Tiworker.exe causing high CPU [Fixed for good]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
12 Comments
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  • TiWorker.exe does you great service: it checks, downloads, and installs the latest Windows updates on your PC. However, it is also infamously renowned for high CPU and disk usage.
  • Fortunately, we have all the fixes you need right here in this article.
  • You can find a list of extensive materials covering Windows Installation Errors so that you can have all the fixes in one place.
  • If you wish to broaden your area of expertise, feel free to visit our Windows 10 Errors Hub and become your very own PC hero.
Fix Tiworker.exe fix CPU usage

High disk usage is actually quite a common problem among Windows users. Oftentimes, this issue is caused by specific apps and programs, such as Tiworker.exe.

Tiworker.exe is an app that is directly related to the Windows Updates manager and will run in the background once you boot up your PC.

Basically, Tiworker.exe is an app that appeared alongside Windows 7, 8, Windows 10 operating systems. Seeing that it is a Windows system feature, you cannot disable it.

More and more Windows 7, 8, Windows 10 users are having trouble with this Tiworker.exe because it seems to take a lot of CPU usage, sometimes taking up to 50 %.

This will prevent the user from playing a game that requires a bit more hardware specs for example or watching a movie. For this reason, we will explain in detail how you can fix the high CPU usage you have from Tiworker.exe in the tutorial below.

How to fix tiworker.exe high disk usage on Windows 10, 7?

  1. Run System Maintenance Troubleshooter
  2. Check for updates
  3. Perform a Clean boot
  4. Rename SoftwareDistribution directory
  5. Perform SFC and DISM scan
  6. Exclude TiWorker.exe from Windows Defender
  7. Delete the Updates directory
  8. Delete HP software
  9. Reinstall Windows

There are various problems with TiWorker.exe that can occur, and in this article, we’re going to cover the following problems:

  • High disk usage TiWorker.exe virus – According to users, sometimes high disk usage can appear due to malware infection. If that’s the case, we advise you to scan your PC and remove any malware.
  • TiWorker.exe high CPU – In addition to high disk usage, high CPU usage issues can also appear. This can be a big problem, but you should be able to fix it by using one of our solutions.
  • TiWorker.exe always running – Several users reported that this process keeps running in the background. This is a common problem, but it can be easily resolved.
  • TiWorker.exe high memory – Another problem with this file is high memory usage. If you’re having this issue, we recommend trying one of our solutions.
  • TiWorker.exe crash, blue screen – This is one of the more serious problems, and many users reported that TiWorker.exe crashes on their PC. In some serious cases, the infamous Blue Screen of Death can also appear.

1. Run System Maintenance Troubleshooter

  1. Press and hold the Windows button and the S button on the keyboard.
  2. In the search box situated in the upper right corner, we need to write Troubleshooting.
  3. Click (left click) on the Troubleshooting icon.
  4. On the upper left corner of the Troubleshooting window, we need to click (left click) on View All.
    System Maintenance Troubleshooter
  5. Click (left click) on System Maintenance.
    System Maintenance Troubleshooter
  6. Click (left click) on Next and follow the steps presented on the screen.
    System Maintenance Troubleshooter

2. Check for updates

  1. Press and hold the Windows button and the X button on the keyboard. Select Control Panel.
  2. After the Control Panel is opened click (left click) on Windows Updates.
  3. Select from the View menu in the upper right of the window Large icons.
  4. On the left side of the window click (left click) on Check for updates.
  5. After this is finished restart the Windows 7, 8, Windows 10 PC, and see if you still have this issue.

3. Perform a Clean boot

You will need to perform a clean boot to the Windows 7, Windows 10 system to see if you have some apps interfering with the system and causing Tiworker.exe to eat up your CPU memory as it does.

