How To Stop McAfee Using So Much RAM and CPU? [Guide]

McAfee Total Protection is a good Windows antivirus solution, and while it’s effective at blocking internet threats, it does create a lot of slowdowns.

This antivirus software has a personal firewall, a password manager, and parental controls, plus it scans your social media pages for threats.

Why Does McAfee Use So Much RAM?

The McAfee security software process Mcshield.exe has multiple documented use-cases that can cause the program to take over the computer’s CPU. McAfee recommends having at least a 1GHz CPU and 2GB of RAM on Windows Vista-or-later computers.

Check your task manager to see just what is occupying your CPU usage. The program mcshield.exe is often the McAfee-related culprit.

This critical function scans your computer to check for threatening programs but can sometimes cripple computers by using up all the RAM.

Running the multi-thread McAfee version causes Mcshield.exe to use more system memory. This can be a problem if the computer doesn’t have enough available RAM. The Mcshield.exe CPU usage may periodically jump as the computer works around the memory issues.

Keep as much free memory as you can by closing out unused programs and periodically defragmenting your system.

By keeping your RAM usage as lean as possible, you may be able to avoid feeling the negative effects when McAfee uses memory because you’ll have plenty to spare.

How Much RAM Does McAfee Consume?

McAfee recommends having at least a 1GHz CPU and 2GB of RAM on Windows Vista-or-later computers. According to system requirements.

How To Stop McAfee Using So Much RAM?

By limiting the amount of memory allocated to McAfee, you can optimize your computer’s performance while maintaining an adequate level of security.

Although McAfee doesn’t allow you to adjust these settings, your operating system does provide a way to configure the priority for each of your running applications.

  • Press “Ctrl-Alt-Delete” while McAfee is running, and then click “Task Manager” to open the Task Manager window.
  • Click “More Details” at the bottom of the dialog window and select the “Details” tab.
  • Right-click “scan32.exe” in the list of running operations, select “Set Priority” from the context menu, and then click the priority you want to assign to the McAfee scanner. Which setting you choose depends on your system resources. For instance, to limit McAfee’s system resource usage to the lowest setting, select “Low.”
  • Close the Task Manager window to finalize the system settings.

Why Is McAfee Using So Much CPU?

If the computer has underpowered hardware and can’t meet the minimum requirements, it can cause the Mcshield program to use more CPU cycles than it should and make the system operate slow. When Mcshield.exe takes over the CPU, all other programs have no CPU power to work with, which renders the system unusable.

If you are using ENS 10.7 Latest Update and having 300-400 MB is expected behavior. If the memory is constantly being increased and never released, there could be a memory leak issue.

The Mcshield.exe process includes the McAfee On-Demand Scanner program, which can overload the CPU under some conditions. Windows controls which programs get priority over others when relating to CPU usage.

Since virus-scanning doesn’t need to be immediate and is generally a background process, anti-virus programs usually have low priority. However, if the ODS threads are assigned a high priority, they can use 100 percent CPU.

How To Stop McAfee Using So Much CPU?

In some cases, it may be necessary to allocate more CPU resources to McAfee to speed up your scheduled scans, but if it uses CPU resources more than needed, a fix becomes essential. Managing CPU resources is performed using your operating system’s Task Manager.

Open the McAfee program and go to Virus and Spyware Protection>>Real Time Scanning- on>>Settings>>go to the last available option and change it to>> Minimize the effect on my PC’s speed and restart the computer after reboot check the CPU/Memory usage.

See if another feature is interfering with McAfee. For example, some users have reported that Google Desktop hogs a computer’s CPU when it attempts to index McAfee.

Go into your Google Desktop settings and exclude McAfee from its indexing list if you believe this might be slowing you down. This can help keep two known memory hogs from working together to form a memory monster.

McAfee has identified a problem with some Nvidia video card drivers that cause the Mcshield.exe program thread to “runaway” and use all of the CPU’s power.

The problem is not caused by McAfee itself and can be corrected by updating the computer’s video card drivers.

Also Read: Defender VS McAfee