Full Fix: Windows Driver Frameworks uses too much CPU

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Managing Editor
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  • Many users have reported that the Windows Driver Frameworks uses too much CPU.
  • To bypass this issue, all you need to do is follow the instructions listed below.
  • This article is just one of many included in our dedicated Windows 10 Hub.
  • For more troubleshooting guides you should also check out our dedicated Fix section.
Windows Driver Frameworks uses too much CPU

The Windows Driver Frameworks (WDF), formerly known as Windows Driver Foundation, are a set of libraries that you can use to write device drivers that run on the Windows OS.

Microsoft uses three types of WDF drivers:

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  • The Kernel-Mode Driver Framework for standard kernel-mode device drivers
  • The User-Mode Driver Framework v1 for C++ COM-based user-mode drivers
  • The User-Mode Driver Framework v2 for writing KMDF-based user-mode drivers.

Many Windows users often complain that the Windows Driver Frameworks uses too much CPU, slowing down Windows and draining battery insanely fast.


Windows Driver Frameworks cause high CPU usage

[…] The Windows Driver Foundation service is constantly using about 30% CPU.  This was not happening with the previous build.

I have left the computer running for a couple hours to see if there were any cleanup processes running, but the service is still hogging CPU.


How do I fix WDF high CPU issues?

Windows Driver Framework is an important Windows service, but sometimes this service can cause high CPU usage. Speaking of this service, here are some related issues that users reported:

  • Windows Driver Foundation high CPU DisplayLink – Sometimes high CPU usage can occur due to problems with DisplayLink. To fix it, reinstall your drivers and check if that solves the problem.
  • Wudfhost high CPU Windows 10 – Sometimes other services can cause this issue to appear. To solve that, be sure to reinstall the problematic drivers and check if that helps.
  • Windows Driver Foundation high memory usage – This service is known to cause high memory usage as well. If you have any memory problems due to this service, be sure to try some of our solutions.
  • WDF high CPU usage – This is just a variation of the original issue, but you should be able to fix the problem by disabling problematic services or devices.

1. Reinstall your Wi-Fi driver

  1. Before we start, be sure to download the latest Wi-Fi drivers from your device’s manufacturer.
  2. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu.
  3. Now choose Device Manager from the list.
    Wudfhost high CPU Windows 10
  4. When Device Manager opens, locate your Wi-Fi adapter, right-click it and choose Uninstall device from the menu.
    Windows Driver Foundation high memory usage
  5. A confirmation dialog will now appear. If available, check Remove driver software checkbox. Now click Uninstall.
    WDF high CPU usage

According to users, sometimes problems with Windows Driver Framework and high CPU usage can occur due to your drivers. If your driver isn’t fully compatible with Windows 10, you might encounter issues with this process.

Several users reported that they fixed the issue simply by reinstalling their Wi-Fi driver.

Once you remove the driver, restart your PC and install the Wi-Fi driver again. Now check if that solves the problem.

It’s worth mentioning that other devices can also cause this issue to appear, and in few cases, users reported that their mouse was the culprit.

Users had problems with G-series mouse, but after updating the driver, the issue was permanently resolved. If you use a Lenovo laptop, try uninstalling the Lenovo Transitions software as well.

Since Windows Driver Framework is related to your drivers, we strongly suggest keeping your drivers up to date in order to fix this problem.

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Update drivers automatically (third-party tool suggested)

DriverFix-Banner

Downloading and installing drivers manually is a process that carries the risk of getting the wrong driver installed, which may lead to serious malfunctions. We strongly suggest you update your driver automatically by using DriverFix

This tool can be considered a 2-in-1 solution since it is not only a driver updater, it is also a driver fix, being perfectly capable of repairing broken or missing drivers.

DriverFix automatically update drivers

This is all thanks to the extensive driver libraries that it has access to, allowing you to always have the latest drivers for your hardware as soon as they become available.

The app’s interface is extremely simplistic, and all you need is to read the instructions to start using it.

More so, most of the update and fix process is automated, with you only having to give your confirmation a few times.

2. Just wait it out

Windows Driver Framework is a standard Windows process, and if it’s using too much of your CPU, it’s probably doing certain work in the background. Several users reported that they managed to fix this problem simply by waiting for Windows Driver Framework to finish.

This isn’t a universal solution, but in some cases waiting for an hour or so can help you with this problem, so you might want to try that.


