What is CPU usage, and how to fix high CPU usage

If you’re not satisfied with the way your PC or laptop is performing, it’s time to do some troubleshooting, and the processor (CPU) is one of the most important components to check. High CPU usage is often the cause of bad performance. Your computer may be affected by this problem if you’re experiencing long loading times, crashes, or freezes.

But what is CPU usage? And how do you fix it when it’s too high? Fortunately, there are several ways that will help you solve issues with high CPU usage. Check them out in our comprehensive guide below.

What is CPU usage?

The processor, also known as the central processing unit (CPU) is arguably the most important component inside any computer. Whether you’ve got one of the best processors on the market or you’re running an entry-level machine, your processor always serves as the brain of the operation. It sends instructions to all the other pieces of hardware in your device and is responsible for executing each and every task. If you’d like to read a more in-depth explanation about the CPU itself, check out our guide to what is a CPU.

Every processor has a limited capacity at which it can execute commands and run various programs. The better the CPU, the more tasks you can simultaneously perform without a hitch. However, no matter how powerful the CPU is, every chip will eventually hit its maximum capacity and begin slowing down. This will depend on your current CPU usage: In other words, the number of things your processor is being made to do at the same time.

When you’re not running many applications, your CPU usage should be low, and in an ideal scenario, everything should run smoothly. However, if you open a CPU-intensive program (such as certain games or video editing software,) you may notice that the response times increase as your CPU usage goes up.

Fluctuations in CPU usage are normal and nothing to worry about — as long as your PC continues running smoothly. If you’re unsatisfied with the performance of your PC, the first step is to check its CPU usage.

How to check CPU usage

Checking CPU usage on Windows comes down to simply opening the Task Manager. If you already know how to do that, you can skip ahead to our next steps.

The three easiest and quickest ways to run Task Manager are:

  • Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+Escape to bring up the Task Manager directly.
  • Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Alt+Delete to bring up the lock screen and select Task Manager from there.
  • Right-click on the taskbar or the Windows icon at the bottom-left side of your screen. Pick Task Manager from the list.

With Task Manager open, navigate to the Performance tab and select CPU from the left-hand side menu. This will produce a curve diagram that displays real-time updates about the performance of your CPU. You can also check the Open Resource Monitor option at the bottom to see more detailed information about your processor.

Is the CPU usage really too high?

Before you jump right in and start trying to fix the problem, it’s important to learn whether the CPU usage you’re currently experiencing is abnormal in the first place.

Remember that depending on your processor, it could be that your computer is just utilizing the resources available to it in an efficient manner under heavy workloads. High-end CPUs are able to handle all manner of multitasking, but budget processors may not be able to run multiple resource-heavy programs at once.

If you are currently not running any additional programs, your CPU usage should be anywhere between 1% and 10% just through Windows processes alone. Anything higher than that on an idle PC means that something might be wrong. However, if you’re playing a game or even have multiple browser windows open, the CPU usage will climb accordingly.

If you’re unsure whether your CPU usage is too high, here are a few indicators to look out for:

  • High idle CPU usage: You’re not running any programs and your CPU usage is still above 20%.
  • Higher than usual CPU usage: You’re not using any new programs, and yet your CPU usage is higher than it used to be.
  • High CPU usage during tasks that aren’t resource-heavy, like word processing, or browsing social media in just a couple of tabs.
  • High CPU usage combined with freezes, crashes, and slow performance.

There are some programs that commonly consume a lot of processing power. Check out our suggestions below if you’re not sure whether your software is one of them.

How to fix high CPU usage

It’s important to monitor CPU usage and act if something seems amiss. If the amount of software you’re running doesn’t warrant slower loading times or high CPU usage, check out our quick steps below to resolve this problem.

Restart your computer

Sometimes all your PC may need is just a quick restart. This will clear out temporary files, shut down any programs you didn’t know were running, and give your computer more of a fresh slate.

If a while has passed since you last restarted your computer, save all your work and reboot. After the restart, launch the programs you’ve previously had open and check if your CPU usage is now back to normal.

