What is “Runtime Broker” and Why is it Running on My PC?

Have you ever launched your Task Manager to end some unresponsive task and noticed an active process called the Runtime Broker? It is a permission management process for Windows computers.

This tool usually uses very little memory to function. In rare cases, it can take up a lot of your RAM. This article is for you if you are in the same spot as many others and are looking to fix this problem.

What is a Runtime Broker in Windows 10?

The Runtime broker is a Windows process that supervises the permissions provided to applications, which are downloaded from the Microsoft Windows Store.

Microsoft store - Runtime Broker in Windows 10

Every time you install something from the Microsoft Store, the downloaded application requests permissions like access to your camera or microphone, access to your location from the administrator.

This information is quite confidential to the users. You have to keep an eye out for what permissions you grant and do not. Every application on the store is not completely legitimate.

Some rogue applications can seek permissions for sensitive information access. This is prevented by the Runtime Broker process by monitoring permissions on your PC.  

The Runtime Broker is a system process, which was added to Windows 8 initially, along with the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications. This process is actually extra security for your computer. 

Why is it using too much memory?

This is something you have to be concerned about. If the Runtime broker uses a lot of memory, you will not have enough memory for powerful apps to function. Also, high CPU usage means that your processor can get cooked and eventually damaged.

The Runtime Broker occupies too much RAM only when Metro apps (UWP app) are launched for the first time because the Runtime Broker figures out which permission the apps need and which they don’t.

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There are exceptions when new Windows users receive tips and suggestions in the form of notifications. In this case, the notifications are considered Universal Windows apps, and the Runtime Broker runs fast.

Small level use of the RAM are nothing to be worried about. But when you notice high CPU usage by the Runtime Broker process for a long period of time, this is something you have to be concerned about.

This will happen when Universal Windows apps request a lot of permissions or opened and closed repeatedly. Too many apps can cause the Runtime Broker process to go hard on your CPU. 

Could This Process Be a Virus?

It is possible that the Runtime broker could be replaced by a virus. But this is not likely to happen and is quite safe. There are no well-known reports of the Runtime Broker process being hijacked by a virus.

You can always practice caution and check the location of the Runtime Broker’s file location. If it is present in C:\Windows\System32, it is not a virus. If it takes you to some other location, you might have to seek the help of antivirus software. 

Common User Problems

These are some of the problems that have happened before and can happen to your computer too. Watch out if your computer displays the following symptoms. 

  1. High CPU usage – The CPU usage might become higher than normal. This can cause your system temperature to go up. This isn’t good for your PC. 
  2. Runtime Broker Error – If some settings in your antivirus are not in the way the Runtime Broker wants it to be, you could see some errors that pop up on your screen. 
  3. Multiple Processes – You may be able to see more than one Runtime Broker process in your Task Manager. Remove the unwanted processes to resolve the issue. 
  4. Runtimebroker.exe keeps running – In some circumstances, this process may not end. This can impact the CPU performance. You just have to adjust some Windows Update Settings. 

Can the Runtimebroker.exe be disabled?

No, it cannot be disabled as this process is essential for the security of the computer and the privacy of the users. You can kill the process with the end task if you find it behaving suspiciously. But this process is quite necessary and doesn’t take up much memory. Therefore, there is no valid reason to disable this. 

How To Fix Runtime Broker (RuntimeBroker.exe) High CPU And RAM Usage In Windows 10

Anything that uses a large amount of your RAM for a long time isn’t good for your computer. The Runtimebroker.exe is no exception. You can see how much memory is occupied by each application in the Windows task manager.

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The Processes tab shows detailed information about the running tasks. The Microsoft Windows developers recommend users remove the process if it occupied more than 15% or more of the computer’s RAM. 

Fix 1: Temporary Solution

One temporary fix is to kill the runtimebroker.exe for the period of the active session. This can clear up your RAM quite a bit and reduces memory usage. Follow these steps to kill the process for a while. This is a short-term fix. 

  1. Open the Windows Task Manager. You will be able to see a list of all the active apps and executables. 
  2. From the long list of running tasks, locate the Runtime Broker process. You will be able to see how much RAM, CPU, Network, and Disk space is used by this process.
Runtime broker process
  1. If the memory usage of this process is more than 15%, right-click on it. A pop-up menu appears. 
  2. From this menu, click on End Task.
End Task

Fix 2: Disabling Get Tips, Tricks, and Suggestions

Some notifications may be considered as Universal apps and, therefore, might take up a lot of RAM. Here’s how you can stop it from doing so. 

  1. Open Windows settings from your start menu.
Windows settings
  1. In the System menus, enter the Notifications & Actions options.
Notifications & Actions options.
  1. Find the “Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows” toggle switch and turn it off.
Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows

Fix 3: Misbehaviour of the Apps

If an application misbehaves, there are three different steps you can take, depending on the necessity for the application. 

  1. If the apps are not important, you can remove them from your computer, i.e., uninstall the application. 
  2. If the faulty app is essential, there are two procedures that you can try.
  • You can check for updates, and in case an update is present, is the user can install the latest version’s update and check if the problem gets solved.
  • If the previous fix did not work, you can try to uninstall the program, reboot your PC and reinstall it. 

Fix 4: Limit the Background applications in your system

Some apps that run in the background can use too much of your system RAM. You can limit the number of apps that function in the background. The following steps can help you choose which application to close and open. 

  1. Open the Windows Settings.
Windows Settings
  1. Select the Privacy settings and then open the Background Apps option.
Background Apps option

If you feel suspicious that any running background app is causing an issue, you can turn it off. 

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What Causes Runtime Broker High CPU Issues in Windows 10?

The Runtime Broker & high CPU usage issue go hand in hand. This is because the runtimebroker.exe detects the Universal app that is downloaded from the Microsoft store. Under normal circumstances, the Runtime Broker process in Windows uses no RAM at all.

But when universal applications are launched, they cause Runtime Broker to use about thirty times more than normal in Windows. The following two possible reasons could be why the CPU is used so much. 

  1. The tip you receive from Windows is considered as a notification, which is considered to be Metro applications by the OS and therefore, causing an increase in memory usage. 
  2. Some malfunctioning apps use a lot of RAM. These have to be updated, re-installed, or uninstalled (if you do not need it) to resolve this issue. 

How to Check Whether Runtime Broker Is a Legitimate System Process

  1. Open the Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc). 
  2. Find the active Runtime Broker process in the Processes tab.
active Runtime Broker process in the Processes tab
  1. Right-click on it and click on Open File Location.
click on Open File Location

If the location of the file is in the C:\Windows\System32 folder in your computer, you do not have a virus. You need not worry about it.

location of the file

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a runtime broker?

The Runtime Broker (runtimebroker.exe) is a Windows core process that helps manage app permissions for the apps downloaded from the Windows store to your computer system. 

Should I disable the runtime broker?

You cannot disable the Runtime Broker. This is essential for the security of your system. Also, even if disabling this process as possible, there is no valid reason to disable it. 

Do I need a runtime broker?

Yes, you need a Runtime Broker to supervise the permissions requested by the applications you download from the store. Without this, an application can gain access to your system, especially rogue apps. This process keeps your PC safe. 

Is the Runtime broker a virus?

The Runtime Broker is not any form of malware. It is just a windows process. But since it is an executable, this can be replaced with any other form of threat. This issue can be solved by running a scan with an antivirus. 

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