What is Msmpeng.exe – Uses & How to Disable it?

It is rather common to see articles that label msmpeng.exe  a virus that is really ironic as it is a component of internal windows defender against malware. Msmpeng is the short form of Microsoft Malware Protection Engine. You might notice under task manager that sometimes msmpeng.exe is consuming high CPU resources. In this post, I will provide information about this file in detail.

File Size and Location

The default location of MsMpEng.exe is under C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\ directory. Whereas the file size of msmpeng is about 0.02 Mb on Windows 10 and the earlier version.

What does it do?

It is a primary process of Windows defender. Windows Defender is Microsoft’s anti-spyware. This is the utility that scans the downloaded files to see if there is any spyware. In case, it does find malicious content, it has the authority to either isolate or delete the spyware. This also takes active steps to scan the computer in order to find any spyware and eradicate them.

Why do I need it?

This tool is essential for the safety of your computer. Spyware can be harmful to your system and it is necessary that you take active steps to remove any such malicious items from your computer.


Why is msmpeng.exe causing high CPU and Disk Usage?

  • Sometimes, MsMPeng starts utilizing 100% of CPU and Disk. This happens when it is scanning the personal computer. During this period, there is a chance that your PC might stop responding to commands.
  • Normally, msmpeng.exe is only supposed to scan the system when it is ideal but if you switch off your PC after use, it might start scanning during your usage.
  • In case it happens a lot on your computer, there is a good chance that Windows defender is having some difficulty with a few files.

How to disable msmpeng.exe?

In case you still want to disable msmpeng.exe, follow the steps given below

  1. Click on the Start button
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter
  3. Now, to stop the msmpeng.exe, stop these services
  4. Microsoft Forefront Client Security Antimalware Service and
  5. Microsoft Forefront Client Security State Assessment Service
  6. Right Click on the services
  7. Click on properties
  8. Change the Startup Type from Automatic to Manual.
  9. You can also do the same with other services that slow down your computer.

Viola, you are done.

By disabling these services, you disable the use of msmpeng.exe. and that will help you in attaining the appropriate computer speed.

Also, check other similar files:



Is it Harmful?

Malicious content like viruses can be named anything. So, it is possible that the file running as msmpeng.exe might be a virus. But, it is highly unlikely. You can check the authentication of the file by checking its location on the computer. If it is in the C:\Program Files\Windows Defender folder, you are fine, if not, then it’s time to run an antivirus check.

Is it necessary?

Yes, it is necessary. However, if you have downloaded an antivirus for your personal computer then it will stop functioning itself. When the computer detects additional support to take care of any virus, malware, or spyware, it automatically stops msmpeng.exe.


Msmpeng.exe supplies the required protection to your system until you get third-party software to do the same. It is an essential system that deserves the space it possesses. However, if you disagree with that notion, you can get rid of the problem by disabling it.



Founder and Writer @ WinOSBite. Future plan is to make this platform open to community to resolve and discuss various issues, usage related to Operating System.

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