Why is windows explorer using so much CPU?

If you’ve been noticing that your computer’s CPU usage spikes whenever you open Windows Explorer, you’re not alone. Many Windows users have reported Windows Explorer high CPU usage, and it can be frustrating trying to figure out why it’s happening. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the possible causes that why is your Windows Explorer using so much CPU and offer some troubleshooting tips to fix it.

Windows Explorer: How does it work?

Windows explorer is a process that runs within the Windows operating system. It is responsible for displaying the graphical user interface (GUI) and handling user input. When you open a folder in Windows, it is the windows explorer process that displays the contents of that folder.

How to check if windows explorer is using so much CPU?

Windows explorer can use a lot of CPU resources if there are many files and folders open, or if the display is set to show complex graphics. You can use the Task Manager to see how much CPU resources a process is using. To do this, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager, then click on the Processes tab. Click on the column header for CPU to sort the processes by how much CPU they are using. If windows explorer is using a lot of CPU, you may want to close some windows or folders to free up resources.

Answered: Why is windows explorer using so much CPU?

If your Windows 10 computer is experiencing high CPU usage, it’s likely due to a process called “Windows Explorer.” Windows Explorer is a core process of the Windows operating system that is responsible for managing the graphical user interface (GUI) and providing users with access to their files and folders. While Windows Explorer is essential for the proper functioning of the operating system, it can often be the cause of high CPU usage along with high RAM usage.

There are a number of reasons why Windows Explorer may be using a lot of CPU resources, but some of the most common causes are listed below.

A virus or malware infection: If your computer is infected with a virus or other type of malware, it can cause high CPU usage as the malware tries to replicate itself or perform other malicious activities.

An incompatible software program: If you’re running an incompatible software program, it can cause high CPU usage as the program tries to use more resources than it’s designed for. Incompatible programs can also lead to stability issues and crashes.

A faulty hardware device: If you have a faulty hardware device, it can cause high CPU usage as the device tries to compensate for the errors. This can often lead to instability and crashes.

Old Ram: If your computer is using old or faulty RAM, it can cause high CPU usage as the system tries to access the data in the RAM. This can often lead to stability issues and crashes.

HDD instead of SSD: If your computer is using an HDD instead of an SSD, it can cause high CPU usage as the HDD has to work harder to access data.

Overheating issue: If your computer or gaming laptop is overheating, it can cause high CPU usage as the system tries to cool itself down.

Heavy Operating System: If your computer is running a heavy operating system, it can cause high CPU usage as the system tries to manage all of the processes.

Dust: If your computer is full of dust, it can prevent your system from cooling down, subsequently, making your computer slow including Windows Explorer.

Fans failure: If your computer’s fans are failing, it can also lead to Windows Explorer’s high CPU usage.

How to fix it if windows explorer is using so much CPU?

If you’re noticing high CPU usage in Windows Explorer, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem.

Upgrade to SSD: SSD vs HDD – One of the best ways to fix high CPU usage is to upgrade to an SSD. SSDs are much faster than HDDs and can significantly improve your computer’s performance.

Clean your computer: You might be surprised to know that if your computer is full of dust, it can prevent the cooling system which will lead not only slow down Windows Explorer but other programs as well. Therefore, you should clean your computer dust with consistency.

Update your drivers: Outdated or corrupt drivers can often cause high CPU usage. You should update your BIOS and drivers on a regular basis to ensure they are up to date.

Check for malware: Here is a great way to detect and remove malware from your computer. Run an anti-malware scan with reputable software like Mal grate, McAfee, or Windows Defender depending on what type of device you have!

Restart your computer: If you’re noticing high CPU usage, you should try restarting your computer. This will close all open programs and reset your computer’s performance. You can also try restarting the Windows Explorer service from the task manager.

End unnecessary processes: If you’re noticing high CPU usage, you can try ending unnecessary processes. To do this, press “Ctrl+Shift+Esc” to open the Task Manager. Then, click on the “Processes” tab and find the process that is causing high CPU usage. Right-click on the process and select “End Process.”

Replace your computer: If you’ve tried all of the other steps and you’re still noticing high CPU usage, you may need to replace your computer. A new computer will have better performance and can handle more processes than an older one.


After trying out all of the tips mentioned above, hopefully, your windows explorer is no longer using an excessive amount of CPU. If you are still having issues, it might be time to consult a professional or reinstall Windows altogether.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my CPU usage so high Windows 11?

Windows 11 is a bloated operating system that can be hard on your computer’s CPU. One way to help reduce CPU usage is to disable unnecessary features and services. You can also try a third-party program like Ccleaner to clean up your system and free up valuable resources. Finally, make sure your computer’s hardware is up to par by checking for driver updates and installing them if necessary.

Why is my CPU at 100% when nothing is running?

One possibility is that there may be a background process or program running that you’re not aware of. To check this, open the Task Manager (by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ESC) and look for any processes that are using a high percentage of your CPU. If you find one, try ending the process to see if it makes a difference. 

Why is my CPU maxing out?

There are a few potential reasons why your CPU might be maxing out. One possibility is that you might have too many programs running simultaneously, which is using up more of your computer’s resources than it can handle. Another possibility is that there might be a problem with your computer’s cooling system, which is causing the CPU to overheat and strain to the point of maxing out. Finally, there could also be a software issue causing your CPU to work harder than it should be. If you’re not sure what’s causing your CPU to max out, it might be best to consult with a technician or computer specialist to help troubleshoot the problem.

Why is my CPU usage so high Windows 10?

One of the most common questions we get about Windows 10 is why the CPU usage is seemingly always so high. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the reason your CPU usage is high could be due to a variety of factors. If you find that you’re suddenly using more demanding applications or feeding your system more strenuous tasks, that could explain the uptick in CPU usage. Games, video editing software, and other resource-intensive programs can cause higher-than-normal CPU usage.

Can high CPU usage cause damage?

Yes, high CPU usage can cause damage. If your computer’s CPU is running at 100% for an extended period of time, it can overheat and cause damage to the CPU and other internal components. This can lead to system instability, data loss, and even permanent damage to your hardware. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to keep your CPU cool by using a cooling pad or fan and to minimize the amount of time your computer spends at full load. You should also regularly defragment your hard drive and run virus scans to keep your system clean and healthy.

Is 100% CPU usage okay?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, as it depends on your specific computer and what you’re using it for. Generally speaking, if your computer is running slowly or making strange noises, then you’re probably CPU- bottlenecked and should try to reduce your CPU usage. However, if you’re using your computer for heavy-duty tasks like gaming or video editing, then 100% CPU usage is perfectly normal.

Does RAM affect CPU usage?

Absolutely! RAM is one of the most important components when it comes to overall system performance. If you have a limited amount of RAM, your system will have to work extra hard to try and compensate, which can lead to increased CPU usage. Conversely, if you have plenty of RAM, your system will be able to run more smoothly and with less strain on the CPU. So if you’re looking to boost performance, one of the best things you can do is upgrade your RAM.

What percentage of CPU usage is normal?

CPU usage can vary greatly depending on what you are using your computer for and the specific configuration of your system. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should aim to keep your CPU usage below 50% in order to prevent your system from becoming sluggish or unresponsive. If you find that your CPU is consistently running at or above 50%, there may be something wrong with your system that needs to be addressed.

Marcus Brown
Marcus is an engineer and a gamer. He loves to play video games in his spare time, and he is really good at it some of his friends say he's a prodigy. Brown enjoys working on computers and making them faster and more efficient. He also likes to read books about science and technology, and he is always looking for new ways to improve himself as an engineer.