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11 Ways To Fix High CPU Usage In Seconds (2022 How-To)

How To Fix CPU High Usage

Every time I watch anything…

It feels like I’m watching it on slo-mo.

Why?

Because my device has become far too slow itself.

But I finally figured it out:

How to fix my high CPU usage issue.

And here’s how I can do the same for you.

Keep reading to discover:

  • How brightness and CPU are related.
  • 11 quick ways to lower your CPU usage.
  • Which anti-virus is best for your TV to lessen CPU stress.
  • And so much more…

Why is my CPU usage so high?

Your CPU usage is so high because you have too many apps open, or your device has no more space. It could also be because of outdated apps or drivers. Brightness also plays a factor in CPU usage. Your CPU usage will also spike if you have low RAM, a dirty CPU, or hot surroundings.


11 ways to fix high CPU usage


#1: Restart your device

The simplest way to fix high CPU usage?

Restart your device.

I know. It sounds too…easy.

But it works.

How so?

Rebooting allows the running processes on your device to stop and close.

This method gives your device room to breathe by giving it 1 thing we all need…

Rest.

Note: To ensure that all running processes are closed…

Perform a power cycle.

It’s like a restart, but better.

And it’s easy to do. You just:

  1. Turn your device off.
  2. Remove the power source. (Outlet or battery.)
  3. Leave it like that for 30 seconds.
  4. Return the power source.
  5. Power your device on.

#2: Close apps

I’m a multi-tasker…

But even I admit that multi-tasking takes a lot of energy from me.

And the same goes for your device.

That’s why you need to close your apps when they’re not in use.

Because apps can still chip away at your memory even if they’re only in the background.

Moreover, not all apps are equal…

In terms of CPU usage, at least.

Here are some of the apps that use the most of your CPU:

  • High-definition games.
  • Browsers like Google Chrome.
  • Streaming apps on smartphones.
  • Photo and video editing software.

Once your device begins to run hot, consider closing these.

Pro tip: Want to pinpoint the exact app that’s eating your CPU? For PCs, this is how you can do it:

Windows

  1. Right-click your taskbar.
  2. Go to Task Manager.
  3. Head to the Processes tab.
  4. Press CPU to sort apps by CPU usage.

Mac

  1. Open the Activity Monitor app.
  2. Press “% CPU” to sort apps by CPU usage. 

#3: Free up storage

What if the reason that your device is too slow is…

It has almost no storage left?

Think of it this way:

The CPU is your device’s brain.

Do you remember much about your childhood? Do you remember what you ate exactly 47 days ago?

You see, your brain deletes non-essential information not to overwhelm you.

You can apply the same principle to your device.

That’s why it’s important to delete non-essential apps from it as well. Doing so would prevent your device from being overwhelmed with data from different apps.

#4: Scan your device for malware

Do you know that malware and viruses can also cause high CPU usage?

It’s one of the many reasons you should always scan your device for malware.

And invest in good anti-virus software.

Which ones, you ask?

I recommend:

Note: Do you use Kaspersky Antivirus? If so, you might want to reconsider that.

Why?

United States FCC and Germany’s government both warned against using the app.

Both entities agree that Kaspersky poses a security threat due to the ongoing war.

#5: Update apps

Update Apps To Fix High CPU Usage

Outdated apps could also take up a massive chunk of your CPU.

See, developers patch the bugs on your apps when you update them.

And these bugs? Some of them are CPU-extensive.

So, to remedy this, it’s good to always check for updates.

#6: Update drivers

You know what else you can update?

Your PC’s drivers.

They’re software that bridges your PC and its peripherals.

For example, there’s a driver for your screen, keyboard, mouse, etc.

Don’t worry.

By default, your drivers should be automatically updating.

However, if some of them aren’t, then you should manually update your drivers. Here’s how:

  1. Enter and open the Device Manager from your taskbar.
  2. Right-click the driver you want to update.
  3. Select Search Automatically.
  4. Press Update Driver to confirm.

#7: Lower your brightness

This may come as a surprise to you but…

Do you know that brightness plays a role in CPU usage?

