, it isn’t ominous to see Msmpeng.exe running on background, it is just doing its duty.

Today, I’m going to speak about the little-known facts about the infamous msmpeng.exe program which is so often known for its high usage problem. Before getting deep into the problem and its remedies let me give you a brief idea about msmpeng.exe.

Msmpeng.exe is a part of AntiMalware Service Executable, a core process of windows defender, which mainly prevents malware from affecting your data.

Msmpeng is a free spyware utility program developed by Microsoft labs which scans and quarantines suspicious files. It also takes necessary steps to actively prevent spyware infections by searching the system for known worms and trojan programs.

Have you ever seen your computer usage at 100% disk usage without doing anything at all? If yes, you may have gone straight to windows task manager and opened your processes tab and terminated msmpeng.exe program which was eating up your resources. Well disabling it may help you for a short time but in the long run, it will again create the same problem. In here I will be explaining how to fix msmpeng.exe 100% disk usage problem?

Why is MSMPENG.EXE Eating Up My Disk Usage?

As mentioned earlier, Msmpeng.exe is associated with windows defender. In most of the cases, 100% disk usage problem arises due to system scans done by windows defender. It is advised to wait until the scan gets over and check the disk usage stats again. In most of the cases, it will be back to normal once the scan gets completed.  Unfortunately, Window defender scans can’t be scheduled at will, It performs its scans when the computer is in an idle state.  The scans performed are short, quick and effective for small and micro business. In some cases, the scanning process may take longer ( depends on your data) and trust me it is frustrating too.


There are several ways to fix this error, I will be explaining one at a time. So let me get straight to the solutions without any more introductions.

There are two important things to check before getting into the fix

  • Make sure you don’t run any conflicting programs ( antiviruses) along with windows defender.
  • If you are still on Windows XP make sure you have uninstalled Microsoft Security Essentials.

Search for Malware or Spywares

In most of the cases, MSMPENG.EXE eats up your disk usage mainly due to some parallel programs running on background. It is better to search for spyware and malware in Windows Safe Mode ( with Network Support).

How to Run your Computer in Windows Safe Mode- Windows7 & XP users?

  • Close all existing programs and reboot your computer.
  • On booting press “F8”. A new screen appears on your computer with 3 command options as seen the figure. Select “Safe Mode with Networking” and press Enter.

How to run Windows Safe Mode in Windows 8 & 10?

  • Press windows key + R for the run dialog box.
  • Type “msconfig” and press Enter.
  • Open Boot tab and “select Safe Boot & Network”.
  • Select “Apply” and press ok.

1-Search and Kill Malicious Programs Running on Background

Once you are ready with Safe mode, it’s time to quarantine malicious programs which cause 100% disk usages.

  • Download and install “Roguekiller” utility software. Make sure you download the correct version (x86 or x64) of the software.
  • Double click on the file to run the utility.  The utility will do a prescan once you start it, let it get completed.
  • Once the pre-scan is over, Press on “Scan” to perform a full system scan.
  • Once the scan is completed, the utility will revert to you with a list of malicious apps running. Press on delete for removing it.

Similarly, you can remove Adware using “AdwCleaner”, Malware using “Malwarebytes”.

Tuneup Utilities developed by AVG software lab helps you to remove every malicious program. With tuneup utilities you can avoid downloading different programs for removing different infections, thereby saving time and energy.

2- Exclude from Scanning

This the best and easy way to reduce disk usage.  Find that directory or file which takes a lot of time for scanning. For finding that, you will have to perform a full system scan and do regular monitoring on the time taken for scanning. Once you find the culprit, all you have to do is “Exclude it from search”

You can do this by going to Virus & Threat Protection, then Virus & Threat Protection settings and finally clicking on Add or remove exclusions.

3-  Uninstall and Reinstall Microsoft Essentials

if you are unaware of how to uninstall Microsoft essentials from your PC, Do check the following steps mentioned below.

How to Uninstall Microsoft Essentials?

The procedure will be a bit different according to the OS in which you are working on.

For Windows 7 & Vista

  • Click on Start>Control Panel
  • Find Program and features from the list, Click on it
  • Select Microsoft essentials from the program list, Select it and press uninstall.

For Windows8, 8.1 & 10

  • Open Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R.
  • Type “Control Panel” and press Enter.
  • Follow the same procedure mentioned under Windows 7& Vista for uninstalling the program.

NOTE: Restart your computer after uninstalling Microsoft Windows Essentials.

How to Reinstall Microsoft Essentials?

Click on the link, for downloading the latest version Microsoft essentials.

Disable Windows Defender

It is always recommended not to uninstall windows defender until or unless it is necessary. Make sure you have installed a 3rd party antivirus before uninstalling Windows Defender.

Whenever you install a 3rd party antivirus software on your computer Windows defender gets automatically disabled. In addition to this, there are many more effective ways to disable windows defender safely. In Windows 10, Microsoft doesn’t want you to disable it, so the only option left behind is to disable it from the security center.

Disable Windows defender using Registry

  • Open up the run dialog box (Windows + R), Type Regedit and hit enter.
  • Find HKEY_LOCAL MACHINE\SOFTWARE\POLICIES\Microsoft\Windows Defender
  • Create a new D-word value called Disable AntiSpyware and give it a decimal value of 1.
  • Restart your computer, Windows Defender should be disabled now.

It is never a good idea to play with the default security systems. These days, no one is safe on the internet, so it is advised to use your computer with default settings. If you are planning to disable windows defender for solving your high usage problem make sure you have installed some good antivirus on your computer. Do not ever use a computer without a running antivirus or windows defender. Subscribe us and stay tuned for getting latest windows tips and tricks.

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