FIX: Desktop Window Manager high memory usage

Claudiu Andone
by Claudiu Andone
Windows & Software Expert
Oldtimer in the tech and science press, Claudiu is focused on whatever comes new from Microsoft. His abrupt interest in computers started when he saw the first Home Computer as a kid. However, his... Read more
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  • The Desktop Window Manager high memory issue may be caused by a recent Intel driver bug.
  • You should restart a Windows process as indicated below in order to save memory usage.
  • Another good solution is to update your drivers with a reliable third-party software.
  • If you perform a full system scan, you can fix even more errors along the way.
Desktop Window Manager consumes too much memory
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Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) is a window manager that is responsible for the Windows 10 graphics effects like the Flip3D and the transparent windows or the live taskbar thumbnails.

It’s a regular process that you will find in the Windows Task Manager running smoothly most of the time.

However, sometimes, this can go wrong and start consuming too many resources, causing black screen errors or software crashes.

Here is how a user complains on Reddit:

Windows Process, Desktop Window Manager uses incredible amounts of resources after a few hours of computer usage; causes black screens and software crashes.

It’s obviously a serious matter and although it doesn’t have an official answer yet, another user points out that is caused by a recent Intel driver bug.

How do I fix the Desktop Window Manager high memory use?

1. Restart File Explorer from Task Manager

  1. Right-click on a free space from your taskbar, and select Task Manager.
  2. Locate the Windows Explorer process and click on the Restart button from the lower right part of your screen.

This is only a workaround described by one of the users who were confronted with the same problem but if it worked for him, it’s worth giving it a try.

2. Update or roll back the Intel graphics driver

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Display adapter, right-click on your graphics driver, and select Update from the menu.
  3. Select the top option, Search automatically for drivers.
  4. If you get a message The best drivers for your device are allready installed, you can also go to the manufacturer’s website and check if they have a new one for your GPU.
  5. You can also click on the Search for updated drivers on Windows Update option that will bring you to the Windows Updates section.
  6. Click on the Optional updates option and look for any driver updates.

We totally understand if this driver update process gives you a little bit of a headache. However, there is a faster and more convenient way of updating your drivers by using a dedicated, third-party software.

The solution recommended below will update and fix all your drivers, not only the graphics driver, in a single shot, automatically and effortlessly.

To make sure that everything goes smoothly and avoid any kind of GPU driver errors, be sure to use a complete driver update assistant that will solve your problems with just a couple of clicks, and we strongly recommend DriverFix. Follow these easy steps to safely update your drivers:

  1. Download and install DriverFix.
  2. Launch the software.
  3. Wait for DriverFix to detect all your faulty drivers.
  4. The application will now show you all the drivers that have issues, and you just need to select the ones you’d liked fixed.
  5. Wait for the app to download and install the newest drivers.
  6. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.


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Disclaimer: this program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.

3. Run a full system scan

  1. Click on Start and choose Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security section.
  3. Open the Windows Security tab, and click on Virus and Threat protection.
  4. Scroll down and select Scan Options.
  5. Choose Microsoft Defender Offline Scan, and click the Scan Now button.
  6. Make sure you have saved your work and close all the open programs.
  7. Click the Scan button to restart your PC.

Windows will shut down and perform an offline scan. Once done, the PC will automatically restart. Afterwards, check if the Desktop Window Manager still consumes too many resources.

Hopefully, by applying these solutions you will be able to fix the Desktop Window Manager high memory issue.

Check out our comprehensive guide if Desktop Window Manager has stopped working and closed, and fix it in no time.

For any other viable solutions, leave them in the comments section, so everybody can benefit from that knowledge.

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