How to fix svchost.exe high CPU usage in WINDOWS

SVCHOST.EXE is one of those mysterious processes that constantly runs in Windows and is very necessary, but you don't know exactly what it's doing. So what is svchost.exe? Determining the actual services and software running within each SVCHOST.EXE process is a task worth knowing, especially when the process is consuming 99 or 100% of your CPU!

So before we dive into the solutions, let's get a deeper understanding of what this process actually does and how it can go towards fixing some of the problems that may occur. First, svchost stands for "Service Host" and does exactly as the name implies: it helps to "host" services. A service in Windows is simply an operating system program that does a certain job and runs in the background at all times when your computer is turned on, even if you aren't logged in.

Most of the programs you use are familiar with running like a standalone executable, like .EXE. However, most services are implemented in the form of DLLs, which cannot be run on their own. Hence, svchost downloads those DLLs and runs them by themselves. That's why when you open the Windows Task Manager, you will see a group of svchost.exe processes running

1-Look for viruses first

Before we get into the details below, it is worth noting there are instances where svchost.exe is actually a virus. Since it is a system process, experienced programmers love svchost to use the name to keep it hidden. If the file is in Windows / system32, it is most likely not a virus, although I always recommend doing a scan just.

If you don't already have an antivirus program, I recommend using either Kaspersky or Bitdefender as it consistently performs in the top ranks in the AV-Test and AV-Comparison. They are not free, but most free antivirus programs end up bundling additional junk software or redirecting your browser to its "safe" search solution, which is not safe at all and just tracks you and shows you more ads.

Identifying svchost.exe processes via Command Prompt (hard way)
1. First, go ahead and click on Start, then Run, type CMD, and click OK. In Windows 8.1, go ahead and right-click on the Start button and choose Run.

run cmd

2. Type the following in the command window and hit Enter

tasklist / svc / fi ”imagename eq svchost.exe

You should get an output as shown below with the name, PID, and service description
svchost processes

You will now see each svchost process along with its unique identification number and the services it is running. However, these names are still very vague and all are short names. To get some useful information about the process, we can use the services browser in Windows.

3. Right-click on My Computer, and choose Manage. On the resulting screen, choose Computer Management and then choose Services and Applications. Finally, choose Services.
windows services

4. Now try to match the encrypted Windows service name with easy-to-read names on the Services tab. This is little and it can take a while because if you take the process with ID 1436 and it is the name WudfSvc, you should try to find it in the list. If you double-click on a service name, you will see an encrypted name for it as well, so that you can match those names. In my case, I guessed W means the process starts with "Windows" and opened until I saw a match.

windows driver foundation

And you can see, the Windows Driver Foundation service is actually called wudfsvc for short!

Define svchost.exe processes via Process Explorer (easy way)
If you are found to be very challenging, there is a much easier way! Check out the Process Explorer tool from Microsoft (originally from SysInternals). This tool is completely free and gives you detail information for every process currently running.

Once downloaded, just run the exe file as it does not need to be installed. Hover over the JavaScript process and you'll get a popup that shows you which services are running under that process. The nice thing about Process Explorer is that it gets a friendly name for each process instead of a short name.

process explorer

Windows 8 Task Manager :

The last thing I would like to mention was the fact that Windows 8 Task Manager makes using the command line or Process Explorer completely deprecated. Open Task Manager by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ESC and scroll down on the Processes tab to the place Windows processes refer to.

windows 8 processes

Here you will see every svchost.exe process listed as Service Host: followed by the type of account it is running under (Local System, Network Service, etc.). It will also have a number next to it, and if you expand the item by clicking on the arrow, you'll also see every service running within that specific process.

list of services

SVCHOST high CPU usage fix
Now that you have identified exactly what process is eating up all of your CPU, we can address how to fix it. If you find that the process is not a Windows process, such as Windows Update or Windows Firewall, etc, then simply kill the process and uninstall the program.

However, most of the time this problem occurs, it has something to do with the Windows process. The best solution in this case is to install all the latest updates from Microsoft's website. If you are not able to do this normally in Windows, try restarting your computer in Safe Mode and try it again.

Also, if you can access the Services tab like we did above, go to Right-click on the service and choose Disable. Even if it's Windows Update or Firewall, don't worry, you can re-enable it later. Then restart your computer and go to Microsoft's website and get the updates manually. Re-enable the service and restart your computer again and hopefully things will work!

To disable a service in Windows, right-click on it from the Services tab and choose Properties.

service properties

Then choose Disabled from startup type strong> combo box located in the middle of the dialog box:

disable service

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