Check open processes

If the problem comes back after re-launching previous software, it’s time to check which program is the culprit.

Launch Task Manager (if you’re not sure how to do that, click here,) and click the Processes tab at the top. You will be presented with a list of processes that are currently running on your computer. This is a long list, and it’s important that you don’t close any programs without knowing what they do. To make the list easier to navigate, click on Name to sort by software type.

Programs found under Apps are usually safe to close if needed. Check their CPU usage. If it’s a program that typically consumes a lot of CPU power, it might be that your high CPU usage is not abnormal. In any case, you can close the program to make sure your PC is running smoothly without it. Save all your work before you proceed.

Pick the program with the highest CPU usage and click End Task in the bottom right corner. Start it back up and check whether your CPU usage has improved. Try to close all the programs you don’t currently need — if the program or background process that consumes the most CPU power is unknown to you, write down its name and give it a quick Google search. It could be a virus that you need to get rid of.

Be mindful of the following:

  • Apps with a very high CPU usage that shouldn’t require too many resources
  • Background processes with a high CPU usage
  • Windows processes with a high CPU usage

If any of the processes on your computer are CPU-heavy and you’re not sure what they are, write down their names and make sure they’re safe.

Scan your computer for viruses and malware

Unfortunately, malware and viruses are often the culprits behind high CPU usage. You may sometimes notice them by browsing through the Task Manager, but oftentimes they will be concealed and won’t be that easy to spot.

Getting rid of malware and viruses can be tricky and highly situational, but there are a few steps you should take that can resolve your problem.

  • Download one of the best antivirus programs available and scan your computer.
  • In addition to an antivirus program, you can download malware and spyware-specific programs such as Malwarebytes and SpyBot S&D. Scan your PC with these programs after the antivirus scan is over.

If the software finds any harmful programs on your computer, it will likely help you get rid of them. This may lower your CPU usage.

Update your drivers

Your CPU can take quite a beating if you’re using old drivers or unoptimized software. Sometimes, fixing high CPU usage may be as easy as simply updating your drivers.

In this step, try to update all of your drivers. This includes motherboard drivers, GPU drivers, audio drivers, and more. Check out our dedicated guides on updating all of your drivers and updating your graphics card drivers if you’d like a step-by-step tutorial on how to do this.

A word of warning: Do not use third-party software for updating drivers. A lot of the commonly advertised software on the internet may be dangerous to your computer. Whether it’s out-right malware or it simply downloads all the wrong things, you don’t want to deal with that. It’s best to learn how to update your drivers yourself and rely on secure methods of doing so.

Update your software

The software you’re using may simply be an older version of an already updated program. In such cases, the CPU usage may be abnormally high and it may have been fixed in a patch that you haven’t downloaded yet.

Following the Task Manager, update your most CPU-heavy software to the latest version and see whether that will do the trick.

Update your BIOS

This is more of an advanced option, but in some cases, updating your BIOS may help fix the issue with high CPU usage. Updating your BIOS will require knowing the exact model of your motherboard.

If you’re not sure which motherboard you’re using, we’ve got you covered. Check our guide to find out all of the specifications of your PC, including the motherboard. Once you know the model of your motherboard, simply search for it in Google and add “BIOS.” Download the latest BIOS directly from the manufacturer’s website — do not trust other sources. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer in order to update your BIOS.

Check your power settings

Certain power settings in Windows may affect your CPU performance. This applies to both laptops and desktops. You may currently be using a low power setting without even knowing it, so changing it might help.

Follow the steps below to change your power plan in Windows.

  • Click on the Windows logo in the bottom left-hand corner and type in: “Power Settings.”
  • On the right-hand side of the Power & Sleep section, navigate to Additional Power Settings.
  • Click on Show Additional Plans and then select the High Performance plan. Alternatively, if you’re already running the High Performance plan and you’re experiencing CPU problems, try out the Balanced plan instead.

Clean your PC

Keeping your PC clean is important, not just on the software side, but on the dust-free side. That’s right — our computers gather a lot of dust every single day. The more dust your PC or laptop has accumulated, the worse it will run, and that’s all thanks to the rising temperatures within the chassis.

