Microsoft’s default and best cyber-security utility, Windows Defender, is a consumer’s primary line of defense when it comes to cyber-protection. If you are running Windows 10 on an older computer, you might notice that Windows Defender uses a large amount of CPU when running scans. Today we are going to share “How to change Windows Defender’s max CPU usage during scans.”

How do I change Windows Defender’s maximum CPU usage?

There are three Method to Change Windows Defender’s max CPU usage

  • Change Windows Defender’s max CPU usage using PowerShell
  • Change Windows Defender’s max CPU usage using the registries
  • change Windows Defender’s max CPU usage using Group Policy

Method 1: Change Windows Defender’s max CPU usage using PowerShell

  1. First, open the PowerShell {Admin}
  2. You can right-click the Start button and choose PowerShell (Admin) from the list.
  3. Now, Type the following
    command in PowerShell (Admin) or copy-paste as follows:
    Get-MpPreference | select ScanAvgCPULoadFactor
    • If you do this, you will see the current Windows Defender CPU utilization percentage.
  4. Type or copy-paste the following commands to change the value:
    Set-MpPreference -ScanAvgCPULoadFactor <percentage>

Note: Please note that the percentage value needs to be between 5 and 100. If you set it to 0, you will remove the CPU limit and Windows Defender will be able to use the entire CPU resource.

Method 2: Change Windows Defender’s max CPU usage using the registries

  1. First, Open the Run
  2. To Ope run, Press Windows + R keys.
  3. Now, type in regedit and press Enter (This will open the Registry Editor).
  4. Go to the following key in the Registry:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Policies/Microsoft/Windows Defender/Scan
  5. After that, Modify or create AvgCPULoadFactor as a 32-bit DWORD value.
  6. To switch from Decimal to Decimal, switch the value editor.
  7. Set the value data to a value between 5 and 100.

In order to revert back to the previous settings, simply delete the DWORD created and everything will go back to the previous settings.

Method 3: Change Windows Defender’s maximum CPU usage using Group Policy

  1. First, Open the Run
  2. To Ope run, Press Windows + R keys.
  3. Type gpedit.msc into the search box and hit Enter to start the Group Policy Editor.
  4. Go to the Computer Configuration page.
  5. Follow this path:
    Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Microsoft Defender Antivirus/Scan
  6. Then double-click the Set the maximum CPU percentage during a scan policy option.
  7. Enable the feature.
  8. Under Specify the maximum CPU utilization percentage during a scan, enter the desired CPU limit.
  9. Then select Apply.
  10. To continue, click OK.

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