Fix: Windows 11 Shell Infrastructure Host high CPU usage

by Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Managing Editor
Being an artist his entire life while also playing handball at a professional level, Vladimir has also developed a passion for all things computer-related. With an innate fascination... read more
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  • There have been several complaints by Windows 11 users of the Shell Infrastructure Host using as much as 10% of CPU power.
  • It causes the computer to lag and slows down system processes, and the fault could be caused by malware or stability issues.
  • As the Shell Infrastructure Host is a critical constituent of Windows, it uses only a tiny amount of power by default.

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To begin with, you need to understand what the Shell Host is. It dictates taskbar transparency, start menu layout, background images, and other graphical elements as a core function of Windows. 

Unlike some other processes you find running in the task manager, it doesn’t take up too much power. It shoots up about 1-3 percent at times. But you’ll mostly find it taking up 0% of your CPU. 

The Shell Host process runs in the task manager as sihost.exe. If you find out that it’s using a lot of your CPU, you should try to first update your OS.

As the Shell Host is responsible for processing the startup of basic UI elements, it may be somehow taking up more CPU rate than usual. For certain devices, you can have these issues if you use a slideshow desktop background. Here, switching to a static one is advisable.

The Shell Host high CPU usage alert is a sign of worse to come, potentially causing Windows processes to lag, and applications to crash. Of course, this is far from good news!

In this article, you’ll learn about the best fixes for this issue.

What can I do if Windows 11 Shell Infrastructure Host uses a high CPU?

1. Update Windows

  1. Go to the Start menu by clicking on Windows + S.
    Windows search
  1. In the search bar, enter updates
  2. Click on Check for Updates.
    Check for updates
  1. From the dashboard to the left of the new screen, click on the Windows Update option.
  1. Select the Check for Updates option.
  1. Update your OS as required. 

2. Go through your system files

  1. Open the search box by pressing Windows + S.
  2. In the search bar, type in Windows Powershell.
  3. Click on Run as Administrator.
  1. Grant user control and wait for the PowerShell panel to open.
  2. Enter the following into the command line and press Enter to run it: sfc scannow

You’ll have to wait for a few seconds after this as the SFC scans and repairs any broken system components. 

3. Run DSIM

  1. Open up the items list by pressing Windows + X.
  2. Click on the Windows PowerShell (Admin) option.
  1. Grant the user control and wait for the panel to open.
  2. Enter the command below and click on enter to run it: DISM.Exe /Online /cleanup-Image /Restorehealth

You’ll have to wait for a couple of minutes to complete the process. Other than this, you can run a simple antivirus scan, just to be sure. 

Although this same issue was well-reported and resolved in Windows 10, it looks like it’s here to make things hard again.

When the CPU usage for any system component is abnormally high, the resulting overheating can cause your PC to shut down abruptly, So you might want to check out this guide on how on to handle it.

Here’s to hoping that this guide was a great and informative read. If your Shell Host is using a high CPU, don’t hesitate to troubleshoot using any of the given techniques.

The section below is open for your awaited comments and suggestions.

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