3. Perform a clean boot

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter msconfig. Now press Enter or click OK.
    Windows Driver Foundation high CPU Displaylink
  2. System Configuration window will now appear.
  3. Go to Services tab and check Hide all Microsoft services.
  4. Now click Disable all.
    Wudfhost high CPU Windows 10
  5. Go to Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
    Windows Driver Foundation high memory usage
  6. List of all startup applications will now appear. Right-click the first entry on the list and choose Disable.
  7. Now repeat this step for all startup entries on the list.
    WDF high CPU usage
  8. After you disable all startup applications, close Task Manager and go back to System Configuration window.
  9. Click Apply and OK to save changes. Now restart your PC.
    Windows Driver Foundation high CPU Displaylink

Sometimes third-party applications or services can cause this issue to appear. In order to pinpoint the cause, it’s advised to perform a clean boot.

Your PC will now start without any third-party services or applications. Now you just need to check if the problem is resolved.

If so, you’ll need to enable disabled applications and services one by one until you find the one that is causing this issue. Keep in mind that you need to restart your PC in order to apply changes after enabling an application.


4. Disable SDO Sensor and other problematic devices

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Now locate SDO Sensor on the list, right-click it and choose Disable device.
    Windows Driver Foundation high CPU Displaylink
  3. When the confirmation dialog appears, click Yes.
    Windows Driver Foundation high CPU Displaylink

If you have a touchscreen device, it’s rather likely that SDO sensor is causing this issue on your PC. As a workaround, users are suggesting to disable SDO sensor completely.

Keep in mind that by disabling SDO Sensor certain features of your device might not work anymore, but the problem with high CPU usage should be resolved.

Several users reported that disabling Intel Wireless Gigabit 17265 fixed the problem for them, so if you have this device, be sure to disable it.


5. Remove unnecessary USB peripherals

Sometimes problems with Windows Driver Framework and high CPU usage can appear due to your USB devices. Certain devices can interfere with Windows and cause this issue to appear.

To fix the problem, you need to disconnect the necessary USB devices and check if that solves the problem.

Keep only essential peripherals attached such as your keyboard and mouse and disconnect all the rest. After doing that, check if the problem still persists.

If not, you need to connect USB devices one by one until you find the one that is causing the issue to appear. Once you find the problematic device, you just need to reinstall or update its drivers and check if that solves the issue.


6. Disable the NFC feature

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Now navigate to Network & Internet section.
    Wudfhost high CPU Windows 10
  3. Select Airplane Mode from the menu on the left.
  4. Now disable NFC from the right pane.

NFC is a useful feature, but it can sometimes cause issues with Windows Driver Framework. To fix the problem, it’s advised to disable NFC completely.

The simplest way to do that is to check your Airplane mode settings.

Alternatively, you can disable NFC from Device Manager. Simply open Device Manager and go to Proximity devices section.

Disable your proximity device and the NFC should be disabled completely. Once the NFC is disabled, this issue should be resolved entirely.


7. Make sure that your PC is up to date

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Update & Security section.
    Windows Driver Foundation high memory usage
  2. Now click Check for updates button.
    WDF high CPU usage

If you have issues with Windows Driver Framework, the problem might be caused by a missing update.

This issue might be caused by a bug on your system, and if that the case, the best way to fix it is to update your Windows.

By default, Windows 10 installs the missing updates automatically, but sometimes you might miss an update or two.

Windows will now check for available updates. If any updates are available, they will be downloaded automatically in the background.

Once the updates are downloaded, restart your PC to install them. After updating Windows to the latest version, the issue should be permanently resolved.


8. Use System Restore

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter system restore.
  2. Choose Create a restore point from the menu.
    Windows Driver Foundation high memory usage
  3. System Properties window will now open.
  4. Click System Restore button.
    WDF high CPU usage
  5. When System Restore opens, click Next.
    Windows Driver Foundation high CPU Displaylink
  6. If available, check Show more restore points. Now choose the desired restore point and click Next.
    Wudfhost high CPU Windows 10
  7. Follow the instructions on the screen to restore your PC.

If you’re having this problem, you might be able to fix it by using System Restore. Once System Restore is finished, check if the problem still persists.

If you’ve come across other workarounds to fix WDF-related abnormal CPU usage, feel free to list the troubleshooting steps in the comment section below.


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

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