Svhost.exe High CPU Usage Issue: 13 Easy Fixes

The CPU is the most important part of any computer and this being forced to overclock is dangerous. This is, in fact, any computer aficionado’s biggest fear. Another factor that will dig into this is when your system overclocks, heats up, and burns out, eventually.

Svhost.Exe High CPU Usage Issue: 13 Easy Fixes

Of all the reasons that can cause this issue on your computer, Svchost.exe is a system process that runs multiple times to spike the CPU usage up. We made this article to discuss the Svhost.Exe High CPU usage problems and find a solution to this.

What does the Svchost.exe do in Windows 10?

The Service Host or Svchost.exe is a Windows process that hosts multiple system services in the Windows New Technology (Windows NT) operating systems from the Dynamic Link Libraries (DLL file).

This service is really important as it allows the OS to multi-task while running other system services, manages them, and organizes them for access if needed. 

Under normal circumstances, the OS will be able to run one service, which means that a lot of CPU resources will not be required. Thanks to the presence of the Svchost.exe service, the OS will be able to run a set of tasks while using the least amount of system resources possible. 

This can be seen through the Windows Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc). When you expand the Svchost.exe process in this window, you might be able to see more than one process. This is evidence that your computer is running a number of system processes through the service hosting process. 

Is the Svchost.exe file a virus?

In general conditions, the Svchost.exe is a legitimate Windows process. But there is a very rare chance that there is a virus file or any other form of malware program pretending to be the actual system service. In the rare chances that this has happened, you will series of signs that you have a virus in the system. 

There is one easy procedure to check if the service hosting is a virus or a legit system service – 

  • Launch the Windows Task Manager by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard or choose this option through the Taskbar’s context menu.
  • Go into the Details tab in this Window.
  • Locate the Svchost.exe process in this window.
Locate the Svchost.exe process in this window.
  • Right-click on the process and from the context menu, choose the Open File Location.
Right-click on the process and from the context menu, choose the Open File Location

This action should open a File Explorer window with the C:\Windows\System32 directory open in it. If you are taken to a different directory, this means that you are dealing with a virus. You will have to use an antivirus program to remove this. 

What causes the Svhost.Exe High CPU error?

When it comes to the Service Host process, there is only one factor that will cause the high CPU usage issue – Viruses or any other form of malware. This might seem like only an antivirus scan can help you with this but there are other solutions. We will be removing the symptoms that show up because of this high memory usage error with a few other solutions.

Symptoms of the Svchost.exe high CPU usage

There are four symptoms that can be visibly seen when a large portion of the CPU memory is being used. 

Applications won’t launch

The first major symptom of this issue is that the application you try to run on your computer may not launch. This is so because there would be no adequate resources for the CPU to execute the task of launching the software and running it. When the system finally ends up launching the application, it means that it now has enough resources to launch the application. 

Application lag

Even if the system somehow ends up launching on your system, it will not produce the usual output. If you are playing a game or streaming a video, you will be able to see an obvious drop in the number of frames that are produced in a second.

Mouse stuttering

When the CPU is up to its neck running processes and applications, you will notice that your mouse pointer does not move as smoothly as it should. This is also a sign of mouse-related issues. 

Overheating

One of the factors that scare every computer user is overclocking, which eventually leads to overheating. A hot CPU is not optimal for working. When your CPU heats up, the users will hear the fans whirring inside the cabinet because the processor works on a load of apps that it is generally not supposed to.  

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Solutions for the Svchost.exe High CPU usage issue 

  1. Run an Antivirus Scan
  2. Run the Windows Updates Troubleshooter
  3. Turn the BITS Service Off
  4. Disable the System Updates Service
  5. Turn off the Automatic Updating feature
  6. Restart the Windows Updates Service
  7. Download the latest driver versions
  8. Delete the SoftwareDistribution Directory
  9. Clear the Event viewer log
  10. Update the existing Windows OS version
  11. Remove all unwanted apps
  12. Perform the SFC and CHDSK scans
  13. Perform a Clean Boot of the System

Fixing the Svchost.exe (netsvcs) High Memory usage Problem

Run an Antivirus Scan

The most basic way to get rid of a virus is to use an antivirus program. It is almost impossible to locate and remove a virus, manually. We recommend getting a subscription to a third-party antivirus as it comes with other security benefits. If you do not have an antivirus program subscription, you can always use the Windows Virus & Threat Protection antivirus. 

