How To Fix High CPU Usage? Reasons, Solutions, and More

How To Fix High CPU Usage? Reasons, Solutions, and More

A processor or CPU is one of the necessary elements in a computing device that supervises all other connected elements. But we often use it beyond its capabilities which isn’t a good utilization of such a vital rig’s element. If it’s happening a few times, you’re good to go. However, if you regularly observe CPU use remaining at a high level (80% or more) for extended periods, your system or application’s performance will suffer. For this reason, it’s critical to comprehend the root cause of persistently high CPU utilization to identify and, if possible, resolve the issue.

If you face the same issue, don’t worry since you’re not the only one who encounters this issue. This is a common incident that has happened to many users around the globe, so manufacturers are also aware of this fact. The good news is that it’s pretty simple to solve this problem. If you are wondering how to fix high CPU usage, look no further, as this is where all your queries will be solved. We have written this article to assist you in finding the root of persistently excessive CPU consumption. You must read this post until the end to better know the issue. 

How to check CPU usage?

Try using Task Manager to see which activities are hogging so much CPU utilization when you discover that your PC is running slower than usual and is at 100% CPU usage. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Step 1: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to launch the  Task Manager.

Note: If you are asked for the permit to launch the Task Manager, select Yes. But this doesn’t happen most of the time. 

  • Step 2: Expand the Task Manager by clicking on More Options which is given at the end of the window. 
  • Step 3: Go to Processes > select CPU to find its utilization. Moreover, you can also go to the Performance tab to see CPU usage graphically

Note: You can close all the apps if some unnecessary apps are running in the background. After terminating all CPU-intensive processes, check to see if the CPU use is still 100%. If not, congrats to you! You have fixed this problem. Try the next solution if the problem still exists.

Why CPU usage is high? Check it first.

If you’re facing high CPU usage, the first and most important thing you must do is find out why CPU usage is high. Several could be behind high CPU usage, including viruses, malware, apps running in the background, outdated drivers, or buggy driver updates. In addition, bad thermal management may be an issue behind thermal mismanagement and running the CPU at its full pace. If we further break down the cooling problems, expired thermal paste, no thermal paste, or an incompatible CPU cooler can also affect CPU usage. 

How to fix high CPU usage?

1. Power Options

Whether you’re using a laptop or a desktop, some power settings can restrict the speed of your CPU. Since the CPU is important for gaming, taking care of it is crucial while putting some heavy load on it.  

  • Step 1: Click the Windows icon given in the left-bottom corner > type Edit Power Plan > enter it
  • Step 2: Restore the default power settings or change them as you want.
power options

2. Malware scanning

If the problem still exists, spyware that poses as a standard Windows process may be to blame. Some malicious apps show in Task Manager with familiar names like “Cortana.exe” or “Runtime Broker“, but they are consuming CPU and GPU bandwidth for other purposes (like cryptocurrency mining, for example). Do a thorough virus scan using your chosen application to check for this. One excellent choice is the free offline security scan offered by Windows Security (running on your taskbar or Windows settings). Follow the steps:

  • Step 1: Go to Windows settings > locate the Update & Security section. 
  • Step 2: Click the Windows Security >  then, Virus & threat protection.
  • Step 3: Simply click the Quick scan option. 

Note: The scanning process may take up to 15 minutes to go through your PC entirely and find any suspicious files. Additionally, the PC will automatically restart once the process is completed. So wait until its completion.  

  • Step 4: Once your system is restarted, go to Virus & threat Protection again using Step 1 and Step 2. 
  • Step 5: Go to Protection history > delete all the suspicious files.

This way, you can focus all the CPU clock speed on gaming that was initially utilized by malware or viruses.

3. Update your drivers

Try upgrading your CPU drivers if a process consumes too much CPU power. Drivers are software applications that manage specific devices that are attached to your motherboard. Your drivers may need to be updated to fix compatibility problems or defects that lead to higher CPU utilization. Follow the steps described below to check if you have outdated drivers and how you would be able to update them:

Follow all the steps given below to update the drivers. Let’s start!