To perform a Clean boot, you need to do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter msconfig. Press Enter or click OK.
    Clean boot
  2. Go to Services tab and check to Hide all Microsoft services. Click on Disable all.
    Clean boot
  3. Go to the Startup tab and click on the Open Task Manager.
    Clean boot
  4. List of startup applications will appear. Right-click the first application on the list and choose Disable from the menu. Repeat this step for all startup applications on the list.
    Clean boot
  5. After doing that, go back to the System Configuration window. Click Apply and OK to save changes. Restart your PC.
    Clean boot

After restarting your PC check if the issue still appears. If not, you need to enable all disabled applications and services until you find the one that is causing this problem. Keep in mind that you need to restart your PC after enabling each service or application.

If after the clean boot in Windows you find an app interfering with the system you can either try to uninstall it or try to make an update to the app that’s causing your issue.


4. Rename SoftwareDistribution directory

According to users, sometimes your SoftwareDistribution directory can become corrupted and that can cause high disk usage by TiWorker.exe. To fix the problem, you need to rename this directory by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Press Enter or click OK.
    access Services
  2. Locate Windows Update service on the list and double click it to open its Properties.
    Windows Update service
  3. When the Properties window opens, go set the Startup type to Manual and click the Stop button to stop the service. Click Apply and OK to save changes.
    Windows Update service properties stop
  4. Now go to C:Windows and locate SoftwareDistribution directory. Change its name to SoftwareDistribution.old.
    Rename software distribution folder
  5. Now go back to Services window and double click Windows Update service.
  6. Set Startup type to Automatic and click the Start button to start the service. Now click on Apply and OK to save changes.
    Windows Update service properties start

After doing that, check for updates manually and your issue should be resolved.


5. Perform SFC and DISM scan

To fix high disk usage by TiWorker.exe, you might have to perform an SFC scan. Your files can become corrupted causing the problem to appear. Fortunately, you can fix the issue by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open the Win + X menu and choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the list. If Command Prompt isn’t available, select PowerShell (Admin) instead.
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter sfc /scannow and press Enter to run it.
  3. The SFC scan will now start. This process can take about 10-15 minutes, so be sure not to interrupt it.

Once the SFC scan is finished, check if the issue still appears. If not, you might have to perform a DISM scan instead. To do that, just open Command Prompt as administrator and enter

 DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth.

DISM scan will now start and try to repair your system. Keep in mind that this process can take 20 minutes or more, so be sure not to interrupt it.

After the DISM scan is finished, check if the problem is resolved. If you were unable to run an SFC scan before, be sure to repeat it after completing the DISM scan. After running both DISM and SFC scan, check if the issue is resolved.


6. Exclude TiWorker.exe from Windows Defender

According to users, high disk usage by TiWorker.exe can be caused by Windows Defender. Users reported that Windows Defender keeps scanning TiWorker.exe causing this problem to appear. To fix the problem, you need to exclude this file by doing the following:

  1. Open Task Manager. You can do that quickly by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. When Task Manager opens, locate TiWorker.exe or System, right-click it and choose Open File location from the menu.
    Task Manager Tiworker.exe location on the drive
  3. Copy the location of this directory since you’ll need it for future steps.
  4. Press Windows Key + S and enter defender. Choose Windows Defender Security Center.
    access windows defender
  5. Go to Virus & threat protection.
    virus & threat protection windows defender
  6. Now click on Virus & threat protection settings.
    virus & threat protections settings
  7. Scroll down to the Exclusion section and click on Add or remove exclusions.
    add windows defender exclusions
  8. Click on Add an exclusion and select Folder from the list.
    add windows defender exclusion
  9. Now enter the location of the directory from Step 3 and save changes.

After doing that, Windows Defender won’t scan TiWorker.exe and its directory and your issue should be resolved.


7. Delete the Updates directory

According to users, sometimes high disk usage by TiWorker.exe can be caused by your temporary files. Users reported that the Updates directory was causing this issue on their PC, but after removing it, the issue was resolved. To do that, you need to do the following:

  1. Navigate to C:Windowstemp directory.
  2. Locate the Updates directory and remove it.

After doing that, the problems with disk usage should be resolved.


8. Delete HP software

Many users reported that high disk usage by TiWorker.exe can be caused by HP software. According to users, software such as HP Support Assistant can cause this problem to appear.

To fix the issue, users are recommending to remove all HP software from your PC and check if that solves the problem.


