[How to] Lower CPU Usage: A Quick Guide

[How to] Lower CPU Usage: A Quick Guide

/ Sed Galope

Lowering your CPU usage is important for a few reasons:

  • It can help reduce energy consumption, which in turn helps you save money on electricity bills.
  • Lowering it prevents your computer from overheating and can extend its lifespan by reducing the amount of wear and tear it takes over time.
  • Lowering your CPU usage can improve your overall system performance by freeing up valuable resources that can be used elsewhere.

By reducing the amount of processing power your system has to handle at any given time, you can help ensure that operations run faster and smoother and that other tasks or programs don’t suffer in response.

Restart Your PC

Restarting your computer may be the simplest and most effective solution if you’re having issues with your computer running slow or lagging due to high CPU usage. Restarting your computer can help clear up memory that may be in use and allow your computer to run more efficiently.

restart computer

End Processes

It can often be due to high CPU usage when your computer runs slow. Various problems can cause high CPU usage, but one of the most common solutions is to use the Task Manager to identify and end processes that use a lot of CPU resources. By ending these processes, you can reduce the strain on your computer and get it back to normal performance.

Step 1: Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open the Task manager.

Step 2: In the Processes tab, click on the CPU column to order by CPU usage.

Step 3: Select processes consuming high CPU usage and click the End task button.

select apps with high cpu usage

Update Drivers

Updating drivers can be an effective way to reduce high CPU usage on your computer. Outdated or corrupted drivers can cause various issues, including decreased performance and system instability. By regularly updating your drivers, you can ensure that your system runs efficiently and without problems.

Check Windows Update:

Step 1: Open the Start menu and click the Settings icon.

open windows settings

Step 2: Click Update & Security and select Windows Update.

Step 3: Check if there are any updates available, if there are, click on the Install button.

check updates

Check Hardware Drivers:

Step 1: Press Win + R, type devmgmt.msc, and press enter.

devmgmt msc

Step 2: Right-click on the drivers and select Update drivers.

update outdated drivers

Update BIOS:

Step 1: Open the Start menu, type System Information, and enter.

search system information

Step 2: In the right pane, locate your BIOS version.

check for bios version

Step 3: Now, go to your manufacturer’s website. Go to Support and find your Motherboard.

Step 4: Check if there are any latest updates; if there are, download and install the updates.

Scan for Malware

If you’re experiencing high CPU usage on your computer, it could signify that your system is infected with malware. Malware is malicious software designed to damage your computer, steal your data, or both. Checking your computer for malware is a good first step in troubleshooting high CPU usage and can help you identify and remove any malicious software that may be causing the issue

Step 1: Open your Windows security.

click on windows security icon

Step 2: Select Virus & threat protection.

select virus and threat protection

Step 3: Click on Scan options and select Full scan.

select scan options
select full scan and start

Step 4: Click the Scan now button.

Power Options

We all know how annoying it can be when our computers seem to run slowly. One common reason for this is high CPU usage. Fortunately, there is an easy fix to this problem: changing the power options settings. By making some simple settings, you can help reduce the amount of load your CPU is processing and allow your computer to run at its optimal speed.

Step 1: Open the Start menu, type the control panel, and click the Open button.

windows search control panel

Step 2: Select Power Options.

select power options in control panel

Step 3: Select High performance.

select high performance in control panel

Step 4: Close the Power options window and open the Task manager to check if this resolves the issue.

Reinstalling Windows

If you have attempted to resolve the issue of your computer running at high CPU usage and have been unsuccessful, you may want to try reinstalling Windows. Over time, Windows can accumulate many registry entries, cached files, superfluous processes, and settings that can cause issues.

The only way to ensure the problem is addressed is to complete a reset and fresh installment of the operating system. Reinstalling Windows can fix many computer issues, such as system crashes, virus infections, and slow performance. It can also help to improve system stability and security.