Antivirus scan in progress

Once your scan is complete, Push Ctrl + Alt + Del and open the Task Manager to see your system’s statistics.

Run the Windows Updates Troubleshooter

We know that there are several troubleshooters to cover and fix every aspect of the Windows OS. One of them is the Windows Update troubleshooter. We could put this to use as the Windows Updates could be causing the spike in system memory. Fixing this might give you a steadier use of the CPU. 

The steps to run Windows Update Troubleshooter are as follows – 

  • Launch the Control Panel window and set the icons to Large. This will give you more specified options to choose from. 
  • Look at the bottom of the page and you should be able to see the Troubleshooting settings. 
Troubleshooting settings
  • Click on this option and choose the System and Security link on this page. 
System and Security
  • Now, select the Windows Update troubleshooter. 
Windows Update troubleshooter
  • When you see the Windows Update troubleshooting wizard come up, follow the detailed instructions, on-screen, to see if there are any issues with the Windows Updater. 

If there aren’t any, check the Task Manager for the CPU usage rate and move to the next solution, if needed. 

Deactivate the Wuauserv Service

Since we are dealing with the Windows Updates, we might as well look into the service that is responsible for downloading OS updates. Let’s try deactivating the Windows Update service or as Windows developers know it, Wuauserv.

  • Bring up the Services window. For this, you can use the search box in the Taskbar or run the Services.msc command in the Run tool (press Windows key + R).
  • Locate the Wuauserv service from the list of all system services. You can navigate to this easily by tapping on the W key. You will be taken to the place on the list where the service names start with W. This can also be titled as Windows Update service in newer Windows versions. 
Wuauserv Service
  • Now, right-click on this service and choose the Properties option. Alternatively, you can also double-click on it to bring up the same window. 
Wuauserv Service
  • Click on the Stop button to bring this service to a halt. Then, check the CPU usage if it hasn’t gone up.

It is important to restart the system once you have forced the Update service to a stop.

Turn the BITS Service Off

When your network does not have much going on, it downloads or transfers files with help from the network through the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS). One of these files is the Windows Update files. 

BITS Service Off

You guessed right; We will be disabling this service and seeing if it helps our cause. The steps to disable this service are the same as the one before. You just have to implement the same steps for the Background Intelligent Transfer Service. 

Restart the Windows Updates Service

Remember when we stopped the Windows Update service? If that fix had worked, we wouldn’t be here. It is not unknown that not every solution fixes every Windows issue. We also recommend restarting the Windows Update service as it could clear out any minor factors that are causing this issue. 

  • Launch the Services window and open the Properties window for the Windows Update or Wuauserv service. 
  • If this service is stopped, click on the Start button. This will get this service running. 
  • Reboot your system now and open the same windows again. 
  • Now, in the Properties window for this service, you will see the Restart option available. 
  • Click on the Restart button and wait for a few seconds as this process goes through a reboot. 

Once you are done with this procedure, you will need a Command Prompt window with Administrator privileges. You can open this by searching for the CMD tool and choosing the Run as Administrator option in the search results. 

When the command window is up, type the following commands in and execute all the commands one at a time, in the given order, by hitting the entire key – 

net stop bits
net stop wuauserv
net stop appidsvc
net stop cryptsvc
ren %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.bak
ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.bak
net start wuauserv
net start bits
net start appidsvc
net start cryptsvc

Turn off the Automatic Updating feature

Another factor related to the Windows Updating feature is the Auto-Update. The device downloads system updates automatically when this service is enabled. There have been reports of this issue disappearing when the auto-update service is disabled. 

