Are your computer fans hitting their top speeds frequently, is your computer slowing down, and have you noticed that your CPU usage is reaching 100%? That's annoying, especially when you're not actually doing anything.

In general, you can avoid using your CPU too much by staying away from demanding apps. However, sometimes an error can cause CPU usage to get out of hand, such as: B. the notorious WmiPrvSE.exe. In most cases, you can simply fix the underlying problem and reduce the high CPU usage. We show you how it works.

What is the CPU?

The CPU (Central Processing Unit), also known as the processor, is the brain of your computer. It manages all active processes. Like your own noggin, it can become overwhelmed if bombarded with too many processes or if a single task demands undue attention. Just as you find it difficult to focus when you feel overwhelmed, your processor can slow down to a crawl if too much is asked at once.

Now let's see what throws your CPU off track.

Is the WMI Provider Host (WmiPrvSE.EXE) causing high CPU usage?

The WMI provider host process, also known as Windows Management Instrumentation or WmiPrvSE.exe, is part of Windows and helps organizations monitor and troubleshoot large numbers of systems on a network. However, it's not uncommon for the process to get out of hand.

You can tell if this is your problem by looking at the Task manager (Press Ctrl + Shift + ESC) and look for the WmiPrvSE.exe process. If the CPU usage is more than a few percent and you are not running a program that would affect it, it will not work properly.

Restart the WMI provider host to resolve the high CPU usage

Microsoft recently pulled out its official fix. The only option you have now is to restart the service manually.

  1. Press Windows key + S, Entrance Services, and press Enter.

  2. Search in the window that opens Windows management instrumentation.

  3. Right click on it and then select Start anew. You can also stop the service altogether if you wish, or simply restart your computer.

Use Event Viewer to identify persistent WMI provider host problems

If the problem with WmiPrvSE.exe keeps occurring, use the Windows Event Viewer to determine the cause. It could be another system process that is busy with the WMI provider's host, causing high CPU usage.

  • In Windows 10 and 8, right-click the Start button and choose Event Viewer.

  • In Windows 7, use the Start menu to. to find and start Eventvwr.msc.

In the Event Viewer app, go to Application and Services Logs> Microsoft> Windows> WMI Activity> Operational.

Now scroll through the list of operational events and find the last one Error Entries.

For each bug, identify the ClientProcessId. Note that every time you restart a process, its ID changes, so there is no point in checking older errors.

If you suspect that one of these processes is causing the high CPU usage, you can find it by its ID in Task Manager and identify the faulty process.

Open that Task manager (Press Ctrl + Shift + ESC), switch to Services Tab and sort all running services by PID, d. H. their process id. If the guilty process is still ongoing, you can identify it and investigate further.

Right click on the process and select Open file location to check the software it belongs to. Updating or uninstalling the appropriate program can resolve the high CPU usage on the WMI provider host.

Finally, there is a possibility that the service is a worm or virus. You should only see one version of the process at a time, and the process should stop if you stop it from the Services window. If you see two versions of this or the process does not complete, run a virus scan immediately.

Is the system idle process having high CPU usage?

Windows users occasionally go through a process called System Idle Process, which causes high CPU usage. This obscure process seems to be consuming all of the CPU power it can – awful, isn't it?

Actually, the System Idle Process is simply a thread that consumes CPU cycles that are otherwise not used. Instead, the process is used because of some very obscure coding features that make it sometimes preferable and even more efficient for a processor to do something instead of nothing.

Not only is this a Windows thing, but Windows is showing the process in Task Manager so users can see it and assume that something is wrong.

This is not to say that performance issues cannot occur if the system idle process is showing high CPU usage, but the problem lies elsewhere.

In fact, expect to see the System Idle Process report showing that 95% (or more) of your CPU is being used when Windows is idle. If it doesn't, something else is consuming processor cycles without your knowledge.

Is Svchost.exe (netscvs) responsible for the high CPU usage?

You may have noticed that the svchost.exe (netscvs) process is causing high memory or CPU usage once you checked Task Manager. Although this process has sometimes been associated with malware, it is primarily a legitimate and system critical Windows process. If you're not sure, use the svchost.exe lookup tool to see which service the process is referring to.

Deactivate network discovery Network

Unless it's malware, svchost.exe might be busy looking for plug-and-play devices.

