FIX: MSMPENG.EXE | Consuming High CPU Usage In Windows

In the process of protecting your computer, the most critical aspect is to get the doctor and that would mean a strong Antivirus or Antimalware which will keep protecting the computer from external programs which can cause damage or try to steal information. So we have discussed one of the windows file i.e. msmpeng.exe which many users consider as a possible threat to their security.

We all know how critical it is to keep your computer clean from malware and viruses which can severely affect the functioning of various programs. If there is anything vital which your computer has then it’s the DATA and that is absolutely dear to one and all. Thus there is the growing popularity of using online backup for essential data which you want to preserve over a long time and definitely during disaster which may strike at any point in time.


What is msmpeng.exe?

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) has worked wonders for users, typically individuals and small businesses which have been securing their computers either a single managed system or a network of systems either managed or unmanaged. It has been observed that the Antimalware function or service of the MSE which is msmpeng.exe takes up high CPU usage and lowers the response time and the basic operation of the computer.

Various trial and errors have been carried out by tech geeks to understand the logic behind such occurrence but it has all been in vain. People have tried uninstalling incompatible programs which have solved the problem, cleaning an infected file or virus has solved the problem, re-installing MSE has solved the problem as well.

So, there isn’t a definite full proof logic behind the high CPU usage while msmpeng.exe antimalware service executable runs but there are few tried and tested solutions which can help resolve the High CPU Usage Problem.

Note: Before proceeding forward to know msmpeng.exe in detail, please ensure that:
[a] You have not installed another antivirus program on your computer,
[b] Uninstall MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) immediately if you are running Windows 7 OS on your computer as MSE is no longer supported by Windows 7.

Fix: MsMpEng.exe High CPU Usage problem

There are essentially 5 solutions to ensure the high CPU usage issue because of MsMpEng.exe is resolved:

Method 1: Run a Check for Malware

Step 1: Boot up your computer in Safe Mode with Networking,

Note: In order to proceed with Malware check on your computer, it’s vital to have your computer booted up in Safe Mode and with Network Support.

Typically Windows 7, Vista & XP users need to:

  1. Save all existing work, close all programs and reboot the computer,
  2. Keep pressing F8 continuously so it enters the boot options menu before the appearance of the Windows load up screen,
  3. Select the Advanced Options Menu and then select (up-down keys and cursor movement) Safe Mode with Networking and press enter key.

For Windows 8/8.1 & Windows 10 Users:

  1. Press the Windows key + R simultaneously to pop up the search or run dialog box where you need to enter ‘msconfig’, right click on the option and run as administrator,
  2. In the System Configuration pop up window, select the Boot tab and select Safe Boot and Network as separate entities next to a check box,
  3. Click OK to proceed.

Step 2: Terminating Malicious and Harmful Programs

One needs to download the RougueKiller program from the Internet and run the application. Make sure you download the proper version based on x86 and x64 OS architecture for 32-bit and 64-bit systems respectively. The easiest way to find your OS (Operating System) version is to right click on the “My Computer” icon on your desktop and go to ‘Properties’, you will be able to find the version there.

msmpeng.exe antimalware service executable

Now you need to double click to run the RougueKiller application. On launching the application, it’ll PreScan your Computer. Once done, click on ‘Scan’ to perform a complete scan of your computer. The scan might result in certain Malware or infected files or possible threats, click on the ‘Delete’ button to remove the infections completely from your computer.

Step 3: Removing unwanted Adware programs using AdwCleaner

  1. Navigate to the website and download AdwCleaner to your computer. It may have saved to the ‘Downloads’, to execute the file and install the program,
  2. Close all open programs and tasks. Now, double click to run the AdwCleaner utility,
  3. Once that opens up, Simply hit the ‘Scan’ button and let it list out all the unwanted Adware programs which have been clogging the computer,
  4. When the scan is complete, it might list the various Adware programs, simply click ‘Delete’ to remove all,
  5. You might get a Popup stating AdwCleaner-Informations, all you need to do is click ‘OK’,
  6. RESTART your Computer.

FIX: kmode exception not handled

Step 4: Clean up that Malware with the Trustworthy MalwareBytes™

  1. Download and run the Anti-Malware application of Malwarebytes and click on ‘Start my Free 14 Day Trial’. You may opt for the premium version trial as well which pops up on the last screen of the installation segment,
  2. Hit the scan button to run and clean the very effective modules of Malwarebytes thus helping your system be absolutely clean of Adware and Malwares,
  3. You may choose to update the virus definition and program of the Malwarebytes to download the current data on your computer for effective results of any new threats that may have got in,
  4. Post completion of the update, click on Scan button to let Malwarebytes do its job of locating malicious items which reside in the deepest sectors of your computer drive,
  5. Once the scan is complete, you need to hit the button which says “Quarantine all” to carefully remove all the unwanted threats, infected files and possibly malicious threats causing damage to your computer and data.

