Filed Under: How to Repair, Windows

How to Fix Desktop Window Manager High CPU Error Easily


Written by Jack Lin

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Desktop Window Manager High CPU

One of the worst things you can see on the computer is a program using a higher amount of core memory without letting you know what it actually does on your computer.

The problem we have on our hands is Desktop Window Manager High CPU, this another service that you will see is listed on the task manager, but if you are seeing Desktop Window Manager High CPU usage, then there is a problem that you have to deal with it before you can go back to using the computer.

Desktop Window Manager High CPU

Our computer has a fair share of services running in the background. All of them carry different information that is essential to the computer. If disabled, they will have the potential to ruin the experience of Windows for the user.

Sometimes the usage of these services will go way off the standard limit and for no reason. Some users like it that way because they think it improves the overall performance of the CPU without knowing what the services do.

Many users have reported the Desktop Window Manager using a high CPU on their computer. When that happens, your Desktop window manager will always stay between 30% – 50%. This will greatly decrease the performance of the primary programs on the computer.

If you are going through this problem and don’t worry, there is a solution to this before we dig down to find the solution for the Desktop Window Manager High CPU problem on your computer. The first thing we have to know is the desktop window manager.

What’s the Desktop Windows Manager?

The desktop Windows manager is responsible for dealing with visual effects on the computer. This service enables all the programs and functions that help you see a better display on the screen.

In the latest version of Windows, which is Windows 10, where the desktop Windows manager does more than what it used to stand for.

Windows 10 handles glass window frames and supports high resolution, 3d window transitions, and animations. This service must run in the background to perform all the above functions daily.


If you are going through the Desktop Window Manager High CPU problem on your computer, here are some methods you can try to fix the error.

Method 1: Changing Theme to Fix Desktop Window Manager’s High CPU

As we learned earlier, the desktop window manager is responsible for all things displayed on the computer. Wallpaper and theme both get handled by the desktop window manager.

It manages both your wallpaper and theme so that you can experience different color pallets on changing wallpapers.

If you are facing the Desktop Window Manager High CPU, this could be one of the reasons behind it. The solution to this problem would be to change the current theme and wallpaper to the default ones.

  • Go to the Setting menu, right-click on the desktop, and click on ‘Personalization.’
Windows Personalization Settings
  • Once you are on the personalization screen, here you can change the theme, color, and wallpaper on the desktop and on the lock screen.
  • You can even switch to the dark mode of Windows.
Backgroud Personalization

If it solves your problem, then there is no reason for you to read the entire article. If it doesn’t, then jump into the next method.

Method 2: Disable Screensaver

The desktop window manager handles the screensaver in a system. Many online forums discuss screensavers being the reason for the high CPU on their computer. Your problem might share the same circle.

The screensaver puts a huge load on the CPU is still unknown. But you can disable it; once it is disabled, it’s not going to pop up in the background. Follow the method below to disable the service.

  • Hit Windows + S to start the search bar on the start menu. Type in ‘Lock Screen Settings‘ in the search bar, then hit Enter.
  • Select the first result; this will take you to the computer’s lock screen options.
  • Once you are in the Lock Screen Settings, you will see an option called ‘Screen saver settings.’
Screen Saver settings
  • It is possible that your default screensaver stays activated on the computer. At that point, it will get hard to tell the difference between the screensaver and not.
Change Screen saver settings

Once you disable the option, you will probably see a desktop window manager with lower CPU usage.

Method 3: Malware

Malware can change a lot of things on the computer. Once they start infecting a function, they will bend the function in their way. At that point, you will feel LAG on your computer and see all sorts of services and features using a high dose of CPU and ram usage.

This will be hard to tell because you can’t locate the problem on a specific item. Because when malware enters your computer, they suddenly start inviting a dozen into your system.

Just in a minute, you will have no idea what functions to block, they will all be using a higher dose of CPU, but it gets harder to distinguish between the genuine service and the fake one.

This malware would have special scripts that will make them run in the background, extracting information from your computer to their server. When they send your information, they will have to make a few changes to your system first.

Here you will need effective antivirus software to get rid of all these problems on your computer. Just get simple antivirus services that can remove the virus, not add plenty more into the system.

If you don’t know anything about the antivirus system, then there is another option that you can choose. Which is the Windows defender system; Windows Defender is the default antivirus app on the Windows operating system.