To rule out this cause:

  1. Enter in the search bar of the Start menu Switchboard and choose the best match.

  2. Go to Network and Internet> Network and Sharing Center, and click Change advanced sharing settings.

  3. Choose here Disable network discovery.

Check the Windows update

Svchost.exe (netsvcs) also indicates high CPU usage when Windows is downloading updates. After installing Windows, you will often find that it is using 25% or more of CPU capacity. If so, just let Windows Update do its thing.

As of Windows 10, you can't just delay or pause Windows Update. While you can plan when to install new updates, Windows will download updates as needed. This may randomly cause svchost.exe to increase CPU usage. What you can change, however, is whether your computer shares downloaded updates with colleagues. Deactivate this option to save bandwidth and processing power.

Go to Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update, click Expanded options, then click Delivery optimization. Here you can Allow downloads from other PCsbut you want this set out.

Of Delivery optimization, click Expanded options once more. On this next screen, you can limit the bandwidth for downloads or uploads of Windows and app updates. You should get the Download limit to a minimum of 5% and also set that monthly upload limit very low if you have allowed downloads from other PCs.

The only other workaround to curb high CPU usage associated with downloading updates is to temporarily disable Windows Update. This will prevent Windows from downloading updates. However, we do not recommend this solution!

Are too many background processes burdening your CPU?

A background process is a program that runs on your PC even though it is not open in a window. A typical computer has many background processes running at the same time because Windows itself needs a few to run. But as you install programs over the years, you may accumulate more and more and eventually overwhelm your PC.

Press Windows Key + X, then choose Task manager from the list. The Processes The tab is displayed by default and shows not only the total CPU usage but also the usage of each app.

You should do this with no other programs open to avoid confusion. Note the processes that seem to be consuming at least 10% of the processor power on a regular basis.

In Windows 10, go over to the Start up Task Manager tab.

In Windows 7, close the task manager and open msconfig.exe via the Windows search or the run dialog (Windows Key + R). In the System Configuration window, go to Start up Tab.

Now look for startup items that are correlated to the items you noted. Uncheck them, click OK, and restart your PC. This prevents these programs from starting at boot.

It could be an annoying antivirus

Do you notice that your computer slows down at seemingly random times, and these times often correlate with high disk activity? Your problem could be your antivirus.

If you are actively scanning your hard drive for a threat, an antivirus program can put a surprisingly heavy load on the processor. This is usually not enough to cause delays on a modern desktop or high-end laptop, but older or underperforming systems can slow down noticeably under the load.

Fixing this is easy. Virtually all antivirus apps have a scheduling feature that allows you to customize the automatic scanning process. Change the schedule to a time when you are not using the laptop and you will no longer be bothered.

High CPU usage is caused by malware

Malware can also cause high CPU usage. An infected system can run processes in the background trying to spread itself by sending malware to others through your email, network, or other sources. All of this requires processing power, which can result in poor performance.

Confirming an infection manually is not easy and, for the layman, more guesswork than anything else. If you don't have an antivirus, download and run a free malware application. You might even want to try several anti-malware tools as malware already installed has the advantage. It can potentially hide from every single antivirus app.

Once you find the problem, you can use the antivirus app that you used to scan to remove it. If that fails, check out our malware removal guide. The tips there can help you exorcise whatever your pc has possessed.

High CPU usage can be anything

High CPU usage can be difficult to track down. Although the problems listed here are some of the most common causes, you may find that CPU usage is still an issue even after trying all of the suggested actions above. If this problem continues to torment you, find a Windows support forum where you can ask people for advice on how to deal with your specific situation.

But first, here is one final culprit to check: High CPU usage from system interruptions!

How to Fix High CPU Usage Due to System Interruptions

Is your computer suffering from high CPU usage and the process that is consuming the most resources is "System Interrupt"? We'll help you get to the bottom of it!

Continue reading

About the author

Tina Sieber
(828 published articles)

During her PhD, Tina started writing about consumer technology in 2006 and has never stopped. Now editor and SEO too, you can find her on Twitter or hike a nearby hiking trail.

More
From Tina Sieber

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free e-books, and exclusive offers!

One more step …!

Please confirm your email address in the email we just sent you.