The msmpeng.exe process is associated with the Microsoft Windows Defender application and is used to protect your machine from spyware infections. By default, the Windows Defender application is included and enabled in Windows Vista and Windows 2007 versions. Users who use Windows XP can download Windows Defender for free from the Internet. The msmpeng.exe file is automatically saved on your machine with Windows Live OneCare installation.
Generally, the file is located in a subfolder of C:\Program Files, however sometimes you may also find the file in a subfolder of C:\. The most common size of the file is 13,592 bytes, but you may also find the msmpeng.exe file in the following sizes: 14,032, 45,840, 18,832, 16,200, 18,704, 18,192, and 18,320 bytes. By default, this process loads automatically at system startup.
Problems Associated With Msmpeng.Exe
Msmpeng.exe is an important process that gives your PC real-time protection against spyware and other malicious programs. However, at times this process is known to use huge amounts of system resources. If you feel msmpeng.exe is clogging your system resources, then you can adjust the settings of the msmpeng.exe process to prevent it from running all the time. Follow the steps listed below to achieve this:
- Go to Start and select Run
- Type services.msc in the box that appears and click OK
- Locate this service in the right-pane and double-click on it.
- Select the drop-down menu that appears before Start Type and set the option to Manual.
- Click OK and exit from the Services Window
Can the Msmpeng.Exe Process Be A Virus?
Yes, it is possible. Many malicious programs are known to disguise themselves as the msmpeng.exe file. If you suspect that the msmpeng.exe running on your PC is not a true file or you see msmpeng.exe running even when you do not use Microsoft Windows Defender, then you must check the location where the file is stored. If you find that file is not located in its default location, then it is quite probable that this file is an unsolicited file, which may cause harm to your computer.
Many times, malicious programs use names similar to existing system tasks and files to prevent users from identifying them. For instance, an unsolicited process may be running on your PC as mssmpeng.Exe, msmpengn.exe, and msmpenge.Exe.
You can identify such processes by going through the list of current processes running on your computer. To view current processes, press Ctrl + Alt + Del and click Processes tab in the Windows Task Manager window.
If you see any unsolicited process running, then we recommend that you scan your PC using efficient antivirus and antispyware tools. These tools not only scan, quarantine, and remove the malicious programs present on your PC, but also prevent viruses, spyware, worms, Trojans and other harmful programs from infiltrating your system in the first place.
Malicious programs such as viruses, spyware and Trojan horses often deliberately add embedded keys or alter existing file entries within the registry. Msmpeng.exe errors may also occur if the registry entries of the file are either incorrect or corrupt.
To prevent and fix these issues, you must regularly scan the system registry using an advanced registry cleaning tool, such as PC Health Boost. This powerful, yet easy to use registry cleaning tool enables you to weed out incorrect and harmful entries from registry with just a few mouse clicks.