Windows 7 has a good number of new processes running in the background you might not recognize. Msseces.exe and msmpeng.exe are two of which even some of the most seasoned Windows veterans might be left questioning. So what the heck are they?
Microsoft introduced these two processes with its recently implemented Microsoft Security Essentials security suite. Don’t worry they aren’t viruses! If you haven’t tried out Microsoft’s Security Essentials, then I suggest that you take a look! It’s a free security suite that was created by Microsoft to keep viruses, malware, and spyware off of your computer. We’ve covered it in multiple groovy articles, check them out! For now, however, let’s take a look at these two groovy processes.
What is msseces.exe
Msseces.exe is the process used to run the graphical user interface of (MSE) Microsoft Security Essentials. Without this process, you wouldn’t be able to adjust any of the settings in MSE, and you wouldn’t be able to see alerts from new malware threats. If you take a look at this process in Task Manager, you’ll see the relative description of what this process does.
You can end this process, and MSE should still continue running, quietly. You won’t be able to see any pop-up alerts if Microsoft Security Essentials finds an issue. But there isn’t any reason to end this process in the first place. The memory footprint is rather small, and it’s an absolutely safe part of Microsoft’s free anti-virus software suite.
What is MsMpEng.exe
MsMpEng.exe may or may not always be visible as it sometimes runs as a hidden process. MsMpEng.exe is the core process of (MSE) Microsoft Security Essentials. This process is used by both Windows Defender and by MSE, so it is a shared process. It will always run in the background and usually doesn’t use up too much memory unless you are performing a system scan.
After a careful examination using ProcessExplorer, (the app we talked about in the svchost.exe article) you can see that it originates from the file location C:Program FilesMicrosoft Security Essentials.
If this process ever closes, then msseces.exe will alert you with a warning message asking you to restart it. You can ignore this message if you like and MsMpEng.exe will restart regardless after a short amount of time unless you have another anti-virus solution installed.
Part of great computer security is knowing what is running on your system at all times. For more tips on computer security check out Mrgroove’s security guide!
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