Fix: High CPU Usage Caused by Windows Shell Experience Host

By: Ivan Jenic
4 minute read

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As you know, Windows 10 has been released for some time and just like with any other operating system there are going to be some issues from time to time. It seems that Windows 10 users are having some high CPU usage issues with Windows Shell Experience Host so let’s see if we can fix that.

What to do if Windows Shell Experience Host Causes High CPU Usage

  1. Change your desktop to static background
  2. Turn off Automatic Color Changing
  3. Update your computer
  4. Run SFC
  5. Limit CPU usage

If a process is using your CPU more than it should it can be a problem since your computer will use more power and it will produce more heat, and this is especially bad for laptops. Users report that Windows Shell Experience Host is using 30-35% of CPU which is a lot, so let’s see how to fix that.

Before we start make sure that you keep your Windows 10 updated. This seems like a big problem and most likely this issue will be resolved with a patch from Microsoft, so remember to keep your Windows 10 up to date.

Solution 1 – Change your desktop to static background

Users report that this process uses your hardware power if you set your desktop background to a slideshow, so the best solution is to set your desktop to a static picture. To do so follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Settings > Personalization and choose Background from the menu on the left.
  2. Find the Background section and from the drop down menu select Picture.high cpu usage windows 10
  3. Save your settings and issues with Windows Shell Experience Host should be resolved.

Most of the users report that setting your background from slideshow to a static picture fixes the issue, but if your problem isn’t resolved you might want to try the next solution.

Solution 2 – Turn off Automatic Color Changing

If changing the background behavior didn’t get the job done, you can try with disabling automatic color changing. To do that, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Settings > Personalization and navigate to Colors section.
  2. Find the Automatically pick an accent color from my background background option and turn it off.high cpu usage windows 101
  3. Save your changes.

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Solution 3 – Update your computer

Make sure that you’re running the latest Windows OS updates on your machine. As you know, Microsoft regularly rolls out system updates in order to fix various issues and improve Windows 10’s stability.

It’s possible that the pending updates are actually aimed at focusing high CPU usage and may quickly fix your problem.

To access the Windows Update section, type “update” in the search box. Then go to Windows Update, check for updates and install the available updates.

update windows 10

Solution 4 – Run SFC

If certain Registry keys have been incorrectly changed or even deleted, you may encounter various issues on Windows 10, including high CPU usage.

Try repairing your Registry to cross this hypothesis off your list. Don’t forget to first backup your registry in case anything goes wrong.

The safest way to check for system file corruption is to use Microsoft’s System File Checker. With the help of a simple Command Prompt instruction you can check the integrity of all system files and repair the problematic ones.

Here’s how to run an SFC scan:

1. Go to Start > type cmd > right-click Command Prompt > select Run as Administrator

2. Now type the sfc /scannow command

3. Wait for the scanning process to complete and then restart your computer. All corrupted files will be replaced on reboot.

You can also repair your registry by using a registry cleaner, such as CCleaner.

Solution 5 – Limit CPU usage

You can also manually limit Windows Shell Experience Host’s CPU usage. However, keep in mind that this action may severely impact graphics quality and trigger other graphics-related issues, so proceed at your own risk.

  1. Go to Start > type “task manager” > launch the tool
  2. Click on the Details tab > locate Windows Shell Experience Hostlimit CPU shell experience host
  3. Right-click on it > select Set Affinity > select the CPU limit threshold.

That would be all, I hope this article helped you to reduce a CPU usage on your Windows 10 computer to normal. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, just reach for the comment section below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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