How To Fix High CPU Usage When Playing Games

How To Fix High CPU Usage When Playing Games. In 12 Steps

The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of a PC and notebooks. All significant components of the system, such as the graphics card and RAM, depending on instructions from the CPU can get heated up fast depending on source intensive tasks you are doing. They should be appropriately  functioning at all times and are vital parts of any gaming PC.

We list more than 10 practical steps to fix high CPU usage while playing games

When a game stops or crashes, all open applications  stop reacting to new inputs or programs that open at the speed of a turtle and subsequently can cause unusually high CPU usage. Can’t play your favorite games without hitting your CPU max level? Or maybe after playing a few minutes, the FPS starts to drop significantly.

In this article, we are going to talk about how to fix high CPU usage when playing games or doing heavy tasks like video editing and running software that consumes a lot of your CPU power.

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What is CPU Usage?

By checking your CPU usage, you can see how fast, running programs are processed. The corresponding value indicates what percentage of the total core processing time is used to process the data. CPU usage can be a maximum of 100%. In other words, CPU usage can be an indicator of how much stress is currently on the processor and, if necessary, if there is still capacity available.

To calculate this, the standard operating time is compared to the actual performance period. If the CPU usage is too high, users will experience longer load times and save time, and in the worst case, programs will start to freeze because the processor is overloaded with too many processing commands.

At the same time, you can conclude the processing speed by checking the CPU temperature. With higher processing usage, the processor core produces more heat. If the temperature rises beyond the limit defined by the manufacturer as the maximum limit, the computing performance will automatically decrease, and the processing power will gradually decrease.

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10+ Effective Troubleshooting Steps To Fix High CPU Usage While Playing Games


Save your work and restart your PC. “Turn it off and on again” is classic troubleshooting advice for a reason. This can solve the problem, especially when it has been a long time since the last reboot. A restart can clean up temporary files and resolve slowdowns in potentially lengthy processes.

If the CPU is running longer and not resting, it will strain to diffuse information to parts of your body, such as RAM and graphics cards, and you will experience higher CPU usage as a result. So the moral of the story relaxes your CPU.

Restart it! The reboot will refresh your memory and also remove temporarily stored files that can fade over time. So restarting your PC can be beneficial in the long run, as well as fixing your high CPU usage.

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2. Stop Processes Using Task Manager

The second process is to make sure that you do not have any services or processes running in the background with high CPU usage. To verify this, close all open programs, then open your task manager and check your Idol CPU usage.

Passive CPU usage should be between 1% and 5% in most cases. If your passive CPU usage is at a high level, which is above 10% or 20%, then identify the services and processes that are consuming and killing your CPU. Also, identify programs related to that service and uninstall them from bloatware or unwanted programs that you do not use.

However, if it is a process or system service, try to identify the critical reason why it is consuming your CPU because in standard cases, they do not cause continuous CPU usage. Suppose you want to dig deeper into each process and program.

In that case, you will use Processor Explorer, which can be an excellent utility for monitoring background processes and services and provides detailed information about them.

How To Fix High CPU Usage When Playing Games

3. Update Old Drivers To Latest Versions

Many people think that updating the drivers will lead to bugs but actually, it’s not the case most of the time. Drivers control programs that are directly connected to your motherboard, and it is a simple idea to maintain them.

Updating your PC’s drivers can fix compatibility issues, as well as errors arising from various causes. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you update the specified drivers for the seamless functioning of all the hardware that is directly connected to your motherboard.

Some errors that cause unnecessary high CPU usage are related to your BIOS and you will fix them by updating your BIOS. However, first, identify and ensure that a BIOS error causes high CPU usage;

Otherwise, you will have to face a lot of trouble if you do not know that the BIOS is the system firmware that is installed on your motherboard and plays the role of instructing other parts of your PC when starting your computer.

Typically, CPU is not directly related to high CPU usage. So it’s imperative to make sure that the BIOS error is the culprit, otherwise, the change in BIOS can introduce new problems.

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4. Scan Malware/Virus Infection

If you see too high CPU usage of around 100%, but can’t find the cause, then viruses or other types of malware may be the cause. Viruses are often invisible to popular surveillance devices. If you suspect a virus, you should immediately check your computer with an antivirus program or a malware scanner.

