The CPU is a computer’s brain, and it is responsible for all of the machine’s operations. The performance of your computer’s overall performance and speed is inextricably linked to the performance of the CPU, which is a critical component of all operations.
Most computer users have experienced a “slow down” issue at some time. When resource-intensive software, such as gaming, is running, this may happen. Still, it might happen for no apparent reason, much to the chagrin of the user.
In many circumstances, the issue is caused by a CPU that is overloaded with duties and processes. So, before we go into how to address excessive CPU consumption and slowdowns, let’s look at some of the most typical reasons.
Users that experience a slowness will often consult their Task Manager or another programme that displays the machine’s different resource allocations. When such a test indicates that the computer’s CPU is at 100% utilisation, it means that your CPU is operating at maximum capacity. In other words, it is attempting to complete more processes at any one moment than it is physically capable of, resulting in stuttering, lag, slowdowns, and even physical symptoms such as CPU overheating.
Here are a few frequent reasons why CPU use might reach 100%:
- Background Processes: Even when they seem to be closed, many apps and processes continue to function in the background. Worse, many apps are programmed to start automatically when the computer starts up, and they may operate in the background without the user’s knowledge. These apps may gobble up CPU processing power if they’re operating in the background in large numbers or if they’re not well optimised.
- Intensive Resource Applications: On a computer, certain software is inherently demanding. Video and graphic editing software, as well as games, are infamous for putting a strain on a PC’s hardware. A slowdown may happen if too many of these apps are attempting to run at the same time, or if the PC doesn’t satisfy the high-demand software’s minimal system requirements.
- Viruses or Malware: When a slowness is difficult to pinpoint, it might be the result of a virus or malware assault. They may drain resources without being identified since they generally run undetected.
- WMI Provider Host: The WMI Provider Host is used to monitor networked systems. High CPU utilisation concerns might be caused by bugs or patching difficulties.
- Improper Configuration: A hardware configuration may sometimes cause CPU use concerns. When the computer is set to utilise onboard graphics rather than the dedicated video card, a problem might appear out of nowhere because a patch or Windows update modified the setup. This is easily remedied by changing the setting and asking the computer to use its dedicated graphics card by default.
There are a number of typical remedies for high CPU load, some of which are particular to Windows 10 and others that are universal:
This is usually the first action you should take when anything goes wrong with your resources, whether it’s CPU load, RAM, or something else else. Rebooting clears different caches, terminates active processes, and enables for the complete installation of some background updates/patches. This may not address the issue if your PC is constantly operating at a high CPU load.
It’s possible that background programmes are hogging processing resources, and shutting them off might help. Close important programmes such keyboard and mouse software, operating system/Windows apps, and device control panels. These are not only necessary for the computer to function, but they also use extremely little computing power. Instead, utilise the task manager or a computer optimization tool to locate programmes that are using your processing resources needlessly.
Updates and patch management are key to maintaining any device or network in top form, so this is a simple but important step. Update your computer’s drivers, including your chipset and BIOS. Unfortunately, Windows updates do not always discover the correct drivers and fixes for devices (especially when it comes to things like video cards).
Look for malware, viruses, crypto miners, and other unwanted guests.
Look under the Details tab of the Task Manager processes tab for the “CPU” column. You may view all running apps organised by CPU consumption from here. If you discover an application that uses a lot of CPU, particularly if you don’t recognise it, it might be malware or a crypto miner, and you should run an antivirus check. Run a reliable antivirus or anti-malware tool to solve the issue.
Windows 10 has two top-level options that might effect CPU use. The first is your power strategy. To change this, go to Start > type “power plan”> “Show more plans”> Select the “High Performance” option.
Your system environment variables are the second option. Look for it in your Windows start menu, then go to the “Advanced” tab, click “Settings,” and then pick “Adjust for optimal performance” under “Performance.” Then, on this modification, click “Apply” and close the tab. Because it disables animations, this option may alter the appearance of your Windows experience.
If you’ve done everything and the problem with running at 100% CPU still persists, reinstalling Windows can help. Over time, Windows may gather registry entries, cached files, unnecessary Windows processes, and problematic settings. Only a clean install and wipe can help.
Overclocking is an option if you don’t want to spend the money to improve your hardware. If you have an unlocked CPU and a motherboard that enables overclocking, mild overclocking might assist with excessive CPU consumption. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, don’t try overclocking — you might easily damage or ruin your hardware.
If none of the techniques above have resolved your problem, upgrading your hardware may be the only option. On laptops, this is difficult, if not impossible, but desktop PCs normally allow for CPU swapping. Only do this if your CPU is a real performance restriction; increasing the processor is pointless if the motherboard restricts the upgrade’s capabilities.
Fixing excessive CPU utilisation or maintaining a constant 100% CPU depends on your scenario and the source of the issue. In most cases, the measures outlined above will be beneficial. You can even take them as preventive measures if you’re not having serious performance concerns. Keep your computers clean and optimised, apply updates as needed, and make sure your hardware can support the software you’re running.