Don’t let us catch you letting it get this bad … Wikimedia

If you haven’t given your PC a good clean for a while, it might be the time to do so. This process will usually require the use of compressed air. You can pick up a can of compressed air on Amazon and from many other stores.

Remember that before you ever attempt to clean your computer’s vents, you need to fully turn it off and unplug it. If you want to learn how to clean your PC, as well as a few more handy tips to make it run faster, check out our in-depth guide on the topic.

Run System Restore

If your high CPU usage is a recent development and everything was running smoothly just a few days ago, fixing the problem may be as easy as running System Restore on Windows. Windows 10 users can refer to our separate guide on reinstalling and restoring Windows here.

For Windows 11 users, accessing System Restore can be done in a few quick steps:

  • Click the Windows icon in the bottom-left corner of your screen and type in Control Panel.
  • Once in the Control Panel, type in Recovery in the search box.
  • Pick Recovery and then Open System Restore.
  • In the Restore System Files and Settings section, click Next.

You will then be prompted to select a restore point that you want to go back to. Choose one from before these issues started and follow the instructions provided by Windows. Keep in mind that you may lose any new files and programs you’ve installed since the restore point.

Unfortunately, many users cannot utilize System Restore. This is because Windows doesn’t automatically create restore points, which is why your list may be empty. If that’s the case, you may need to take more drastic measures.

Reinstall Windows

This option should be treated as a last resort. If all the other steps failed and you still cannot pinpoint the reason why your CPU usage is so high, giving your Windows a clean install may be the solution to your problems.

Before you pull the trigger, keep in mind that reinstalling Windows will delete all of your installed programs. You are allowed to keep your files, but you may also opt to do a completely clean install and let Windows delete all of them. Whether you choose to keep your files or not, it’s good to back up your data before you begin.

Reinstalling Windows 10

If you’re not sure how to reinstall Windows 10, check out our guide that will lead you through the steps required to do so.

Reinstalling Windows 11

In order to reinstall Windows 11, click on the Windows logo at the bottom-left side of the screen and type in: “Reset this PC.”

Once you’re in the correct section, select Reset PC. Windows will then prompt you to choose from several reinstall options. You can choose whether to keep your personal files, keep any changes you’ve made to Windows settings, and keep pre-installed apps that came with your Windows 11 PC.

Pick the option that suits you best and allow Windows to reinstall itself. When the reinstallation is complete, you will have to install all your drivers and trustworthy programs again. Once your system is back up and running, check your CPU usage again — you should be able to see a marked improvement.

Further troubleshooting

If you have tried every one of our recommended steps and found no improvement, the issue may be more complex than can be covered in any given guide. Fortunately, all you need is an internet connection in order to troubleshoot your computer.

There are two main things to search for in times of abnormal CPU usage:

  • Your exact model of CPU + “high CPU usage.” Check our guide to learn which processor you have.
  • The process or program that hogs the most CPU usage in Task Manager + “high CPU usage.”

Searching for these terms will give you more specific advice from users who have gone through the same kinds of issues. Read the advice carefully and follow it as best as you can. However, never download any third-party programs: You may put your PC at much greater risk instead of fixing it.

CPU usage FAQ

  • Which programs cause high CPU usage?
  • Is high CPU usage bad?

Which programs cause high CPU usage?

Many kinds of programs can cause high CPU usage. If you’re running one of them, your computer may slow down. In such cases, make sure you close all other programs to give your processor the breathing space it needs in order to run these resource-heavy tasks.

Some of the most notorious CPU-heavy programs include:

  • Video and photo editing software
  • Encoding and decoding software
  • CPU-heavy games, such as PUBG
  • Browsers with many tabs open, many plug-ins, websites with a lot of videos and photos, etc.
  • DVD burning programs
  • Video or photo converters
  • 3D modeling software
  • Benchmarking programs

Is high CPU usage bad?

