How to Fix High CPU Usage by Conhost.exe?

by Alice Woods - -
12

Question

Issue: How to Fix High CPU Usage by Conhost.exe?

Hello, all. For the past week I have been analyzing the processes running in Task Manager because I spotted some doubtful activities. I’ve noticed several instances of the conhost.exe process running all the time, but the problem is not the multiplicity of these processes. The CPU usage sometimes jumps up to 50% and the PC gets really sluggish. What should I do?

Solved Answer

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Introducing Conhost.exe Process

Conhost.exe stands for the Console Window Host process or bitcoin-miner. It belongs to the Microsoft Windows Operating System and is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder by default. It’s one of the crucial system files, which is why its removal or other modifications cannot be executed under any circumstances. However, conhost.exe file often causes problem, such as high CPU usage. High CPU usage by any of Windows system components may be triggered by driver issues, malware infection, corrupted Windows Updates or similar. Therefore, it’s advisable to perform several basic fixes, including installation of Windows updates, including drivers and software. In case high CPU usage by conhost.exe occurs in Windows 10 build prior to build 15019, the culprit may be the latest Command Prompt  fonts. To fix this issue, you should install the new build 15019 or later.

showing Conhost.exe process in Task Manager

Can Conhost.exe Process be Malicious?

Although conhost.exe process’s security rating is only 3% dangerous, Microsoft has officially confirmed that malware developers often exploit conhost.exe name and disguise malware under it. According to the latest reports, Trojan:Win32/Alureon.FM, Backdoor:Win32/Cycbot.B, RiskTool.Win32.BitCoinMiner.amv and Packed.Win32.Krap.hy viruses can be found with the conhost.exe process name. Therefore, if you find multiple processes of conhost.exe within Task Manager, immediately run a scan with Reimage or another professional anti-malware and remove all suspicious/malicious programs and files.

Fixing High CPU usage by conhost.exe

Install the latest Windows 10 build

First of all, install all available Windows Updates via an in-built Windows Update service.

1. Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
2. Select Update & Security and click Check for Updates.
3. Wait for the system to perform a scan and then install all the available updates.
4. After that, navigate to the official Windows Update history site and install the latest Windows 10 build, not older than 15019.

Check for driver issues

1. Right-click on Windows key and select Device Manager.
2. Go through the list of devices and check if any of them are marked with a yellow exclamation mark.
3. If you found a malfunctioning device driver, right-click on it, and select Update Driver Software.
4. Reboot the system.

Try Clean Boot

Conhost.exe process may start sucking up CPU resources due to some collision of third-party software. To check that, try a Clean Boot. If Clean Boot recpnstuct CPU usage back to normal, enable third-party apps one-by-on to isolate the one causing the problem. We would recommend either reinstalling or removing it completely.

1. Click Windows key and type msconfig.
2. Click System Configuration and open Services tab.
3. Mark Hide all Microsoft services box and select Disable all.
4. Open Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
5. Click on each startup item and select Disable.
6. Close Task Manager and click OK on the System Configuration window.
7. Reboot the system.

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About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Shares the knowledge about computer protection

Alice Woods is a security expert who specializes in cyber threat investigation and analysis. Her mission on Ugetfix - to share the knowledge and help users to protect their computers from malicious programs.

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