  • Step 1: Go to Windows settings > locate the Update & Security section. 
  • Step 2: Click the Windows Update Check for updates.

Note: Update the required or all the drivers if you find some updates here.  

This will update essential drivers. Your BIOS version may also be updated to address any uncommon issues. When a computer starts up, the motherboard’s firmware, known as the BIOS (Basic Input Output System), sends commands to the other components. Only do this if you have found the bug causing high CPU utilization and located a BIOS update that directly fixes it. Updating the BIOS typically doesn’t result in performance improvements (and can introduce new issues).

4. Stabilize Windows using Reimage

A high CPU use issue on a Windows computer is typically an indication of system instability. Try utilizing Reimage, a robust program that focuses on Windows repair, as soon as possible to resolve any potential Windows stability issues. Reimage will perform a systematic comparison between your current Windows OS and a brand-new, fully operational system, after which it will remove all of the damaged files and replace them with new Windows components and files from its constantly updated online database and other elements of a brand-new Windows installation.

Your PC’s performance, stability, and security will be improved once the repair process is complete. Use Reimage to fix damaged system files by following these steps:

  • Step 1: Download the Reimage software (Click here) > Install and start Reimage.

Note: You’ll be prompted to perform a free computer scan. Select Yes to proceed. Wait while Reimage scans your computer. This could take a while.

scan pc

Note: Reimage will give you a PC scan summary once the scanning procedure is finished.

  • Step 2: Click the START REPAIR button in the lower-right corner of your screen if there are some issues. 

Note: This way, reimage will repair your computer’s Windows OS. It should be noted that this is a premium service with a 60-day money-back guarantee, so to begin the repair, you must purchase the complete version.

5. Reinstall Windows

If you have a restore point from before your CPU problems started, consider utilizing it. However, most don’t because Windows disables System Protection by default. Then, reinstalling Windows might be your only option. This may take a while, but it might be able to fix software-related CPU utilization problems. All your programs will be uninstalled via Windows 10’s “Reset this PC” feature, but your private files will remain intact. 

Your settings in all of your non-Windows apps will be lost if you don’t save and back them up before you have to reload them all. Backup all of your personal files as well, whether on an external disc or online, just in case. When you’re ready to get started, click Start and enter “Reset this PC“, Click “Get Started” after that.



High CPU utilization is one of the most straightforward issues that can impair a computer’s performance. Finding the source of the issue and knowing how to fix high CPU usage might also be challenging if you don’t know what to look for and where to look. You could only need a faster machine if you see that excessive CPU use persists even when supporting ordinary processes. You can reduce the workload on the CPU by expanding RAM, which enables your computer to store more program data. This can give your CPU a much needed break by reducing the frequency of internal data transfers and new memory allocations.

The methods described in this article should resolve your high CPU usage issue. First of all, you must check whether the CPU usage is in-real high or your chip is lagging due to some other reasons. Then, ensure that you follow each step correctly and act according to the guidance above. If the issue still persists, you may want to consider your hardware. Often there are compatibility issues when you use components of other companies which are unable to optimize, and hence there are errors. So try upgrading and contacting a professional to resolve all problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is water cooling improve CPU performance?

Yes, an excellent water cooling system definitely improves CPU performance. Especially, when you’re playing high-end games or rendering graphics at the fullest settings. A water cooler is worth pairing with your CPU.

Is high CPU a good thing?

If your CPU usage is anything between 80-90% since you’re playing games or creating content, there is no need to worry about it. But you must check your system if you’re not doing anything, but the CPU load is still above the 20-30% standard mark.

Why is CPU so high?

There could be several reasons behind high CPU usage. It may happen due to unsuitable power options, malware, viruses, or baggy windows updates that may cause the CPU to run unnecessary operations.

Arslan Ashraf
Arslan Ashraf is a tech enthusiast and an experienced technical writer at GamingDairy. He has been writing all types of guides, tutorials, and tips for gamers, developers, and other people who use computers. His way of writing is quite unique: he starts with testing every single piece of Hardware and does a long list of experiments before writing the actual masterpiece. Well, if you have any queries, ensure to connect with him!