The CPU, also known as the processor is like the “brain” of a computer system where all the instructions are processed. Just as human brains, the CPU can be overwhelmed with too many processes or a single bulky task. When tasks take too much of the CPU space, they slow down the performance of your computer.
Fortunately, you can avoid this by avoiding resource intensive apps and opening only a few apps at a time. However, the high CPU usage problem could be due to some background processes or bugs in some process. No matter the case, this article will help you to resolve high CPU usage issues in Windows 10 PC.
Monitoring your PC CPU Usage
- To inspect CPU usage, right-click the taskbar and then click “Task Manager” from the context menu.
- Switch to the “Performance” tab and you will see the performance details for the CPU, RAM and Storage.
- A CPU usage of 0 – 10% is normal (when idle) but when it is constantly above this range, you need to lower the usage.
Method 1: Closing CPU Intensive Process
You can close some of the processes or force-quit a non-responsive program in the task manager.
- Switch to the “Processes” tab and click the “CPU” column to sort the processes with their CPU usage.
- Identify the user process with the highest usage, click it and then click the “End Task” button at the bottom.
Method 2: Scan Your Computer for Virus
Ensuring that your PC is clean from anti-virus or malware programs can fix the high CPU usage problem.
- If you are using Windows 10, you can use the built-in Windows defender to scan and remove viruses.
- However, Windows Defender may not find some malware programs, so you may need an advanced security solution to remove all unhealthy programs and files.
Method 3: Optimize your Windows Performance
Adjust System Performance Options
- Right-click “This PC” on File Explorer and open “Properties”.
- This will open the system information page. Go to the “Advanced system setting” on the left sidebar menu.
- On the system properties window, “Advanced” tab, click on the “Settings…” button under the “Performance” section.
- The “Performance Options” window will open. Go to the “Visual Effects” tab and check the second “Adjust for best performance” option.
- Click the “Apply” followed by “Ok” buttons to save the changes and close the system properties window.
Disable Unnecessary Startup Programs
Too many Startup apps could max out the CPU space of your system. You need to stop startup programs that you do not need to lower the CPU usage.
- Open the Task manager, “Startup” tab to see the list of all apps that starts when you boot your computer.
- To disable, right-click a program and select “Disable”.
Change Program Affinity to Limit CPU Usage
In the Task Manager, you can assign a program to a particular processor to limit it from taking up too much of the CPU space.
- To do so, go to the “Details” tab of the Task Manager, right-click the program you need to assign and click “set affinity”.
- Assign the process/ program to one or multiple processors and click the “Ok” button.
Adjust the Power Plan Options Settings
- On the Windows search box, type “Power plans” and select “Edit power plan” from the result.
- On the resulting window, open the “Change advanced power settings” link.
- This will open the “Power Options” pop up. Look for “Processor power management” and click to expand the options.
- Change the minimum and maximum processor state to about 70%, then click “Apply” and “Ok” to save the changes.
Method 4: Fixing Faulty Drivers to Resolve CPU Usage Problems
Fault device drivers could lead to excessive CPU usage and fixing driver issues will lower the usage, improving your PC performance.
- Right-click the Windows 10 Start button and click “Device Manager” on the menu that appears.
- Right-click on the “Disk drives” category and choose the “Scan for hardware changes” option.
- If you identify any changes that could cause the high CPU usage problem, right-click the affected device and update the driver. You may also uninstall and then re-install the driver.
The high CPU usage is a diverse issue, thus the possible causes can be unlimited. The above methods are fixes to common causes of high CPU usage but the list is long. If none of the above solves the problem, you may also try:
- Checking for and install available Windows 10 Updates.
- Disable Windows 10 notifications.
- Stop unnecessary background services.
- Service your computer fans.
- Upgrade/replace your hardware.