The blog of Windows Wally, a Windows Support Technician helping common people solve frustrating computer problems.

Troubleshooting High CPU Usage

Reader Question:
“Hi Wally, My computer’s CPU Usage is always high. Does this mean that it has a virus? What should I do”   - Cody R., United Kingdom

Before addressing any computer issue, I always recommend scanning and repairing any underlying problems affecting your PC health and performance:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (WinThruster for Win 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP and 2000 – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

Setting up weekly (or daily) automatic scans will help prevent system problems and keep your PC running fast and trouble-free.

Wally’s Answer: There are two reasons why this would normally happen. The first reason might be spyware, malware, or viruses. The second reason may be that your computer’s hardware specification is less than what it needs to be, meaning that it needs to be upgraded. Both of these problems are fairly easy to take care of.

Windows Task Manager

Of course, the Windows Task Manager utility. This is where you can check to see how much resources are being used by your computer. Start your computer and when Windows is done loading, do the following:

Click the Start Button > type Task Manager > click View Running processes with Task Manager > click the Performance tab

Under the Performance tab, check CPU Usage and Memory to see if they are constantly running near maximum, this indicated high cpu usage. This is not normal. If the CPU is constantly running full-throttle, then upgrading the processor or replacing the computer might necessary (That is if there is no virus or malware infection).

High CPU Usage - windows task manager - WindowsWally

Anti-Virus Scan

Although it is rare, virus infections are possible. Some Anti-Virus software includes AvastMicrosoft Security Essentials, and AVG. After the virus is removed, you might want to consider leaving the anti-virus software’s real-time scanning feature off to conserve CPU usage.

Anti-Spyware Scan

Spyware, malware, adware, these are all different types of malevolent software that either spam you or spy on your computer. Key loggers can record your keystrokes and steal passwords and credit card information. They can also cause the computer to slow down. Install anti-spyware to keep your computer spyware free. Some Anti-spyware software includes WinThruster, and Spybot – Search & Destroy.

Belarc Advisor

Once your computer is virus and spyware free, consider using Belarc Advisor to analyze your computer for weak points, and potential security problems.

Optimize the Registry

It is surprising how many PC problems are linked to the computer’s registry. Registry is a vital component of Windows operating systems, maintaining it can help fix many problems, and regular maintenance helps avoid problems down the road.

Add or Remove unused Programs

Keep as few programs installed on your computer as you can. These programs often try to stay in front of you all the time, and bother you with update notices. Avoid high CPU usage by uninstalling software that you don’t use.

Open click the Start Button > type Add or Remove Programs > press Enter.
Click a Program and click Uninstall to remove it from the computer.

High CPU Usage - add or remove programs - startup tab - WindowsWally

For the remaining programs

Even among the programs that you chose to keep on your computer, there will be only a few that you will need all the time. You can use avoid high cpu usage by using the msconfig utility to disable programs from automatically start with your computer.

Click the Start Button > type msconfig > press Enter.
In Msconfig click the Startup tab and uncheck programs you don’t want to run when the computer starts. You should only disable the ones that you understand.

High CPU Usage - msconfig - startup tab - WindowsWally

Use reliable check up & maintenance software to perform most of the solutions given above. Using software that automates maintenance processes can help avoid high CPU usage issues. You can use SuperSonicPC and other software to scan and fix many problems that can cause the computer to slow down over time.

I Hope You Liked This Blog Article! If You Need Additional Support on This Issue Then Please Don’t Hesitate To Contact Me On Facebook.

Is Your PC Healthy?

I always recommend to my readers to regularly use a trusted registry cleaner and optimizer such as WinThruster or CCleaner. Many problems that you encounter can be attributed to a corrupt and bloated registry.

Happy Computing! :)

Wally’s Answer Rating

Quick Solution (How fast can you do it?)
Easy Solution (How easy is it?)
Beginner-Friendly (Recommended for beginners?)

Summary: Every Windows Wally blog post is evaluated on these three criteria. The average of all three elements determines an "Overall Rating" for each blog post.


Overall Rating

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

Windows Wally is a helpful guy. It’s just in his nature. It’s why he started a blog in the first place. He heard over and over how hard it was to find simple, plain-English solutions to Windows troubleshooting problems on the Internet. Enter: Windows Wally. Ask away, and he will answer.