Fix: Modern Setup Host High CPU Usage on Windows 10

Fix: Modern Setup Host High CPU Usage on Windows 10

/ Shayne Sherman

If you are reading this article, you are probably having problems with the performance of your computer. Are you puzzled by the Modern Setup Host process running on Task Manager that uses a lot of your CPU resources which causes your Windows 10 computer to slow down?

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Don’t worry, as you are not alone. There have been reports from several Windows 10 users who encounter the same problem. Now, before tackling the solution to this problem, let us first discuss the Modern Host Setup.

What is the Modern Setup Host Process?

Windows owns a lot of market share for the computer’s most used operating system. However, just like any software, it is not perfect and encounters a few errors and problems once in a while.

To address this, Windows releases frequent updates on its operating system to improve system performance and fix glitches and bugs that appear on the system.

This is where your problem comes in; the Modern Setup Host is one of the components used by the Windows operating system when installing an update on your system. It usually runs itself in the background and triggers Windows 10 to check and install updates on your computer.

Now, if you are having problems with the Modern Setup Host and experience high CPU usage, you can check out the guide below to help fix the issue on your computer.

Common Reasons for Modern Setup Host High CPU Issues

In this section, we will discuss the common reasons why the Modern Setup Host process may cause high CPU usage on your Windows computer. Understanding these reasons can help you better troubleshoot the issue and apply the appropriate solutions to resolve it.

  1. Incomplete or Corrupted Windows Update: One of the primary reasons for Modern Setup Host high CPU usage is an incomplete or corrupted Windows update. This can cause the process to run continuously in the background, trying to complete the installation or repair the corrupted files, thus consuming a significant amount of CPU resources.
  2. Malware or Virus Infection: Another possible reason for high CPU usage is malware or virus infection on your computer. These malicious programs can hijack the Modern Setup Host process to execute their tasks, causing a spike in CPU usage. It is essential to run a thorough antivirus scan on your computer to remove any potential threats.
  3. Outdated or Incompatible Drivers: Outdated or incompatible drivers on your computer can cause conflicts and performance issues, including high CPU usage from the Modern Setup Host process. Ensuring all your drivers are up-to-date and compatible with your system can help prevent this issue.
  4. Multiple Processes Running Simultaneously: Running too many processes simultaneously can put a strain on your computer’s resources, leading to high CPU usage by the Modern Setup Host. It is essential to manage and close unnecessary programs to free up resources for the essential tasks and processes.
  5. Insufficient System Resources: If your computer does not have enough RAM or processing power to handle the tasks and processes required by the Modern Setup Host, it may result in high CPU usage. Upgrading your hardware or optimizing your system settings can help alleviate this issue.
  6. Faulty or Corrupted System Files: Damaged or corrupted system files can cause issues with the Modern Setup Host and lead to high CPU usage. Running System File Checker (SFC) or Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) scans can help detect and repair any corrupted files on your system.

By understanding these common reasons for Modern Setup Host high CPU usage, you can better identify the root cause of the issue and apply the appropriate solutions to resolve it, ensuring smooth and optimal performance on your Windows computer.

Method 1: Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Since the Modern Setup Host is connected to Windows updates, you can try using the Windows Update troubleshooter on your computer to scan for any problems which cause the Modern Setup Host CPU usage.

Check out the steps below to guide you through the process of fixing the issue with Modern Setup Host.

Step 1. On your computer, press the Windows Key + S, search for “Troubleshoot,” and then press Enter to open the Troubleshoot tab.

Step 2. Inside the Troubleshoot tab, scroll down and click on Windows Update.

Step 3. Lastly, click on Run the Troubleshooter under Windows Update and follow the on-screen prompts to guide you on how to use the Windows Update Troubleshooter.

run windows update troubleshooter

If the troubleshooter suggested a possible fix for the issue, click on Apply this Fix. Now, restart your computer and open the Task Manager to observe if the Modern Setup Host still has a high usage on your computer.

On the other hand, if the Modern Setup Host CPU Usage issue still affects your system performance, proceed to the following method below to try and fix the problem on Windows.

Method 2: Run the System File Checker

High CPU usage on Windows 10 components may indicate that some of your system files are problematic or corrupted. In this case, you can try using the System File Checker, a built-in tool on Windows that allows you to scan and repair any corrupted system files on Windows.