Every PC will go through cycles of high CPU usage — there is nothing wrong with that. However, If your CPU usage is constantly high or even at 100%, there is definitely a reason for concern.

Your CPU heats up when under heavy loads. This may cause your computer to overheat, but even in the best-case scenario, it contributes to wear and tear. Your PC may freeze when running at 100% CPU usage as soon as you add an extra application into the mix. Freezes and crashes are common, and each one may cause another problem to pop up.

In short: Yes, it’s bad, although as long as you’re expecting your CPU usage to be high, it’s fine and fully expected to happen at times.

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— Update: 12-03-2023 — us.suanoncolosence.com found an additional article 8 Useful Solutions to Fix Your CPU 100% in Windows 10/11 [MiniTool Tips] from the website www.minitool.com for the keyword how to check lower or increase cpu usage.

The CPU (central processing unit) is your computer’s brain, which is also known as the processor. If it is bombarded by too many processes, or if a task consumes too much attention, it will become overwhelming and the usage of it will become very high.

Why is CPU usage high? Here are 5 main reasons for this situation.

Reasons for High CPU Usage

1. Too Many Background Processes

A background process is a program that runs on a PC including those not opened in the window. Since Windows itself needs some background processes to run, many background processes will run on the computer at the same time. As you install the programs constantly, there will be more and more programs on your PC and it will cause high CPU usage.

2. Svchost.exe (netscvs) Process

When you open the Task Manager, you might have noticed that the svchost.exe (netscvs) process causes high memory or CPU usage. Sometimes this process is associated with malware, but it is a legal system-critical Windows process.

3. WMI Provider Host (WmiPrvSE.EXE)

The WMI Provider Host process is part of Windows, which helps organize monitor and troubleshoot large numbers of systems on the network. However, sometimes it will go out of control.

4. There Is an Annoying Antivirus or a Virus

On the one hand, an annoying antivirus will cause high CPU usage. On the other hand, a virus also can cause high CPU usage.

5. System Idle Process

In fact, the system idle process is just a thread that consumes CPU cycles, and it will not be used. Thus, it’s a reason for high CPU usage.

Solutions to Fix the High CPU Usage

In general, you can stay away from demanding applications to avoid high CPU usage. But sometimes it will go out of control since there is a bug in the process like the notorious WmiPrvSE.exe. You don’t need to worry about that because then I will introduce 8 solutions to help you lower the high CPU usage.

Solution 1: Restart the WMI Provider Host

If the CPU usage is very high, and you’re not running any program that would impact it, it’s not normal. You can open Task Manager to check it.

Recently Microsoft has pulled its official fix, the only thing you can do is to restart the service manually. Here is how to fix the CPU 100%:

Step 1: Search for Services and open it.

Step 2: In the window, find Application Management and right-click it. Then select Restart.

After you do this operation, the high CPU usage will become lower. If not, you can try the next solution.

Solution 2: Use the Event Viewer to Identify the Issues

If the issue with WmiPrvSE.exe still exists, you can identify its cause by using the Windows Event Viewer. Maybe there is another system process that makes WMI provider host keep busy, resulting in high CPU usage. Here is how to fix CPU 100%.

Step 1: Right-click the Start button and select Event Viewer to open it.

Step 2: Choose Applications and Service Logs in the left and choose Microsoft. Then click Windows, WMI-Activity, and Operational successively to open them.

Step 3: Now you should find recent Error entries by scrolling through the list of operational events. For each Error, identify the ClientProcessId.

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

Solution 3: End the Processes that Cause High CPU Usage

When you notice that the PC is getting slower than usual and the CPU 100%, you can try the Task Manager to find which processes are causing high CPU usage. Here is how to fix the 100% CPU usage issue.

Step 1: Search for Task Manager and open it.

Step 2: Click the CPU column header to sort the processes by CPU usage and check which processes cause your CPU becoming higher.

Step 3: Right-click the process that consumes lots of your CPU and then you should click End task to finish this process.

Now, see if the CPU usage is still at 100% after you do the above operations. If not, this issue has been resolved. If the issue persists, try the next solution.