  • Bring up the services window and locate the Automatic Updates service in the Services tab.
  • Double-click on the process and wait for the service-specific Properties window to appear on your screen.
  • Bring the Startup type drop-down menu down and choose the Disabled option here, 
  • Save these changes and restart your system. 
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When you set the startup type to Manual, only the Microsoft Security Essentials feature will be auto-updated. This is recommended if your system is secure without any active antivirus program running. 

Download the latest driver versions

There are several components on your system, and each of them has a unique set of driver software that guides them towards their functions. Without these drivers, your system will come to a standstill. It is very important for these drivers to stay up-to-date.

One of the effects of having an outdated driver version on your PC is high CPU usage. If this is your case, the only way to fix this is to get the update and install it. This is not a very long process, but it can take quite some time to update all of the most important device driver software versions. 

We recommend updating the following drivers – 

  1. Disk Drives
  2. Display Adapters
  3. Firmware
  4. Processors

The manual procedure to get the latest update for your devices’ drivers is given below – 

  • Bring the Device Manager window up on your computer. This can be done through the Quick Link menu (Windows + X) or by executing the devmgmt.msc command in the Run tool. 
Device Manager
  • In this window, you should be able to see all the devices and their drivers on your system categorized in alphabetical order.
  • Click on the categorized section to expand it into a list of all the device drivers installed on your computer. 
  • Now, right-click on the driver and choose the Update driver option. This will launch the Update wizard for the specific driver. 
Update driver option
  • You can either get a driver from the internet or install an existing pre-downloaded update from the system. 
  • Once the update finishes downloading, restart your PC to install the updates and apply the changes. 

If these components have an interface software that manages firmware and other minor aspects, this has to be your first priority to update the drivers. These applications will also send you notifications when there are updates available for download. This is the easiest way to get the updates downloaded. 

Delete the SoftwareDistribution Directory

The Windows updates that you download for your system are stored in the SoftwareDistrubution folder on the C: Drive. If this folder becomes corrupt, you might experience a high CPU usage issue. The best way to fix this is to delete this folder. 

  • Push the Windows and E keys on your keyboard to open a File Explorer window. You can also use the taskbar shortcut for the same. 
  • Go to the C:\Windows directory and navigate to the SoftwareDistribution folder. 
SoftwareDistribution folder
  • Without further ado, right-click on it and choose the Delete option. If there is a confirmation prompt, confirm that you want to delete it. 

Getting rid of this folder will not cause any impact on your computer’s functioning. This directory is created again when the next update is downloaded or when the system reboots.

Clear the Event viewer log

The Windows Event Viewer can create log files that could be the reason behind the Svchost.exe high memory resources usage issue. These log files become useless after a certain point in time. They just keep causing this issue unless they are removed from the system and that is exactly what we are going to do – 

  • The first step is to open the Event Viewer window on your computer. You can use the eventvwr command in the Run utility window. Another way to open this is simply to search for this application and choose the best search result.
Event viewer
  • On the left panel, expand the Windows Logs tab and right-click on the Application sub-section. 
  • From this context menu, select the Clear Log option. 
Clear Log option
  • Follow the same procedure for the Setup Log, System Log, and the Security Log sections. This will remove every large log files that are stored on the computer. 
Setup Log, System Log, and the Security Log sections
  • Restart your system once you are done with these steps.

You will now have an empty event viewer log.  

Update the existing Windows OS version

This might seem ironic considering the fact that we seemed to be dismissive about the Windows Updates. Well, we were giving you working solutions that have helped us.

Updating the Windows OS has a lot of benefits, one of which is that it can host solutions to issues in the OS. Maybe, the newer version of the Windows OS can help your system reduce its CPU usage. 

Here’s how you can update Windows systems, easily – 

  • Open the Windows Settings page by pressing the Windows and I keys together on your keyboard. The gear icon in the Start menu will also help you with this. 
  • Go into the Updates & Security tile on the main page. 
  • Now, you will be taken to the Windows Update page. Click on the Check for Updates option. This will prompt your system to contact the Windows server for updates. 
  • If there are any updates available for download, you will see the Download and Install option. Once you check your network, click on it for initiating the download process.
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Once the download process ends, you will be notified to restart your system so that the downloaded updates can be applied to the system.  