To run the System File Checker on your computer, follow the steps below to guide you through the process.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + X on your keyboard and select Command Prompt (Admin).

command prompt admin

Step 2: When the CMD prompt opens, type “sfc /scannow” and press Enter.

sfc scan

Step 3: After the scan is finished, a system message will appear. See the list below to guide you on what it means.

  • Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations – This means your operating system doesn’t have any corrupted or missing files.
  • Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation – The repair tool detected a problem during the scan, and an offline scan is needed.
  • Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them – This message will appear when the SFC can fix the problem it detected
  • Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. – If this error occurs, you must repair the corrupted files manually. See the guide below.

**Try to run the SFC scan two to three times to fix all the errors**

Once you run the SFC scanner on your computer, restart it and open the Task Manager to see if the Modern Setup Host process would still use a lot of CPU resources.

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Method 3: Run DISM Scan

Suppose the System File Checker did not fix the high usage of the Modern Setup Host. In that case, you can try using the DISM scan (Deployment Image Servicing and Management), another Windows tool that fixes any corrupted system file on your computer.

Unlike System File Checker, which attempts to fix the corrupted file, the DISM scan replaces the corrupted file with a working copy downloaded from Windows servers.

To use the DISM scan, follow the step-by-step guide below.

Step 1. Press Windows Key + S on your keyboard and search for “Command Prompt.”

Step 2. After that, click on Run as an Administrator to launch the Command Prompt.

run command prompt administrator

Step 3. Inside the CMD prompt, type in the following commands and press Enter every after the command:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Checkhealth

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /RestoreHealth

dism scan

After running the commands above, restart your computer and try to use it usually for a few minutes to see if the Modern Setup Host would still have a high CPU usage on your system.

Method 4: Clear the Software Distribution Folder

The software distribution folder on Windows contains all the temporary files essential for Windows updates. However, there’s a possibility that these temporary files are not removed automatically after installing the Windows updates, which triggers the Modern Setup Host to run in the background even if you are not performing a Windows update.

To fix the Modern Setup Host’s high usage, you can delete the content of this folder by doing the steps below.

Step 1. Press Windows Key + R on your keyboard to launch the Run Command Box.

Step 2. After that, type “C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionDownload” and hit Enter.

clear software distribution folder

Step 3. Lastly, select all the folders inside the Download folder and delete them.

delete folders

Now, restart your computer and use it usually to see if the high CPU usage of the Modern Setup Host on your system is already fixed.

Method 5: Perform Clean Boot on Your Computer

When you perform a clean boot, all the unnecessary drivers and applications are running in your computer’s background. Only those essential drivers and applications needed to run Windows 10 will run automatically.

Step 1. Press the “Windows” key on your keyboard and the letter “R.”

Step 2. This will open the Run window—type in “msconfig” and press Enter.


Step 3. Click on the “Services” tab. Make sure to tick “Hide all Microsoft Services,” click “Disable All,” and click “Apply.”

open task manager startups

Step 4. Next, click on the “Startup” tab and “Open Task Manager.”

image 3

Step 5. In the Startup, select all unnecessary applications with their startup status enabled and click “Disable.”

disable startup programs

Step 6. Close the window and restart your PC.  

Other issues you might want to look into include: iTunes error 9006, HDMI issues on Windows 10, PVP net patcher kernel is not responding, and our clean install guide.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a modern setup host on a Windows computer?

A modern setup host on a Windows computer is a software program that helps you create, manage, and deploy Windows operating systems and other Microsoft products. It also helps you keep your Windows environment up-to-date and secure.

Is it OK to end modern setup host?

It is okay to end the modern setup host process in Windows if you are not experiencing any issues with your computer. If you are having problems with your computer, it is best to contact a technical support specialist to help you troubleshoot the issue.

What is Setuphost.exe used for?

The Setuphost.exe process is a host process used by several different Microsoft Windows components. These components include the Windows Installer service, the Windows Update service, and the Microsoft Management Console.

The Setuphost.exe process is responsible for managing the installation, maintenance, and removal of software on the Windows operating system.

Why is modern setup host high CPU usage?

There are a few reasons why modern setup host high CPU usage. One reason could be that the computer is trying to run too many processes simultaneously and is struggling to keep up. Another possibility is that a process is taking up a lot of resources and not releasing them properly, causing the CPU usage to spike. Additionally, it could be that malware or other malicious programs are running on the computer that is taking up resources and causing CPU usage to be high.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert on all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. Aside from entertaining at his home theater, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie.