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Windows Defender Eating Memory... but Disabled? (Also Chrome)

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I've been cleaning the ever living heck out of my computer for the past, probably two hours, due to either excessive CPU usage, disk usage, or memory usage (CPU and disk were previously running at 100%, so I'd say I've done pretty good - one of those culprits being Malwarebytes, which I managed to blunder around and fix with the repair support whatever tool). I've finally managed to get it all sorted (or fixed with tape and band-aids) except for the whole Windows Defender thing - which I've been grappling with for the majority of this entire time. Specifically, it is "Antimalware Service Executable" with "Microsoft Defender Antivirus..." something (my PC won't tell me via hovering, whatever) under it. 

The issue is - I've been religiously trying, and succeeding, in most cases, to disable every aspect of this that I can. Did some cute little guided steps using Windows PowerShell (Admin) a couple times, some other whatnot internal workings, I honestly don't remember at this point everything that I've tried. This darn thing is still running. I don't want it to. That 100+MB of memory usage is making me want to pop an aneurysm. That, alongside Google Chrome, is currently using almost 50% memory (I have yet to figure out how to fix Google Chrome's excessive usage, either). 

I'd love any help - but please, use very detailed, specific instructions. This stuff is my pet peeve, but not my forte. Google Chrome memory usage also appreciated, but not priority!


Google Chrome stuff:


I've been troubleshooting this almost as extensively as I've done Windows Defender, to be honest. In my task manager, I have 10 instances running on Google Chrome alone, and I only have one tab open. I have 4 extensions, AdBlock Plus, Malwarebytes Browser Guard, Empty New Page Tab, and MSN Homepage and Bing Search Engine. According to my Google Chrome task manager, GPU Process is taking up the most of everything. Only 9 processes display here. In my PC task manager, Chrome is taking up over 300+MB of memory. Any help is also appreciated for this, but please specify it's Chrome help and not Windows Defender help!


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Hello @BabyBlueberry and welcome back:

To have your computer professionally analyzed, assessed and individualized corrective actions prescribed, I recommend you immediately suspend all self-initiated corrective actions until told otherwise and scrupulously follow the contents of the Malwarebytes forum post at:


Disregard the original subject matter of the above topic.  It's the content of the information gathering post itself where the virtue lies.  After the four (4) data files have been gathered, create a new topic in this forum's Malware Removal sub-forum by clicking >> HERE << and a malware removal professional will guide you in checking and cleaning your system of any issues.

Thank you.

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  • Root Admin

Hello @BabyBlueberry


Please run the following steps and post back the logs as an attachment when ready.
Temporarily disable your antivirus or other security software first. Make sure to turn it back on once the scans are completed.
Temporarily disable Microsoft SmartScreen to download software below if needed. Make sure to turn it back on once the scans are completed.
If you still have trouble downloading the software please click on Reveal Hidden Contents below for examples of how to allow the download.






When downloading with some browsers you may see a different style of screens that may block FRST from downloading. The program is safe and used hundreds of times a week by many users.

Example of Microsoft Edge blocking the download







  • If you already have Malwarebytes installed then open Malwarebytes and click on the Scan button. It will automatically check for updates and run a Threat Scan.
  • If you don't have Malwarebytes installed yet please download it from here and install it.
  • Once installed then open Malwarebytes and select Scan and let it run.
  • Once the scan is completed make sure you have it quarantine any detections it finds.
  • If no detections were found click on the Save results drop-down, then the Export to TXT  button, and save the file as a Text file to your desktop or other location you can find and attach that log on your next reply.
  • If there were detections then once the quarantine has completed click on the View report button, Then click the Export drop-down, then the Export to TXT  button, and save the file as a Text file to your desktop or other location you can find and attach that log on your next reply.
  • If the computer restarted to quarantine you can access the logs from the Detection History, then the History tab. Highlight the most recent scan and double-click to open it. Then click the Export drop-down, then the Export to TXT  button, and save the file as a Text file to your desktop or other location you can find and attach that log on your next reply.
  • If Malwarebytes won't run then please skip to the next step and let me know in your next reply that the scanner would not run.


Please download AdwCleaner by Malwarebytes and save the file to your Desktop.

  • Double-click to run the program
  • Accept the End User License Agreement.
  • Wait until the database is updated.
  • Click Scan Now.
  • When finished, if items are found please click Quarantine.
  • Your PC should reboot now if any items were found.
  • After reboot, a log file will be opened. Attach or Copy its content into your next reply.