That means you don’t have to pay for it, as you do it for free.

Follow the steps below to remove the Desktop window manager’s high CPU problem from your computer.

  • Open your antivirus software. If you want to open the Windows defender, hit Windows + S to open the search bar; here, type in ‘Windows Defender.’
  • If you have never been to the Windows Defender settings, you will get lost in the features, as the main page of the Windows defender will have plenty of shortcuts and functions.
  • You will see options to expand other features on the left side of the Windows Defender panel. Click on the second icon to see the main functionality of the Windows Defender.
  • Go to the scan options, and hit the full scan; another option is called ‘Quick scan.’ As the title suggests, a quick scan will be much faster than a full scan. But the value is higher in the full scan, As the scanning process will do an in-depth scanning to remove all the potential malware from the computer. The quick scan will only do a surface-level checkup, leaving out the malware that is locked up in the deeper parts of the system.
Fix Desktop Window Manager High CPU with Scan Malware
  • If you are using Windows 7, then you see a much simpler version of Windows defender on your operating system; here on the main page, you will have all the functions that will help you remove the malware on your computer. Instead of clicking on the icons on the right in Windows 10, in 7, you don’t have to go through all of that, as the options will be right here at the front.

Jump into the next method if this one doesn’t work out for you.

Method 4: Disable Features

If none of the above methods worked out for you, then you have to disable some features to fix the Desktop window manager’s high CPU problem on your computer.

Features such as Setpoint and OneDrive have a higher probability of making this problem happen on your computer.

If you have a third-party antivirus installed on your computer, try disabling it. Antivirus gets a stronger grip on all computer functions because they have to perform a routine check on every aspect of the computer daily. This might create additional problems with your computer.

Method 5: Display Drivers

A display driver might cause this problem because the function of the desktop window manager handles all things display on its services.

Updating display drivers will help you get rid of the Desktop window manager’s high CPU problem. But this requires you to know additional information about the display hardware installed on your computer.

Manually updating video card drivers will take a long time to find all the information first, then put them into the driver page to look for the driver online, but there is another way to help you bypass all these methods to update the driver.

The software is Driver Easy; it will automatically find the best driver for you and install it afterward.

Driver Easy will find the driver that matches your system OS version, Bits, and the proper hardware; after that, it will display the result on the surface and automatically download the software and install it.

This will save you the trouble of picking the drivers by yourself; if you are completely new to this stage, then you might download the wrong version of the driver.

This will lead to uninstallation and sometimes overwrite of the existing driver, which can make the matter much worse than it was before.

There is both a free and a pro version of this software. Start your 30-day trial period; if you enjoy the features, the software has, then you can opt out to get the pro version.

Steps to Update Driver with Driver Easy

  • Download Driver Easy and then enable it through the firewall. Because sometimes the firewall can disable the software from running. Install the software
  • The second step is to hit the Scan Now button on the main page. This scans your entire computer and finds the appropriate drivers for your system.
Driver Easy
  • Click on ‘Update‘ next to the driver to download and install it. You don’t have to have the pro version to do this.
  • Or you just hit Update All to download all the software and install it afterward.
Fix Desktop Window Manager High CPU with Driver Easy

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  1. What is the Desktop Window Manager?
    • Desktop Window Manager is a Windows feature that manages visual effects on your desktop.
  2. Why does Desktop Window Manager use high CPU?
    • It can be due to several factors, including excessive visual effects, software compatibility issues, and outdated system drivers.
  3. How can I reduce the CPU usage of Desktop Window Manager?
    • You can disable some visual effects, check for software compatibility, and update your system drivers.
  4. How can I prevent high CPU usage by the Desktop Window Manager in the future?
    • Regular maintenance of your PC, updating your software, and optimizing visual effects can help prevent this issue.
  5. Is it normal for the Desktop Window Manager to use some CPU resources?
    • Yes, some CPU usage is normal as DWM manages several visual effects. However, it should not be excessively high.


Now you know all the reasons for your computer’s Desktop Window Manager’s high CPU error. As you can tell, this is one of the common problems many users face in their lifetime of using a computer.

You can follow all the methods mentioned above to eliminate your computer’s error and prevent the computer from creating the error.

Desktop Window Manager High CPU can take a lot of toll on the system, slowing down other functions that require the most attention.

Fixing it is the right thing to do here. Otherwise, it will take on a much larger shape.


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