svchost.exe high memory and CPU – how to fix

I use Windows 7 and I know that svchost.exe is a legitimate windows process and it is responsible for handling several system-related tasks in the background. I also know it should not be using hundreds of megabytes of memory, let alone gigabytes.

My svchost.exe process was taking over 50% of my CPU and over 1.3 GB of memory.

If you have this problem, first make sure your system has not been attacked by virus (update your antivirus and run a full scan).

My best guess is that I may have installed something (a framework maybe) that is interfering with Windows Update. Though I still don’t know the root cause for this problem, I was able to mitigate it by stopping the Windows Update service (one of the main services handled by svchost.exe).

Steps

Open the Task Manager: Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and click on Start Task Manager.

task manager

 

Click on the “Processes” tab.

Make sure you are seeing all processes by checking the box “Show processes from all users”.

Sort all the services by “Memory”

task2

 

The memory and CPU consumption issue is clearly visible.

task3

 

Now click on the “Services” tab to see all the running services (because Windows Update is a service).

Click on the “Services…” button. This will open a new window.

Scroll down to find the “Windows Update” service. Notice that it is currently “Started” and “Automatic”.

services2

 

Double click on the row with the “Windows Update” service to see it’s Properties window.

Here you can “Stop” the service first.

Also, you can change the “Startup type” so that it is not automatically launched by Windows. The best option is to change this setting to “Manual” so that you can manually Start or Stop the service as you need it.

services3

Apply the changes and you are done.

This solved the svchost.exe problem, but it affects windows’ ability to run its updates. Keep this in mind.

 

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About Low End Guru 18 Articles
I got my first PC in 1994 and it was love at first sight. Ever since I have been working with hardware and software both as a paid job and as a hobby. In 2007 I started working as a professional Quality Assurance Engineer and later became a Team Lead and Trainer. In 2012 I first learned about Arduino and have been working in Internet of Things and 3D Printing projects.