RESTART THE COMPUTER Before running Step 3

Please download the Farbar Recovery Scan Tool and save it to your desktop.

Note: You need to run the version compatible with your system. You can check here if you're not sure if your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit

  • Double-click to run it. When the tool opens, click Yes to disclaimer.
  • Press the Scan button.
  • It will make a log (FRST.txt) in the same directory the tool is run. Please attach it to your reply.
  • The first time the tool is run, it also makes another log (Addition.txt). If you've, run the tool before you need to place a check mark here each time
  • Please attach the Additions.txt log to your reply as well.
  • On your next reply, you should be attaching frst.txt and additions.txt to your post, every time.



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  • Root Admin

Here is an extensive article on cleaning Google Chrome



Then go into Control Panel, Programs, Programs and Features and uninstall the following software



Now, as for 100% completely stopping Windows Defender that is not very realistic. Windows Defender is often updated by Microsoft and may at some point re-enable itself.
It is also a very decent antivirus program with some advanced features that can help protect your computer from an infection

Nonetheless, if you do want to continue to disable it please follow the directions below.



By default Windows System Protection is disabled on Windows 10 - make sure you enable System Protection and create a new System Restore Point before proceeding
You can click on Start search and type in the following to bring up the System Protectionsystempropertiesprotection.exe


image.png   image.png   image.png


Turn off Tamper Protection

Prevent changes to security settings with Tamper Protection

Disabling Tamper Protection via PowerShell or the Registry is not supported for unmanaged systems. There are tools such as Intune to manage for a business
You must manually disable it via Windows Security so you need to be able to get in to disable it.


You can query the setting though. A setting of 0 is disabled and a setting of 5 is enabled. This is a protected key and cannot be changed

reg query "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Features" /v TamperProtection

Normal return is:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Features
    TamperProtection    REG_DWORD    0x5



Enable Group Policy Editor

Add Group Policy Editor to Windows 10 Home

You can download the batch or create it based on its contents and run it with Admin rights. Create or Save the batch file. Right-click and choose "Run as administrator" and this will add GPEDIT.MSC to your Windows 10 Home computer

@echo off 
@echo "This batch file from MajorGeeks.Com will enable Group Policy Editor (Gpedit.msc) on Windows 10 Home."
@echo "If this method fails, there are other methods to try at https://tinyurl.com/majorgeeksgpedit"
pushd "%~dp0" 

dir /b %SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientExtensions-Package~3*.mum >List.txt 
dir /b %SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientTools-Package~3*.mum >>List.txt 

for /f %%i in ('findstr /i . List.txt 2^>nul') do dism /online /norestart /add-package:"%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\%%i" 



Using GPEDIT.MSC you should be able to set these settings to disabled or you can use Regedit.exe

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Real-Time Protection]







STEP 4 (this is for more advanced information only, steps 1 - 3 should address your issue - it also appears to only be for computers that support secure boot)

Open an elevated admin command prompt and type in the following and press the Enter key

reg query "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services" /s | find /i "DeviceNameTdt"

This should return something like the following

DeviceNameTdt    REG_SZ    MpKsl3d95e48fTM

Remove the trailing 2 characters TM which then gives you MpKsl3d95e48f in this case.

Now type in the following with that value and press the Enter key

sc qc MpKsl3d95e48f 

That should show you the status and path to the kernel-level driver that is being used.

You can find that in the Registry under the following structure (based on the value returned by the red query above) and potentially set the START value to another value such as disabled
WARNING: This is untested and could potentially cause a huge security issue or even potentially cause the computer to not boot. It is highly recommended that you do not disable this driver





If you wish to have further assistance with removing, disabling, or making changes to the system please let me know




Edited by AdvancedSetup
updated information
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I had been wanting Windows Defender disabled due to having Malwarebytes and not seeing the reason for having two protection services (I'm a pretty casual person when it comes to downloading things, meaning not very often, nor am I dumb enough to download something obviously bad for my PC), but if you think it's okay, I wouldn't mind keeping it - it's just that I don't really know how to fix it by this point in all the tinkering I've done to it. I'm also weary that it will go back to eating memory. Would there be a way to sort of undo everything I did with it (I did not make any check points in my device, so it'd have to be trial and error combing) but it not eating up memory like it was prior?