Step 1: Open the Start menu and click the Settings icon to open the Windows settings.

open windows settings

Step 2: Click on Update & Security and select Recovery.

Step 3: Under Reset this PC, Click the Get started button and select Keep my files.

get started option

As a precaution, it is advisable to make a backup of all personal files, either on an external drive or through cloud storage services. The procedure could take up to an hour or more. Subsequently, once it is completed, you will have to reinstall the applications you utilize.

Disable Superfetch

The Superfetch feature in Windows is an advanced memory management technology that improves system performance by pre-loading commonly used applications into memory. It tracks the usage patterns of a user’s system and pre-loads the necessary data and applications to provide faster access and improved performance.

While this can improve system performance, it can also cause high CPU usage in some cases. Therefore, disabling the Superfetch feature may be necessary if you are experiencing high CPU usage on your computer.

Step 1: Press Win + R, type services.msc, and click the OK button.

run services msc

Step 2: Locate Superfetch, right-click and select Properties.

superfetch service

Step 3: Select Disable next to Startup type.

superfetch properties

Step 4: Click the Apply button and restart your computer.

Adjust Windows Performance

If your computer is running slowly or seeing unusually high CPU usage, you may need to adjust Windows performance to resolve the issue. Performance option is a set of settings and features that help you to get the most out of your computer.

Step 1: Press Win + I to open the Windows settings.

Step 2: Click on System and Select About at the bottom.

Step 3: Click on Advanced system settings.

click windows advanced system settings option

Step 4: Go to the Advanced tab and click the Settings button under the Performance section.

advanced performance settings

Step 5: Select Adjust for best performance, click Apply, and then the OK button.

select adjust for best performance

Disable Startup Applications

Disabling startup programs is another way to resolve high CPU usage. When your computer runs slow or has difficulty performing certain tasks, it can be frustrating and time-consuming. High CPU usage can be caused by many factors, including hardware, software, and even the operating system.

However, one of the most common causes of high CPU usage is the programs that launch when your computer starts. Many of these programs run in the background and can cause your computer to slow down. By disabling these startup programs, you can quickly and easily reduce the number of resources being used by your computer and improve its overall performance.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu.

Step 2: Select Task manager.

open the task manager

Step 3: In the Task manager window, go to the Startup tab.

Step 4: Select unnecessary applications with high startup impact

Step 5: Right-click and select Disable.

disable icloud in startup

Defragment Your Hard Drives

Fragmentation of your hard drive can be an issue that can affect your computer’s CPU usage, as well as its overall performance. Defragmenting your hard drive can help improve your computer’s performance by reorganizing the data stored on the hard drive. It can also help reduce CPU usage by reducing the time the CPU has to spend accessing data on the hard drive.

Step 1: Press Win + R, type dfrgui, and click the OK button.

dfrgui command

Step 2: Select the hard drive you want to defragment and click the Optimize button.

optimize drive

Step 3: Wait for the process to finish and check if this resolves the issue.

Close Unnecessary Applications

Having high CPU usage can be a major issue when using a computer, and it can slow down your computer and make it difficult to complete tasks. Fortunately, many of the causes of high CPU usage can be fixed by closing unnecessary applications and programs.

Step 1: Press Win + R, type msconfig and click the OK button.


Step 2: Go to the Services tab and check the Hide all Microsoft services box.

Step 3: Click the Disable all button, Apply, and then the OK button.

hide all microsoft services

Check for Windows Update

High CPU usage can occur for various reasons, such as outdated drivers, insufficient RAM, or more than one application running simultaneously. By updating Windows, you can ensure that all the necessary updates are installed and that your computer is running optimally.

Step 1: Press Win + I to open the Windows Settings.

Step 2: Click Update & Security and select Windows update.

