Antimalware Service Executable Access Denied: How To Fix

Dealing with an Antimalware Service Executable “Access Denied” messagecan be frustrating and disruptive. In this article, we will explore the depths of this issue and provide actionable solutions to regain control over your system’s security.

Antimalware Service Executable Access Denied: How To Fix

Understanding the Antimalware Service Executable:

The Antimalware Service Executable, also known as MsMpEng.exe, is a crucial component of Windows Defender, Microsoft’s built-in antivirus and antimalware solution. Its primary function is to protect your system from malicious software, ensuring your digital safety.

However, it can sometimes consume a significant portion of your system’s resources, leading to performance issues and access denied errors.

The Culprits Behind Access Denied:

  1. Resource Conflict:
  2. When multiple security programs run simultaneously, conflicts can arise, resulting in access denied errors. This conflict can be triggered by third-party antimalware software or outdated versions of Windows Defender.
  3. File Exclusion Issues:
  4. Windows Defender’s real-time protection scans files in real-time, including those that are excluded from the scan. If you’ve excluded specific files or folders, but they still trigger the scanner, access denied errors may occur.
  5. Permission Restrictions:
  6. Windows Defender operates with elevated permissions to ensure its effectiveness. However, if user account controls or group policies limit these permissions, the Antimalware Service Executable may encounter access denied errors.

Solutions to Regain Control:

  1. Temporarily Disable Windows Defender:
  2. If you suspect resource conflicts, temporarily disabling Windows Defender can help identify the root cause. Open the Windows Security app, go to “Virus & threat protection,” and turn off real-time protection. Remember to re-enable it once you’ve identified the conflicting program.
  3. Correctly Exclude Files and Folders:
  4. To prevent access denied errors caused by file exclusion issues, double-check that the files and folders you want to exclude are specified correctly. Ensure that you’re using the correct file path and that there are no typos or syntax errors.
  5. Adjust User Account Controls:
  6. If permission restrictions are causing access denied errors, adjusting User Account Controls may resolve the issue. Open the Control Panel, navigate to “User Accounts,” and select “Change User Account Control settings.” Slide the bar to the desired level, but keep in mind that reducing security settings may increase your system’s vulnerability.
  7. Update Windows Defender:
  8. Outdated versions of Windows Defender can lead to compatibility issues and access denied errors. Regularly check for updates through Windows Update to ensure that your system is running the latest version of Windows Defender.
  9. Consider Alternative Antimalware Solutions:
  10. If you consistently encounter access denied errors with Windows Defender, it may be worth exploring alternative antimalware solutions. Numerous reputable third-party antivirus software options offer robust protection while minimizing resource consumption.


Access denied errors caused by the Antimalware Service Executable can disrupt your workflow and be frustrating to deal with. However, armed with a deeper understanding of the issue and the solutions provided in this article, you can regain control over your system’s security.

Troubleshoot resource conflicts, double-check file exclusions, adjust user account controls if necessary, update Windows Defender regularly, and consider alternative antimalware solutions if needed.

By taking these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a smoother and safer computing experience.