Working on uninstalling Bonjour as I type, going to fix Chrome after I send this.


I apparently turned off search indexing at some point, but can't seem to be able to turn it back on. Should I? Does it matter?

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  • Root Admin

In Windows XP there was an add-on for search and it did not work well for most. Newer versions of Windows used updated versions and worked a bit better but one could possibly disable and not worry about using it. On Windows 10 it is now a critical part of Windows and your system will not work well by disabling it.

We can work on trying to fix your system up and get things operational again.

Many users do use both Malwarebytes and Windows Defender on Windows 10 as they do play well together. As for memory usage, one doesn't want to just have unused memory there as that is a waste too. Why have 8, 16, 32 GB of memory if you're not going to use it. I'd say that using up to about 50% of your memory is a good thing as that leaves room for running more programs still and / or more resource intensive programs. If you don't have other extensive resource using programs then using even more of the RAM memory would be okay.


Let me have you run the following fix please. This probably will not fix all issues but it will be a start


Please download the attached fixlist.txt file and save it to the Desktop or location where you ran FRST from.
NOTE. It's important that both files, FRST or FRST64, and fixlist.txt are in the same location or the fix will not work.

Please make sure you disable any real time antivirus or security software before running this script. Once completed make sure you re-enable it.

NOTICE: This script was written specifically for this user, for use on this particular machine. Running this on another machine may cause damage to your operating system that cannot be undone.

Run FRST or FRST64 and press the Fix button just once and wait.
If the tool needs a restart please make sure you let the system restart normally and let the tool complete its run after restart.
The tool will make a log on the Desktop (Fixlog.txt) or wherever you ran FRST from. Please attach or post it to your next reply.

Note: If the tool warned you about an outdated version please download and run the updated version.

NOTE-1:  This fix will run a scan to check that all Microsoft operating system files are valid and not corrupt and attempt to correct any invalid files. It will also run a disk check on the restart to ensure disk integrity. Depending on the speed of your computer this fix may take 30 minutes or more.

NOTE-2: As part of this fix all temporary files will be removed. If you have any open web pages that have not been bookmarked please make sure you bookmark them now as all open applications will be automatically closed. Also, make sure you know the passwords for all websites as cookies will also be removed. The use of an external password manager is highly recommended instead of using your browser to store passwords.

The following directories are emptied:

  • Windows Temp
  • Users Temp folders
  • Edge, IE, FF, Chrome and Opera caches, HTML5 storages, Cookies and History
  • Recently opened files cache
  • Flash Player cache
  • Java cache
  • Steam HTML cache
  • Explorer thumbnail and icon cache
  • BITS transfer queue (qmgr*.dat files)
  • Recycle Bin

Important: items are permanently deleted. They are not moved to quarantine. If you have any questions or concerns please ask before running this fix.

The system will be rebooted after the fix has run.




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Sorry, I just want to make sure I'm doing this correctly - do I put the fixlist.txt in the FRST folder? Or just download the file into my C: drive (where FRST is located)? Also, if it helps at all, I recall turning off indexing via the PowerShell (Admin) thing, so I don't know if just entering some kind of reverse line would be easier than this or harder. I'll happily still do this, no big deal, just figured I'd throw that out there.


Also, while I'm thinking about it (sorry to be a little scattered, my headset is hurting my head because of my glasses so my concentration isn't very solid), I exported all my passwords saved to Chrome (I will look into getting an actual password manager later on, just not today), I'm just curious how I can put them back.. in Chrome? Aside from obviously going back to every individual website and relogging in. Maybe a cute little drag and drop location in Chrome's settings where I can just put the Excel file back in there? I don't know. There's a lot, so just looking for a simpler solution - the post I was following didn't actually describe reimplementing my password list.

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  • Root Admin

Yes, save the file to the same folder where FRST64 is. Currently appears to be located here: C:\Users\blues\Downloads

The script will not remove passwords directly saved in Google Chrome but it will remove cookies which often are the login people are used to.



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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Root Admin

Due to the lack of feedback, this topic is closed to prevent others from posting here.

If you need this topic reopened, please send a Private Message to any one of the moderating team members. Please include a link to this topic with your request.

This applies only to the originator of this topic. Other members who need assistance please start your own topic in a new thread.

Tips to help protect from infection



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