How to Fix High CPU usage on Windows 10 (WMI Provider Host)

How to Fix High CPU usage on Windows 10 (WMI Provider Host)

/ Shayne Sherman

Windows 10 is typically one of the most reliable OS. Unfortunately, there will be times when errors crop out here and there. For example, you might find that there are several processes that can hog your PC resources. One such process is the WMI Provider Host (WMIPrvSE.exe).

Windows Management Instrumentation or WMI Host is a system application (wmiPrvSE.exe) essential for Windows Applications to run properly. If it stops working, many windows features will become unusable. In the worst cases, you cannot even use your computer.

Many Windows 10 users reported that WMI Provider Host is using too much CPU resources. As a result, this leads to slow performance, CPU overheating, and system lags.

See Also: How to Fix Laptop’s wifi keeps on disconnecting

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What is WMI Provider Host?

WMI Provider Host (WmiPrvSE.exe) plays a crucial part in any Windows operating system. It that usually runs in the background and enables programs on your PC to request and fetch data or info about other programs. Without a WMI Provider, it would be challenging to manage any computer program.

When working normally, the WMI provider will not use a lot of CPU resources. Unfortunately, some Windows users can encounter high WMI activity. As a result, there will be high disk usage errors as a result of the WMI provider host consuming a large percentage of system resources. Which causes the CPU to heat up and sometimes become unresponsive.

To fix this issue, you need to do some basic computer troubleshooting. Don’t worry because, in this article, we’ll guide you through every step.

Let’s get started.

Method 1: Repair Corrupted files To Fix WMI Provider Host Error

If your Windows system has corrupted and missing files most often than not, it will result in system stability issues. Having a WMI Host High CPU usage means your PC cannot allocate memory for your new processes to run.

Follow the steps below to repair corrupted system files.

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

Command Prompt (Admin)

Step 2: When Prompt open, type “sfc /scannow” and press Enter.

sfc /scannow

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 was able to fix the problem it detected
  • Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. – If this error occurs, you will need to repair the corrupted files manually. See the guide below.

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

Check if you are still experiencing WMI Host High CPU usage error. The initial step mentioned above should be sufficient to fix the issue. If the same error persists, try the next method.

Method 2: Restart Windows Management Instrumentation Service

Restarting your Windows Management Instrumentation service is another good solution to fix the WMI Host High CPU usage error. If WMI provider host is showing unusual behaviour and using too many computer resources, it is best to try and restart the service.

Step 1: Press on Windows Key + R and type Services.msc


Step 2: On the Services page, find Windows Management Instrumentation

Windows Management Instrumentation

Step 3:  Right Click on Windows Management Instrumentation and select restart

Restart Windows Management Instrumentation

Step 4: Restart your computer and check on the task manager if WMI is still using too much CPU resource

Check if you still experience errors even after you did a restart WMI service action. If so, try the next method.

Method 3: Fix High CPU Usage via Elevated Command Prompt Window

Step 1: Press Windows Key + R and type command.

Step 2: Click on Run as Administrator

Command Prompt run as Administrator

Step 3: On the prompt window, enter the following command one by one:

net stop iphlpsvc

net stop wscsvc

net stop Winmgmt

net stop

net start Winmgmt

net start wscsvc

net start iphlpsvc

net start

Step 4: Check WMI on task manager and see if it still has a high CPU usage

Method 4: Perform a System Scan

Another cause of WMI provider host high CPU usage is malware and viruses. If your computer is running slowly, try performing a virus scan with Windows Defender.

Step 1: Press Windows key + S and search for Windows Defender

Windows Defender

Step 2: Open Windows Defender

Step 3: On the scan options, select full and click scan now

Full Scan

Step 4: Wait for the scan to finish, then reboot your system

Step 5: Check the CPU usage of your system and see if the WMI provider host high CPU usage error has been fixed.

Method 5: Fix WMI Provider Host Error By Performing A Clean Boot

Sometimes, one or two applications might be causing the WMI provider host high CPU usage error. Therefore, a clean boot will help you isolate the application that is causing the excessive usage. During a clean boot, only the services which are crucial in the Boot process will be loaded. Any extra services and applications are automatically disabled. To perform a clean boot follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the computer with an Administrator account and press “Windows” + “R” to open up the “RUN” prompt.
  2. In the dialog box, type in “msconfig” and press “Enter“ to open the system configuration window.
image 22
  1. Click on the “Services” and uncheck the “Hide all Microsoft Services” button.
  2. Next, click on the “Disable All” option and then on “OK“.
image 23
  1. Click on the “Startup” tab and click on the “Open Task Manager” option. Then in the task manager click on the “Startup” button.
  2. Click on any application in the list that has “Enabled” written next to it and select the “Disable” option.
image 24
  1. You need to repeat this process for all applications in the list and restart your computer.
  2. Your PC has now been booted in the “Clean Boot” state.
  3. Check to see if the WMI provider host high CPU usage error still persists.
  4. If the error is no longer happening, it means that a third party application or service was causing it. You can start by enabling one service at a time in the same manner and stop when WMI provider host high CPU usage error pops up.
  5. Reinstall the service/application by enabling which the high usage comes back or keep it disabled.

Method 6: Use Event Viewer

Using the Event Viewer is a reliable way to troubleshoot errors in your PC.

Step 1: Press Windows Key + X and select Event Viewer from the list of options.

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Step 2: Once Event Viewer Window opens, go to View menu and check Show Analytic and Debug Logs.

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Step 3: On the left pane navigate to Applications and Service Logs > Microsoft > Windows > WMI Activity > Operational. Select any of the available errors and check for extra information.

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Step 4: Look for ProcessId and memorize its value.

Step 5: Note: you’ll have multiple errors so it’s advised to check all errors and write down all ProcessId values.

Step 6: Next, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start Task Manager.

Step 7: Once Task Manager starts go to Services tab and check PID for all running services.

Step 8: If you manage to find a service that matches the value from Step 4, make sure to remove the application associated with that service.

Step 9: In addition, some users also suggested that you can disable the service simply by right-clicking it and choosing Stop from the menu.

Method 8: Disable HP Software Framework Service

You are an HP device user, you can try this fix. To fix the the WMI provider host high CPU usage error.

Step 1: Press Windows Key + R and type services.msc. Press Enter or click OK.

image 25

Step 2: List of all available services will now appear.

Step 3: Locate HP Software Framework Service and double click it to open its properties.

Step 4: Once the Properties window opens, set the Startup type to Disabled and click the Stop button to stop the service. Once done, click Apply and OK to save changes.

Step 5: After disabling this service, the issue should be fixed.

Note: Disabling this service will cause HP Wireless Assistant to stop working. Furthermore, HP Wireless Assistant service can also cause this error, so try disabling it as well.

Method 5: Perform a Clean Installation of Windows 10

If the WMI service still has a high CPU usage after performing the steps above, the last thing that you could do is to reinstall everything.

Make sure to backup all your files and Perform a new Windows 10 Installation.

For users who don’t know how to install a fresh copy of Windows 10, you can check our guide on Performing a Clean Install in Windows 10.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert at 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. He also enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie as well as entertaining at his home theater.