How To Stop svchost.exe Spiking CPU Usage

Posted by Jamie on December 28, 2016

If you have used Windows for any length of time, you will have seen svchost.exe running in the background. Often there are multiple svchost.exe services running all at once. This is normal and nothing to worry about. However, if one occurrence has an error or misbehaves, it can cause high CPU utilization which slows the rest of your computer down. If you’re seeing this, here’s how to stop svchost.exe causing high CPU utilization in Windows 10.

Svchost.exe is a generic Windows service that handles DLL files. As these Dynamic Link Libraries are used by many programs and processes, svchost.exe acts as a gofer between the program calling the file and the file itself. That’s why there can be multiple instances running all at once.


Stop svchost.exe causing high CPU utilization in Windows 10

First we need to find out which service is causing svchost.exe to utilize so many resources.

  • Open a Command Prompt and type ‘tasklist /svc’. This will bring up a list of all running services. You will see multiple svchost.exe on the left and the services that are utilizing it on the right.


  • Right click on the Task Bar and select Task Manager. Scroll down to Service Host and double click on each one. Each underlying service will then appear.

We are interested in the specific svchost.exe process that is using the most CPU or Memory. Therefore, using Task Manager is often the easiest way to go.


  1. Click the CPU box at the top of Task Manager to sort processes in order of utilization. Changes are, the svchost.exe causing the trouble will be up top.
  2. Double click it to see the underlying services.
  3. Right click on each service and select Stop. Do this one at a time until your CPU returns to normal. Once utilization reduces, identify the service you stopped immediately prior to that. This is the service causing the issue. You can also select Open Services and stop it from there if you wish.

This should immediately reduce your CPU utilization to normal levels. Now to tackle the root cause. Identify the service causing the problem as in step 3.

  • If it is a driver, update the driver.
  • If it is a program such as antivirus, it may be scanning or fighting malware so leave it to work.
  • If it is another type of program, look for an update for it.
  • If it is a core Windows service, perform a Windows Update to see if there is a fix or upgrade for it.
  • If it is a service you don’t need or use, disable it in Services and move on.

As you can see, with svchost.exe being the middleman in this situation it takes a little detective work to find out exactly what’s going on. Now you know what to do, if you do come across svchost.exe causing high CPU utilization in Windows 10, it won’t take you long to fix it!

Have any other way to address high CPU utilization? Let us know below.

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