When Malwarebytes completes its task, you can go ahead and Restart your system. please check, if the msmpeng.exe windows 7 & msmpeng.exe windows 10 high Disk Usage is eliminated, otherwise continue with the next solution(s).

Method 2: Exclude the MsMpEng.exe utility

  1. Click to open the Microsoft Security Essentials primary application and then navigate to Settings,
  2. Now click on the side menu bar which has the option ‘Exclude files and locations’,
  3. Then click on the ‘Browse’ option,
  4. Now you need to navigate to the proper location in your C drive:
    Windows Vista/7/XP: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\MsMpEng.exe
    Windows 10/8/8.1: C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MsMpEng.exe
  5. Once you have located the MsMpEng.exe application, select it and click on Add,
  6. Then you need to click on Save Settings,
  7. RESTART system and check if the problem is resolved. If not, proceed forward.

Method 3: Reschedule MSE scan time

Step 1: 

  1. A very promising and effective feature of the MSE is the automatic scanning which eliminates any risk of viruses on specific days and hours,
  2. Open up the Microsoft Security Essentials Application and click on Settings,
  3. Now click on Schedule Scan on the left pane,
  4. You need to set different date and time for the scheduled scan and then click on Save Changes,
  5. This will also disable msmpeng which could be the primary reason for the high CPU usage,
  6. Close the MSE application and check if the problem related to MsMpEng.exe High CPU Usage is resolved, if not then temporarily disable the MSE real-time protection to see if that help to resolve the problem.

If the problem still persists then proceed with the next solution. msmpeng.exe high cpu

Step 2: Disable Microsoft Security Essentials Real-time protection.

  1. Open up the Microsoft Security Essentials application and click on Settings
  2. Click on the real-time protection on the left side menu
  3. Now you need to deselect the checkbox next to ‘Turn on real-time protection’ as a recommended setting, uncheck that box.
  4. Close the MSE application and see if the msmpeng.exe high CPU usage problem is resolved. If it still persists then you need to disable the MSE application launch at startup.

Download Avast Secure Browser, Avast SafeZone Browser For secure browsing.

Step 3: Checking Startup programs and to disable the MSE application from launching

  1. In order to disable the MSE application on Windows launch, you need to hold down the Windows key and press R, to open up a run dialog box.
  2. In that type in ‘msconfig’ and hit enter. When the MSCONFIG popup window comes up, go to the tab which says ‘Startup’.
  3. You need to deselect or uncheck the box next to Microsoft Security Client which is for the MSE application.
  4. Once done, please click on OK.
  5. A popup window asks for your permission to either ‘restart’ or ‘exit without restarting’. Click RESTART.
  6. Once the system restarts, check on the MsMpEng.exe high memory or msmpeng.exe high disk usage problem is resolved or not. If the problem persists then uninstall the Microsoft Security Essentials from the computer and go to the next solution.

Method 4: Install another Antivirus

It is understood that Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is causing high CPU Usage and it’s better to opt for an alternate antivirus to protect your computer. In order to do so you must take proper measure to ensure that MSE is completely removed from your computer so you can proceed to install an alternate Antivirus for protection against external threats.

Step 1: Completely uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).

  1. In order to do so, you need to click on Windows + R and then type in Control Panel in the run dialog box.
  2. Once you are in the control panel, then navigate to programs and features and then you can select the MSE application and hit on uninstall.

If there appears to be a problem while uninstalling, then download an MSE removal tool or utility to have the application completely removed.

Step 2: Now that Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is completely removed, you may go ahead and install another antivirus which could be Avira’s, Avast, AVG, Quick Heal (though Quick Heal may take up resources and CPU as well) and few others available in the market that can be helpful for your computer.

Summing Up

It’s vital that computer is protected against external programs and malicious infections or threats that could come in while surfing the internet or accessing your email, maybe downloading files from the internet or the attachments in your email, could be simple file transfer using external drives or magnetic tapes or flash drives. When you msmpeng.exe disable in the settings.

The transmission of viruses and worms are unpredictable and thus an advanced antivirus and its protection can not only heal the infected files but its updated virus definitions can keep blocking the unwanted threats that can steal valuable data from your computer and can definitely cause potential damage to your computer.

The security of your computer and data is in your hands and it’s imperative that you consider investing in a fine antivirus and antimalware solution to help you against the rising threats of the Internet.

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