9. Reinstall Windows

Finally, the last resort is a clean reinstall. Windows native services, like the infamous svchost.exe with CPU activity, tend to bring quite a headache to users. And, sometimes, even though you’ve covered every possible option, it’ll still use system resources in abhorrently large volumes.

Of course, there’s always If that happens, you should consider starting from scratch and reinstalling Windows.

Back up your data from the system partition and get to work. We have an in-depth explanation on how to reinstall Windows 10. You can find it here.

There you have it, 9 methods on how to fix your Tiworker.exe, get your CPU usage back to normal operating standards, and continue playing your games without any interference from outside apps.

Let us know if this guide helped you solve your issue by hitting the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about tiworker.exe

  • What is tiworker.exe ?

The Windows Modules Installer Worker is part of the Windows Update Service. It’s actually this process that is responsible for checking and installing your Windows updates and it will run in the background once you boot up your PC.

  • Where is tiworker exe on task manager tiworker.exe?

You will find the app itself (the Windows Modules Installer Worker) on the Processes tab of your Task Manager. The corresponding file is called tiworker.exe and you will find it in the Details tab.

  • Can i end tiworker.exe?

You can end or disable tiworker.exe, but it is not recommended you to do since the Windows Modules Installer is a native Microsoft process that is specifically designed to handle the proper installation of Windows updates.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • hi

    this worked for me (all or one of this steps):

    install hyperV from “add windows features” reboot and do updates

    do a maintenance from security center

    turn off windows firewall (if you use another firewall together)

    now the “worker has stopped working!” (for me)

  • I use a prog called process lasso to terminate this kinda crap all the time. Simply right click and “terminate always”, never had issues again.

  • Microsoft has existed for 30 years – and they still dont know how to limit operating system resources to enable users to use the pc. No wonder that users seek alternate operating systems.

    • Huh I guess one of the new updates caused this because I see that you commented 4 hours ago, and I just noticed this too!

    • Im currently operating on genuine windows 8.1 and I want to say that this is just ridiculous. Windows is getting worse with every single update. When its fresh and new it runs like a rocket but after 4 months of daily work my laptop is unusable.

    • I have been on Linux since before Win8 was released. I just got a new laptop that of course, ships with Windows 8 and I had no other options except to swallow Microsoft’s nut and take Windows 8 whether I like it or not. A little over 1 day in to using my new rig I have already experienced the following:

      1. I changed my account name, and apparently ‘account’ and ‘user’ are different things according to Microsoft? The result was that I was temporarily unable to access any Computer Management resources because the names no longer matched up.

      2. I had to run explorer.exe with elevated privileges just to get Python 2.7 to install. Let me repeat, I had to force close, then run the ENTIRE GUI ITSELF with elevated privileges just to get an installer package to install correctly, because there was no apparent way to do so for just that package.

      3. About once every hour, TiWorker.exe hits the CPU with an enormous workload. The fans kick on full blast, CPU usage spikes to about 75% and levels off at about 50% for the next few minutes. My notebook has an i7-8710MQ running at 3.4GHz, this is not a lightweight CPU. Yet Microsoft Windows 8 still manages to hit it so hard that the fans kick on loud enough to hear from across the room, it actually starts hanging on simple tasks like switching between open windows. I have had this notebook for barely more than 24 hours, so there is absolutely nothing I have done on my end to cause it to behave this way.

      Windows is a crock of shit. As an aspiring developer I have to say I’m also torn right now between career paths. I have mostly been developing/training on *nix based systems, but I have a friend who develops on the Microsoft stack, makes like 160k and says I should start learning .NET because that’s where jobs and money’s at. I like money, but I just feel like I’m allergic to Microsoft’s bullshit and I can’t work on the Microsoft platform for more than an hour or so before something comes up that makes me want to head butt the fucking screen. Uggghhh…can’t wait to get Ubuntu running on this thing and not have to deal with this shit….

    • The problem is in order to be able to retain compatability they still have to keep ancient code in their OS’.
      If they could disregard compatability and “start over” it would be another story all together.