Solution 4: Disable Third-Party Antivirus Software or Run an Antivirus Scan

Windows Defender is enough for you to use in your daily life. So please uninstall the third-party antivirus software if it does harm to your CPU.

Additionally, the viruses on your PC can cause the 100% CPU usage issue. So you can try to run an antivirus scan to check if there are viruses, spywares or Trojans on your computer. If you find viruses after scanning your PC, you need to delete them immediately.

If you don’t find viruses, you can try the next solution.

Solution 5: Reset Your Power Plan

Power Options has a significant impact on your PC’s performance. If your computer is on Power saver, especially you have changed its’ plan settings, it will cause your CPU becoming higher. The steps to fix high CPU usage are as follows.

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Step 1: Choose Hardware and Sound after you launch Control Panel, and click Power Options.

Step 2: Then choose Balanced if your computer is on Power saver.

Step 3: Then click Change plan settings that is next to the Balanced.

Step 4: Now, you just need to click Restore default settings for this plan and click OK to make the changes.

Solution 6: Modify Settings in Registry Editor

This issue may be caused by Cortana in Windows 10/11. Thus, if you enabled Cortana, you may encounter the situation that CPU 100%. If you seldom use Cortana, try modifying settings in Registry Editor to see if you can fix this issue. Here is how to lower the high CPU usage:

Step 1: Press the Windows logo key and the R key at the same time to open the Run dialog.

Step 3: Follow the path to locate the correct system files: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTokenBroker.

Step 4: Right-click the Start entry on the right side of the pane and select Modify…..

Step 5: Then change the Value data to 4 and click OK to save the change.

After the change, some features of your Cortana will be affected. If you often use it, this option might not be suitable for you.

Then you can check if this annoying issue remains. If not, you have resolved this issue successfully. If this problem still remains, there is the last solution for you, you can try it.

Solution 7: Turn Windows Notification Settings Off

Windows notification settings on Windows 10/11 PCs may trigger CPU 100%. You can follow the steps below to modify the Windows notification settings to fix the issue:

Step 1: You should click the Start button and click Settings to open the Windows Setting.

Step 2: Then choose System and click Notifications & actions on the left side of the pane.

Step 3: At last, you just need to turn off the feature Get notifications from apps and other senders.

Solution 8: Reset Your Computer

If all of these solutions are not working, you can only reset your computer. But resetting your computer may cause your important files and data loss. Thus, you had better back up your important files in advance. Next I will introduce software for you to back up files.

Use MiniTool ShadowMaker to Back Up Your Data

The free backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker is an all-in-one data protection and disaster recovery solution for PCs. It allows you to back up your systems, important files, folders, partitions, and even the whole disk. Once a disaster occurs, you are able to restore data with a copy of the backup.

MiniTool ShadowMaker also lets you create bootable media to restore your system to a normal state when your computer fails to boot. It’s easy to use MiniTool Media Builder and MiniTool PXE Boot Tool to maintain hard drives. And it is compatible with Windows 7/8/8.1/10 and Windows Servers.

You can download MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial to back up files and keep them safe. It can be used for free within 30 days or you can choose to purchase an advanced one.

Free Download

Here is how to back up files:

Step 1: Decide a Backup Mode

  1. Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker.
  2. Continue to use the trial edition by pressing Keep Trial.

Step 2: Choose Backup Source

  1. Go to the Backup page.
  2. Choose Folders and Files to continue and choose the files you want to back up, then click OK.

Step 3: Choose a Destination Path

Go to the following interface and choose one partition to store your files based on your needs and click OK.

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Step 4: Start to Back Up

Go back to the following interface and click Back Up Now to start the process immediately.

When the process is finished, you have successfully backed up files so as to have provided protection for the data.

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Bottom Line

Although the exact reasons for high CPU usage are difficult to find, there are listing the most commons and the corresponding solutions. In addition, there is a backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker for you to back up files. If you have any questions and suggestions, please contact us via [email protected] or leave a comment.