Yes. It does.

Take it from a user who used their expertise in tech and its methodologies. 

So, they set out to prove the connection between brightness and CPU usage. 

Using their phone, the results show:

There’s a linear link between screen brightness and CPU usage.

So, to lessen your CPU usage and the strain in your eye after using your gadget for too long:

Lower your brightness.

#8: Add more RAM

Now, let’s talk about hardware.

What changes can you make to your device to give your CPU more room to breathe?

Upgrade your RAM.

And, you know what?

This is something you can do by yourself.

How?

First, you need to consider the following when buying a new RAM chip:

How much RAM

What do you do with your PC?

I only ask because the RAM you need to buy depends on what you’re using your system for.

Sure, more RAM is better…

But it’s also more expensive.

So, to be more responsible with your money…

Check the required specs of your apps first.

And then buy RAM according to that.

DDR

The next thing you need to check is the DDR generation of your PC.

Why?

Because DDR generations have different forms.

For example, you can’t fit a DDR4 RAM into a laptop that uses DDR3.

Frequency

Last, you also need to figure out the frequency of your previous RAM.

Because that’s the maximum frequency that your PC’s RAM can use.

To be fair, you can still use RAMs that have a faster frequency than your PC…

However, your PC will just slow it down.

How to insert RAM

Why would I tell you how to insert RAM…

When I could just show you so that you can better understand the process?

This video does a great job of explaining what you need to do:

#9: Factory reset

Let’s try a more extreme solution.

If your device still has high CPU usage even after trying everything…

Why not just reset your device?

A factory reset gets rid of all data on your device.

Does that sound okay to you in exchange for solving your CPU issue?

If so, here’s how to factory reset your device:

Note: It’s always good to backup your device’s data before resetting them. This way, you can restore your data if something goes wrong.

iOS phone

  1. Open your Settings menu.
  2. Go to General.
  3. Tap Transfer or Reset [Device].
  4. Select Erase All Content and Settings.

Android phone

  1. Open your Settings menu.
  2. Go to General or General Management.
  3. Press Reset.
  4. Tap Factory Data Reset.
  5. Select Delete All to confirm.

macOS

  1. Press the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Go to System Preferences.
  3. Select Erase All Content and Settings.
  4. Click OK to confirm.

Windows

  1. Open the Settings app on your Start menu.
  2. Go to System.
  3. Head to Recovery.
  4. Click Reset PC.

#10: Clean your device

Here’s your fun fact for the day:

Electronics attract dust.

How?

First of all, anything that uses electricity has a charge.

Do you know what else has a charge? Dust particles.

And if there’s 1 thing I remember from physics class, it’s this:

Opposites attract.

It’s why your electronics attract so much dust and gunk.

And there are also the cooling fans on your system, which can suck in particles in the air.

These particles can go inside your CPU…

And accumulate to the point that it’s physically affecting its processes.

To resolve this, simply grab a dry microfiber cloth and wipe your CPU once in a while.

#11: Cold environment

I like the cold…

So do my gadgets.

And they perform so much better in low temperatures.

How come?

Every gadget has its cooling system.

The hotter the environment, the more your cooling system experiences stress.

What powers the cooling system, you ask?

CPU.

That’s why colder environments are better for your device when in use.

Because it puts less stress on it and, in turn…

It required less of your CPU.

You may also be interested in: iPhone Overheating Warning: 11 Vital Tips

How to fix high cpu usage when playing games?

You can fix high CPU usage when playing games by updating your graphics driver. 

This driver is responsible for how quickly your CPU and GPU can process your game’s visuals.

For Windows devices, follow these 5 quick steps:

  1. Enter and open the Device Manager from your taskbar.
  2. Expand Display Adapters.
  3. Right-click all of the drivers inside.
  4. Select Search Automatically.
  5. Press Update Driver to confirm.

Other ways of lowering your CPU usage when gaming include:

  • Reinstalling the game.
  • Enabling high-performance.
  • Lowering your in-game settings.
  • Closing apps that are running in the background.