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Fix antimalware service executable 100% disk usage

Of the many problems that your Windows 10 computer can face, one of the most common problems is related to the high disk usage. The high disk usage problem can occur due to several processes and programs, and one of them is Antimalware service executable.

Fix Antimalware Service Executable 100% disk usageSometimes while using your Windows device, the computer may become too slow and feel like it is hanging. If you open the task manager to see what is causing the issue, you may see antimalware service executable taking 100% of disk resources thus leaving nothing for other operations to work properly.

In this article, we take a look at what is this antimalware service executable process and how to fix the high disk usage problem caused by it.

Fix antimalware service executable 100% disk usage

Antimalware service executable is a Windows process and part of Windows Defender, a built-in antimalware program from Microsoft. The program offers firewall protection, scans the PC for real-time threats and detect any malware or adware they may get into your computer.

However, the process may cause an issue with your computer causing high disk usage and make it impossible to use the PC normally. Since the issue is caused by a Windows Defender process, here are a couple of ways to troubleshoot this error on Windows 10.


1. Delay Windows Defender Schedule Scan

Windows Defender Schedule scan by default is scheduled to scan after a few minutes a computer becomes idle. To prevent the scheduled scan, you can change the setting for the Windows Defender in Windows Task Scheduler. Here is how to do it.

  1. Press “Windows Key + R” to open Run.
  2. Type taskschd.msc and hit enter/OK.
  3. In Task Scheduler, go to Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows.
  4. Click on Windows Defender folder.
  5. In the right pane, right-click on Windows Defender Scheduled Scan and select Properties.
    Task Scheduler - Windows Defender Scan Schedule - Properties
  6. Open the Conditions tab.
  7. Make sure the “Start the task only if the computer is idle for” box is checked. It is set to 10 minutes by default. Change it to 10 hours.
    Task Scheduler - Windows Defender Scan Schedule - Properties - Conditions
  8. Do the same for “Wait for idle for” and set it to 10 hours.
  9. Click OK to save the changes.

That should stop the service. Check if the process is stopped in the task manager. If the issue persists, follow these steps.

  1. Click Start > Settings. Or press Windows Key + I to open Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security > Windows Security.
  3. Click on Virus & threat protection.
    Settings - Windows Security - Virus and Threat protection - Windows 10
  4. Scroll down and select Manage Settings.
    Settings - Windows Security - Virus and Threat protection - Manager Settings
  5. Scroll down to the Exclusion section and click on “Add or Remove exclusions“.
    Settings - Windows Security - Virus and Threat protection - Manager Settings - Add an Exclusion
  6. Click on “+ Add an exclusion” button and select “Process”.
    Add an Exclusion - msmpeng
  7. Type “MsMpEng.exe” and click “Add”.

2. Disable Windows Defender Real-time Protection

If the issue persists, try to disable Windows Defender Real-time protection from the Settings.

  1. Click Start > Settings.
  2. Go to Update and Security > Windows Security.Settings - Windows Security - Virus and Threat protection - Windows 10
  3. Click on Virus & threat protection.
    Windows Real Time Protection is off
  4. Click on “Manage Settings” and turn off “Real-time protection“.

3. Disable Windows Defender using Registry Editor

Note: Before modifying any files from the registry editor, make sure that you create a Restore Point. Restore Point helps you restore the PC to a working state in case something goes wrong while editing any files in the Registry Editor.

Once the Restore Point is created, follow these steps.

  1.  Press Windows Key + R. 
  2. Type “regedit” and hit enter.
  3. In the registry editor, navigate to the following location:
    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender
  4. You can simply copy and paste the above path in the registry editor to access it.
  5. Right-click on the blank space and select “New > DWORD (32-bit) Value”.
    Registry Editor - Fix antimalware service executable high disk usage
  6. Rename the Value as “DisableAntiSpyware“.
  7. Double-click on “DisableAntiSpyware” and enter 1 in the value data:
    Registry Editor - disableantispyware Fix antimalware service executable high disk usage
  8. Entering the value as 1 will disable Windows Defender.

Note: Disabling the Windows Defender is not a permanent solution, and only advised in case none of the above-listed solutions are working. After disabling the Windows Defender, check for Windows updates.

Download and install any pending updates, and that may fix the antimalware service executable high disk usage process issue without having to disable the Windows Defender and Firewall completely.


4. Install an SSD

While the above solutions should help to resolve the antimalware high disk usage problem, the long term solutions I found for this issue was to install an SSD. The high disk usage issue keeps occurring due to one or other reason and was a common occurrence in my brand new Lenovo IdeaPad laptop.

However, after installing a Samsung SSD, I have not faced a single high disk usage related error by any app or process in my laptop. So, if you can afford an SSD, I would recommend you to get at least 128GB SSD and make it the boot drive.

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