I would like to restart Windows Defender without rebooting my PC. Is this possible?

I do not want to disable it permanently.

I have tried the following methods:

  • "End Process" on MsMpEng.exe from elevated task Manager --> Access denied
  • "End Process" on MsMpEng.exe from elevated Resource--> Access denied
  • In services.msc, the Start/Stop entries are greyed out, it does not even offer any UI element to stop.
  • In elevated command prompt, psexec -s taskkill /im MsMpEng.exe /f gives Access is denied.
  • Opening a system command prompt with psexec -i -s CMD and then sc stop WinDefend gives Access is denied.
  • Killing the parent process (services.exe) causes a BSOD.
  • Clicking "Go to service" from Task Manager, then in the Services tab of Task Manager, right-click "Restart" on WinDefend. (The service does not restart)
  • Stopping "Security Center" service. (That stops, but MsMpEng remains running)

Some other websites suggested using Group Policy editor, however that is not available in the Home edition of Windows 10.


The reason for this is that MsMpEng is leaking memory, it just continuouslyincreases its commit. I have seen it over 20GB. This has only happened since installing the recent Creators Update. I'd like to restart it and see if that frees things up.

MsMpEng leak

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