[Fixed] Ntoskrnl.exe High Disk & CPU Usage: Windows 11 & 10

Discover effective ways to stop high CPU usage

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about technology ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. He's a PC enthusiast and he... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The ntoskrnl.exe high CPU usage is an urgent issue that you need to address since it can cause system crashes and overheating.
  • Start by performing an SFC and DISM scan in order to clean and repair your system files.
  • Alternatively, you can clean your registry by using a dedicated third-party tool.
ntoskrnl high disk usage
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In order to run properly, Windows 10 uses various processes in the background, and one of these processes is ntoskrnl.exe.

Even though this is a system process, many users claim that Ntoskrnl is causing high disk and CPU usage on their PC, and today we’re going to show you how to fix that problem.

Why does Ntoskrnl use so much CPU?

There are various factors that can cause the Ntoskrnl high disk and CPU usage. Below are some of the popular ones:

  • Corrupt system files: Broken or faulty system files are among the leading causes of this issue. The solution is to repair these files using the built-in repair tools.
  • Third-party app interference: Sometimes, this issue might due to problems with a third-party app or process. You need to perform a clean boot to identify the faulty app.
  • Outdated drivers: Another potential cause of the Ntoskrnl high disk and CPU usage is an outdated or faulty driver. The solution to this is to update your drivers to the latest version.

How do I fix Ntoskrnl.exe’s high CPU usage?

In this article

1. Perform SFC and DISM scan

  1. Press Windows, then type cmd and choose the Run as administrator option.cmd-run-admin 0x80070002 windows update
  2. Paste the following command, and press Enter: DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /RestorehealthDISM-RESTORE faulting application path
  3. Once the scan is done, type the following one and press Enter:sfc /scannowscannow 0x80070002 windows update

Sometimes this problem can be caused by file corruption on your PC. To fix it, it’s recommended to perform an SFC scan.

Other than following the manual steps, you can also try using a dedicated program to finish this task automatically.

Restoro is a complex Windows system repair solution that scans your PC for various issues and fixes all critical system files and registry errors, as well as the damage left by viruses (not antivirus software). With a few clicks, the program frees up space on your disk and restores all compromised Windows settings to their default value.

Here’s how you can perform this action:

  1. Download and install Restoro.
  2. Launch Restoro.
  3. Wait for it to find any system stability issues and possible malware infections.
  4. Press Start Repair.
  5. Restart your PC for all the changes to take effect.

Restoro’s technology replaces severely damaged Windows system files with clean, up-to-date ones from its secure online database. You can allow it to perform this action without harming your user data.

This the ideal all-in-one tool for fixing Windows errors, PC crashes, or registry issues. It can boost the performance of your device and make it more secure within a few minutes.

Get Restoro

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

2. Perform a clean boot

  1. Type or paste msconfig in the Windows search box and press Enter.msconfig-w10 vertical lines on monitor
  2. Go to the Services tab, and tick the Hide all Microsoft services box, then click Disable all.hide-disable vertical lines on monitor
  3. Navigate to the Startup tab, then tap Open Task Manager.startup-open vertical lines on monitor
  4. Select all the programs in there, one by one then choose Disable.disable-process  high cpu low gpu
  5. Exit Task Manager, click OK in the System Configuration window, and restart your computer.

3. Clean your registry

Your registry holds all sorts of information related to all installed third-party applications. If you tend to install many third-party applications, your registry can become filled with unnecessary entries that can slow down your system.

This can cause ntoskrnl.exe to register 100 percent disk usage. Furthermore, these entries might create issues with ntoskrnl.exe and excessive CPU utilization.

But you could use registry cleaning software to resolve the problem. Before running any system file cleaning tool, we recommend creating a backup of your database.

To see how to export your registry, we advise you to check Solution 1 for detailed instructions.

4. Update your drivers

  1. Press the Windows + I keys, then click Update & Security.update-security nmi hardware failure windows 10
  2. Click View all optional updates.opt-updates faulting application path
  3. Click the Driver updates section, check all the updates listed and select Download and install.drive-install-updates faulting application path

5. Switch to High-performance power mode

  1. Press Windows then enter edit power plan and click the first result.edit-powerplan  high cpu low gpu
  2. Choose the Power Options window.power-options high cpu low gpu
  3. Select High performance profile.high-performance  high cpu low gpu

Expert tip:


Some PC issues are hard to tackle, especially when it comes to corrupted repositories or missing Windows files. If you are having troubles fixing an error, your system may be partially broken.
We recommend installing Restoro, a tool that will scan your machine and identify what the fault is.
Click here to download and start repairing.

Windows comes with several power modes that you can use, and by switching to a different mode, you can increase your performance or lower power consumption.

According to users, you can fix the problem with high CPU usage simply by switching to a High performance mode.

After switching to a high-performance power mode, the problem should be completely resolved. Remember that this mode uses more energy, so it will drain your laptop battery a bit faster.

6. Check your PC malware

According to users, malware can often infect ntoskrnl.exe and cause many other problems. You must perform a detailed antivirus scan to ensure that you don’t have any malware on your PC.

We understand that searching for the ideal solution for your PC can be time-consuming, but we’ve got you covered.

With a list of the most popular and trustworthy antimalware solutions to help you narrow your search, you’ll find one that works with your Windows 10 PC with no effort whatsoever.

7. Install the latest updates

  1. Press Windows + I and click on Update & security.update-security nmi hardware failure windows 10
  2. Next, click the Check for updates button.check-updates searchui windows 10

8. Temporarily remove/uninstall your antivirus

According to users, this problem can sometimes appear due to your antivirus software. To fix this issue, we advise you to temporarily disable your antivirus software and check if that solves the problem.

If the issue persists, you might need to remove your antivirus software entirely.

Don’t give up on your protection against attacks and dangerous viruses. Looking deeper, you may discover a better suitable solution for your needs from our list of the best antivirus software. Therefore we strongly recommend you read more about this in the article.

Admittedly, there are plenty of solutions to try in this article, but if you know of any other one we may have missed, tell us about it in the comments section below.

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