— Update: 19-03-2023 — us.suanoncolosence.com found an additional article How To Lower High CPU Usage from the website www.technewstoday.com for the keyword how to check lower or increase cpu usage.

Programs and other processes use your CPU’s speed and memory to function. Some programs are more demanding than others, but each takes a percentage of your CPU’s power.

Why Is My CPU Usage So High?

If your CPU usage is high and close to 100%, this could indicate that you’re running more CPU-intensive programs, which increases the percentage of your CPU that’s being used. You can reduce high CPU usage by closing some of these programs.

Normal CPU Utilization Ranges

When your computer is either idling or performing menial tasks, like when you’re browsing the web, the CPU usage should be between 2-5%. That can quickly go up to between 14- 30% if you use various programs. AAA games and demanding software like video editing programs can quickly hike that number up to 70% and more.

It’s best to keep in mind, though, that what’s normal for your PC will really depend on what you do every day. Some people don’t use a lot of CPU-intensive software so their CPU never goes close to 100% usage.

If you aren’t running demanding software or a lot of programs at the same time, however, then your computer might be infected.

How to Check CPU Usage in Windows

To check how much CPU you are using click ctrl-alt-del and select Task Manager. If you get a small screen with little details, you can click on more details to get a better overview. 

The first tab that opens is the processing tab, and the very first column is the CPU column. On the left side, you can see the processes that are currently running, and under the CPU header, the amount of processing power they take up at that moment.

These numbers constantly change. By clicking on the little arrow at the top next to the CPU total percentage, you can sort the processes by most or least CPU usage. 

How To Lower CPU Usage

You don’t have to download any fancy software or resort to complicated methods to lower your CPU usage. While some high CPU usage is inevitable, you can do a few simple things to reduce the high percentage.

Figure out the Cause

You can’t do anything about high CPU usage when you don’t know what’s causing it. Follow one of the methods above to get an idea of what might be taking up all of your processing power. It could be a single program or service, or multiple ones running at the same time.

Close CPU-Intensive Programs

If you’re currently using a program that is demanding a lot of CPU power, then there isn’t a lot you can do about it. Unless you’re fine with not using that program anymore. You can close any other CPU-intensive programs that aren’t strictly necessary, though. For example, if you’re in a game and you have your browser open then you can close your browser while you’re playing. 

Keep in mind that 100% CPU usage isn’t necessarily bad and your PC should be able to handle it for hours or even days. Just make sure that you have adequate cooling installed so that your CPU doesn’t start to overheat.

End Unnecessary Background Processes

Since every program and service on your computer is using a percentage of the CPU, you should close any ones that aren’t necessary. You don’t have to keep all of your game launchers running, along with having a browser open while listening to music and using video editing software. They all add up together and increase your CPU usage.

You can do this by either manually closing the programs or ending processes using the Task Manager. To end a process in Task Manager, simply click on the process and select “End task”.

Just make sure you know what you’re closing. There are plenty of critical processes that your Windows and various other necessary services use to function. These typically shouldn’t be taking up a lot of processing power though.

Disable Startup Programs

You can head to the Startup tab on Task Manager to check out which programs automatically open up when you turn on your PC. Disable any programs that you don’t use every day.

These won’t necessarily take up a lot of processing power, but they all add together and clog up your CPU and RAM usage for no good reason. This is a good way to permanently lower your CPU usage a little.

Check for Malware & Viruses

If you’re constantly seeing high CPU usage then your computer could be infected with malware or a virus. Make sure you have a good anti-virus program installed and run a complete system scan. The method will vary depending on the anti-virus program you have, but it shouldn’t be hard to find. 

Just open up your anti-virus program and look for an option similar to “Scan options” and then select “Full scan”. Here’s what it looks like on Windows Defender. This may take a while depending on how full your hard drives are/how many programs you have installed.

Consider Upgrading Your CPU/RAM

Have you completed all of these steps and you’re still getting 100% CPU usage? Then your hardware might not be capable of keeping up with what you want to do. In this case, the only way to permanently fix 100% CPU usage is to either stop using those programs or to upgrade your CPU (and possibly your RAM too).

