How to Troubleshoot High CPU Usage

by Cameron Easey
Running programs require various amounts of CPU usage.

Running programs require various amounts of CPU usage.

Programs that require many CPU cycles can cause the CPU usage on the system to increase or spike above normal. When the CPU usage on your system is at a high level, such as 100 percent, the computer will appear stuck or frozen until programs no longer require as many CPU cycles. You can troubleshoot high CPU usage by using the Windows Task Manager or a third party program such as Cacheman.

Windows Task Manager

Press "Ctrl," "Alt" and "Delete" at the same time to display the Windows Task Manager.

Go to the Process tab to see a list of currently running processes on your computer.

Look in the CPU column and locate programs that are using many CPU cycles. High CPU cycles can cause the CPU usage of a program to increase.

Right-click on the program and highlight "Set Priority" from the context menu. Select the "low" or "below normal" option to change the priority of the program.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 to change the priority of other programs with high CPU usage.

Cacheman

Download the Cacheman program (see Resources). Save the program to your desktop and double-click the setup file to install the program.

Double-click the Cacheman icon on the desktop to open the program.

Locate a program with high CPU usage from the CPU Usage column. Right-click on the program and highlight "Set Priority" from the context menu.

Select "low" or "below normal" to lower the CPU usage of the program.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 to change the priority of other programs with high CPU usage.

About the Author

Cameron Easey has over 15 years customer service experience, with eight of those years in the insurance industry. He has earned various designations from organizations like the Insurance Institute of America and LOMA. Easey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Western Michigan University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera cpu image by Aussiebloke from Fotolia.com