5. Overheating of CPU System

Overheating may cause your CPU to throttle at lower speeds and should cause high CPU usage when playing a higher resource-intensive game.

The most common explanation for CPU overheating can be low thermal grease, improper contact between the processor and the CPU cooler, or a low-performance CPU cooler that is not enough to cool your processor effectively.

So in these cases, you will apply a good thermal paste, check the CPU cooler installation to determine if it is installed correctly or not, and if you have a CPU cooler that is not suitable for your processor (especially the stock ones), then you have to urge a new aftermarket CPU cooler that will efficiently cool your processor and keep it from overheating.

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6. Optimum Power Settings

Your computer’s power settings can affect your CPU utilization. To make sure they’re not causing high CPU usage while gaming or performing processor-consuming tasks, you’d like to see them.

You will easily access your power options by typing edit power plan within the search option on the taskbar. Alternatively, if you are using a laptop, you can access them by right-clicking on the battery sign and selecting the power option.

Show additional plans after opening. You will see the option to choose High Performance. After tweaking the power settings check if CPU usage changes. Otherwise, go to the seventh solution below.

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7. Autostart Programs

When you start your PC/laptop, there are many programs which auto-start in the background, these applications  may affect CPU usage. This is often due to the software required to connect hardware components such as cameras, MP3 players, or printers.

Once installed, these programs will start automatically. You can prevent high cpu usage by disabling these porgrams through the “Autostart” tab in Task Manager.

8. Programs With High CPU Requirements

Video and graphics editing programs, games with high-resolution graphics, DVD burning programs, and applications that convert film and photo formats require high processing power. They are therefore known to increase CPU usage. If, for this reason, the computer can hardly function, you only need to run these programs at once and close all other applications.

9. Update To Latest Window Operating System

Ok, recent Windows updates can result in high CPU usage, when you are doing nothing, i.e. idle. Windows Update added Joe Cortana search functionality which leads to high CPU usage (even when idle) for many users, due to some issues with the SearchUI.exe process.

In such cases, you will have to either uninstall the update entirely or disable the affected feature and wait for new updates to arrive, which hopefully includes fixes.

Also, it is better not to use a decrypted version of Windows because some of them may contain hidden malicious programs that could interfere with the regular operation of Windows and also steal your data. Therefore, it is better to use only the actual licensed copy of the Windows operating system.

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10. Problem With Your Game

Some poorly optimized games can lead to very high CPU usage, even if you have a newer and more powerful CPU (with six cores or more).

To fix this problem, you can search the internet and check out various gaming forums that may include valuable tips or workarounds to alleviate the pain. These fixes or cheats generally involve modifying or altering specific game files. If the game publisher releases a patch that fixes high CPU usage, install it to resolve the issue permanently.

11. Upgrade Your Hardware

If none of the above solutions was able to help you, then perhaps it is time to upgrade your hardware to a new version. Sometimes all you can try may come on your hardware, which is not enough to run the game. Unfortunately, when this is the case, there is no other option but to upgrade the hardware.

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12. More Ways to Boost Your CPU

The CPU is designed to run safely at 100% CPU usage. However, it would be best if you avoid these situations as long as they cause perceptual lethargy in games. The steps above should teach you how to troubleshoot high CPU usage and troubleshoot issues that have an external impact on your game and CPU usage.

However, not all CPU problems are solved with software fixes. If your CPU can’t keep up with just the games or programs you request to run, there may be a refreshing time. Many of the latest CPU performance boosters on the market for multitaskers and gamers who want to improve their game. See the feature set for available gaming laptops and gaming desktop CPUs.

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Final Thoughts On How To Fix High CPU Usage When Playing Games

In the above article we have discussed all probability, when your CPU gets overheated while playing games.

You might be using an old processor which is not sufficient for the game you are playing. Know that each processor is different and designed for various purposes. Sure, it can be said that manufacturers are only doing tricks to get their products to market and, if the software doesn’t fix high CPU usage during games, then you need to see the hardware changes.

If you do come across any additional tips and tricks or solutions to fix high CPU usage while gaming, you can share with us in the comments section below. Ultimately, the purpose of this article is to help ourselves, and our readers solve high CPU usage issues.

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About Author
An engineer and MBA, who is a technology and a gadget freak. I write about smart home solutions and gadgets like all wireless devices, technology brands like Apple. Love to follow the latest trends in the technology space and write about latest developments.