When your CPU runs at 100%, it’s trying to use more memory and speed than either it or your RAM is capable of. So to compensate for the difference, your CPU then tries to access memory straight from your hard drives as well. This is a process called swap memory.

The problem with memory swapping is that your hard drives are much slower than your RAM. So instead of quickly finding the information it needs like it usually does, your CPU has to sift through your hard drives for information and adjust to their data transfer speeds.

Restart Your PC

No matter the reason, there are a few steps you always take first. The first one, and one that you should never skip when solving computer issues, is to restart your computer.

There are several programs and processes which always run in the background of your computer. The longer you keep your computer turned on, the more processing power these programs use. 

Restarting your computer also ensures that you troubleshoot from a clean slate. A game you minimized instead of closed can unknowingly cause high CPU usage. 

Run a Manual Windows Update

Any type of software error can cause more than usual CPU usage. Sometimes, it can be an operating system error. If that is the case, Windows quickly comes out with a solution. 

After installing updates, always restart your computer. This is important even when the system does not require you to do so. It will give you a clean slate to continue troubleshooting and improving your CPU usage. 

Change Your Power Saving Settings

On laptop settings to save power can cause a higher CPU use as well. Changing these settings to a non-power saving option can drastically lower CPU Usage. 

To change these settings right click on the battery icon in the bottom right of your taskbar. Select “power saving options” and click on the dropdown menu to see additional plans. Select one of the non-power saving options and check if your CPU has gone down. 

How to Monitor Your CPU Usage on Windows 10

There are a couple of ways to monitor how much of your CPU is being used, both live and historically. Choose one of these options depending on how much detailed information you need.

Method 1: Check Task Manager (Simple)

You can easily get an overview of CPU usage via the Task Manager. Simply right-click on your Windows taskbar, open Task Manager, and click on CPU to sort highest to lowest usage. The processes at the top are the ones eating up all of your CPU power (percentage-wise).

Method 2: Open Resource Monitor (More Details)

In Task Manager, go to the Performance tab. You’ll see some information about your processor here, but you should go a step further for a more detailed view.

Next, click on Open Resource Monitor then click on CPU

This is a detailed look at which programs use the most processing power live and over time. The CPU row shows the percentage each service or program is using at this moment while the Average CPU row shows the average usage over the last minute.

You might notice that some of your cores are running at higher percentages than your total CPU usage. That’s normal as some programs only utilize one core while others use multiple cores. Even if 100% of one core is being used, it only translates to a percentage of your total CPU usage. 

Method 3: Use Performance Monitor (Most Detailed)

Performance monitor gives you detailed information about your CPU usage over time. If you want to get an idea of how your CPU usage changes when you use different programs then this is a good place to start.

The app will now start monitoring your CPU usage from that moment forward. It won’t show you which applications are using your CPU, however.

— Update: 25-03-2023 — us.suanoncolosence.com found an additional article How to Fix High CPU Usage for Windows from the website www.n-able.com for the keyword how to check lower or increase cpu usage.

The symptoms of high CPU usage are familiar: the cursor moves jerkily and slowly, and applications begin to lag or shut down. The workstation might even begin to physically heat up as it strains to perform tasks. When diagnosing a malfunctioning system, these are signs you should start by checking the processor.

Luckily, it’s actually fairly simple to look under the hood of a Windows desktop or laptop and understand whether the workstation can be fixed, or if it’s time to replace the CPU.

What does CPU time mean? 

At the core of any computing device is the Central Processing Unit (CPU), or processor, which is responsible for fulfilling the user’s instructions. A device’s CPU only has the capacity to deal with so many processes or tasks at once, and when those resources are strained, the computer’s performance begins to suffer. CPU time or processing time is measured by counting the seconds that a CPU spends processing instructions from an application or your OS. A longer count means the system is busy or overloaded.