Step 3: Check for updates. If there is, download and install the latest update.

check updates

Upgrade your CPU or Motherboard

If your computer exhibits high CPU usage, such as slow performance or frequent crashing, it may be time to upgrade your CPU and motherboard. A new CPU and motherboard combination can significantly boost performance, allowing you to multitask and run more applications at once. Additionally, upgrading your CPU and motherboard can help to future-proof your computer, ensuring that your computer can run the latest software and games.

upgrade computer specs

WMI Provider Host

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Provider Host is a Windows service that provides system management information to other applications, services, and tools. It is a core part of the Windows operating system and provides access to various Windows system components, such as the registry and performance counters.

WMI Provider Host is also responsible for executing code written in Windows Scripting to try Host (WSH) or Windows PowerShell. It is an important component of the Windoan essential system and should be left running for the system to function properly.

Step 1: Check if the WMcorrectlyer host is causing the problem. PressCtrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task manager.

Step 2: Locate Service Host: Windows Management Instrumentation.

end wmi task

If its CPU usage is more than a few percent and there is no program being run that could be causing it, then it is not working correctly.

Step 3: Restart the WMI. Press Shift + S and type Services.

Step 4: Locate Windows Management Instrumentation, right-click and select Restart.

restart wmi service

Disable Network Discovery

Network Discovery is a feature of Windows that allows computers to discover and connect to other computers on the same network. While this feature is helpful for networking purposes, it can also cause high CPU usage due to the network traffic it generates. Disabling network discovery can help reduce CPU usage by eliminating unnecessary traffic.

Step 1: Open the Start menu, type Control Panel, and click the Open button.

Step 2: Open Network and Sharing Center.

open network and sharing center

Step 3: Click on Change Advanced sharing settings.

change advanced sharing settings

Step 4: Under the Network Discovery section, click on Turn off network discovery and click the Save changes button.

Turn off Tips & Tricks to Help Fix High CPU Usage

Step 1: Open the Start menu and open Settings.

Step 2: Select System and click Notifications & Actions.

Step 3: Uncheck Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows.

enable get tips tricks and suggestions

Turning off tips and tricks can help with using less processing power, which helps make your CPU power more efficient.

Close Applications that you are not using

High CPU usage can be a problem for your computer as it can slow it down and reduce its performance. To prevent this, it is important to be aware of how many programs are running simultaneously. Avoid running too many programs simultaneously, as this can lead to higher CPU usage and cause your computer to crash.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Lower CPU Usage

How do I Lower CPU Usage in Windows?

One way is to limit the number of programs running at once. Too many programs running simultaneously can strain your computer and lead to higher CPU usage. You can do this by closing any unnecessary applications or processes that run in the background, such as games or chat apps.

What is a Central Processing Unit?

A Central Processing Unit (CPU) is a crucial component of a computer system. It is responsible for carrying out instructions given by the user, such as calculations and data manipulation. The CPU processes information from the memory and sends it to other components of the computer and retrieves results for display on the monitor or other output device.

Can Background Processes Affect my CPU?

Yes, background processes can affect your CPU. When an application is running in the background, it can be using CPU resources even when you are not actively using the program. This can cause a strain on the CPU and slow down your computer’s performance.

How do Power Settings Affect My Current CPU Usage?

Power settings can have a significant effect on your current CPU usage. Depending on the power plan that is selected, various hardware components such as the CPU and graphics card will be set to different performance levels.

How do I Fix My CPU Usage in the Performance Tab?

One of the most common causes for high CPU usage in the Performance tab is malware. Malicious programs can take up a lot of your computer’s resources, causing it to run slower than usual and use more CPU power than normal. Malware can also cause problems with other applications, such as crashes or freezes.

How do I Boost My CPU Performance?

When it comes to usual CPU usage, there are multiple things you can do to boost your computer’s performance. First, make sure that you regularly update all software and hardware on your computer. Also, be sure to delete any unnecessary programs and data or files that are taking up space on your hard drive.

Sed Galope
Meet the author

Sedfrey is an experienced writer and editor. He's also a PC hardware and gaming enthusiast. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about the latest innovations in the PC market and finding fixes to hardware and software errors.