How to Fix High CPU Usage

by Tiffany Garden

Your computer's central processing unit (CPU) interprets and processes the requests and data for your entire computer. Some programs and services take a higher amount of resources than others, and when your computer's CPU usage is high, it can slow down the processing on all requests. High CPU usage can even lead to computer crashes and data corruption in some cases. Fixing high CPU usage allows your computer to run more smoothly and efficiently.

Scan your computer with your currently installed antivirus software. In most antivirus software, you need to hit a button labeled "Scan" or "Scan Now." Some antivirus software allow you to initiate a scan by right-clicking its system tray icon and choosing "Scan." Allow the scan to completely check your computer and remove any viruses or malware found. Viruses can often use large portions of your system resources and slow your computer down.

Click "Start" and type "System Configuration" in the search box. Double-click the "System Configuration" entry. Go to the "Startup" tab on the Microsoft System Configuration window.

Uncheck programs in this list you do not want to automatically start up. Many programs add themselves to the startup list and launch when your computer boots up. If you have too many programs doing this, you might not have enough system resources available to launch the programs you need to use. Click "Apply," then "OK." Choose to restart your computer later.

Go to "Start," then "Control Panel." Click "Performance Information and Tools." Select "Adjust visual effects." Pick "Adjust for best performance." Click "OK." Your computer may have problems running efficiently when all of Windows 7's visual effects are turned on. This setting changes the visual effects to be optimized towards system performance instead of aesthetics.

About the Author

Tiffany Garden has been a freelance writer since 2002, working in the commercial copywriting field. She has been published in a number of technical and gaming magazines, as well as on numerous websites. She also runs her own websites on a number of subjects, runs a handcrafted jewelry business and is a CompTIA A+ Certified computer technician.

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