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What is MsMpEng.exe?

Part of Windows Defender by Microsoft

What is it?

MsMpEng.exe is the back-end of Microsoft Security Essentials. It is important to remember that this process is actually used by both Windows Defender and MSE. When you install Microsoft Security Essentials, then Windows Defender is automatically turned off and Microsoft Security Essentials uses this process. This is the main process that runs the program and takes quite some system memory. If you end this process then Microsoft Security Essentials will be disabled and an alert will be shown aski

What if I disable Windows Defender?

If you disable Microsoft Security Essentials, then Windows Defender will be enabled and will start using this process. So in a way both Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials use this single process.
Description of msmpeng.exe from Microsoft
Windows Defender is a free program that helps you stay productive by protecting your computer against pop-ups, slow performance and security threats caused by spyware and other potentially unwanted software. Windows Defender provides real-time protection for your home or small business PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Windows Defender is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and is automatically updated to protect your PC with the latest technology. Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times. Windows Defender is able to detect and remove more threats posed by spyware and other potentially unwanted software. Real Time Protection has also been enhanced to better monitor key points in the operating system for changes.
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How does msmpeng.exe run?

Service - MsMpEng.exe runs as a background Windows service (WinDefend). This service runs as the SYSTEM account with extensive privileges on the local computer, and acts as the computer on the network.


What is the community is seeing?What is the community is doing?
About 0.2% of all Boost users have the msmpeng.exe process running.Of the 0.2% of msmpeng.exe users, 12.0% have disabled it.
How resource intensive is MsMpEng.exe?
Comparison based on the average resource utilization across all programs.
0.06930% CPU693020.4%
Average CPU utilization across all programs is 0.00001%.
53.26 MB RAM247.3%
Average private memory utilization across all programs is 21.53 MB.
1,102 /min48.9%
Average I/O read and write operations for all programs is 2,253 per minute.
         4 GDI objects2.7%
Average number of GUI GDI and USER objects for all programs is 150.
86 context switches/sec86.0%
Average context switches for all programs is 100 per second.
Typical file (disk image) location:
C:\Program Files\windows defender\msmpeng.exe

What modules are loaded?

A module is a dynamic link library (DLL) or an executable file that is loaded into the process. Below is a list of non-system modules that are loaded by Windows Defender.

What else is related?

What Windows OS versions does this run on?

Windows XP Home Edition (5.1.2600.131072)
Microsoft Windows XP (5.1.2600.196608)
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition (5.1.2600.196608)
Windows XP Home Edition (5.1.2600.196608)
Windows XP Professional (5.1.2600.196608)
Windows Vista (TM) Home Premium (6.0.6001.65536)
Windows 7 Home Premium (6.1.7601.65536)
Windows 7 Home Premium (6.1.7601.65536)

About Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft More...
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File details

File name: MsMpEng.exe
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation (verified)
Name: Windows Defender
Description: Service Executable
Version: 1.1.1593.0
Size: 13.27 KB
Original file name: MsMpEng.exe

Digital certificate

Certificate authority: Microsoft Corporation
Effective date: 4/4/2006
Expiration date: 10/4/2007

Resource utilization

CPU utilization averages
Total CPU: 0.1478620244%
Privileged CPU: 0.0785599859%
User CPU: 0.06930203845580%
Total CPU time: 6,071 ms
Total CPU time /min: 184 ms
Privileged CPU time: 19399.95 ms
Privileged CPU time /min: 84 ms
User CPU time: 5510.04 ms
User CPU time /min: 169 ms
Context switches /sec: 86
Memory utilization averages
Committed memory: 137.13 MB
Peak committed memory: 194.35 MB
Paged memory: 53.26 MB
Peak paged memory: 118.9 MB
Paged system memory: 93.25 KB
Non-paged system memory: 13.03 KB
Working set memory: 33 MB
Peak working set memory: 106.37 MB
Min working set memory: 26.59 MB
Private memory: 53.26 MB
Page faults: 299,002
Page faults /min: 5,296
Process I/O averages
Total read operations: 47,073
Read operations /min: 1,068
Total read transfer: 306.47 MB
Read transfer /min: 6.84 MB
Total write operations: 7,924
Write operations /min: 34
Total write transfer: 47.91 MB
Write transfer /min: 275.72 KB
Total other operations: 234,075
Other operations /min: 1,380
Total other transfer: 3.31 MB
Other Transfer /min: 37.33 KB
GUI Object Averages
GDI objects: 4
USER objects: 2
Handle count average: 315
Thread count average: 17
Thread resource averages

Process details

Runs as (owner): System
Integrety level: Undefined
Windows platform: 32-bit
Runs as a service: Yes
Parent Processes
Process Command
"C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MsMpEng.exe"

Service details

Name: WinDefend

Image hashes

MD5: f45dd1e1365d857dd08bc23563370d0e
SHA-1: f8cfa36178da79f75ff003b4ae052fce6ad5fdd0
SHA-256: d95aebb2095579d716c62152c8b805e119812fd2e40f14f9a5ba2efde133303b

PE image details

Subsystem: Windows GUI
Langauge*: Microsoft Visual C++ 8.0
File entropy: 6.57193
File packed: No
Import Table
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