We have a Windows Server 2012 installation that we use as an internal web server. Most HTTP requests are very slow on this machine (about 15 seconds for a simple ASP.NET WebAPI request). We noticed that during a request, the process MsMpEng.exe's CPU usage is going to 50-90%.

MsMpEng.exe is Microsoft's Anti-Malware executable, included in Windows Defender, Forefront and Security Essentials. However, none of those products is installed on our server.

Where can we configure the Anti-Malware component of Windows Server 2012?

  • start -> type defender. Any luck with that?
    – Jakke
    Jul 8, 2014 at 7:00
  • Nope, there isn't any Defender entry there.. If I enter Defender and press Enter, Windows Search shows No results found for your search
    – cheesus
    Jul 8, 2014 at 10:43

2 Answers 2


We analyzed the problem with Sysinternals ProcessMonitor, where we saw that MsMpEng.exe consumes much CPU time analyzing the log files of our web application (written by NLog).

Since we could not find a GUI to exclude the log files from MsMpEng.exe's real-time monitoring, we added it using regedit.exe.

The solution was to create a DWORD entry at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exclusions\Paths`

where the key of the entry is set to the full path of our log files (C:\inetpub\wwwroot\webapp\logs), and leaving the DWORD value at 0x00000000.

  • This is an old answer and we already got UI for this: Start menu --> Virus & thread protection --> Manage settings -> Add or remote exclusions. Also it is possible to provide exclusions with policy editor.
    – Roman R.
    Apr 24, 2021 at 10:09
  • Nice answer, and I forgot about the powerful Sysinternals tools. I edited your answer to add the official link.
    – рüффп
    Aug 25, 2021 at 6:40
  • @RomanR. I can't find Start menu --> Virus & thread protection --> Manage settings -> Add or remote exclusions on my windows 2012. Are you sure?
    – mortenma71
    Nov 18, 2021 at 22:50

You might find it under Endpoint Protection or System Center Endpoint Protection, there you can set excluded filetypes and such under settings.

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