High physical memory usage is often a consequence of using too many demanding apps, but can also be the result of a bug in a process that would normally be far less resource-intensive. Slow processing can stem from a variety of different causes, some of which will be more difficult to fix than others. But in the vast majority of cases, if you’re wondering how to lower CPU usage, the process is actually as simple as pressing Control + Shift + ESC.

How do I check CPU usage in Windows?

In order to find out what percentage of CPU a computer is using, simply open Windows Task Manager (Control + Shift + ESC) and click the Performance tab. The Processes tab offers a closer look at what might be contributing to the problem and provides a rundown of which processes are taking up the most power and RAM, which is key for figuring out how to lower CPU usage. From there, you can then either stop the processes that are using up disproportionate resources, or, if the process in question isn’t normally such a drain on CPU and memory, work to fix the underlying issues.

How do I fix high CPU usage? 

If you’ve looked at the Processes tab and found that the issue can’t be attributed to uniquely demanding apps, it very well could be the result of a bug in an otherwise inconspicuous process. While any number of different issues could be plaguing your computer, let’s explore a few of the most common causes, and how to diagnose and troubleshoot high CPU usage:

  1. The WMI Provider Host process
    The WMI Provider Host process—which typically appears as Service Host: Windows Management Instrumentation in your Processes tab—is an important part of Windows that often runs in the background. The process is used to monitor a large number of systems on a given network, and if its CPU usage is any higher than a few percentage points, that may be a sign your system is struggling with a pernicious bug.The quickest solution to this problem is the oldest one in the IT troubleshooting book: turn off the process and then turn it back on again. Use Windows Search to find Services.msc, find Windows Management Instrumentation in the window that appears, right click it, then select Restart. That should restart the service, but if you prefer, you can also simply restart your computer.If this doesn’t work, the WMI Provider host may simply be dealing with another process that is the real source of the problem. Open the Windows Event Viewer and select Applications and Service Logs, then Microsoft, then Windows, WMI-Activity, and Operational. Look for recent error entries and take down the ClientProcessID for every error you suspect is contributing to the problem. Go back to the Task Manager, click the Services tab, and sort the list by order of process ID. You can run your list of suspect processes against this list to identify the source of your malfunction.
  2. Too many background processes
    Any computer is bound to have background processes—which are run without the user opening them in a window—taking up a percentage of CPU. But as time goes on and more applications are downloaded, those background processes can accumulate and begin to take up a nontrivial amount of resources. These processes can be stopped by unchecking them in the Startup tab, then restarting your computer, which will prevent them from being started again automatically when you turn on your device.
  3. A virus or an antivirus
    The causes of high CPU usage are wide-ranging—and in some cases, surprising. Slower processing speeds could easily be the result of either the antivirus program you are running, or a virus that the software was designed to stop.Constantly scanning your hard drive for potential threats can take up a surprising amount of CPU power, especially if you’re using an older device or OS. If the device starts lagging at random times, it might be the result of an antivirus that’s eating into your processor load. To stop it, use your antivirus’s scheduling function to make sure it only scans your device during times that you aren’t likely to use it.Alternatively, you may have a piece of malware running on your computer that is sucking up all the processing power from your CPU, whether by running several background processes or attempting to spread itself via your email and social media. Identifying a virus on your computer isn’t easy—even scanning your device with an antivirus may not work, as many forms of malware run something called “anti-forensics” that prevents them from running if they detect security software installed on your device. Try either scanning with multiple antivirus tools or performing a manual virus removal.

A surprisingly complex issue

High CPU usage is one of the simplest issues that can impact a computer’s performance, but it can be challenging to detect the underlying cause if you don’t know where to look. If you find that high CPU usage persists—even in support of standard processes—you may simply need a faster computer. You can also reduce CPU load by adding more RAM, which allows your computer to store more application data. This reduces the frequency of internal data transfers and new memory allocations, which can give your CPU a much-needed break.

That said, even everyday users can be made aware of common CPU issues and learn to troubleshoot them, saving IT teams time and ensuring that productivity can resume as quickly as possible.

Read through our blog for other common questions and concerns related to troubleshooting:

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Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/what-is-cpu-usage-and-how-to-fix-it/

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