What can cause Explorer to consume >50% CPU for extended periods?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

  1. mmo
    Posts : 136
    Windows 10
       #1

    What can cause Explorer to consume >50% CPU for extended periods?


    Well, the subject says it already. I again and again witness that my tablet (Surface Pro 7) gets very hot, even though I am only browsing or reading a PDF. When I then check the CPU-load with TaskManager I regularly "catch" Explorer in-flagrante consuming 30-50% CPU and not seldom there are several instances doing that, which then easily adds up to typically 80-100% CPU load. Funny enough that activity typically seems to stop or at least be reduced as soon as I have TaskManager open for while and interestingly I never witnessed it going beserk when I kept TaskManager open on-screen.

    What is this beast doing in the background? My expectation would be that Explorer sits idle doing nothing when I don't use it but apparently it decides to start some background "business" when not used for while. Is it indexing something or what?

    BTW: That's not a new effect - it behaves that way at least since Windows 7 already - if not longer. But on a battery-based device this is *really* annoying! Can one somehow stop it from doing whatever it *is* doing here?
      My Computer

  2. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 3,522
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #2

    Does it has a HDD or a SSD? Can it be that the drive is being defrag?
      My Computers

  3. mngerhold's Avatar
    Posts : 863
    W10-2009 19042.1348
       #3

    Is there any associated disk activity? Use Resource Monitor to check.
      My Computer

  4. Pejole2165's Avatar
    Posts : 887
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    Could be indexing, virus scan, defrag, other background tasks like storage sense if disk is getting full.
    Temporarily disable any start up apps (as long as non essential for login), use Settings to stop all background apps (maps, store etc), disable defrag auto schedule.
    Use Autoruns from Sysinternals to temporarily disable any 3rd party scheduled tasks (things like Nvidia/ AMD telemetry, error reporting etc, if any are listed).
    See if that makes a difference.
    Other things to try, a new user account, customise indexing to remove unneeded locations.
    Keep a note as you make changes so you can put things back as needed. Consider using Macrium or similar app to make a system image before making any changes.
      My Computer


  5. mmo
    Posts : 136
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    mngerhold said:
    Is there any associated disk activity? Use Resource Monitor to check.
    No - no disk activity. And my system has an SSD, so no defragmentation, either.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Pejole2165 said:
    ...Temporarily disable any start up apps (as long as non essential for login), use Settings to stop all background apps (maps, store etc), disable defrag auto schedule. ...
    If the goal were to reduce system load and background activities in general I would see good sense in your suggestions but why should I disable all kind of other stuff, if the issue is *Explorer* consuming CPU?
    Defrag'íng is disabled for SSDs anyway and indexing is done by the SearchIndexer process, which I occasionally see running, but again - that's not Explorer.
      My Computer

  6. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 34,289
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #6

    If you can reach a point when this does not happen by making change a,b,c,d,e..., then you can work back by reversing changes a,b,c,d,e... in turn to see which, if any, trigger this.

    I.e. you will have to do some basic diagnostic work.

    Yes, it would be lovely to have a magical instant free answer to your problem which instantly fixes it.

    So yes, perform a clean boot (= disable startups) - Google that to get instant instructions or see the relevant tutorial if unsure how. That's what Pejole2165 is suggesting.

    But first, please post an appropriate screenshot or screenshots of your task manager showing what you see.

    Of course, if every suggestion is rejected and questioned, you may find people simply lose interest and go and help elsewhere...

    That's a couple of basic first steps.
      My Computers

  7. steve108's Avatar
    Posts : 19,481
    19041.1466 - 2004/20H1 Pro x64
       #7

    I would do a full scan with Windows Defender or whatever you use and MalwareBytes free just to rule that out.

    Also run sfc and dism to confirm no Windows system issues: Run SFC Command in Windows 10
      My Computer

  8. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 3,522
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #8

    mngerhold said:
    Is there any associated disk activity? Use Resource Monitor to check.
    mmo said:
    No - no disk activity. And my system has an SSD, so no defragmentation, either.

    ...but again - that's not Explorer.
    How do you associate the disk activity to Explorer if you say Resource Monitor doesn't link to Explorer?
      My Computers


  9. mmo
    Posts : 136
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Megahertz said:
    How do you associate the disk activity to Explorer if you say Resource Monitor doesn't link to Explorer?
    What I meant to say with "that's not explorer" is that I *do* see programs that cause disk activity like e.g. SearchIndexer but Explorer is not among the top users during such phases.
      My Computer

  10. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 3,522
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #10

    mmo said:
    What I meant to say with "that's not explorer" is that I *do* see programs that cause disk activity like e.g. SearchIndexer but Explorer is not among the top users during such phases.
    How do you know that is Explorer that is causing CPU usage >50% for extended periods?
      My Computers


 

  Related Discussions
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 17:53.
Find Us




Windows 10 Forums