This is how you can fix Microsoft Edge Content high CPU usage

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Microsoft Edge is a Chromium-based web browser meant to replace Internet Explorer.
  • The guide below will showcase how you can fix Edge CPU-related issues.
  • To read more about this new browser, visit our website's Edge Hub.
  • If browsers, in general, are what interest you, get a look at our Browsers page.
Edge CPU usage

It seems that Microsoft is almost always too late to the party when it comes to application development. After years of widely unpopular Internet Explorer dominance, they introduced Microsoft Edge accompanying Windows 10. Even though this browser has a lot of goods to offer, it still trails back behind the competition.

And, even though it’s hard to believe, it has too many performance issues for a native application. One commonly reported problem concerns the extremely high CPU usage of the Content process belonging to Microsoft Edge.

Solutions for this problem are to be found below, so feel free to check them out and, hopefully, bring down the CPU usage to more normal numbers.

The solutions listed below are just as effective if you are encountering the following issues:

  • Microsoft Edge high CPU usage
  • Microsoft content high CPU
  • Microsoft Edge CPU usage
  • Microsoft Edge high CPU 
  • Edge high CPU usage

How do I fix high CPU usage on Microsoft Edge content?

  1. Use an alternative to Microsoft Edge
  2. Clear browser’s cache
  3. Scan for malware
  4. Run Edge without extensions
  5. Disable built-in Flash Player

1. Use an alternative to Microsoft Edge

Before going through the hassle of trying to fix Microsoft Edge, maybe you should consider replacing it with a much more stable alternative.

That being said, we would like to introduce Opera GX to you. This web browser is also based on the Chromium engine, just like Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome, so any addons build for those browsers will work for Opera GX as well.

Since it brands itself as the world’s first and best web browser for gamers, Opera GX comes with plenty of tools that make it ideal during already RAM-intensive moments, such as gaming.

That being said, it features a built-in RAM-usage limiter, so no matter how many tabs you have opened, you don’t have to worry about your background processes slowing to a crawl.

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Opera GX

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2. Scan for malware

The presence of a malicious infection might be another possible reason. Have in mind that we’re roaming in the dark and trying to cover all possible reasons.

Now, even though this is an unlikely scenario, there are slight chances that some PuP was unwillingly installed. We all heard about the browser hijackers used to take your resources for cryptocurrency mining.

In order to avoid this, we advise scanning for malware and, in addition, using a specialized anti-PuP tool called Malwarebytes.

Here’s the whole procedure for the Windows Defender and Malwarebytes combo:

  1. Open Windows Defender from the taskbar notification area.
  2. Choose Virus & threat protection.microsoft edge content process high cpu
  3. Choose Scan options.microsoft edge content process high cpu
  4. Select Windows Defender Offline Scan.
  5. Click Scan now.
  6. Your PC will restart and the scanning process will commence.
  7. After it starts again, download Malwarebytes
  8. Run the tool and click Scan
  9. Wait until the tool scans your system
  10. Restart your PC.
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3. Clear browser’s cache

Here’s how to clear data from the Edge browser:

  1. Open Edge.
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + Delete.
  3. Check all the boxes and click Clear.

We all know that Edge was Microsoft’s intention to challenge Chrome and Firefox in regards to speeds and lesser resource consumption. It did initially but updates and feature-rich additions that come with them took a lot of its light nature.

Now, even the locally stored cache can cause abnormal memory and processor spikes, even with only one tab opened.

So, let’s start with the cached data. We suggest deleting it completely, with passwords being an only exception. You can erase them as well if you’re using a third-party application or extension to store passwords.


4. Run Edge without extensions

  1. Open Edge.
  2. Click on the 3-dot menu and open Extensions from the menu.microsoft edge content process high cpu
  3. Disable all extensions individually and restart the browser.

Browser add-ons or extensions are of the utmost importance for so many users. Starting with the ad-blockers and moving to various helpful utilities — every serious browser developer needs to make them available.

Edge started without extensions, but now that it has them, users are quite satisfied with what Microsoft’s new browser has to offer.

However, even though all of them come through a standard inspection, they still come from a third-party developer. And thus might or might not be well-optimized.

With that in mind, another viable troubleshooting step is to disable all extensions and look for changes. Later, you can, with the system of elimination, find out which one is causing the high CPU usage and memory leaks.

5. Disable built-in Flash Player

  1. Open Edge.
  2. Click on the 3-dot menu and choose the Advanced tab from the left pane.
  3. Under the Adobe Flash, disable the “Use Adobe Flash Player” setting.microsoft edge content process high cpu
  4. Restart your browser and install a third-party flash player.

While we’re at extensions, third-party flash players become abundant since, these days, almost every browser has the built-in Flash player. And, judging by some reports, this Flash player is the culprit for the Content process’ abnormal CPU usage.

What you need to do is disable it temporarily and look for changes in the Task Manager.

If the problem is persistent, we can hardly be of any help anymore. But, if the CPU usage of the Content process drops, we advise disabling the built-in flash player permanently and moving to third-party alternatives.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.