Is your computer too loud, too hot, or too slow? High CPU usage in Windows 10 can cause all of these problems and more. Learn why your CPU is overheating and how to reduce your CPU usage so your computer can run properly again. If you’re unhappy with how your PC or laptop is running, it’s time to troubleshoot, and one of the most critical components to check is the processor (CPU). High CPU usage in Windows 10 is frequently the source of poor performance. This problem may be affecting your computer if you’re experiencing slow loading times, crashes, or freezes.
How to Check CPU Usage
On Windows, checking CPU usage is as simple as opening the Task Manager. You can move forward with the following steps if you are already know-how.
The three simplest and quickest ways to run Task Manager are as follows:
- Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Escape to bring the Task Manager directly.
- Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Delete to set up the lock screen and select Task Manager.
- Right-click the taskbar or the Windows symbol in the lower-left corner of your screen. Select Task Manager from the menu.
Click on the Performance tab in Task Manager and pick CPU from the left-hand side menu. It will generate a curve diagram that provides real-time updates on your CPU’s performance. To access more specific information about your processor, check the Open Resource Monitor option at the bottom.
How to Check for High CPU Usage in Windows 10
If you’re wondering whether your CPU usage is high, consider the following indicators:
- High idle CPU usage: You’re not running any programs, but your CPU usage is still above 20%.
- Higher than usual CPU usage: You’re not running any new programs, yet your CPU usage is more than usual.
- High CPU usage when performing non-resource-intensive chores such as word processing or surfing social media in a handful of tabs.
- High CPU usage in Windows 10 accompanied by freezes, crashes, and slow performance.
Some programs frequently require a large amount of computing power.
How to Resolve High CPU Usage Issue in Windows 10
It is necessary to monitor CPU usage and take action if anything appears wrong. If the quantity of software you’re running doesn’t justify sluggish loading times or high CPU usage, follow the easy steps below to check this problem.
Restart your computer
Sometimes all your computer needs is a fast restart. It will remove temporary files, shut down any programs you weren’t aware were running, and give your computer a clean slate. If you haven’t rebooted your computer in a while, save all of your work and restart. After restarting, run any previously open programs and check to see if your CPU usage has returned to normal.
Check any open processes
If the problem reappears after re-launching earlier software, it’s time to check out which program is to blame.
Start Task Manager
At the top, select the Processes tab. A list of processes on your computer will be displayed to you. It is a lengthy list, and you mustn’t close any programs without first understanding what they do. Click on Name to sort the list by software type to make it easier to navigate.
Apps programs are typically safe to close if necessary. Check their CPU usage. Your high CPU usage in Windows 10 may be expected if you’re running a program that regularly uses a lot of CPU power. In any event, you may quit the program to ensure that your PC continues to function normally without it. Before you continue, save all of your work.
Choose the program with the highest CPU usage and press the End Task button in the bottom right corner. Check it and see whether your CPU usage has decreased. Close any programs that you aren’t presently using – if the program or background process that takes the most CPU power is unfamiliar to you, write it down and perform a fast Google search for it. It might be a virus that has to be removed.
Keep the following in mind:
- Apps with a high CPU usage that don’t need a lot of resources
- Background processes with a high CPU usage
- Windows processes with a high CPU usage
If any of your computer’s processes are CPU-intensive and you’re not sure what they are, note down their names and ensure they’re safe.
Scan your computer for viruses and malware
Unfortunately, malware and viruses are frequently to blame for high CPU usage in Windows 10. You may occasionally see them while browsing through the Task Manager, but they are generally hidden and challenging to identify.
Update your drivers
When you use outdated drivers or unoptimized software, your CPU might take a battering. However, fixing high CPU usage in Windows 10 can often be as simple as updating your drivers. Try to update all of your drivers in this step. It covers motherboard drivers, graphics card drivers, audio drivers, and other components.
Update your software
The software you’re running might be an outdated version of a previously updated program. In such circumstances, the CPU usage may be unusually high, and the problem may have been resolved in a patch you haven’t yet downloaded.
Following the Task Manager, update your most CPU-intensive software to the most recent version and see whether it solves the problem.
Update your BIOS
It is a more sophisticated solution; however, updating your BIOS may help solve the problem of high CPU usage in Windows 10 in some circumstances. Updating your BIOS will need knowledge of your motherboard’s particular model.
- Once you’ve determined the model of your motherboard, enter it into Google and add “BIOS.”
- Download the most recent BIOS from the manufacturer’s website — do not rely on other sources.
- To update your BIOS, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Check your power settings
Specific Windows power settings may have an impact on CPU performance. It is valid for both laptops and desktop computers. You may be using a low power level without realizing it, so altering it may be beneficial.
To modify your power plan in Windows, follow the steps below.
- In the bottom left-hand corner, click the Windows logo and type “Power Settings.”
- Navigate to Additional Power Settings on the right-hand side of the Power & Sleep section.
- Select the High-Performance option after clicking on Show Additional Plans. If you’re already on the High-Performance plan and are running CPU issues, try the Balanced plan instead.
Clean up your computer
You must maintain your computer clean, not just in terms of software but also dust. That’s correct; our computers collect a lot of dust every day. Unfortunately, the more dust your PC or laptop accumulates, the poorer it will run, owing to increased temperatures within the chassis.
Run System Restore
If your high CPU usage in Windows 10 is a recent development and everything was running OK only a few days ago, running the problem may be as simple as using Windows System Restore.
System Restore may be accessed by Windows 11 users in a few simple steps:
- In the screen’s bottom-left corner, click the Windows symbol and type Control Panel.
- When in the Control Panel, type Recovery into the search box.
- Select Recovery and then System Restore.
- Next, under the Restore System Files and Settings section.
You will then be invited to choose a restore point which you want to select. Choose one from before these problems began and follow the Windows instructions. Remember that any new files or programs you’ve installed since the restore point may be lost.
It is not a feasible option unless all other processes are completed. If all of the previous steps fail and you still can’t figure out why your CPU usage is so high, performing a clean install of Windows may be the solution. Before you proceed, remember that reinstalling Windows will remove any installed programs. You can save your files, but you may alternatively choose to conduct a clean install and let Windows wipe everything. Whether you keep your files or not, it’s a good idea to back them up before you start.
FAQ about High CPU usage
Which programs causes high CPU usage in Windows 10?
Many different types of programs might create high CPU usage. Your computer may slow down if you run one of them. Please close all other programs in such circumstances to give your processor the breathing room required to run these resource-intensive operations.
Some of the most well-known CPU-intensive programs are:
- Video and photo editing software
- Encoding and decoding software
- CPU-intensive games like PUBG
- Video and picture converters
- 3D modeling software
- Benchmarking programs
- Browsers with many tabs open, a lot of plug-ins, websites with many movies and photographs, etc.
Is high CPU usage harmful?
Every PC will experience periods of high CPU usage; there is nothing wrong with it. However, you should be concerned if your CPU usage is consistently high or above 100%.
When under intense stress, your CPU warms up. It may overheat your computer, but it leads to wear and tear even in the best-case situation. When you add the program to the mix, your PC may freeze when running at 100% CPU usage. Freezes and crashes are widespread, and each one might trigger another problem.
If the methods above don’t work, and if you’re seeing high CPU usage in Windows 10 regularly, then you may need to consider other fixes. It is recommended to read article on how to Fix Dwm.exe Causes High CPU Usage.