10 Fixes to Resolve High CPU Usage in Windows 10/11

It’s not uncommon to notice high CPU usage on your Windows computer. While this can be a temporary issue, there are times when it persists even during idle or casual web browsing. If you’re experiencing this, there might be an underlying problem with your Windows PC. Don’t worry, though, as there are several methods you can try to fix this issue.

1. Before You Begin

Before we dive into the solutions, make sure that there are no background processes like file downloads, Windows updates, or antivirus scans running. These processes can temporarily increase CPU usage, so there’s no need to panic. Once these tasks are completed, your CPU usage will return to normal. Additionally, if you have antivirus software installed, try temporarily disabling or removing it to see if it’s causing high CPU usage.

2. End High-Consuming Programs or Applications

The simplest and most effective way to reduce CPU usage is to identify and terminate the program or app that’s causing the high CPU usage. Open the Task Manager on your PC (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and go to the Processes tab. Identify the application responsible for the high CPU usage, right-click on it, and select End task.

End High-Consuming Programs or Applications

3. Restore Power Plan Setting

Many users have fixed high CPU issues on their Windows PCs by restoring the power plan setting to its default state. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open the Windows Search (Windows Key + S) and search for Choose a power plan.
  2. Click on the Change plan settings next to the selected power plan.
  3. On the following screen, click Change advanced power settings.
  4. Hit the Restore plan defaults button.
  5. Click Yes to confirm your decision.
  6. Finally, click on the OK button, and this should stop showing 100% CPU usage in your Task Manager.

If the above solution didn’t work for you, try the following method:

  1. Open the Windows Search and search for Powershell or Terminal.
  2. Once found, right-click on it and select Run as administrator.
  3. Click Yes if the User Control Account prompt appears.
  4. Copy and paste the following command into PowerShell, then press Enter:
  5. After that, copy and paste the following command and hit Enter:

Now open the Task Manager to verify your CPU usage. If the issue persists, move on to the next solution.

4. Disable Background Running Apps

Some apps running in the background during startup can significantly affect CPU usage. To disable these apps:

  1. Open the Task Manager and switch to the Startup apps tab.
  2. Right-click on the app that you want to disable and select Disable.

Alternatively, you can also navigate to Windows Settings (Windows Key + I) > Apps > Startup and disable any unnecessary apps from running during startup.

5. Ensure Your PC Is Not Infected

Malware or viruses can run hidden background processes that consume your CPU resources. Perform a full system scan using your antivirus software to check for any infections. If you don’t have antivirus software installed, you can use the Windows built-in malware scanner.

  1. Open Windows Search (Windows Key + S) and search for the Windows Security app.
  2. Open the app, move to the Virus & threat protection tab, and click on Scan options.
  3. Choose the Full scan option and click the Scan now button to start searching for malware on your PC.

6. Restart Your PC

Sometimes a simple restart can fix minor performance issues by clearing temporary files and resetting system processes. If you haven’t already, try restarting your computer and check if it reduces the CPU usage.

7. Update Drivers

Outdated or incompatible drivers can cause unexpected CPU usage. Make sure to update all your drivers to the latest versions. Here’s how:

  1. Right-click the Start button or press Windows Key + X to open the WinX menu and select Device Manager.
  2. Right-click on the device and select Update driver.
  3. Choose whether to let Windows search for the driver or manually search your computer for the driver.
  4. Repeat the same steps for each device.

Restart your computer and see if this reduces the CPU usage.

8. Remove Unwanted Web Extensions

Extensions installed in popular browsers like Chrome or Edge can sometimes contribute to higher CPU usage. Remove any unused or resource-intensive extensions from your browser. Here’s how to do it in Chrome:

  1. Click the Kebab Menu (three-dots icon) > Select More Tools > Extensions.
  2. Click the Remove button to uninstall any unnecessary extensions.

9. Update or Roll Back Windows Updates

Check for Windows updates on your PC and install them if available. If the high CPU usage started after a recent Windows update, you can roll back to the previous update.

To update Windows, go to Windows Settings > Windows Update and click on the Check for updates button.

To roll back Windows updates:

  1. Navigate to Settings (Windows Key + I) > System > Recovery > Go back.
  2. Select the reasons and click Next.
  3. Click the No, thanks button.
  4. Click the Next button twice.
  5. Lastly, click the Go back to earlier build button to install the previous build.

10. Reset Windows

If none of the solutions have worked so far, you can reset your Windows PC. This will reinstall Windows and likely resolve the high CPU usage.

By following these fixes, you can stop your CPU from having a midlife crisis in Windows. We hope these tips have helped you fix the high CPU usage issue, and you’re no longer seeing 100% CPU usage in the Task Manager.

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