Svchost.exe (netsvcs), otherwise Service Host, is a shared service process in Windows. It is a subprocess of Svchost.exe that loads numerous services that full within the netsvcs group.
That group of services includes User Manager, Task Scheduler, Windows Update, BITS, Themes, Remote Desktop Configuration and a few more that are fairly essential to Windows 10.
The big idea behind Svchost.exe is that a group of services share a single process to preserve system resources. However, some users have found that Svchost.exe (netsvcs) has excessively high CPU or RAM usage.
Sometimes this can amount to netsvcs hogging up to 50% RAM. Svchost.exe (netsvcs) hogging system resources is an issue that has persisted since Windows 7, and it can be due to malware, Windows Updates or a full Event Viewer log.
How to fix Svchost.exe errors
- Scan for Malware
- Clear the Event Viewer Log
- Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter
- Delete the SoftwareDistribution Folder
- Switch off the Wuauserv Service
You can check the system resource allocation of Svchost.exe (netsvcs) with Task Manager. First, you should right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
Click Details to open the tab shown directly below. That shows you the CPU and RAM usage of software and other processes. Svchost.exe is listed there multiple times, but only one of those system processes is Svchost.exe (netsvcs).
You can check the associated services for each Svchost.exe system process by right-clicking it and selecting Go to service(s). That opens the Service tab with running services highlighted.
The Svchost.exe (netsvcs) system process will open the Service tab with netsvc services highlighted as in the snapshot below when you select Go to service(s).
1. Scan for Malware
If you find that netsvcs has overly high CPU or RAM usage, there are a few potential fixes for the issue. A bloated Svchost.exe (netsvcs) system process can often be due to malware.
- Press the Cortana button on the taskbar, and enter ‘Defender’ in the search box.
- Select to open Windows Defender shown directly below.
- Press the Turn On button to activate the utility. Note that you’ll need to close third-party anti-virus software to scan with Windows Defender.
- Select the Full option for a more thorough scan.
- Press the Scan now button.
- If Windows Defender detects anything, you can then press a Clean PC button to delete detected items.
2. Clear the Event Viewer Log
The Svchost.exe (netsvcs) high CPU or RAM usage issue can also be due to an overly full Event Viewer log. Thus, clearing the Event Viewer’s log is another potential fix. This is how you can clear that log in Win 10.
- Press the Win key + R to open Run.
- Enter ‘eventvwr’ in Run’s text box, and press the OK button. That opens Event Viewer shown directly below.
- Now you can double-click Windows Logs.
- Next, you should right-click Application and select Clear Log from its context menu.
- In addition, clear the logs for Setup, System and Security.
- Then you can restart Windows 10.
3. Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter
The high system resource usage of netsvcs often occurs during Windows updates. Thus, the Windows Update service (wuauserv) is usually causing the excessive CPU and RAM usage of netsvcs. Running the Windows Update Troubleshooter can help fix wuauserv.
- A Windows Update Troubleshooter isn’t included in Win 10. Open this website page and click Download troubleshooter for Windows 10 to save the troubleshooter to your laptop or desktop.
- Click WindowsUpdateDiagnostic to open the Windows Update Troubleshooter as below.
- Press the Next button in the troubleshooter.
- Press the Run the Windows 10 Windows Update Troubleshooter button to launch a more recent version of the troubleshooter.
- Click the Next button to launch the scan and fix Wuauserv. If the troubleshooter detects anything, it will present a list of issues that it detected and fixed.
- Restart your desktop or laptop.
4. Delete the SoftwareDistribution Folder
SoftwareDistribution is a folder that stores updates, and clearing that out can also help fix Windows Update. To empty that folder, press the Win key + R hotkey to open Run.
- Enter ‘services.msc’ in Run’s text box, and press the OK button.
- Scroll down the Services window until you get to Windows Update. Then you can right-click Windows Update and select Stop.
- Press the File Explorer button on the taskbar.
- Open the C: Windows folder, which includes the SoftwareDistribution subfolder.
- Now you can right-click the SoftwareDistribution folder and select Delete.
- Then restart your desktop or laptop, and check for updates with the Settings app.
5. Switch off the Wuauserv Service
Switching Windows Update off should be a last potential fix. Windows Update is not exactly an essential service, but you’ll miss out on updates with it off. Update patches fix bugs in Windows, and the major updates add new options and apps to the OS.
For instance, the Creators Update adds Paint 3D to Windows 10. Nevertheless, you can switch wuauserv off as follows.
- Open Run by pressing the Win key + R keyboard shortcut.
- Enter ‘services.msc’ in the text box and click OK to open the window below.
- Double-click Windows Update to open the window in the snapshot directly below.
- Select Disabled from the Startup drop-down menu.
- Press the Apply and OK buttons.
Thereafter, you can manually check for updates by temporarily switching wuauserv back on every few months. Switch the Windows Update Startup type to Manual to restart wuauserv, and then you can manually check for updates. When you’ve updated the platform, switch wuauserv off again.
Those fixes can ensure that Svchost.exe (netsvcs) doesn’t drain system resources so much. You can also try switching off other services in the netsvcs group much the same as Windows Update, but some of those might be fairly essential to the OS.
So check the service details included on the properties windows before switching them off.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.