Remove all unwanted apps

Some of the applications you installed on the computer might run in the background, even when you haven’t launched them. You can stop the application from starting up automatically as the system boots up. If these applications are no longer in use, it is better to uninstall them altogether. 

Instead of locating an uninstall wizard for those applications, use the below method to remove apps from your computer permanently. 

  • Search for the Add or Remove Programs page through the taskbar search menu. This is easier than locating this feature on the Control Panel. 
  • Locate the application you want to be removed from your device and click on it. 
  • Now, choose the Uninstall option from the expanded app menu. This will launch the uninstall wizard.
Remove all unwanted apps
  • Once you are here, you just have to follow the on-screen instructions to remove the software. 
  • After the process is complete, restart your system to erase the temporary files that could have been created by the app we removed. 

Perform the SFC and CHDSK scans

Two other Windows commands are recommended for fixing most of the OS issues. These are the System File Check and Check Disk scans. Executing the respective commands will verify the availability of the files on the system and check for file corruption. The detected corrupt files will be removed by the end of the scan. 

The users just have to launch the Admin: Command Prompt window and run the following commands one by one –

sfc /scannow
CHKDSK /R

In addition to this, you can also use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) command to help you out – 

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth 
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth 
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Perform a Clean Boot of the System

A clean boot or the safe mode is a method of the OS booting up on your system with only the essential drivers running. This is done to avoid errors or to narrow down on factors that cause errors. In the case of a high CPU usage issue, this should be able to help us in both ways. 

  • While the computer is booting up, press the power or restart buttons.
  • To interrupt the boot process on a laptop, hold the power button for around 4 seconds.
  • Select Advanced settings in the blue Automatic Repair window.
  • In the Troubleshooting menu, go into Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart 
  • Choose the sort of Safe Mode you want the machine to boot into.

Check with the Task Manager if you have free RAM now.

Precautions to avoid the Svchost.exe High CPU usage error

  • Keep your system and drivers up to date, always.
  • Place your CPU cabinet some distance from a wall and do not cover the fan vents.
  • Make sure that you run a malware scan every time you boot your PC up. 
  • If the PC has high-end specifications, you might want to look into a better cooling system.
  • Do not run more applications than your system can handle.
  • Avoid overclocking the processor.
  • Keep the system clean. Accumulation of dust in air vents can be an obstacle to cooling. If you are familiar with taking the parts apart for cleaning, go ahead with it. If not, it is recommended to get help from a professional. 
  • Upgrade the PC, if absolutely necessary.

This is everything that will help you reduce the high CPU usage caused by the Svchost.exe on your Windows 10 PC. If you still are hindered by this issue, you can contact the experts at Microsoft. You can also seek help from the nearest service unit, your device’s manufacturer has authorized that. Happy heat-free working!

FAQs

How do I stop svchost.exe high disk usage?

If you suspect the Service host process to be causing high CPU usage on your system, you can use the following solutions – 
Run an Antivirus Scan
Run the Windows Updates Troubleshooter
Turn the BITS Service Off
Disable the System Updates Service
Turn off the Automatic Updating feature
Restart the Windows Updates Service
Download the latest driver versions
Delete the SoftwareDistribution Directory
Clear the Event viewer log

Can svchost.exe be a virus?

There are very less chances of the Svchost.exe process being a virus. The Service Host process runs on Windows to host more than one service at the same time while using the minimal amount of CPU resources possible. This is a proper Windows operation that is not a threat. 

Is svchost.exe safe?

Yes, the Svchost.exe or the Service Host process is a legitimate Windows process that is used to run more than one system service on the computer without using too many resources. This is a process that can also cause a memory leak in your system.

Is svchost.exe a Trojan?

In almost every case, the Svchost.exe is not a Trojan horse or any other form of malware. It is a genuine Windows process that runs system processes together while saving as much CPU memory as possible.