How to Fix Svchost.exe High CPU Usage?

How to Fix Svchost.exe High CPU Usage
How to Fix Svchost.exe High CPU Usage

SVCHOST.EXE is one of those strange Windows processes that runs all the time and is very necessary, but you never know what it’s doing. What exactly is SVCHOST.EXE? Identifying the services and program that are currently running on each SVCHOST. The EXE process is an important task to understand, especially when it consumes 99 or 100 percent of your CPU!

So, before we get into solutions, let’s take a closer look at what this procedure truly does and how you may address some of the issues that may arise. To begin, svchost stands for “Service Host,” and it accomplishes exactly what its name implies: it assists in the “hosting” of services. In Windows, a service is basically a program in the operating system that performs a certain task and runs in the background whenever your computer is turned on, even if you are not signed in.

Most apps you’re familiar with, such as, run as a standalone executable.

EXE. Most services, on the other hand, are implemented as DLLs, which cannot run on their own. As a result, svchost loads and runs those DLLs. That’s why you’ll see a boatload of svchost.exe processes running in the Windows Task Manager. Check out my articles on understanding the Task Manager if you want to learn more about it.

On my PC, you’ll note that there are currently eight svchost processes running, each requiring varying amounts of memory and running under distinct user identities. So, if one of them is using 100% of the CPU, how can we figure out which application is running?

There are two options for accomplishing this: manually using the command prompt and Services tool, or via a third-party application. I’ll describe both in case one of them doesn’t work for you.

First, look for viruses.

Before we get into the details, it’s important to note that svchost.exe can be a virus in some circumstances. Because it’s a system process, rogue coders like to call it svchost to hide it. If the file is in Windows/system32, it is most likely not a virus, but I usually recommend running a scan just to be sure.

If you don’t have an anti-virus programme already, I recommend Kaspersky or Bitdefender, which routinely rank at the top of AV-Test and AV-Comparatives rankings. Most free antivirus packages wind up bundling more junk software or redirecting your browser to their “safe” search solution, which isn’t secure at all and simply follows you and offers you more adverts.

Get into the Cyber Security Career now!

Using the Command Prompt, locate the svchost.exe processes (hard way)

1. To begin, go ahead and click on Start, then Run, and then type in CMD, then click OK. Right-click the Start button in Windows 8.1 and select Run from the menu.

2. In the command window, type the following and hit Enter.

“imagename eq svchost.exe” tasklist /svc /fi

The name, PID, and service description should appear in the output, as seen below.

svchost is a process that runs on a server.

Each svchost process will now be listed, along with its unique ID number and the services it is responsible for. These identities, however, are all short-hand names and remain obscure. We may utilize the Services browser in Windows to gain more valuable information about the process.

3. Select Manage from the context menu when you right-click on My Computer. Choose Computer Management, then Services and Applications from the subsequent screen. Finally, select the Services option.

4. Now try to match the cryptic Windows service name to the Services tab’s plainly accessible names. This is a little time-consuming since if you take the process with ID 1436 and the name WudfSvc, you must search the list for it. You can match them up by double-clicking on one of the service names and seeing their mysterious name as well. In my situation, I assumed the W stood for “Windows” and opened each one until I found one that matched.

Foundation for Windows Drivers

As you can see, the Windows Driver Foundation service is abbreviated to wudfsvc.

Identify the svchost.exe process. Process Explorer allows you to see what’s going on with your processes (easy way)
If you find it too complex, there is a lot simpler solution! Microsoft’s Process Explorer tool is worth a look (originally from SysInternals). The utility is absolutely free and provides extensive information for each presently running process.

It is not necessary to install it after you download it; simply run the exe file. When you move your cursor over the svchost process, a popup window will appear, displaying the services that are executing beneath that process. The wonderful part about process explorer is that instead of the short name, it gives you the pleasant name for each process.

Task Manager in Windows 8

Last but not least, I’d like to point out that the Windows 8 task manager effectively eliminates the need for the command line or Process Explorer. Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open the Task Manager, then scroll down to Windows Processes on the Processes tab.

Every svchost.exe process is identified as Service Host:, followed by the account type it is executing under (Local System, Network Service, etc). It’ll also have a number next to it, and if you click the arrow to enlarge the item, you’ll see all of the services running under that process.

How to Fix SVCHOST’s Excessive CPU Usage?

We can talk about how to fix it now that you’ve discovered out which process is using up all of your CPU. If the process isn’t a Windows process, such as Windows Update or Windows Firewall, kill it and uninstall the program.

However, the majority of the time, this issue is caused by a Windows process. Installing all of the current updates from Microsoft’s website is the best approach in this scenario. If you can’t do it in Windows normally, try restarting the computer in safe mode and trying again.

Also, if you can access the Services tab like we did earlier, right-click on the service and select Disable from the menu. Don’t worry if it’s Windows Update or the Firewall; you can always re-enable it afterwards. Then restart the machine and manually download the updates from Microsoft’s website. Restart the machine after re-enabling the service, and everything should be OK.

  1. In Windows, right-click on a service in the Services tab and select Properties to disable it.
  2. Then, in the middle of the dialogue box, select Disabled from the Startup type combo box:

I’ve used this method a few of times and it’s always worked for me. So, again, disable the service, restart the computer, manually install updates, re-enable the service, and restart the computer. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to undertake a Windows repair installation. Search for “repair install” on Google and follow the instructions. You can refresh your PC if you’re using Windows 8. Post a comment if you have any questions. Enjoy!

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.