How to Fix High CPU Usage on Windows 11

How to Fix High CPU Usage on Windows 11

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Experiencing high CPU usage on your Windows 11 PC? This issue can cause your computer to become slow, unresponsive, and even result in crashes. Since the CPU is responsible for the proper functioning of all major components like graphics and RAM, any overloading can cause the system to lag and hamper your work experience.

Various factors can lead to high CPU usage, such as multiple applications running simultaneously, malware attacks, Windows Services running in the background, and overconsumption of system resources. However, don’t worry, as we have prepared a detailed guide to help you fix this issue.

1. Inspect the Processes.

If you want to reduce CPU usage, the simplest approach is to stop the running processes that are consuming a lot of resources. Fortunately, Windows provides a built-in tool known as Task Manager that enables you to view all running tasks and terminate them quickly with just a few clicks.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. To begin, right-click on the Start menu and choose Task Manager or press the Shift key + Ctrl + Esc to launch Task Manager directly.
  2. Check the CPU usage percentage for each app in the Processes tab.
  3. Quit unnecessary apps with high CPU usage by selecting them and clicking on End task.

If you’re aware of certain apps that run in the background without any purpose, we recommend you stop them from doing so. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Windows key + i to open Settings.
  2. Go to the Apps tab and click on Apps & features.
Windows Apps & features settings
  1. Click on the three dots menu icon next to the app you wish to disable and choose Advanced options.
advanced app options Windows 11
  1. Click on the drop-down menu for Background app permissions and choose Never.
Windows background apps permissions

2. Disable Startup Programs.

Your computer’s performance can be negatively affected by background programs, especially startup apps that automatically run when you start your system. These apps consume CPU resources and slow down your system. Therefore, it is essential to disable them to avoid unnecessary CPU data fetching.

To disable these startup apps on Windows 11, you can open the Task Manager by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys simultaneously. Then, click on the “Startup” tab and disable the apps that are consuming more resources by clicking on the “Disable” button. This will prevent them from running automatically in the background and save CPU resources for other tasks.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and choose Task Manager.
  2. When it opens, go to the Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on any program and choose Disable.
disable startup programs

3. Disable Cortana.

Although Cortana, the Microsoft digital assistant, doesn’t interfere with ongoing processes, its CPU consumption can be significant when your system is already running slow.

Thus, we recommend you disable this feature by following the steps below:

  1. Launch Settings by pressing the Windows key + i.
  2. Then, go to Apps from the left pane.
  3. From the right pane, click on Apps & features.
  4. Scroll down to Cortana and click on the three-dots menu icon next to it.
  5. Choose Advanced options.
  6. Lastly, disable Cortana under Runs at log-in.
disable Cortana Windows 11

4. Disable Superfetch Service. 

The Superfetch service allows programs to load content even before they’re launched. While this feature is obviously for faster performance, it uses high CPU resources, which may affect your system.

Therefore, disable the service by following the steps below:

  1. Firstly, press the Windows key + R to access the Run tool.
  2. Type services.msc in the given field and click on OK.
  3. Scroll through the list of services to locate SysMain.
  4. Once found, right-click on it and select Properties.
Windows Services Log
  1. Click on the drop-down menu for Startup Type and choose Disabled.
High CPU Usage on Windows 11
  1. Click Apply, then OK to save the changes.

Restart your computer afterward, then check if you’ve fixed high CPU usage on Windows 11.

5. Scan for Malware.

If your system has been attacked by malware, it may cause the CPU usage to shoot up from time to time, even when you don’t have many programs operating. You can use Windows Defender to perform a scan on your computer.

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the Search icon from the taskbar.
  2. Type ‘windows security’ and launch it from the results.
  3. Once it launches, go to Virus & threat protection.
  4. Then, click on Scan options under the Current threats section.
Virus & threat protection
  1. Choose to run a Full scan.
  2. Finally, click on the Scan now button to initiate the process.
High CPU Usage on Windows 11

6. Allow System to Manage Virtual Memory.

When you enable Virtual Memory Management, your system will no longer freeze up if the physical memory runs out. This secondary memory is used as part of the main memory for faster performance.

Here’s how to enable this feature:

  1. First, launch File Explorer on your computer.
  2. Next, right-click on This PC and choose Properties from the context menu.
  3. On the next window, click on the Advanced system settings link.
  4. Go to the Advanced tab.
  5. Now, click on the Settings button under the Performance section.
Windows System Properties
  1. Then, go to the Advanced tab and click on the Change button under the Virtual memory section.
advanced performance options
  1. There, check the box for Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.
  2. Also, click on your hard drive and select System managed size.
setup virtual memory on Windows 11
  1. Lastly, click on the OK button.

Afterward, reboot your PC to apply the changes you just made. Check to see if that fixes high CPU usage on Windows 11.

7. Remove Unwanted Programs.

You can also remove unwanted and unnecessary programs to recover the used-up storage on your computer. This reduces resource consumption and CPU usage as well.

Follow the steps below to do it:

  1. To start, click on the Start Menu and choose the Settings app. Alternatively, you may press the Windows key + i on your keyboard for a shortcut.
  2. Now go to the Apps tab from the left pane.
  3. Then, click on Apps & features on the right pane.
  4. Now, look for the programs you would like to remove.
  5. Click on the three-dots icon next to it and choose Uninstall.
High CPU Usage on Windows 11
  1. Again, click on the Uninstall button for verification.

Hopefully, this will free up storage and reduce CPU usage on your computer.

Congratulations! You have reached the end of our guide on how to fix high CPU usage on Windows 11. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to leave a comment in the section below. Our community is always happy to help. Additionally, we invite you to explore our website for more informative guides and tutorials.

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